You’ve been hoarding it for years–shelves, containers, closets and hallways filled with cardboard scrap. Mounds of it. Just in case you ever had the opportunity to take on a project of epic proportion, with the ultimate honor of having your brilliance mentioned on SolidSmack. It has happened for Israeli designer Izhar Gafni, and just as he’s feeling tingles up his legs about it, he’s also feeling tingles as he rides through the park on his cardboard bike. A bike engineers said was impossible to make. He proved them wrong.
Izhar Gafni’s Cardboard Bicycle
In the video below, Izhar comments that “years were devoted to learn the properties and behavior [of cardboard] from all aspects.” Most of the research around cardboard has only been done for the packaging industry or the yearly cardboard boat regattas with many frat houses taking on rigorous hours of beer-induced ‘environment testing’. The film about Izhar’s project, created by Giora Kariv, captures the process Izhar went through and the inspiration behind the bicycle.
My favorite line, “I talked to three engineers… and they said, ‘It’s impossible, there’s no way it can be done.'” and the follow-up from him wife, “If you’re not gonna try it, then you’re going to drive yourself crazy, then you’re going to drive me crazy… so just go ahead and try it.”
From ERB, the company handling the business aspects of the project, the cost of manufacturing the bicycle is estimated to be $9-$12, with the retail cost around $60-$90.