A bicycle made from cardboard that costs only $9 to $12 to build sounds unlikely. But, as surfaced on the blog Kottke, designer Izhar Gafni got it in his head to make just that. After three years of perfecting the design, he created the Alfa.
It looks like a bike, rides like a bike, and, at 20 pounds, can hold a rider weighing up to 485 pounds. And hey, when you're done with it, you could practically throw it in the recycle bin. The design itself is made of cardboard and 100 percent recycled materials.
As described in the Giora Kariv Productions video "Izhar cardboard bike project," Gafni first got the idea when he heard of a canoe crafted from cardboard. Although engineers told the bike enthusiast it was impossible, Gafni realized that as with origami, "You fold it once, then it doesn't come twice the strength, it's almost three times the strength."
The video was made six months ago and is starting to get some attention on the Web. The short film follows the ingenious design process, from figuring out how to use the cardboard, to producing a clunky prototype that looks like a UPS shipment with wheels, to creating the finished product. You can see Gafni take it for a spin in the video at the 4:39 mark.
The designer says of his creation, "It's strong. It's durable. It's cheap. What I like about it the most: It's made out of cardboard."
It certainly got our attention.