My brother Doug sent me a curious article about an Israeli engineer named Izhar Gafni who has developed a bicycle made of cardboard. He says everything apart from the brakes and chain is cardboard – including the seat. The cardboard is covered with a waterproof resin and painted. He claims the machine is durable, waterproof and costs only £10 to produce. The bike is apparently stronger then carbon fibre and can carry riders weighing up to 220 kilograms. It weighs only 9 kilograms. Gafni says the ‘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 every day.’
Don’t know how it can cost only £10 with all that polymer and paint. A good chain can cost 3 times the suggested build price. What about tires, peddles, hubs and bottom bracket. Are these also cardboard? Doesn’t look like it in the picture. And think of the carbon footprint: processing all that wood fibre into paper then recycling it into cardboard then reusing it to build a bike. Bamboo seems a more direct route.
An ingenious and fascinating bit of innovation. Think I’ll stick with the croix de fer.
Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.