Introducing the WorkCycles Kr8 bakfiets… Finally!

WorkCycles-Kr8-Green-Orange 10
The Kr8 handles so sweetly that even a petite mom (160cm, 47kg in this case) can easily ride with a considerable load.

Just a couple weeks ago I wrote about our mighty, new Vrachtfiets. But wait, there’s more news at WorkCycles! The WorkCycles Kr8 bike is finally here and (patting self on shoulder) it’s just fantastic! There will actually be two Kr8’s: The two wheeled version of the Cargobike/Long John type seen here, and a linkage steered three-wheeler (wheels turn, box doesn’t). The Kr8 two-wheeler is now available and the trike will be ready later this year. After ten years of selling our Cargobike (Bakfiets.nl sister bike) the Kr8 represents a considerable evolutionary step on every front; It’s much lighter, steers better, has better ergonomics, a better parking stand, more customizable and it can be packed and shipped more easily. Hundreds of important details like the bench seat and its belts have been improved as well.

WorkCycles-Kr8-Green-Orange 2
Lots of details to be seen here: Flange to split frame for shipment, cables cleanly routed behind a channel…

As with other WorkCycles bikes, the frames and parts are modular. Both Kr8 bike and trike share the same rear end. It’s borrowed from the Fr8 & Gr8, complete with Adaptive Seat Tube which offers great ergonomics to fit practically everybody. Like its siblings the Kr8 will fit riders from somewhat under 160cm to well over 200cm. A huge improvement over our previous Cargobike is the Kr8’s more biomechanically efficient seat tube angle.

Kr8 Groen Oranje LRC 7 kids
Both the Fr8 long rear carrier and Gr8 rear carrier fit on the Kr8. Are you (wo)man enough to ride with this many kids?

Having the Fr8/Gr8 rear end also means that the same rear carriers and accessories fit the Kr8 as well. Two kids on the rear carrier with another four in the box, and one behind the handlebar? Sure, with the Fr8 long rear carrier that’s possible. Can you actually pedal over the bridge like that? No, probably not.

WorkCycles-Kr8-Green-Orange 6
WorkCycles Escape Hatch (removable left fork end) for easy tire changes

Like the Fr8 and Gr8 the Kr8 also gets WorkCycles’ handy Escape Hatch so the rear tire or inner tube can be easily changed without opening the chaincase or having to adjust drivetrain parts. Separable frames and a box that flat-packs mean that Kr8’s can be packed and shipped more cheaply, with less chance of damage. The Kr8 bike fits in two boxes, each somewhat smaller than those we use for city bikes. WorkCycles exports some 75% of its bikes so the shipping factor is critical.

The Kr8 might very well be the worst kept secret in the history of bikes. We’ve actually been working on them for three years. Why the long development period? The challenge is that Workcycles is ambitious yet small, and we had all that other stuff to do the past few years too. WorkCycles begins production of a new model not on the basis of model years or other marketing based criteria, but when it’s really ready to make customers happy. We vowed that each Kr8 version had to be both unique and better than the competitors on practically every level. So we divided the project up into several components and rolled up our sleeves.

Cafe Brecht Workcycles Bakfiets 1
Note that this WorkCycles classic bakfiets actually has the same rear frame as the Kr8. We take our modular concept seriously.

The modular chassis elements described above were the most straightforward part of the project. The rear end is actually a refinement of the unit we’ve been using to build our classic bakfietsen with 8sp gearing and hydraulic brakes. Powerful Magura hydraulic brakes are thus an option on Kr8’s too. These cost more than the standard rollerbrakes but they add braking power for hilly terrain, reduce friction and weight, and make it much easier to fit electric assist. Otherwise Kr8’s will be equipped with maintenance-free Shimano IM80 rollerbrakes.

The front frames are entirely new. The two-wheeled Kr8 has a box of the same length as our previous Cargobike Long, the sister of the Bakfiets.nl Cargobike. The steering geometry, though, has been refined to sharpen its handling and reduce the turning radius. We’ve sold so few short Cargobikes in the last years that we don’t see a need to build one, but we’ll add an Extra Long Delivery version if the demand is there. The new Kr8 trike front end is particularly nice. It’s linkage (ackerman) steered so the box remains fixed while the front wheels turn, car style. That endows it with really easy, stable handling and a remarkably low center of gravity. When the parking brake is engaged with a big handle a foot folds down under the front of the box to prevent tipping. The kids can climb all over this bike with impunity.

WorkCycles Kr8 Grijs Blauw
Choose your own colors from about 200 options in the RAL range.

Developing a bike chassis might actually be easier than a good passenger compartment, especially one that’s safe, light and flat-packs for shipping. After experimenting with several box concepts we settled on a unique tubular frame with thin wooden panels. It’s several kilos lighter than our current wooden box and more damage resistant too. The current WorkCycles/Clarijs cover and canopy fit the two wheeler’s box and new ones will be designed for the trike. It’s even easy to replace or customize the panels. Want a box with clear, Lexan panels? Aluminium, colored plastic, perforated metal…?

