Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Israeli Entrepreneur Creates Cardboard Bike for $9

July 24, 2012 12:08 pm 0 comments

Izhar Gafni's Cardboard Bike. Photo: thenextweb.com.

Israeli entrepreneur Izhar Gafni has created a bike prototype manufactured from recycled cardboard, making inroads in green technology with a vehicle that is lightweight and low-cost. The bike sports a simple aesthetic, an outer coating that protects it from water, and a groundbreaking cost of 9-12 dollars for raw materials, which will convert to an estimated retail price of 60-90 dollars per bike, depending on the optional features added.

The vehicle was inspired by a video about a cardboard canoe, from which Mr. Gafni expanded to biking, a primary means of transportation in his native kibbutz, or communal settlement, in Israel’s Negev desert. “I heard about the guy who built a canoe out of cardboard.. [and the idea] was sitting in the back of my head and I couldn’t let go,” Gafni said in a video documenting the bike’s construction. “Suddenly it just struck my mind: why not make a bicycle out of cardboard?”

The entrepreneur says his diverse work background, including jobs in biomedics and technology, provided him with the skills to design the bike, which was a process he said many discouraged him from pursuing. “When I went to engineers to ask them about the possibility of producing a bike out of cardboard, they all sent me back home, saying very clearly that it was impossible,” Gafni confessed to Israeli tech site Newsgeek. But motivated by their doubts, he says he found a viable design by “experiment[ing] with different materials and types of cardboard in order to provide my prototype with the reliability and strength it needed.”

Even after a version was created that was strong enough to support riders and comfortably cycle, the bike went through several incarnations before satisfying its creator and potential investors. “My first prototypes looked like a Fedex box on wheels. They were ungainly and you didn’t need much imagination to see that they were made out of cardboard,” said Gafni to Newsgeek. “When I met investors… I realized I had to go back to the drawing board and put some more effort to make a more comfortable, light and durable design.” The remodeling process has currently yielded a model that successfully mirrors the look of metallic bikes, as noted by thenextweb.com, “you will have a hard time telling it’s made from cardboard.” Other features of the bike are its feather-light weight, its sturdy build (capable of carrying up to 300 pounds), its resistance to water and humidity, and the fact that it is naturally impervious to rust, unlike bikes made of medal, which have to be chemically treated for rust protection.

As yet the cycle is only a prototype, but Gafni is searching for investors to bring his venture to market, where he hopes it will succeed, based on its eco-friendly appeal and competitive pricing. The low cost of the bike also makes it easy to be replaced if stolen, a nuisance that is common in metropolitan cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa. The cardboard bike will likely be safe from theft regardless, given that it is too cheap to be financially viable for thieves to steal and sell. Nevertheless, those who purchase version of the bike with more expensive gear, such as electric motors, can detach their add-ons and store them in a safe place while leaving the bike itself in relative safety outside.

To see a video on the bike’s production, click here.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features World Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Tour operators are calling attention to Jamaica’s little-known Jewish heritage by arranging visits to historic Jewish sites on the Caribbean island, including a cemetery where Jewish pirates are buried. A report in Travel and Leisure magazine describes the Hunts Bay Cemetery in Kingston, where there are seven tombstones engraved with Hebrew benedictions and skull and crossbones insignia. According to the report, centuries ago, Jewish pirates sailed the waters of Jamaica and settled in Port Royal. The town, once known as “the wickedest city in the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Telling Israel’s story. It’s the specific title of a short film that Eyal Resh created last year. It’s also the theme behind the 27-year-old Israeli filmmaker’s broader body of work. The widely viewed “Telling Israel’s Story” film—directed by Resh for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet—seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. “I want to tell you a story about a special place for me,” a young woman whispers […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    JNS.org – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →