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Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni says he ready to mass-produce a 20-pound bicycle made of cardboard. There are no metal parts. The chain is actually a car’s timing belt and the tires are made from reconstituted rubber. The cost? Twenty bucks.

From Endgadget:

Izhar…spent 18 months just folding the material every-which-way in order to discover a strong enough design, and now he claims his technique is almost ready for mass production. His maintenance-free bike uses a “secret” mix of organic materials to make it waterproof and fireproof, and is then lacquered to give it a friendlier appearance.

“It’s strong,” Izhar says. “It’s durable. It’s cheap.”

This video about Izhar’s project is a great look into a maker’s mind at work.

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.


  • Snehal

    $20? Seriously? So you never have to pay the person doing the labor nor do you have to pay for the parts right? Come on! Sorry but I’m not buying it – in either sense.

    • mark

      I think they mean $20 of parts, not $20 to build.

    • Kakungulu

      This is an estimate of the mass-produced bikes, for which 20$ sounds right. His prototype cost probably over 1000$, if you consider the learning curve and trial and errors and the hours he spent just mastering the techniques. It will cost him 1000’s more to convert the manual process into automated production, because I don’t think he could just travel to China and say “here, make a 1000 of these.”
      Cardboard, resin and some rubber cost pennies.
      Getting these to mass production is the real news in this post.

  • http://gravatar.com/nitrofurano nitrofurano

    let’s see how successful will this be among Palestinian people

  • Christalyn Snyder

    The idea is awesome! I hope it makes it’s way the the states. I’ve build all sorts of things out of cardboard, but this takes the prize.
    The designer’s story is great too. Nothing like good challenge to do the “impossible.”

  • Sam Pittman

    No metal parts? Isn’t that a metal pulley on the rear wheel?

  • Alan Dove

    Excellent – now I’ll finally be able to slip my bicycle through the TSA’s metal detectors unnoticed.

    • fabrício nascimento

      Você esta certo!

  • http://gravatar.com/toddwilley toddwilley

    I heard about this in Virtual Light. I can’t wait to spend 3 days painting it to look old and grimy so nobody steals it.

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  • http://www.cyclinguganda.blogspot.com Ronnie Jarsen

    how and where ican get one ?- in uganda we have the one made from bamboo.