On paper, this sounds like a crazy idea, but if Izhar Gafni is right, his cardboard bicycle could be a commercial sensation. Bicycle looking tatty? Recycle it and buy another: the on-frame advertising keeps the costs low.[UPDATE: the cardboard bicycle is now available to pre-order on crowd-funding website Indiegogo. It costs $250].
Gafni, who works out of a large garden shed, was an internet sensation last year. His cardboard bicycle was news around the world, with most people dismissing the idea as vaporware. However, Gafni and a business partner are now getting ready to market the almost fully cardboard bicycle.
In a video, Gafni says his cardboard bicycle is "strong, durable and cheap." The frame, wheels and even saddle on his bicycle are made from corrugated cardboard.
The owner of multiple high-end bicycles, Gafni got the idea for making a bicycle out of packaging materials after seeing a painted and sealed cardboard canoe.
"Making a cardboard box is easy and it can be very strong and durable, but to make a bicycle was extremely difficult and I had to find the right way to fold the cardboard in several different directions," said Gafni.
"It’s like origami but folding the cardboard doesn’t double the strength, it triples it," claimed Gafni.
The cardboard bicycle is given a waterproof treatment and is painted and covered in a lacquer. The bike is equipped with solid tyres made from recycled car tyres.
"Once we are ready to go to production, the bike will have no metal parts at all," Gafni promised.
When news of his cardboard creation went viral last year Gafni said the finished bike would retail for $20. The bike on Indiegogo costs $250 but this is for the special first editions. Costs could be brought down through on-bike advertising, claims Gafni’s business partner, Israeli entrepreneur Nimrod Elmish.