How to Make a Bicycle Out of Cardboard

Inventor Izhar Gafni has created an incredibly strong, light and affordable bicycle made entirely from cardboard. He claims the bike could be manufactured using an automated production line for less than $20, allowing it to be produced and distributed worldwide.

It’s an excellent way to recycle and reduce waste. It’s also an ideal way to teach kids the basics of cycling, and is especially appealing to children in emerging countries where metal bikes are expensive to manufacture.

The Cardboard Bike

During three years of research and development, inventor Izhar Gafni built his prototype of the cardboard bicycle, a road bike that weighs in at just 9 kg (20 pounds) compared to an average metal bike, which typically weights 14kg (35 pounds). He says the bike is designed for urban use and has an optional mounting for a personal electric motor, similar to London’s “Boris bikes.” It requires no maintenance, can be charged in a matter of minutes, is easy to ride and can last 10 years.

The bike’s parts are all fabricated from sheets of cardboard that are pressed and folded in various ways, increasing the strength of the bike. They are then treated with a secret coating to make them waterproof and fireproof, before being painted and assembled.

A cardboard bike is the creation of Israeli entrepreneur Izhar Gafni, who spent three years working on his design, despite engineers telling him that it wasn’t possible. After much trial and error, he has created an incredibly strong, light and inexpensive bike that can support riders up to 435 lbs.

He plans to create a second production line to produce a cardboard wheelchair, as well as an adult bicycle, and hopes that the business model will be sustainable enough to enable them to provide low cost bikes to poorer countries in a corporate responsibility program. He said that he expects government grants and rebates to completely cancel out the cost of producing his bikes.

Cardboard Bike

A bicycle that’s made almost entirely from cardboard has the potential to change transportation habits around the world, according to Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni. The bicycle is made from varying thicknesses of cardboard, which are cut and folded into desired shapes and then treated with a secret coating that makes it water-proof and fireproof.

It’s then coated with lacquer paint to look like any other bike. Its components are all made from recycled materials, including plastic, and the chain is fashioned out of rubber that’s upcycled from used bottles.

Moreover, the cardboard bicycle is durable and can be easily repaired. Its parts can withstand the elements and can hold up to 435 lbs, which is about half the weight of an average bike.

The inventor believes the bicycle is a game-changer in the way we think about manufacturing. He believes it could help shift production to localized factories, which would ideally be in developing countries that lack the infrastructure and cheap labour to produce standard bicycles.