A version of this story originally appeared on NoCamels – Israeli Environment News
What started as the vision of a self-proclaimed bike freak — the mass-production of bicycles made entirely from recycled materials — is rapidly becoming a reality. And one amazing success story. After we reported on 50-year-old Izhar Gafni’s cardboardbikes, media outlets around the world followed suit.
After four years of perfecting the bicycle, it is about to be mass-produced and sold for $20 apiece.
“I was always fascinated by applying unconventional technologies to materials and I did this on several occasions. But this was the culmination of a few things that came together. I worked for four years to cancel out the corrugated cardboard’s weak structural points,” Gafni told Reuters.
Gafni’s bike is not only durable, but it is water and fire proof, thanks to a secret blend of organic materials he coats the bike with. The bike’s entire frame is made of recycled cardboard, folded in a specific way that makes it durable. The tires are made from rubber, produced from used car tires.
Although some of the prototype’s parts are made of metal, Gafni assures that the mass-produced model will be made entirely of recycled materials: “I’m repeatedly surprised at just how strong this material is, it is amazing. Once we are ready to go into production, the bike will have no metal parts at all,” he said.
According to Gafni and his business partner, Nimrod Elmish, a veteran player in the Israeli startup and investment scene, the bicycle is not just a good replacement for contemporary bicycles, but in many ways – it is actually better. The rubber used for the tires is condensed, rather than inflated, so it cannot puncture and should last up to 10 years. Moreover, the bike doesn’t use a standard chain: “These bikes need no maintenance and no adjustment, a car timing belt is used instead of a chain,” Elmish told to Reuters.
Production expected to begin within six months
After receiving worldwide exposure, Gafni is confident in the success of his eco-friendly bike: “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, so this really makes me hopeful that we will succeed,” he said.
Within months, Gafni and Elmish say, mass-production of three different models for the bike – and even a cardboard wheelchair – will begin. “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,” Elmish told Reuters.
Published on Apr 22, 2013
Mobile version not allowed due to limitations from using this song.
Watch it here: https://vimeo.com/64653759
It’s safe to say that you probably won’t see this bike on public streets again any time soon. What an awesome adventure, but too much risk to bring around others. Thanks for all the support and all those beautiful smiles.
14.5ft at the Seat
Built in 12 work hours
One Huffy beach cruiser, 2″ square tubing, 3/4″ round tubing, and 1″ round tubing
26″ single speed coaster brake wheelset
6 1/2 single speed bicycle chains (32.5ft of chain)
To bend the pipe i used an upside down shopping cart and a split log. Ghetto, i know, but hey – IT WORKS.
My last tallbike was just under 10ft tall at the seat and you can see us featured in 30 Seconds to Mars’ music video, “Kings and Queens” – http://youtu.be/hTMrlHHVx8A
STOOPIDTALL, is the inbetween from that one (Kafourki) and the world record tallest bike that i’ll be building next this year.
Thank you to all the Angelopes who guided STOOPIDTALL through the sea of fellow cyclists!
And thanks to all the photographers and videographers who documented STOOPIDTALL’s Maiden Voyage!
Much love, Richie
LA BIKE CULT
“Contact High” – Architecture in Helsinki (misspelt in video, DAMN)
“Amoebaz” – RUNE!
Reddit – Ask Me Anything
I wonder if I could file off my cleats on my old soccer shoes and use a retrofitz cleat?
Getting ready for taking on the World Hour Record when I am a 100 led me to this.
In the video above, how science and technology have influenced the making and breaking of the prestigious World Hour Record first established in 1893. Then, below, Forces breaks down the physics of cycling; Physiology explains, well, the physiology that boosts performance; and Technology digs deeper into the high-tech hardware that cyclists push along.
via Dan Colman