Bike out of Cardboard – seriously

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ejwme
Participant
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First thing that came to mind was bike share programs – more affordable ones.

What do you guys think?

http://www.good.is/post/cycle-on-the-recycled-a-9-cardboard-bike-set-to-enter-production-in-israel


chemicaldave
Participant
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Not getting on one of these until I see some stress-test results.


rice rocket
Participant
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Half your IKEA furniture is laminated cardboard and no one questions their stuff (at least in strength, longevity is another story).


edmonds59
Participant
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The bike I rode on Pedal Pittsburgh I bought in 1974 for $200 used. That comes to $5.26 a year. Less than $9 for cardboard. Plus it’s not cardboard. And it doesn’t suck.

Just kidding, being a jagoff. Been thinking too serious lately. I’m sure it may have it’s applications.


ieverhart
Participant
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First thing that came to mind was bike share programs – more affordable ones.

If it’s really $9 each, it’s cheap enough to get one for everyone–no need to focus on sharing.

Half your IKEA furniture is laminated cardboard and no one questions their stuff

Yes, but I will insist on a stress test before I take my coffee table down a potholed street at 20+ mph.


sloaps
Participant
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this is good olde fashioned ‘merican military technology. Frank Gehry employed the material in some of his furniture pieces.

It’s “corrugated cardboard” as we know it, but often uses different patterns and thicknesses within the cardboard section to achieve higher strengths and resiliency.

there are temporary bridges made of this material, too. very temporary.


chemicaldave
Participant
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I wouldn’t strap on some wheels and straddle my IKEA desk down Fifth.


rice rocket
Participant
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You underestimate the weight of some of the people using IKEA furniture…


ejwme
Participant
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I’m assuming that some level of analysis and testing have been done (and some kind of quality control will be in place to ensure the production pieces will be within the design margins). Are these not safe assumptions? My production line experience doesn’t include bicycles, so I don’t know.

I noticed some of the comments in an article written about the bike indicate that $89.99 at Walmart will get a metal bike that ‘will last 20 years or more’… I’m not confident what Walmart sells are actual bikes. And there are no Walmarts in much of Africa (ok, none in Senegal, Mali, Niger, or Burkina that I know of – to be specific; I believe there may be some in SA, Kenya, or Egypt).

Ikea stuff is made from particle board, a little different from cardboard. I think, i know more about metals than plant based materials.


rice rocket
Participant
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If you’ve ever left some of their tables out in the rain, you’ll find 2 vinyl laminate layers sandwiching some good ole corrugated cardboard. :)


jkp1187
Participant
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I….think not.

I also don’t count on Wal-Mart/Ikea furniture for anything involving my safety.


edmonds59
Participant
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If you fly on a commercial aircraft you’re relying on numerous structures that are basically engineered aluminum foil. Not conceptually much different from corrugated cardboard, somewhat more critical.

http://books.google.com/books?id=i3vF9ZaToTwC&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=aluminum+foil+honeycomb+wings&source=bl&ots=gPjTKqzbx2&sig=S3RpzaszLudWWULQDnNecsK2_HU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=OvggUMKbKoXl0QHJnIA4&ved=0CE8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=aluminum%20foil%20honeycomb%20wings&f=false


ejwme
Participant
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^ that too. Materials is a crazy black magic. Heating stuff up and cooling it off to different temperatures at different rates, cleaning impermeable looking stuff a certain way, tiny adjustments in cut angles and hole shapes, all have bizarre and often counter-intuitive effects on the structural integrity of the material.

Corrugation seems to work similar to the way trestles work – the folds create little triangles which support weight much better than solid material would by distributing the weight through the material differently. It’d be a bitch to do FEA (finite element analysis) on, but it’s ironically similar to the way FEM (mesh) works anyway, just on a (relatively) macro scale. I don’t think I’m explaining it right, it’s been a while since I’ve FEM’d anything… And if he’s custom folded stuff, so it’s not a standard cardboard, the routines for the material may not actually exist, so extensive testing (expensive, and only as good as the test designer) would be necessary…

I like thinking about these things, but I’m afraid I’m very bad at it.


edmonds59
Participant
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Aside from being light, I think the foil technology was also developed due to it’s ability to isolate damage, i.e. you can fire a bullet right through a foil composite wing and it’s strength is insignificantly reduced, the structure is so uniformly distributed.

Now that I think of it, almost exactly the opposite of carbon fiber. People who know seem to be crazy wary of nicking a CF frame.


cburch
Participant
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Depends on the cf frame. Road racing frame designed to be stupid light while about as strong as a metal frame, sure. Downhill frame designed to be stupid strong while about e same weight as a metal frame, not so much. CF is an amazingly adaptable and complicated material about which many half-truths and rumors swirl.


edmonds59
Participant
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Good to know. On Pedal Pgh I helped a woman who had dropped the chain. I think she had a Focus road bike, maybe?. There was a little metal protection plate on the down tube where it met the BB, exactly to protect against chain drops. The problem was the protection plate had bent out a little bit and was acting as a one-way clip so the chain would drop but not be able to be pulled back up. gah! I got it, but I told her to take it to a shop and have it checked when she had a chance.


cburch
Participant
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yeah the problem with chain drop is that the chain acts like a saw and if it happens over and over will wear right through a high stress area. you see that little plate on most new carbon bikes.


Anonymous
Inactive
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I keep seeing this cardboard bike in discussion around the interweb. While its manufactured at $9, it will probably retail around $60-$80 or so, and I also fear about its longevity, much like the Ikea furniture. Most discussion Ive seen is about how a bike this cheap would be helpful to third world countries where people have to walk 10-20 miles to schools and such. Im staying hopeful that while these bikes may retail over $50, the guy making these things, or perhaps some generous non-profits, will simply donate a bunch of these bikes to people who need them.

That being said, cardboard is a great invention. It keeps my pizza in perfect condition on the way home from the pizza shop.


jonawebb
Participant
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I want an inflatable bicycle. I’ve pretty much worked out how it would work, just waiting for the materials (carbon nanotube balloons) to get up to speed.


ejwme
Participant
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Jonawebb, the first thought that popped into my head was one of those giant, inflatable human-sized hamsterballs. I want one of those. I could totally take the lane in one of those puppies.

I’m hoping the 60-80 price tag includes donation. One of the problems, though, would be repairability. In Mali, the reason everybody has steel framed fixies is because everybody can repair them. Fancier 3 to 7 speeds are around, but are more expensive to fix. The very last thing they need in impoverished areas is another disposable, unfixable tool.

Also, at least where I was, school kids didn’t get to use bicycles unless they were from a relatively rich family. The bicycle was taken to market by the father or grandfather, along with a million chickens, or multiple 50# sack of grain – the bikes were work-horses. They need long haul truckers, not transportation. If the school was 10 miles away, chances are they never went to it, or were taken in by a local family at the school (usually only if “rich”).

But Mali has been the poorest country not involved in a civil war for the past 10 years. Now that they’re actually in the middle of a civil war, it’s likely worse.

It’s a great idea, but implementation of the aid aspect… I wouldn’t expect to be dazzled.

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