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(Yahoo)   Inventor of a bicycle made entire of cardboard says his idea can change the world-just so long as it doesn't rain   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 100
    More: Followup, organic material, multinational corporations, cardboard, flare gun, Israelis, inventors, corrugated cardboard, social benefits  
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8424 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Oct 2012 at 11:59 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-16 12:53:18 PM
Nobody pointing out the non-irony? It's made out of cardboard, not iron.
 
2012-10-16 12:56:07 PM

ha-ha-guy: ha-ha-guy: To add on to the debate of paper vs metal. Metal is not infinitely durable of course, but it lasts for a long time. The argument is more of:

1(Cost of Metal Bike + Shipping)
The advantage to the paper bike is making some NGO can ship a bunch over really cheap, help people get some mobility and by the time the cardboard one breaks they can afford a metal one. Personally I'd say round up all the old heavy metal Schwinns that are near indestructible and ship them over, but that is just me.

Bad fark filter:

1(Cost of Metal Bike + Shipping) LESS THAN X (Cost of Cardboard Bike + Shipping), where X is the number of cardboard bikes needed to equal the lifespan of one metal bike.



Don't forget that in many of these areas cardboard is already a hot and highly coveted commodity, so competition for raw materials could get fierce.
 
2012-10-16 01:01:13 PM

Magorn: It's an interesting idea, and something we need to be thinking more about as a society. The more items we can make from recycled post-consumer waste and the less from raw materials the better off we'll be going forward. It reminds me of another guy invented a brilliant method for creating temproary housing in disaster zones by building Geodesic domes made out of beams made from corrugated plasticized cardboard folded into triangles (like a shipping tube). I wonder whatever happened to that guy?


How about we reduce the front load. Far more effective and the whole point of the "3Rs" (reduce, reuse and recycle). Once again convenience is the problem.
 
2012-10-16 01:01:46 PM

Amos Quito: Don't forget that in many of these areas cardboard is already a hot and highly coveted commodity, so competition for raw materials could get fierce.


Oh and most third world countries have some variant of this going on:

www.wired.com

I double the cardboard is that strong.
 
2012-10-16 01:01:50 PM

mtbhucker: I like how subby ripped off Colbert from last night. Subby is bad and should feel bad.


It not a rip-off . . . it's HOMAGE
am not subby

Mose: Does not look like it can take the beating my Motolite can. Probably not made as a mountain bike.

/my road bike weighs less than 16 lbs


Jeeze, must take you forever to raise your heart rate. I don't have that much time on my hands as I'm a stickup driver so, what I do is, I use my old Huffy that sits outside in the weather. Can't see the links for the rust and it doesn't matter if the brakes don't, if you stop pedaling, well, you stop.
I can get a serious workout in about 15 minutes. I usually stop when I can hear the blood pounding in my ears, over the sound of the protesting iron of the bike.
Time for you to man up and ride some rust.


yes, you should laugh cause it's true
 
2012-10-16 01:03:30 PM

Magorn: DVDave: Magorn: mtbhucker: I like how subby ripped off Colbert from last night. Subby is bad and should feel bad.

Is subby, didn't watch Colbert or actually read the article, but it's a pretty obvious joke

Son, come and sit here for a spell 'cause I got some hard truths to tell ya. Now I've been a Farker for a little while and gotten a few green lit submissions now and again, so I'm sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, but sometimes, just sometimes mind you, headline writers take a few liberties with the actual content of the article for comedic effect. The might say something that's not, shall we say, 100% factually accurate, just so's they can make a better joke. Now admittedly such folks are lower than a polecat's belly and twice as ornery, but sad to say, in this imperfect world we live in, they do tend to get rewarded with green lights more often than not.


Do you sit on a porch during a warm summer's eve sipping tea in a rocker wearing a white vest eating hard toffee? 'Cause you should.
 
2012-10-16 01:05:01 PM

Tatterdemalian: /between the patent trolls, the regulation trolls, and the union trolls, if it hasn't been invented already it's never going to be invented in the US


Oh, please. Maybe it's that way in the Bunghole of the Confederacy, for that I'm sorry.
 
