$9 Cardboard Bicycle Could Be A Game-Changer

    September 12, 2012
    Amanda Crum
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They say necessity is the mother of invention, and while that’s true fairly often, sometimes an invention is born out of sheer curiosity and will.

When Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni heard about a man building a canoe out of cardboard, he felt a vague sort of spark go off in the recesses of his mind. It wasn’t fully formed and emerged as a sort of envy that he couldn’t articulate; it was the feeling of, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Later, as he was running over it in his thoughts, he envisioned making a bike the same way. But it was a daunting task, he knew, and he wasn’t even sure how to go about it.

“While I was eating with my wife one day, she noticed that I am a little bit disturbed and she asked me, ‘What’s bugging you?'” Gafni said. When he told his wife about the canoe and the unformed idea to build a bicycle in a similar way, she encouraged him. According to Gafni, she said, “I know you. If you are not going to try it then you are going to drive yourself crazy… So just go ahead and try it!”

There would be many hours of labor and research put in before Gafni realized he could incorporate the same principles of Japanese origami into folding the layers of cardboard in such a way as to make it sustainable. And while everyone he pitched the idea to told him he was crazy and that it couldn’t be done, he toiled away, creating several prototypes before settling on a form of construction he knew could work.

The bicycle is made from a mere $9 worth of cardboard and can hold the weight of 485 pounds. Gafni says his invention could potentially be a game-changer in the bike world.

“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.”

  • Ted Bennett

    The title of this article is misleading. The material cost is $9, but there is no way to purchase a complete bike for that, any more than you could purchase a house for the cost of the lumber, plumbing, shingles and sheetrock. And how does folding cardboard make it “sustainable”?

    You really need an editor, Amanda.

  • marky sinister

    where was this filmed?i noticed all products with hebrew so i was curious if this was israel.the city scape was one i did not recognize.

  • marky sinister

    i cannot see anything being sold for the cost of matrials.the cost of labor and time will send the price of anything hand crafted through the roof.

  • Lum Loy

    Just in time for $10 gasoline & the end of global warming!

  • dalton

    I know another way to do the same thing…go to a garage sale and you can pick bikes up for $9.00 all day long.

    • Sosodef

      So there are enough bicycles at a garage sale for entire communities of people who walk dozens of miles a day… Where are you going to these at, I’d love to check them out…

  • J.S.

    “… And how does folding cardboard make it “sustainable”? ”

    Recycle ?