photo: Avi Katz

Izhar Gafni, 50, has invented bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard. He told the Jerusalem Post that his invention can transform transportation throughout the world. The bicycle will include no metal parts, even the brake mechanism and the wheel and pedal bearings will be made of recycled substances. Once the shape has been formed and cut, the cardboard is treated with a secret concoction made of organic materials to give it its waterproof and fireproof qualities. In the final stage, it is coated with lacquer paint for appearance.

The bicycles are not only very cheap to make, they are very light and do not need to be adjusted or repaired, the solid tires that are made of reconstituted rubber from old car tires will never get a puncture. A full-size cardboard bicycle will weigh around 9 kg (about 20 lbs) compared to an average metal bicycle, which weight around 14 kg.

In testing the durability of his invention, Gafni said he immersed a cross-section in a water tank for several months and it remained completely hard throughout. Top of the line bikes cost thousands of dollars each, but this cardboard bike should cost no more than about $20.

Gafni said, “When we started, a year and a half or two years ago, people laughed at us, but now we are getting at least a dozen e-mails every day asking where they can buy such a bicycle…”

Nimrod Elmish, Gafni’s partner, said that initial production was set to begin in Israel in a few months on three bicycle models and a wheelchair and they will be available to purchase within a year.

“In six months we will have completed planning the first production lines for an urban bike which will be assisted by an electric motor, a youth bike which will be a 2/3 size model for children in Africa, a balance bike for youngsters learning to ride, and a wheelchair that a non-profit organization wants to build with our technology for Africa,” he said.

Aside from all the other benefits, countries that cannot afford regular bikes will now have access to this form of transportation.

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