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Frii bike concept made from injection-molded recycled plastic

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July 26, 2011

Israeli industrial design student Dror Peleg has created a colorful bike that's made up of...

Israeli industrial design student Dror Peleg has created a colorful bike that's made up of snap together, injection molded, recycled plastic components called Frii

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If Israeli industrial design student Dror Peleg had been around in the late 1950s, I feel sure that his Frii plastic bike concept would have found its way into Mosanto's House of the Future. Over 50 years later, that vision of a world of plastic has also given rise to some serious disposal issues and grave environmental concerns. Frii proposes to be part of the solution, not the problem. Made from recycled plastic, the city cycling concept would be manufactured locally for local use. Components would be injection molded into modular shapes that snap together to form a strong, lightweight and very colorful single-speed bike for quick trips through the city streets.

For the final project for his industrial design degree at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Israel, Peleg looked to create a product of use to locals which can be made locally instead of being imported from elsewhere. The process of injection molding is widespread in Israel, being used to make everything from garden furniture to tables and chairs to storage units. The designer therefore embarked on a project to make use of existing facilities (rather than opting for new technologies like 3D printing) to manufacture the components needed for a wholly plastic bike, which he says would be less energy and labor intensive than traditional bike manufacture.

The Frii recycled plastic bike's modular components could be made in a variety of colors

Rather than add to the enormous plastic waste disposal problems that are the behind nightmare disasters like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the designer envisions using various recycled plastics for the Frii bicycle. The modular design centers around the familiar diamond-shaped frame found in many modern bikes, as well as plastic pioneers like the Innervision concept we featured a few years back, but with a pyramid of plastic ribs to strengthen the structure and offer some eye-catching aesthetics.

Peleg told Gizmag that "the frame is the largest part but the molds required for it are not much larger then a plastic chair molds."

To the bottom of the split frame sits the pedal crank, which would have bearings inserted into the mold before the injection process begins. A belt runs from this to the rear wheel hub. There are no external brakes as such on Frii, Peleg says that he sees such matters being handled in a similar way to the way BMX hub braking operates - when a rider pedals backwards, the bike comes to a halt. The forks to the 20-inch plastic wheels are kept short for added strength and the solid tires are injected over the rims during manufacture.

The uncomfortable-looking saddle would be made in different sizes to suit different riders and, like much of the design, would snap into place. The young designer does point out, however, that his creation was not designed for the rigors of off-road cycling or racing but for the smoother ride offered by city streets. The chosen manufacturing process would also appear to lend itself to various custom color configurations. Additionally, the Frii bike could be recycled at the end of its useful life, perhaps into another model.

The designer has created a non-working 1:1 scale model to take the design off the computer...

Peleg has produced a non-working 1:1 scale model to take the design off the computer screen into the real world but says that preparing the vehicle for prototyping and production was beyond his design brief and such endeavors would require some more design and engineering work.

As such, we see any future development of the project as likely needing to take a closer look at some of those stress points in the current design, as well as giving some serious consideration to the actual strength and rigidity of the construction materials used, towards the rear in particular.

Source: Designboom

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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6 Comments

Far too much lateral wind resistance. You get caught in a sudden gust next to an artic (who is, of course, overtaking way too close) and you're dead. A thin frame is controllable, thick planar frames are dangerous.

Steve Smith
26th July, 2011 @ 04:18 pm PDT

Itera all over again, that's all I have to say. Itera was a fiasco from the beginning, let's hope this venture has a brighter future ahead. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_bicycle

Knutars
27th July, 2011 @ 01:11 am PDT

Less than 10% of plastic is recyled in the USA! I bet that bike would be pretty expensive here! You say stuff 100 bags in a recyle bin, 10 are the rest go into a land fill.

Pks29733steel
27th July, 2011 @ 08:39 am PDT

More negatives. It's so much easier to criticise than to innovate!

Ian Colley.

TexByrnes
27th July, 2011 @ 02:56 pm PDT

very good idea, but it's a begining. They can work about the design, it's original, but not really practical.

Iosif Eugen Olimpiu
28th July, 2011 @ 01:03 am PDT

Way before the Itera was the 1951 Bowden Spacelander, which for some reason doesn't have a Wikipedia article.

Gregg Eshelman
11th August, 2011 @ 02:17 pm PDT
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