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Would You Ride This Cardboard Bike?

An Israeli designer invents a paper bike that could sell for $60 a pop.

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For the ultimate in affordable green transportation, how about a bicycle made of recycled cardboard? I’m not sure I’m ready to take it on my favorite, let-it-fly descent down (Montgomery County, Maryland’s) MacArthur Boulevard but, heck, maybe I could. Israeli designer and bike enthusiast Izhar Gafni says his invention is strong enough to support a rider weighing up to 140 kilos, or a little over 300 pounds (and up to 485 pounds, according to a recent article).

From the Israeli technology blog newsgeek, as translated by Noalee Harel on NoCamels:

Gafni’s bicycle redefines the idea of green transportation in every way, being environmentally friendly from early stages of production all the way through creation of the final product. The bicycles are made out of recycled and used cardboard.

The primary use, like any bicycle, is to prevent pollution while encouraging physical activity and exercise. In an interview with Newsgeek, Gafni said that the production cost for his recycled bicycles is around $9-12 each, and he estimates it could be sold to a consumer for $60 to 90, depending on what parts they choose to add.

The key to making a paper product strong, apparently, is lots of folding. The finished bike is coated with resin and painted in what looks to me to be a tribute to Italian manufacturer Bianchi’s classic "celeste" green color.  Check out the whole story in the video:

This post originally appeared on the NRDC's Switchboard blog.

About the Author

  • Kaid Benfield is the director of the Sustainable Communities and Smart Growth program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, co-founder of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, and co-founder of Smart Growth America. More
    Kaid Benfield is the director of the Sustainable Communities and Smart Growth program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, co-founder of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, and co-founder of Smart Growth America. He is the author or co-author of Once There Were Greenfields (NRDC 1999), Solving Sprawl (Island Press 2001), Smart Growth In a Changing World (APA Planners Press 2007), and Green Community (APA Planners Press 2009). In 2009, Kaid was voted one of the "top urban thinkers" on Planetizen.com, and he was named one of "the most influential people in sustainable planning and development" in 2010 by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. He blogs at NRDC's Switchboard.