Izhar Gafni invents cardboard bicycle.

A bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard has the potential to change transportation habits from the world's most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa, its Israeli inventor says.

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

A ride of the prototype was quite stiff, but generally no different to other ordinary basic bikes.

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

The cost of materials used are estimated at $9 per unit.

A full-size cardboard bicycle will weigh about 9kg (about 20 lb) compared to an average metal bicycle, which weighs about 14kg.

The urban bicycle, similar to London's "Boris bikes" and others worldwide, will have a mounting for a personal electric motor.

Cardboard bicycle 'could change world'

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