When American engineers told Israeli cyclist and mechanic Izhar Gafni that a cardboard bicycle was impossible to create, he was even more determined to prove them wrong. Gafni, of Kibbutz Bror Hayil in Israel, became fixated with the idea of developing this bike, and even got his wife on board.
“My wife told me, ‘If you’re not going to try it, you’re going to drive yourself crazy. Then you’re going to drive me crazy, then drive the entire family crazy. So just go ahead and try it!’” Gafni told Israeli blog NewsGeek.
Gafni used origami and the creation of jumbo jets, which were also believed to be nearly impossible to develop, to motivate him to build the bike, which was comprised completely of corrugated cardboard sheets. This first bike was not aesthetic and investors were not interested in the product, so Gafni went back to square one.
“My first prototypes looked like delivery boxes on wheels," he said. "They were hefty and it didn’t take much imagination to see that they were made of cardboard. When I met with investors it was difficult to explain my ultimate vision with the bikes, which led me to understand that I need to devote more time towards developing a more comfortable design, lighter and more impressive.”
With aesthetics in mind, as well as an idea to increase the bike's durability to survive poor weather, Gafni developed a waterproof bike that can hold 140 kilograms of weight and costs about $9 to make. The bike represents a green form of transportation that is friendly to the environment not only through usage, but in its production, as well.
Consumers can purchase Gafni's creation for only $60. Buyers can also purchase accessories, including a removable motor for $30.
Gafni envisioned the bike for those living in urban areas, where bikes are often stolen. The Fiscal Times reported that the bike could be an attractive product for those in the hospitality industry.
Danielle Chazen is a regular contributor to Jspace's technology division. Danielle is a freelance reporter and technology event coordinator with a degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.