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$30 Cardboard Bicycle

Phil Bridge, a 21-year-old university student in the UK, has designed a cardboard bicycle that cost around $30 to make:

Supporting anyone up to 168 pounds, the frame, which costs around $6 to make, is made from the cardboard used in industrial packaging, whilst the wheels and chain are standard bike issue, and will cost around $24.

Phil Bridge, who is studying Industrial Design, came up with the idea as he was researching reasons why people don't use pedal power to get around town. "A typical round town bike can cost several hundred pounds," says Mr Bridge. "That's a large investment for people who aren't sure whether they will use it. The idea of cardboard is to completely devalue the bike".


If you want to get around on wheels for $30, buy roller-skates...

A good bicycle hits 20+mph on flats and 50+ on downhills, not something to entrust with cheap components.

Of course, with some ingenuity, one can find nice used bikes and get them in working shape for not much more than $30.
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I guess the deal with industrial design programs is that they value "out of the box thinking" before practicality or engineering. In the same way that fashion designers unveil outlandish costumes on the runway that nobody would wear in real life as a display of creative impulse, ID students are encouraged to be "playful". Lots of creative ideas come from ID students, but so too a lot of art school wankery. They tend to do well with aesthetics, etc., but quickly get in over their heads when they play engineers. My favorite quote:

"The idea of cardboard is to completely devalue the bike"

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A good bicycle hits 20+mph on flats and 50+ on downhills, not something to entrust with cheap components.

Yeah, a "good" bike. I suspect this is not one of those.
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Anyone can make a basic frame out of anything somewhat sturdy..there are cheap wooden bikes all over the world. Using cardboard could be neat if it was from recycled products. Now buy some cheap Springy the Springfield Springs from Homer and add a little practicality/shock absorption to it because that bike is going to be rough to ride even before you break it within days. As far as weather..I'm sure you could weatherproof the strong cardboard cheaply and cover it when not in use with a cheap plastic sheet. The only thing I really worry about is the apparent disregard for road turbulence.
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What do they mean by "devalue" the bike? Shouldn't bikes get as much respect as their other wheeled vehicular counterparts?
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So how does he propose to propel that bike? By kicking with his feet? On none of the photos I've seen is there a crank, pedals or a chain; all of which are fairly important parts in making a bike do what it's supposed to do. Even if he's posing with a proof of concept, how can he say it works?

And Peeves is absolutely right about the frame materials; you can make a bike out of just about anything. I've seen them built from bamboo, dimension lumber, plywood... you name it. Check out

Kinda neat, but not very.
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I race bicycles for sport and this is the most moronic idea I've seen in a while.

First of all... aluminum forks are not used anymore b/c of the danger of it bending out of shape (the fork is the piece of the frame which holds the front wheel in place).... CARDBOARD?!?! good luck not killing yourself...
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I think that thing might actually be heavier than a metal bicycle.

So, any reason people can't buy a used bike? I got mine for like sixty bucks (though that was in the midwest where a fixie isn't this precious idol for which you can charge half a grand.) I wonder about this when it comes to cheap cars, too. I'm going to buy a Kia, it's only eight thousand dollars! Well, couldn't you just buy an eight-year-old Chevy for the same price? A decent car with another decade left in it?
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... why? Why do we need this? What problem does it solve? Are we running out of metal? Can that cardboard not be shredded, pulped, condensed, and dried into fiberboard that would be 20 times stronger?
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