Izhar Gafni is definitely someone I’d like on my side if the Apocalypse ever hits. An engineer by training, this Israeli set out to prove that a cardboard bike isn’t just technically feasible-but that it can look cool at the same time.
Gafni ran his idea by some engineers who told him to give up the dream, that it was impossible. He tried it anyway. The result is an attractive, working bike that costs as little as $9 to make. Of course, that price tag doesn’t include the immense amount of R&D time Gafni put into it.
The bike went through a tremendous amount of prototyping and tweaking. The finished piece is dipped in a coating material that gives it a shiny outer shell and protects the material from the elements. You wouldn’t know it was cardboard just by looking at it.
Here Gafni is describing the ‘origami-like’ folding that results in a surprisingly strong, durable cardboard frame.
Izhar cardboard bike project from Giora Kariv on Vimeo.
The finished bike has a modern, almost futuristic look, despite it being somewhat on the chunky side. No word on the weight of the bike, or whether we could ever expect it to be available for sale, but as a design/engineering exercise, it’s extremely impressive. And for $9 worth of raw materials, this could be a fantastic form of transportation in the developing world.