They said it couldn’t be done, but Izhar Gafni built himself a cardboard bike, and now you can buy one for yourself
Izhar Gafni, a Kibbutznik behind one of the most interesting products of the past year – the Cardboard Bicycle – decided to take his dream to the production line. Gafni turned to Indiegogo to raise the cash, asking for no less than two million dollars to bring these bikes to mass market. As of this writing, Gafni has raised a little over $14.5K, but there’s still plenty of time left.
You can, with cardboard
Gafni’s green bikes, which were introduced to the public for the first time in July 2012 – are made of recycled cardboard, along with plastic and rubber. They’re resistant to water, humidity and even fire. The bikes can support weight of up to 180 pounds and production costs are very low.
In an interview with Geektime, Gafni explained that he was initially sent home by engineers who told him he couldn’t create a bicycle made out of cardboard. They told him it was impossible. So Gafni decided to do it himself, experimenting with different materials, looking for the right combination that would give him the strength and durability he needed.
Initial prototypes came out looking more like boxes on wheels than bicycles, but Gafni wasn’t deterred, and eventually he reached the point where he felt it was ready to show to the public. Gafni believes this is a product that speaks to any population, so he took it to the public for financing with Indiegogo, trusting they would be responsive.
How much for a bike
When Gafni started out, he projected the cost of the bike to range between 9 and 12 dollars, with the costs of mass production raising the price to somewhere around 100 dollars. For now though, donors to the Indiegogo project can get a bike for $290, a kids push bike version for $120, or even a little cardboard toy model of the bike for $50. For those real, diehard fans, who believe in the idea of green more than the bike itself, they can even donate up to $15K for a deluxe package including 2 of every prize, which includes the various bike versions mentioned above, as well as T-shirts, signed articles, etc. – plus, a personal guided tour of the bike factory that your money will help to outfit (transportation and lodging, not included).
Gafni explains that this is as much a social/ecological cause as it is a business, and that’s why he’s turning to the masses to help make it happen. All the money invested will be used to set up the plant and begin production. Gafni points out that not only will donations help an environmental cause, but they will also help to create jobs.