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This is a bike that seems to ride well, and be durable and comfortable. And yet it is made entirely out of cardboard. Not a gram of metal or aluminum or in part, or in the handle or in the chain. The bike is made from some corrugated cardboard and recyclable materials.
With wagon or wheelbarrow wheels and painted white, this bike certainly is not aerodynamic. Yet it is very light (no more than 9 kg against 15 kg on average for city bikes). Also, when put on sale, its price should not exceed 20 €. The cardboard bike’s lifetime is estimated at two years, and it is fully recyclable. Hard to beat in terms of carbon footprint.
Israeli engineer Izhar Gafni has alway had a love of cycling. He took three years and made six working prototypes prior to completing the final model. The hardest thing was developing a treatment for the cardboard so that it keeps its rigidity after spending six months immersed in water. Gafni has filed a patent and guards his secret recipe, even if you see the video he uses a lot of glue.
Presented to the press several weeks ago, the machine has already attracted a lot of enthusiasm. Commercialisation is expected soon in Israel. "I do not intend to compete with China," said Izhar Gafni. There’s no incentive for him to get into the low-cost bicycle - the global market is not interested. He would rather that his bike is made for local markets in small factories employing disabled and elderly destitute people.
The cost of raw materials is estimated at 5 euro, Gafni hopes to give the cardboard bikes to the poorest in large cities in developing countries. He plans to produce three different models as well as a wheelchair, and is looking forward to making cardboard cars, or even aeroplanes.
Cardboard is probably much stronger than we imagine. A helmet using this material will soon be marketed. Its honeycomb structure [Google translation] has been copied extensively from the bone structure of woodpeckers.
A possible method of bringing water to the desert, or other arid areas.