Cardboard Bicycle by Izhar Gafni

Israeli engineer and systems developer Izhar Gafni has invented a cardboard bicycle that's strong, waterproof and costs less than £10 to manufacture (+ movie).

Cardboard Bike by Izhar Gafni

Izhar Gafni started developing the Cardboard Bicycle three years ago. "Since there was no know-how with regards to the cardboard material, the first two years were devoted to learning the properties and behaviour of the material," explains Gafni.

Above: movie by Giora Kariv

"The idea is like Japanese origami," he says in the movie. "You fold it once and then it doesn't become twice the strength, it's almost three times the strength. So I took it from there and did the same thing with cardboard."

After the shape has been cut out, the cardboard is treated with a waterproof and fireproof coating specially created by Gafni, before lacquer paint is applied over the top.

Cardboard Bike by Izhar Gafni

The "urban bike" for adults costs around £6 per unit and weighs 9kg, while the kids' bike costs £3 per unit and weighs 3.5kg.

Both are made almost entirely from recycled materials and cyclists will also have the option to add an electric motor, according to the designer.

Cardboard Bike by Izhar Gafni

Gafni's business partner, Israeli investment group ERB, is currently fundraising and developing the bicycle for production.

We've featured lots of unusual bicycles recently, including one with a frame made from steam-bent wood and another that can carry heavy loads front and back despite its compact frame.

Cardboard Bike by Izhar Gafni

Other cardboard projects we've featured on Dezeen include a pop-up cardboard chapel in New York's Central Park and a Japanese boutique with an interior made from cardboard tubes.

See all our stories about bicycles »
See all our stories about transport »
See all our stories about cardboard »

Here's some more information from Gafni's business partner, ERB:


The Cardboard Bicycle Project is a new, revolutionary and green concept to produce bicycles made of durable recycled cardboard. ERB is an active partner which manages all the business and financial aspects of this project. ERB leads the worldwide business activity of the cardboard bicycle in Israel and abroad.

The first commercial model of the bicycle is designed for large companies as a vehicle for their employees and for large cities as a cheap, light-weight vehicle. Parallel to those, the electric model is being developed.

The Cardboard Bicycle can withstand water and humidity. Part of our unique technology enables us to create a product that looks like it is made out of hard lightweight polymer. The bike is stronger than carbon fibre and can carry riders weighing up to 220 kilograms. The cost to make the bicycle is around $9-$12.