Kr8 parking stand

The two-wheeler’s parking stand is also a critical feature yet strangely ignored by most manufacturers. After almost fifteen years on the market Maarten van Andel’s Bakfiets.nl Stabilo stand remained the standard (pun intended) by which others are judged, and all have fallen pathetically short. In it’s current form with magnetic latch the Stabilo is quite good. The Kr8 stand had to be at least as good. It also had to be different, both because Workcycles doesn’t imitate and because the old Stabilo wouldn’t fit the Kr8 anyway. After several tries we’ve succeeded here too. The new Kr8 stand is also a super stable four legger but its simpler, welded construction is more robust. It’s no longer necessary to flip the stand up with your foot; Just roll the bike forward and a spring linkage pushes and holds it up.

WorkCycles-Kr8-Green-Orange 4
Yay! A cargobike with easily adjusted harnesses for the kids. The bench has been beefed up too.

As we all know the devil is in the details and there were hundreds of details to work out: routing the cables cleanly, tough and handy benches, trimming weight, engineering the center coupling, making it pretty and actually manufacturable… Just the boxes alone were a big project. The Kr8 two-wheeler is all done and the three-wheeler will follow in a few months. They retain all the goodness of our previous Cargobike yet with improvements throughout:

– The Kr8’s are remarkably light. The two-wheeler is more than 15% lighter than our current Cargobike… and some of the competitors are unspeakably heavy.
– The sitting ergonomics, steering geometry and very low center of gravity make them easy and sporty to ride. The Kr8 is a nice bike
– Kr8 two-wheeler can be boxed for transport throughout the world. With some more development the trike will be as well.
– They look great and can be readily customized with special colors and features.

WorkCycles Kr8 Ocean Blue Apple Green

Needless to say we’re really proud of our new babies. They’re a couple solid evolutionary steps beyond anything else on the market and suitable for a broader range of situations than our previous bikes. The only remaining challenge is to think of better names. Kr8 will stick but how to differentiate the two- and three-wheeled versions? Your suggestions are welcome!

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65 Responses to “Introducing the WorkCycles Kr8 bakfiets… Finally!”

  1. Pieter M Says:

    BiKr8, pronouncing bike r(e)ight, BiKracht, Biker8
    TriKr8, pronouncing trike r(e)ight, TriKracht, Triker8
    8 stands for max persons: 2 in the back, one pregnant mom, 4 in the bak…

    or for the math/science geeks
    Kr8², pronouncing square Kreight, BiKracht
    Kr8³, pronouncing cube Kreight, TriKracht

  2. Pim Says:

    What about the lighting? Are both the front and the rear lights wired to the dynamo (in the front hub?) and could you give us a bit more specific info regarding the weight, gears, dimensions, etc…?

  3. Jan Says:

    So how much does it actually weigh? 15% lighter than its predecessor doesn’t mean anything to most people.

  4. ubrayj02 Says:

    I do not work for Workcycles but I think I’ve got the answers you two are looking for.

    Pim, yes the lights are both wired to the front dynamo hub. The dimensions are the same (or similar) to the old longjohn bakfiets (about 255cm long and about 63cm wide). The gearing looks to be Nexus 8 speed from Shimano or the NuVinci hub (which they put on a bunch of their other bikes now).

    Jan, he’s talking about shaving about ~8 lbs. off a 65 lbs. package. It doesn’t seem like much but it takes some doing. 65 lbs. is my estimate of the weight of my old bakfiets longjohn.

  5. Pauli / Liikkuva Laatikko Says:

    Congratulations! Finally. :) We have been waiting for this! I have ordered some bikes for resale in Finland, so if you happen to live here you can contact your local dealer..
    8-speed version will be with the premium gears as standard, as far as I know. That is good, because these gears have a better efficiency than non-premium hubs.

  6. henry Says:

    Yes, the 8sp rollerbrake and magura brake versions come standard with Nexus Premium hub now. Nuvinci is also an option, as is Nexus 8 with coaster brake.

    And as always if there’s a Workcycles dealer near you, please contact them first. If there’s no dealer in the area we can ship the bike directly.

    Ubrayj’s answers are approximately correct:
    1. B&M LED lights front and rear powered by hub dynamo. Wiring runs through fork, frame and rear fender.

    2. 255cm long, 63cm wide

    3. About 35kg+

  7. Ray Says:

    I’ll be real interested to see your ackerman-steered trike. I’m an owner of a couple examples of a certain Danish ackerman-steered trike, and I think the type of cycle is under-appreciated. Perhaps with your more enthusiast-oriented approach, you can take it a bit farther.

