Izhar Gafni makes surprising use of unexpectedly durable material to build bicycle.
Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni recently came up with a unique new invention – a cardboard bicycle.
According to Newsgeek, Gafni started working on the unconventional bike after learning of a man who had built a canoe using unexpectedly water-resistant material.
“I went home and it sort of disturbed me. This canoe made out of cardboard was sitting in the back of my head… and it suddenly struck my mind; ‘Why not make a bicycle out of cardboard?’” Gafni said in a short documentary made by filmmaker Giora Kariv.
He went on to say that he spoke to three different Israeli engineers who all told him the same thing – “It’s impossible.”
But Gafni decided he was not giving up, and with the support of his wife he decided to pursue the unusual endeavor.
He embarked on a lengthy research about cardboard uses and eventually found that by applying the principals of Japanese origami, he could increase the weight-bearing capabilities of the cardboard by almost three times.
After several prototypes, he was able to develop a frame that was not only waterproof, but capable of carrying riders weighing up to 485 pounds.
“It’s going to be a game-changer in the bike world,” Kariv predicts. “Like Henry Ford who made the car available to anybody, this bike is going to be cheap and available to any child in the world, including children in Africa who walk dozens of miles to school everyday.”
The bike is constructed from $9 worth of cardboard and will likely sell for $60 to $90 according to Gafni’s projections.