Izhar Gafni's cardboard bike and ill-fated crowd-funding campaign

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by polysynthetic, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. polysynthetic

    polysynthetic New Member

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    so Israeli engineer Izhar Gafni built an incredible bike out of cardboard. if they could be mass-produced it could provide inexpensive bicycles made of recycled materials for people of the developing world, and for the developed world as well. but it came as a big disappointment to many people including me that the crowd-funding campaign to accelerate production of the bike failed

    this article explains it all http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/07/cardboard-bike-crowdfunding-campaign-failed/

    thoughts on this?
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    The $135-290 price tag was far too high, and there's nothing "collector" about the bikes. A proposed price of $100 for the developing world is far too high. There was and is no demonstrated history of reliability or acceptable performance in real world conditions. A person can get a more reliable and serviceable used bike for $100, and that bike will be repairable.
     
  3. polysynthetic

    polysynthetic New Member

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    yes, for now that appears to be true. never really thought about the repairing aspect. sadly, if they cant be easily repaired (esp. the cardboard frame), then they become much less environmentally-friendly and more disposable.
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    $290 buys a good used road racing double-butted steel or aluminum bike with 16, 18 or 20 speeds on craigslist. $100 buys a Wallyworld road bike with plenty of profit for capitalists.

    Finish line sprint at the Tour De Congo.

    [​IMG]

    Africa already has environmentally "friendly" and disposable bikes that are easily on par with what the local Amish ride.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Whenever you're looking at the cost of an item, remember that it's a combination of materials cost and labor cost. Steel is so easily joined together that wooden bikes very rarely makes sense. Admittedly, they can be quite nice though.

    There was a mid-80s attempt in Sweden at making a plastic bike(google ITERA plastic bike). Thermoplastic, injection moulded, very few parts.
    Tooling was expensive, but production cost was about 1/3 of a steel bike.
    Ride quality was so-so due to flexing, but in terms of providing cheap wheels for the masses it'd probably still be a contender.
     
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