2012-10-16 01:06:18 PM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Also, rust is easy to avoid, especially in the climates likely in question. And metal can be re-welded.

How are you going to repair this bike? Popsicle sticks and paste? Hell, if these people could afford paste they'd eat it.


Most of the world's population lives near the coast, and impoverished cities even more so. The oxidizing rate for steel near the coast is considerably higher than inland cities. What makes you think that someone for whom a $20 bicycle would change their lives is going to have access to welding equipment, much less expertise?

The dispersed manufacturing model is intertwined with the material concept. Yes, steel is recycled but you still need a foundry to produce the new tubing. The "cardboard," really a paper-fiber composite doesn't require the infrastructure.

Also missed by you in the article: the dramatic weight advantage. That saves shipping and handling costs, not to mention a significant benefit to the user.
 
2012-10-16 01:06:28 PM
Invented? Didn't they already have bikes and cardboard?
 
2012-10-16 01:13:55 PM
I've got a different problem. I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard, always taking constant care not to break something, to break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control even for a moment, or someone could die. But you can take it, can't you, big man? What we have here is a rare opportunity for me to cut loose and show you just how powerful I really am at biking.
 
2012-10-16 01:17:45 PM
"So you buy one, use it for a year and then you can buy another one, and if it breaks, you can take it back to the factory and recycle it," he said.''
If it breaks while someone is going high speed then you can call your lawyer. Regardless of how cost effective it is or how green it is, how it holds up to safety standards is going to be crucial for this thing.
 
2012-10-16 01:20:00 PM
fairly sure this qualifies as a repeat, and poorly at that since the video version was better.
 
2012-10-16 01:25:49 PM

ddam: doesn't the F-35 have problems operating in wet or if there is a lot of sand?


It has trouble operating if left undisturbed in a cool dry spot.
 
2012-10-16 01:28:23 PM
I think that before you are allowed to suggest any inventions for the developing world, you should be required to:

1. Read "The Ugly American" cover to cover.
2. Read a few essays on why "The Ugly American" is important.
3. Complete an extensive interview to make sure you understood "The Ugly American".
4. See "The Ugly American" movie.

I've spent a fair amount of time in India. Metal bicycles work fantastic. The people who can't afford a new bicycle get a second hand one. The people who can't afford a second hand one get a really old one. If you can't afford that, you get junk that you can hammer and spot weld into shape. My clunky Indian bicycle back in the 80's weighed about 35 pounds, had metal linkages instead of brake cables, a single gear, and a brutal looking frame rack that could carry over 300lb with no problems.

This cardboard bike is cute - but where does my passenger sit? How do I carry a 30lb drum of used cooking oil with it? And most importantly, if I hit something and bend my front fork - how do I hammer it back into shape? This was not invented by someone who's actually ridden a bicycle for any length of time in a developing country.
 
2012-10-16 01:34:37 PM

ZeroPly: I think that before you are allowed to suggest any inventions for the developing world, you should be required to:

1. Read "The Ugly American" cover to cover.
2. Read a few essays on why "The Ugly American" is important.
3. Complete an extensive interview to make sure you understood "The Ugly American".
4. See "The Ugly American" movie.

I've spent a fair amount of time in India. Metal bicycles work fantastic. The people who can't afford a new bicycle get a second hand one. The people who can't afford a second hand one get a really old one. If you can't afford that, you get junk that you can hammer and spot weld into shape. My clunky Indian bicycle back in the 80's weighed about 35 pounds, had metal linkages instead of brake cables, a single gear, and a brutal looking frame rack that could carry over 300lb with no problems.

This cardboard bike is cute - but where does my passenger sit? How do I carry a 30lb drum of used cooking oil with it? And most importantly, if I hit something and bend my front fork - how do I hammer it back into shape? This was not invented by someone who's actually ridden a bicycle for any length of time in a developing country.


I know how cool America bashing is but this guy's not American.
 
2012-10-16 01:44:56 PM

not5am: can't rain all the time.

/obscure?


Eric?
 
2012-10-16 01:44:59 PM

you have pee hands: I know how cool America bashing is but this guy's not American.



