Cardboard bicycles, the next eco-friendly transportation upgrade?

Categories: Gadgets

Phil Bridge's cardboard bicycle costs just £15  

Phil Bridge, 21, of Stockport, Greater Manchester, believes his "ultimate green machine" will be cheap enough to attract occasional users while also deterring thieves.

The frame, made out of cardboard normally used in industrial packaging, could be produced for as little as £3.

Once the wheels and chain had been added the total price might rise to only £15.

Mr Bridge, who is studying product design at Sheffield Hallam University, said: "I started by looking at the reasons why people don't use bikes as a mode of transport, and one of the primary reasons I came up with was the initial investment in a bike.

"A typical round town bike can cost several hundred pounds, and that's a large investment for people who aren't sure whether they will use it. The idea of cardboard is to completely devalue the bike".

He went on: "The cardboard for the frame is the material used in industrial packaging. It's very strong and it has a honeycomb core. It's mainly used in partition walling and packaging.

"The prototype does work but it is still quite limited and there are a few problems".

Mr Bridge claims his bike is strong enough to support a rider, so long as he or she weighs under 12 stone.

Perhaps more crucially, he insists that it is sufficiently robust not to go soft and collapse in the rain.


Meanwhile, in California, another cardboard bicycle was being invented:

Cardboard never ceases to amaze. Having been deployed in gramophones, stereos and even digital cameras, one inventor now believes it can be used to make the ideal bicycle. Izhar Gafni, from Israel, 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.  In fact, this bicycle doesn't use any metal parts at all -- the solid tires are made of reconstituted rubber and a car timing belt is used instead of a chain. It lacks the swank of a Faraday Porteur, perhaps, but then you could buy 175 of these for the same money. Want proof that it actually works? The bike's not-so-featherweight inventor takes it for a spin:



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