thinking outside the [cardboard] box

Israeli engineer and systems developer Izhar Gafni has reinvented cardboard into a mode of transportation. The result is a bicycle that’s strong, lightweight, visually appealing and costs roughly $16 to manufacture.
Three years ago Gafni began the development of the Cardboard Bicycle. “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.
“The idea is like Japanese origami,” he says in the video (click the image below). “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 formulated by Gafni, before lacquer paint is applied over the top.
The “urban bike” for adults weighs under 20 pounds, while the kids’ bike weighs less than 8 pounds. Each are made almost entirely from recycled materials and in the future cyclists will have the option to add an electric motor, according to the ERB website.
Gafni’s business partner, Israeli investment group ERB, is currently raising funds and developing the bicycle for production.

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 fiber and can carry riders weighing up to 485 pounds.

Share this post

Book a Consultation
Tell us about yourself
Send Us A Message
Tom Foerstel : Founder & President

Tom Foerstel

Founder & President

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 60’s, Tom developed a strong desire to create positive change for people and planet.


He went on to pursue his passion for art and design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and worked for design firms in Southern California before moving to Boise, Idaho in the early 80’s. Foerstel Design opened its doors in 1985. Since its inception, the firm has cultivated a bold, happy, forward-looking team focussed on creating distinct and effective work on behalf of their clients.


An integral part of Tom’s philosophy is giving back to the community in which he lives — a company cornerstone that drives Foerstel’s long history of providing pro-bono services to local non-profit humanitarian and arts programs.


One of Tom’s proudest personal achievements is his ability to say Supercalifragilisticexpyalidocious backwards.