The New $20 Bicycle

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An inventor has discovered how to make bicycles at a fraction of the cost – by using a surprising alternative to a metal frame.

You may soon be able to ride a bike made of cardboard that costs $9 to make, according to Reuters. And no, it won’t fall apart in the rain – because it’s waterproof. And fireproof, for that matter…

Once the shape has been formed and cut, the cardboard is treated with a secret concoction made of organic materials to give it its waterproof and fireproof qualities. In the final stage, it is coated with lacquer paint for appearance.

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

Once ready for production, the bicycle will include no metal parts, even the brake mechanism and the wheel and pedal bearings will be made of recycled substances, although Gafni said he could not yet reveal those details due to pending patent issues.

The reporter, who tried one out, said it was “quite stiff, but generally no different to other ordinary basic bikes.” The bikes weigh about 20 pounds, and the tires are made of old car tire rubber.

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