Perhaps ZeroPly should read The Ugly Knee-Jerk American Blamer before posting?
 
2012-10-16 01:50:48 PM
This is bad news for Magneto...
 
2012-10-16 01:53:31 PM
I find his cost estimates extremely implausible. $20? Seriously? A single decent tire or brake lever costs more than $20. A decent seat costs about 3x-4x that. A carbon drive belt costs about double that.

Plus, the design has obvious issues. Solid tires? A terrible idea that has been tried many times and failed every single one; solid tires have absolutely zero impact or vibration absorption and give a horrible ride. They only work on the smoothest of roads, exactly what you don't see in the developing countries this bicycle is intended for. Those unspoked wheels will only make the shaking worse, and they'll make the bike impossible to control in a crosswind.

He promises everything - a dirt cheap and implausibly light bicycle that is also environmentally friendly and will save the developing world. It's difficult to believe. Even at ten times the cost he estimates, a $200 20-lb bike with no maintenance requirements would be a tremendous game changer in the cycling world. Currently, you have to spend about $1500 on a road bike to approach this weight. All of the major bicycle manufacturers would be lining up to use this magical technology if it actually worked the say he says it does. He wouldn't have to promise the world, that kind of insane technological advancement would sell itself. But instead, he's relying on extremely sketchy business models involving massive government involvement and advertising:

"Because you get a lot of government grants, it brings down the production costs to zero, so the bicycles can be given away for free. We are copying a business model from the high-tech world where software is distributed free because it includes embedded advertising," Elmish explained.

You don't need to rely on business models that have consistently been shown to translate poorly onto real-world manufactured products if you have a huge technological advance on your hands.
 
2012-10-16 01:54:40 PM

ha-ha-guy: Personally I'd say round up all the old heavy metal Schwinns that are near indestructible and ship them over, but that is just me.


like the chinese pigeon bikes?

Link
 
2012-10-16 02:02:25 PM

Fano: I've got a different problem. I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard, always taking constant care not to break something, to break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control even for a moment, or someone could die. But you can take it, can't you, big man? What we have here is a rare opportunity for me to cut loose and show you just how powerful I really am at biking.


Now THAT was a great reference pull (applause.gif)
 
2012-10-16 02:06:25 PM

mtbhucker: I like how subby ripped off Colbert from last night. Subby is bad and should feel bad.


this
 
2012-10-16 02:18:53 PM
Sounds like a great idea, but I like the idea of a frame made out of bamboo, seems more solid. I don't think those bikes are cheap though.
 
2012-10-16 02:24:52 PM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: How is a paper bike that will deteriorate over time cheaper in the long run than a metal one that will last forever until it is stolen?


FTFY.
 
2012-10-16 02:33:49 PM

Snargi: Hey subby, try reading TFA before making your witty headline.

"In testing the durability of the treated cardboard, Gafni said he immersed a cross-section in a water tank for several months and it retained all its hardened characteristics."


Yeah, that's what he says. He also says he uses a "secret organic formula" to keep it waterproof and fireproof.

Forgive me if I'm skeptical of anything that's so perfect and yet so secret, at least until the secret is revealed. If it's revealed that the organic formula is in fact a hydrocarbon-based polymer, well, then having a cardboard bike won't have gained us anything, will it?
 
2012-10-16 02:43:25 PM
Even if everything he says is 100% true and each $20 bicycle lasts one year - you'd still be much better off getting a Walmart bicycle for $60-80. It would provide a vastly superior ride and last many years.
 
2012-10-16 02:46:14 PM
I mean, providing the tenants are of light build and relatively sedentary and er, given a spot of good weather, I think we're on to a winner here.
 
2012-10-16 02:46:54 PM
Should have edited tenants to bikers. Grrr...
 
2012-10-16 02:50:45 PM
The problem is using cardboard in the first place. Why not use intrinsically strong and water-resistant fibrous materials that are fast-growing and widely available in the third world? Say, bamboo and hemp.
 
2012-10-16 02:52:09 PM
Mitrovarr: "It's difficult to believe"

What I see in this pitch, is the OLPC over and over again.
A half-philanthropic technologically *plausible* concept -- with just ridiculous monetary estimates attached.

