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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.