Israeli engineer and systems developer Izhar Gafni has reinvented cardboard into a mode of transportation. The result is a bicycle that’s strong, lightweight, visually appealing and costs roughly $16 to manufacture.
Three years ago Gafni began the development of the Cardboard Bicycle. “Since there was no know-how with regards to the cardboard material, the first two years were devoted to learning the properties and behaviour of the material,” explains Gafni.
“The idea is like Japanese origami,” he says in the video (click the image below). “You fold it once and then it doesn’t become twice the strength, it’s almost three times the strength. So I took it from there and did the same thing with cardboard.”
After the shape has been cut out, the cardboard is treated with a waterproof and fireproof coating formulated by Gafni, before lacquer paint is applied over the top.
The “urban bike” for adults weighs under 20 pounds, while the kids’ bike weighs less than 8 pounds. Each are made almost entirely from recycled materials and in the future cyclists will have the option to add an electric motor, according to the ERB website.
Gafni’s business partner, Israeli investment group ERB, is currently raising funds and developing the bicycle for production.
More information from Gafni’s business partner, ERB:
The Cardboard Bicycle Project is a new, revolutionary and green concept to produce bicycles made of durable recycled cardboard. ERB is an active partner which manages all the business and financial aspects of this project. ERB leads the worldwide business activity of the cardboard bicycle in Israel and abroad.
The first commercial model of the bicycle is designed for large companies as a vehicle for their employees and for large cities as a cheap, light-weight vehicle. Parallel to those, the electric model is being developed.
The Cardboard Bicycle can withstand water and humidity. Part of our unique technology enables us to create a product that looks like it is made out of hard lightweight polymer. The bike is stronger than carbon fiber and can carry riders weighing up to 485 pounds.