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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 is a senior editor at MAKE with abiding interest in food and drink, bicycles, woodworking, and environmentally sound human enterprises. He is the father of two young makers.

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

Contact Stett with tips and story ideas on:

*Sustainable/green design
*Young Makers
*Action sports



  1. Snehal says:

    $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.

    1. mark says:

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

    2. Kakungulu says:

      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.

  2. nitrofurano says:

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

  3. Christalyn Snyder says:

    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.”

  4. Sam Pittman says:

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

  5. Alan Dove says:

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

    1. fabrício nascimento says:

      Você esta certo!

  6. toddwilley says:

    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.

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

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