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Stories from the world of paper

Inventor builds bicycle out of cardboard
"Cardboard Technologies cardboard bicycle" by Marcus Qwertyus

2015-02-27 - Izhar Gafni has built a bicycle out of cardboard that does not use any metal at all but is as stable as a conventional bike. Once he came up with the idea of building a bike entirely out of cardboard he became obsessed with it. Gafni spent more than four years tinkering in his garden shed until his prototype was roadworthy.

The frame, wheels, handlebars, saddle and even braking system are made from cardboard. The tires are from recycled car tires and are very low-maintenance as they do not need to be inflated. The drive uses a belt that is also made from recycled rubber. The entire bike weighs just 9 kg and can support riders up to 220 kg.
A key aspect of roadworthiness for a bicycle is that you have to be able to ride it in all weathers. So what happens to Gafni’s cardboard bicycle if you get caught in a rain shower? The Israeli engineer and inventor came up with a solution to this too, by developing a special paint made up of only biological ingredients. For a test run he coated cardboard with the newly developed paint and placed it in a bath of water for months. Nothing happened and the paint coating remained waterproof. The coating also offers another benefit as the cardboard bike is now fireproof as well.
With qualities like these, the cardboard bike can rival its conventional counterpart. And if after years in use there does come a point when it is no longer roadworthy, it can be returned to the factory for 100% recycling and turned into a new bike. Gafni’s dream is to make the world a little bit of a better place through his invention. The bicycle is intended to be produced sustainably worldwide to provide a cheap mode of transport in poorer regions.