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Brief Published: 13 Nov 2012

Cardboard Bicycle by Izhar Gafni


Israeli entrepreneur and self-taught engineer Izhar Gafni has spent the past three years developing a bicycle made from cardboard. Made from recycled cardboard with reconstituted rubber tyres, the bike costs between $9-12 to manufacture and is likely to go on sale for between $60-90. 

The bike’s internal structure features folds and layers based on origami techniques, making this ordinary material incredibly strong. The cardboard is then treated with a specially developed coating to make it waterproof and fireproof.

Designed for use in cities and developing countries, the bike can carry a cyclist weighing up to 220kgs, and is predicted to last for at least two years. A simple belt-driven pedal system means that maintenance is minimal.

Since inventing the bike, Gafni has joined forces with fellow Israeli Nimrod Elmish to form I.G. Cardboard Technologies, with funding from Israeli financial services company ERB. They are hoping to put the bike into production next year. In the meantime, Gafni and Elmish are developing an electric version of the bike, as well as a cardboard wheelchair.