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  Cardboard bicycles纸板自行车

  Re-cycling再生自行车

  THE first bicycles were made of wood. After that, manufacturers used steel tubes. These days, for high-end bikes where weight is at a premium, they turn to aluminium alloys or even to carbon fibre. But Izhar Gafni, an amateur cyclist who owns a number of such high-end bikes, wonders whether the original inventors had a point. He proposes to go back to using wood—or, rather, a derivative of wood, namely cardboard.

  历史上的第一辆自行车是木制的。之后,制造商使用了钢管。如今,对高端自行车来说,车身重量是十分宝贵的,他们把钢管换为铝合金甚至是碳纤维。但拥有一批这样的高端自行车的一位业余自行车运动员,Izhar Gafni,想知道自行车最初的发明者是否有这一点观点。他打算倒退回去用木材——或者更恰当的说是木材的衍生物,即纸板(制造自行车)。

  Mr Gafni, who is based in Ahituv, Israel, spent years trying to work out how to make a cardboard bicycle able to support the weight of a human being. The trick is twofold. First, he folds the cardboard—commercial-grade material, made from recycled paper—to increase its strength. (He worked out the exact pattern of folding for each of the machine’s components using the principles of origami.) Then, once it is folded, he treats the result with a proprietary resin that holds it in shape and stiffens it, before cutting it into the form of the component required. A second application of resin renders the component waterproof, and a lick of lacquer makes it look good. The result, Mr Gafni claims, is stronger than carbon fibre.

  住在以色列,Ahituv的Gafni先生,花费数年时间,试图计算出如何制造一个能支持一个人重量的纸板自行车。这有两个诀窍。首先,他折叠由再生纸制成的纸板——商业级的材料——以增加其强度。(他制造出用于折叠的自行车的精确模型,并且每个部件都使用了折纸工艺的原则。)因此,一旦纸板被折叠,他就为其涂上一种专用的树脂,在切割为部件所需的形状之前,这种树脂可以保持其形状并且使其硬化。树脂的第二种应用是用它粉刷部件的防水层,并且再涂一层漆使部件更好看。Gafni先生称,处理结果将使纸板的强度大于碳纤维。

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  The bike’s frame, wheels, handlebars and saddle are all made of cardboard in this way, and then fitted together. The tyres—again harking back to the early days of cycling—are composed of solid rubber, recycled from old car tyres. That makes the ride a little harder than if they were pneumatic, but means they cannot be punctured.

  自行车的车架、车轮、车把和车座都用以此方式制造的纸板制成,然后组装在一起。车胎——再回溯到早期的自行车——是由回收自旧汽车轮胎的实心橡胶制成。与充气车胎相比,这使骑车变得略为困难,但也意味着它们不会被刺破。

  The chain, whose design is based on the timing belt of a car, is also made from car-tyre rubber. The pedals are plastic recycled from bottles. And the brakes are also recycled materials, though Mr Gafni is not yet ready to disclose exactly what. The finished product weighs 9kg and can carry a rider weighing 220kg.

  根据一辆汽车上的传送带所设计的链条,也是由汽车轮胎所用的橡胶制成。脚踏板由回收自塑料瓶塑料制成。并且刹车也是可再生材料,虽然,Gafni先生尚未准备透露具体是什么材料。自行车成品重9千克并且可以承载220公斤的骑车人。

  Mr Gafni’s target market is the poorer countries of the world. Since manufacturing the cardboard bike will, he reckons, cost $9-12 a unit, his velocipedes should find demand which metal bikes cannot. But people in rich countries may be interested too. In Tel Aviv, the commercial capital of Mr Gafni’s native land, 2,000 stolen bikes were recently put on display by police, for their owners to claim. If bicycles cost less than the locks that chained them to lampposts, it might cease to be worthwhile stealing them.

  Gafni先生的目标市场是世界上较为贫穷的国家。他估计,制造每辆纸板自行车的费用为9至12美元,他的“旧式自行车”应该能发现金属自行车未发现的需求。但富裕国家的人民也可能感兴趣。在Tel Aviv,Gafni先生故乡的贸易中心,迫于所有者的要求,警方最近展出了2000辆被盗的自行车。如果自行车的成本小于将其束缚在灯柱上的锁,也许就不值得偷车了。

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