DIY Cardboard bike frame

Building a cardboard bike starts with a big sheet of cardboard

Building a cardboard bike starts with a big sheet of cardboard

A while ago we thought we might have some fun and try to build our own cardboard bike frame.  Here’s how it went:

Stage 1

Becky goes into our LBS and asks if they have a cardboard box she could have.  Intrigue got the better of them and they could not resist asking why Becky, a fourteen year old girl, wanted a cardboard box like that.  “Oh, I’m building my own bike now, out of cardboard” she said quite innocently and in her usual matter-of-fact manner.  Apparently they were speechless, puzzled, perplexed and curious but happily handed one over.  After all, it’s the kind of thing they come to expect from us as a family; can’t imagine why.

Stage 2

Start cutting, taking care to avoid cutting the floor, fingers or anything else except the cardboard.  From the smaller pieces that have been cut out, they need to be rolled out very tightly and taped in place.  Having taken over our dining room, the production line moves to the kitchen for assembly.  Besides, you never know when you’ll need an extra tool (bread knife, spoon handle etc) and we felt sure nobody would mind as we were proceeding in the best interests of cycling here.



Stage 3

Assemble the various unlikely looking components into a rough bicycle shaped shape, using plenty of Dad’s Gaffer tape.  We were feeling pretty optimistic about it – it really was starting to look like a bicycle frame and arguably looking a little like a Cannondale with it’s oversized aluminium tubes.  Not a bad comparison we thought, what with Cannondale being quite a good comparison and even a market place contender for our new creation.

A few minor points were still lacking though.  We hadn’t, as yet, thought of a name let alone a marketing strategy or even whether it was any good.  But these were minor points, we were determined to press ahead in the best pioneering spirit.  We couldn’t help but wonder whether we were on the edge of solving the chronic traffic and environmental problems our town suffers from, or indeed that of the entire World.

Stage 4

Raid your own mountain bike for wheels and the seat post.  Cardboard wheels is just a step too far for us at present but we have that in mind for the mk.2 version, so no worries there.   Also we continue to delude ourselves that this is actually going to work but let’s not get distracted by those negative thoughts; we have a mission to complete here.

Stage 5

Viable frame nearly finished.

P1110065Observant readers will note this is a minimalist bike, akin to the metropolitan fixies apart from this going a step further.  Talk about cutting edge.  Yes, just as you may have already noticed, minor details such as transmission and a means of braking are missing.  On, how can we forget, it does need to have reflectors in order to be compliant with BS6102 but we can come back to that later.

The geometry we have to say, is not how we originally intended it to be as it appears to have become a rather relaxed cruiser instead of the fast-paced sprinter we might have had in mind originally.  That doesn’t matter.  “It’s alive!” we say “it’s showing us what kind of bike it wants to be” we say, continuing in our deluded manner.



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