A cardboard bike, anyone?

Are you short on money and wantsome wheels? Izhar Gafni, an Israeli inventor and bicycle enthusiast, has developed just what you need–$9 cardboard bike called the Alfa. Yes, you read correctly–cardboard! Though engineers told him the project was impossible, he designed a bike crafted from recycled materials that can support a 485-pound rider.

The invention took three years to complete. Two were spent figuring out the cardboard complications and one converting a cardboard box on wheels into a relatively normal looking bike. Operated by a belt-driven pedal system, the bike is 20 pounds of recycled cardboard, rubber and bottles. Gafni also submerged the finished product in a tank of water for several months to ensure its durability. According to Fastcodesign.com, an adult model costs $9 to $12 to build while a child-sized model costs only $5. Almost anyone could afford one at those prices.

Gafni and a business partner are currently looking for funding to manufacture the bikes. They envision them being particularly useful for people with little resources, especially those in third world countries where salaries are often only a few dollars a day.