So I expect he's just waving his hands, collecting investors and government grants and will probably deliver something a third as good at triple the cost several years late with compromises that invalidate the core pitch.

i.e. it'll show up in 2014 as a (subsidized) cheap metal bike with assurances that the *next* version will deliver the cardboard body, all-recycled trim and free pony.
 
2012-10-16 02:54:32 PM
He's not the first.

I'll just leave this here.

2.bp.blogspot.com

www.inhabitat.com

assets.inhabitat.com
 
2012-10-16 02:58:01 PM

Magorn: Fano: I've got a different problem. I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard, always taking constant care not to break something, to break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control even for a moment, or someone could die. But you can take it, can't you, big man? What we have here is a rare opportunity for me to cut loose and show you just how powerful I really am at biking.

Now THAT was a great reference pull (applause.gif)


A speech so nice, it earned it's own TV Tropes page. Give the man three pizza trophies!
 
2012-10-16 03:14:10 PM
Does it have a basket, a bell that rings, and things that make it look good?
 
2012-10-16 03:28:09 PM
A $20 cardboard bicycle? Oh, hell no. This bike has hipster written all over it. Sell these bad boys for $299 and watch the orders come rolling in.
 
2012-10-16 03:53:33 PM

ZeroPly: I think that before you are allowed to suggest any inventions for the developing world, you should be required to:

1. Read "The Ugly American" cover to cover.
2. Read a few essays on why "The Ugly American" is important.
3. Complete an extensive interview to make sure you understood "The Ugly American".
4. See "The Ugly American" movie.

I've spent a fair amount of time in India. Metal bicycles work fantastic. The people who can't afford a new bicycle get a second hand one. The people who can't afford a second hand one get a really old one. If you can't afford that, you get junk that you can hammer and spot weld into shape. My clunky Indian bicycle back in the 80's weighed about 35 pounds, had metal linkages instead of brake cables, a single gear, and a brutal looking frame rack that could carry over 300lb with no problems.

This cardboard bike is cute - but where does my passenger sit? How do I carry a 30lb drum of used cooking oil with it? And most importantly, if I hit something and bend my front fork - how do I hammer it back into shape? This was not invented by someone who's actually ridden a bicycle for any length of time in a developing country.


Leepu, is that you?
 
2012-10-16 03:58:11 PM

wildcardjack: He's not the first.

I'll just leave this here.

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 396x293]

[www.inhabitat.com image 537x301]

[assets.inhabitat.com image 537x334]


Or the motorized version:

home.netcom.com
 
2012-10-16 04:30:59 PM
Man, I just threw out a bunch of pizza boxes.
 
2012-10-16 04:57:51 PM
so just parrot colbert to get green lit ? no wonder I allowed my tf account to expire.....
 
2012-10-16 05:22:47 PM

ddam: doesn't the F-35 have problems operating in wet or if there is a lot of sand?


As opposed to the F-22s which only have trouble operating in the air.
 
2012-10-16 06:07:26 PM

Magorn: It's an interesting idea, and something we need to be thinking more about as a society. The more items we can make from recycled post-consumer waste and the less from raw materials the better off we'll be going forward. It reminds me of another guy invented a brilliant method for creating temproary housing in disaster zones by building Geodesic domes made out of beams made from corrugated plasticized cardboard folded into triangles (like a shipping tube). I wonder whatever happened to that guy?


the garbage warrior?
 
2012-10-16 07:21:05 PM

airsupport: I wonder what sort of box it comes in?


The box is made of aluminum reinforced with carbon fiber
 
2012-10-16 08:02:37 PM

NewWorldDan: A $20 cardboard bicycle? Oh, hell no. This bike has hipster written all over it. Sell these bad boys for $299 and watch the orders come rolling in.


yup. i'm thinking $460 in america. just because. Mercedes Benz has been showing the world that americans are foolish dooshbags for a very long time, selling overpriced luxury cars that are everyday working man vehicles in most countries.
 
