“Phil Bridge, 21, of Sheffield Hallam
University, said the bike was strong enough for a rider weighing up to 12
stones and would not go soft in the rain, although it has a life expectancy
of only about six months.”
One one hand, I want to really applaud this design for being very affordable, and I could easily see this as a means of transportation for people who don’t have the resources to afford standard metal bikes, but need a means of getting around other then walking. I’m thinking along the lines of One Laptop per Child, or the person-powered water pump we blogged about a few months ago. I mean, whats better then a bike thats made of cardboard, could be easily shipped and stored, or carried on a bus, boat, by hand through non-bikeable conditions? And its cardboard. Who’d really want to steal it? Its not like you could sell it for scrap.
On the other hand, I’m ready to say that this is just another embodiment of our use-for-a-while-and-throw-away society. I mean, who buys a bike they know will last them only 6 months? Granted, it IS only cardboard, so it will decompose in landfills, and the metal parts are supposed to be recyclable.
What I think would be a really interesting design would be to make metal parts as well as cardboard parts – this way, people in poor countries could buy the cardboard bike to get around, and buy the rest of the bike in metal form piece by piece – you could litterall buy it wheel by wheel, then get a real metal frame, a real seat, real handlebars, and then you’ve worked your way up to a real bike. It couldn’t be that hard to break the design down into four or five individual parts that places could stock in metal.
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