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Inventor says $20 cardboard bicycle close to production

Izhar Gafni says his $20 cardboard bicycle will revolutionize transportation in places like Africa.

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Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni has built a $20 cardboard bicycle that he says is waterproof, fireproof and durable. (Screengrab/YouTube/Screengrab)

An Israeli inventor has come up with a new way of transportation that he says is cheap, convenient and will revolutionize travel in the world's poorest and most congested areas, reports Reuters

Izhar Gafni has built a $20 cardboard bicycle and he says it will be ready for production within a few months. 

Gafni, 50, is an amateur cycling enthusiest himself who is an expert in designing automated mass-production lines.

"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 said, according to the NY Daily News.

Gafni says the cardboard bike is waterproof, fireproof and durable.

According to the LA Times, the trick to making the cardboard strong enough to support a human rider was bending and gluing it in such a way that it becomes strong like a piece of wood.

"It took a year and a half, with lots of testing and failure until I got it right," he said.

This video, posted to YouTube, Gafni describes his bike as a type of origami.

The only exception to the cardboard-only construction is the bike's tires, which are made out of reconstituted rubber from old car tires. Because there is no metal, the bike will weigh only about 20 pounds, which is much lighter than traditional bikes. 

Gafni and his business partner Nimrod Elmish told Reuters that they hope the bike can revolutionize transportation in the world's most congested cities and poorer regions in Africa. 

A Reuters reporter tested out the bike and said that it was a little stiff but pretty much the same as other bicycles. They hope to start production within three months. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/121017/inventor-says-20-cardboard-bicycle-clo