2012-10-16 08:14:54 PM

mtbhucker: I like how subby ripped off Colbert from last night. Subby is bad and should feel bad.


Says the guy quoting Zoidberg.
 
2012-10-17 04:31:35 AM

omegaic: Cardboard you say?
[bigpicture.typepad.com image 500x282]


Front fell off.
 
2012-10-17 05:16:01 AM

Tatterdemalian: HotWingConspiracy: In testing the durability of the treated cardboard, Gafni said he immersed a cross-section in a water tank for several months and it retained all its hardened characteristics.

But yeah, what cgraves said.

I'm more blown away by their business concepts than the actual product. Plus I still like the idea of the daffy tinkerer building stuff in his shed.

"Cardboard bikes, I said! Told me I was crazy, they did!"

It's a real shame Americans aren't allowed to do that any more.

/between the patent trolls, the regulation trolls, and the union trolls, if it hasn't been invented already it's never going to be invented in the US
//we're not turning out the lights, we're just not letting anyone replace them as they burn out


where did you get that idea?
you can invent stuff in your shed all your want!
the problem is the following step, where you get rewarded for a useful invention. That is much less likely to happen.
 
2012-10-17 05:25:33 AM

Gyrfalcon: Snargi: Hey subby, try reading TFA before making your witty headline.

"In testing the durability of the treated cardboard, Gafni said he immersed a cross-section in a water tank for several months and it retained all its hardened characteristics."

Yeah, that's what he says. He also says he uses a "secret organic formula" to keep it waterproof and fireproof.

Forgive me if I'm skeptical of anything that's so perfect and yet so secret, at least until the secret is revealed. If it's revealed that the organic formula is in fact a hydrocarbon-based polymer, well, then having a cardboard bike won't have gained us anything, will it?


images.all-free-download.com

www.carconsumers.org
 
2012-10-17 05:41:31 AM
I missed the info about comming shortage of steel and aluminium, the materials of choice for cheap, durable and ecological commuter-bicycles.
Also, solid tires? Even on realy good roads, solid tires will kill your back, and make you incredibly slow. The first team to use inflatable tires in the Tour won, despite all the flat tires that took much longer to repare back then.
And non-steel bearing that cheap that last... just not possible.
Saddle looks non-adjustable.
Lots of materials have been tried before, wood and bamboo was not uncomon before 1900.
Experience where made and things where learned.
This guy just know nothing about bicycles.
 
2012-10-17 06:54:09 AM
The economics are sound. How long do you think a nice bicycle would remain your property vs. how long a cardboard one would remain your property? Both will get stolen, you might just get a chance to get $20 worth of riding out of the cardboard bike before it gets stolen.
 
2012-10-17 09:16:51 AM
simpsonswiki.net
 
2012-10-17 11:15:14 AM

you have pee hands: ZeroPly: I think that before you are allowed to suggest any inventions for the developing world, you should be required to:

1. Read "The Ugly American" cover to cover.
2. Read a few essays on why "The Ugly American" is important.
3. Complete an extensive interview to make sure you understood "The Ugly American".
4. See "The Ugly American" movie.

I've spent a fair amount of time in India. Metal bicycles work fantastic. The people who can't afford a new bicycle get a second hand one. The people who can't afford a second hand one get a really old one. If you can't afford that, you get junk that you can hammer and spot weld into shape. My clunky Indian bicycle back in the 80's weighed about 35 pounds, had metal linkages instead of brake cables, a single gear, and a brutal looking frame rack that could carry over 300lb with no problems.

This cardboard bike is cute - but where does my passenger sit? How do I carry a 30lb drum of used cooking oil with it? And most importantly, if I hit something and bend my front fork - how do I hammer it back into shape? This was not invented by someone who's actually ridden a bicycle for any length of time in a developing country.

I know how cool America bashing is but this guy's not American.



Uh, yeah... one more again...

1. Read "The Ugly American" cover to cover.

The "ugly American" in the book is the good guy. He's the one who lives among the locals, understands their needs, and comes up with something that they actually use. It's not about America bashing, though "ugly" is used in a double meaning to refer to the bureaucrats who try to help the locals while not bothering to live among them.
 
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