October 16, 2012

"What I like about it the most: It's made out of cardboard!"

(No, not the President.) This bicycle:

18 comments:

Larry Davis said...

Not really. It's corrugated paper. I worked in a corrugated paper factory and if I ever called it cardboard, I was immediately corrected.

Eustace Chilke said...

I'd like to ride one to see whether it rides like something as cheap as it is. It won't have to be much to deliver more than it costs.

Shouting Thomas said...

The baby sucking on the pacifier bit really enhanced the Homer Simpson quality of the project.

But Homer's do-it-yourself projects always fall apart.

Don't know why, but this brings to mind the new South Park episode about Honey Boo Boo. Honey Boo Boo is destroying Cartman in the ratings!

bagoh20 said...

I don't know exactly what the advantages are. A basic bicycle is one of the cheapest, most economical things on the market today. You can by a 10 speed brand new assembled and delivered for $50. Most of the materials are already recyclable, and they can last decades.

Overcoming the challenges of this concept is admirable, but I don't know if it has a practical use. It would be great as far as how easy it is to dispose of. On Christmas morning you get a new one, and put the old one in the fireplace.

bagoh20 said...

Isn't it actually a wooden bicycle?

Ann Althouse said...

What happens when you hit a bump? Is the wheel ruined?

Also, I just don't believe that could be made for $20... not unless it looked way rougher than that and didn't have brakes and gears.

EMD said...

You can by a 10 speed brand new assembled and delivered for $50.

Used ones are even cheaper. And plentiful.

73539cf2-d659-11e1-bbb5-000bcdcb2996 said...

Surely the brake lever, caliper, housing, cables, etc. and the tires and tubes would cost far more than $20, even if the rest of the bike cost zero.

Eustace Chilke said...

EMD said... Used ones are even cheaper.

The Supreme Court might soon add "for now" to this observation. I can't imagine how they could be even considering modifying the right of resale on used good but they're about to take up the question.

edutcher said...

Actually, if we had a cardboard President, he might do better.

Quaestor said...

Ann wrote:
I just don't believe that could be made for $20...


The guy said it was:
1)Strong
2)Durable
3)Cheap

These are the salient points of all cardboard (corrugated paper). It's why the cardboard box replaced the wooden crate.

What the builder has left out of his summary is the fabrication time, which is bound to be considerable, probably much more than would be required to build a bike from welded steel tubing. The cardboard bike is appears to be covered in polyurethane to make it waterproof and to add stiffness. Polyurethane is more costly than enamel, and more labor-intensive to apply. Therefore I question the claim that the cardboard bike is cheaper than a conventional bike.

Regarding Ann's point (What happens when you hit a bump? Is the wheel ruined?) mostly likely the wheels cannot withstand the same impact that a conventional wheel with steel spokes can endure. While cardboard is remarkably strong for it weight it is not resilient. A cardboard spring would be a totally failure.

Quaestor said...

Parts of the cardboard bike that aren't cardboard:

1)Handlebar
2)Braking system
3)Bearings
4)Cranks

The guy has a thick accent so I didn't catch everything he said but I think he claimed that his transmission was also cardboard, at least the sprockets.

Lem said...

Ingenious.

Methadras said...

I would never have told him it was impossible. Never. I would have showed him any number of ways to structurally adjust cardboard to support load and stresses. Those engineers that told him that are morons and should kiss his ass daily for being morons and being wrong.

Methadras said...

Why does that child still have a pacifier in his mouth?

Rusty said...

Larry Davis said...
Not really. It's corrugated paper. I worked in a corrugated paper factory and if I ever called it cardboard, I was immediately corrected.

I've worked on those machines. They're HUGE!
The shears were really scary.




Ann Althouse said...
What happens when you hit a bump? Is the wheel ruined?

Also, I just don't believe that could be made for $20... not unless it looked way rougher than that and didn't have brakes and gears.



With modern cnc production methods they could easily make the frame for just a few dollars.
Figure 10,000 units and just to cut the carboard pieces I figure about $.35 a piece including material.
It's the metal parts that add to the cost.

bagoh20 said...

Rusty, I don't see your $.35 price. I buy tens of thousand of boxes every year and $.35 won't get you a quality box the size of a bread box, whatever that is.

Rusty said...

bagoh20 said...
Rusty, I don't see your $.35 price. I buy tens of thousand of boxes every year and $.35 won't get you a quality box the size of a bread box, whatever that is.



You pay retail. The box you buy goes through a couple of middlemen before it gets to you. Evderybody tacks on their percentage.

If he uses an abrasive airjet cutting system he can pump out hundreds of frame blanks an hour for just a few cents. It's an economy of scale. Unless he can automate assembly, labor will be his biggest expense.
Economy of scale is how they can sell a Bic pen for .25 and still make a profit.
I worked in an industry than ran quatities of metal parts from a minimum order of 5000 up to 250,000
At 5000 a part might cost .18, but if the client ordered 250,000 the cost would go down to maybe 3.5 cents for the same part.