What started as the vision of a self-proclaimed bike freak—the mass-production of bicycles made entirely from recycled materials—is rapidly becoming a reality and one amazing success story.
After we reported on 50-year-old Izhar Gafni’s cardboard bikes, media outlets around the world followed suit.
After four years of perfecting the bicycle, it is about to be mass-produced and sold for 20 dollars a piece.
“I was always fascinated by applying unconventional technologies to materials and I did this on several occasions. But this was the culmination of a few things that came together. I worked for four years to cancel out the corrugated cardboard’s weak structural points,” Gafni told Reuters.
Gafni’s bike is not only durable, but it is water and fire proof, thanks to a secret blend of organic materials he coats the bike with. The bike’s entire frame is made of recycled cardboard, folded in a specific way that makes it durable. The tires are made from rubber, produced from used car tires.
Although some of the prototype’s parts are made of metal, Gafni assures that the mass-produced model will be made entirely of recycled materials. “I’m repeatedly surprised at just how strong this material is, it is amazing. Once we are ready to go to production, the bike will have no metal parts at all,” he said.
According to Gafni and his business partner, Nimrod Elmish, a veteran player in the Israeli start-up and investment scene, the bicycle is not just a good replacement for contemporary bicycles, but in many ways—it is actually better. The rubber used for the tires is condensed, rather than inflated, so it cannot puncture and should last up to 10 years. Moreover, the bike doesn’t use a standard chain.
“These bikes need no maintenance and no adjustment, a car timing belt is used instead of a chain,” Elmish told to Reuters.
Production is to begin within six months.
After receiving worldwide exposure, Gafni is confident in the success of his eco-friendly bike.
“When we started, a year and a half or two years ago, people laughed at us, but now we are getting at least a dozen e-mails every day asking where they can buy such a bicycle, so this really makes me hopeful that we will succeed,” he said.
Within months, Gafni and Elmish say, mass-production of three different models for the bike—and even a cardboard wheelchair—will begin.
“In six months we will have completed planning the first production lines for an urban bike which will be assisted by an electric motor, a youth bike which will be a 2/3 size model for children in Africa, a balance bike for youngsters learning to ride, and a wheelchair that a non-profit organization wants to build with our technology for Africa,” Elmish told Reuters.
[vimeo 37584656 w=400 h=300]
NoCamels is the leading website covering all the latest Israeli innovation news, including technology, health and environmental breakthroughs.
Editor: Maja Despot
Adapted from nocamels.com
Like elephant Bicycle on Facebook.
hot on elephant
My favorite “mindful” eco last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts for lazy lovers. 0 shares A letter to the Anger that refuses to Leave Me. 4,334 shares A Relationship will only be as Good as the Sex. 7,276 shares Welcome to Pisces Season: A Love there is no Coming Back From. 10,460 shares How Each Zodiac Sign Prefers to Celebrate Valentine’s Day. 24 shares The 4 Requirements for a Twin Flame Relationship to Work. 1,392 share What Rumi had to Say about Unhappy Love. 370 shares The Most Powerful Performance at the Grammys was (Surprisingly) Not Beyonce’s. 1,398 share How we can go to Heaven without Dragging Others with Us. 174 shares If You have to “Think About It,” then I’m Not the One for You. 1,314 share