Choosing to eliminate (or even just minimize) your vehicle emissions is a big adjustment for most people. It can be hard enough to reroute your life in a way that makes bike commuting possible, but then there’s the need for the bike itself. If the last time you straddled a bike was back in elementary school, it can be daunting to go about choosing a bicycle that will be both durable and comfortable to your adult frame.
Tired of road bikes that can cost thousands of dollars, bike enthusiast and designer Giora Kariv decided to see what he could recycle instead. Inspired by the creator of the already famous cardboard canoe, Kariv had a good idea of the materials he would need. Using only tightly folded cardboard, Kariv fashioned a bike that not only functions exactly like the real thing, it’s also pretty darn stylish.
As you might imagine, creating a stable vehicle out of something we usually tear apart with our bare hands was no easy feat. It took several iterations before Kariv found a way to reinforce the cardboard so that it would hold his weight.
“My first prototypes looked like delivery boxes on wheels,” Kariv told NoCamels.com. “They were hefty and it didn’t take much imagination to see that they were made of cardboard. When I met with investors it was difficult to explain my ultimate vision with the bikes, which led me to understand that I need to devote more time towards developing a more comfortable design, lighter and more impressive.”
Eventually, Kariv ended up folding the cardboard like origami and says that the folding process is what makes the cardboard structure so strong. According to CNET.com, the finished piece is dipped in a coating material that gives it a shiny outer shell and protects the material from water and humidity. Altogether production of the bike costs between $9 and $12, and could probably be sold fully-assembled to consumers for around $60. This is good news for those who live in areas where bike theft is a problem.