    Your Danish competitor is particularly lacking in brakes, and could stand to offer a better range of gearing options (with emphasis on low ratios). Clearance for fatter tires wouldn’t hurt either. Ackerman-steered trikes are potentially very robust vehicles on huge hills, in dirt and in winter… a new market for the Dutch? :)

  8. Fabien Says:

    I’m, surprised that you sell so few short bakfietsen; here (Toulouse, France), the short model represents the overwhelming majority. Maybe because manoeuvrability is more crucial in less cycle-friendly cities?

    Anyway, as a bakfiets.nl owner, I love everything about your version of the bike. The only improvement I miss is a plate to mount a chain motor: some places are hillier than Amsterdam’s neighborhood :)

  9. Aslak Says:

    How about Kr8 Narrow and Kr8 Wide,
    optionally Kr8 Narrow Bak and Kr8 Wide Bak,
    alternatively Kr8 Narrow Bakfiets and Kr8 Wide Bakfiets?

  10. henry Says:

    Fabien,
    in the Netherlands where the vast majority of bakfietsen are sold it’s almost entirely long model two wheelers. I’d guess we sell at least 50 times as many longs than shorts. Even abroad it’s not much different for us so there’s just no incentive to invest in developing a model we’ll sell very few of.

    Keep in mind that the Kr8, though it’s long, is actually still lighter than our previous Cargobike Short. With improved sitting position if feels much lighter. We’ve also improved the geometry so it’s turning circle is only marginally different as well.

    The part about a plate to mount a chain motor I don’t understand. Can you explain?

  11. henry Says:

    Ray,
    I can only assume you’re referring to the Nihola, which is a very nicely made bike that just didn’t work out for us on various levels. Mostly it just isn’t equipped like a Dutch bike so trying to sell them in the Netherlands was hopeless. Actually the sales of trikes will never approach those of two-wheelers here but we do have customers locally and abroad who are better off with a trike.

    I won’t disparage our friendly and hard-working colleagues in Copenhagen but will say that the Kr8 trike will have all of the things you note are lacking in their bike. The brakes though are a tough nut to crack. Drums are the only economical option but there are bigger, more powerful drums available. Hydraulic disks in mirrored pairs are possible but add enormously to the bike’s cost.

  12. Ray Says:

    Henry,
    9cm SA drums look good, maybe that is what you are referring to, though the 7cm ones on the Nihola are not as predictable as I’d like. Somehow or other it seems they get excess moisture in them, and then squeak, grab, drag and generally do mildly annoying things. Additionally they are not strong (though they get better with age). The cable runs might partly to be to blame for their weakness, and perhaps you can improve on that.

    You could quite possibly have a bit of success by letting potential customers know that ackerman-steered trikes aren’t just for riding slowly on flat pavement. (Linked a small blog, BTW.) I’ve definitely taken my kids places on three wheels that we would not have reached on two wheels. Some customers will doubtless find such a capability to be interesting, if they are aware of it. Best of luck!

  13. henry Says:

    Ray, Yes 90mm Sturmey Archer drums are the best of the economical options and we’re unfortunately also well aware of their downsides. I’d like to fit the Magura Big Twin disk brakes but it’d make the bike too expensive. Just those brakes and a suitable custom hubset would be a third of the bike’s cost.

  14. Roger Says:

    Henry, it´s a Bosch or Panasonic style motor Fabien refers to. The frame´s
    bottom bracket section needs to be designed for taking up such motors

  15. Mark Says:

    re: “The part about a plate to mount a chain motor I don’t understand. Can you explain?”, I suspect he’s referring to a Stokemonkey style of motor, as seen here on a Metrofiets bike: https://twitter.com/scholzj1/status/439877114892791808/photo/1

  16. Jon Says:

    The Kr8s are great looking bikes. Will these be replacing the workcycles bakfiets long? I’m interested in a comparison between the two…to help determine whether to hold off and wait for a Kr8 or to purchase the current workcycles bakfiets long.

    Thanks

  17. henry Says:

    Jon,
    Yes the Kr8 replaces its predecessor the Cargobike. We’re not selling the bakfiets.nl sister bike anymore, except in special situations.

    As noted in the post above Kr8 bikes are already available. Just send us a note or contact your dealer to order one.

  18. Matthew Says:

    How about calling the two wheel model a Kr8 Solo and the three wheel one a Kr8 Trucky? Alternatively, Duo and Trio?

    Anyway, having read your thorough description of the new bike I can say you have done a great job. I am really happy to hear there are business like you, who work hard to offer a product their customers will really appreciate.

    Kind regards,
    Matthew (London)

  19. Aslak Says:

    Do you have any ideas for some more cargo-oriented accessories for the Kr8, (lockable boxes and the likes), or do you count on customers to customize these themselves (no pun intended))?

  20. henry Says:

    Hi Aslak,
    Having sold thousands of our previous Cargobikes over the last ten years we’ve seen that the standard options shown in our price sheet cover the needs of 99% of customers. A lockable box under the bench is occasionally handy but will have to be done much better than the bakfiets.nl one which just doesn’t work well. The Christiania’s locking box is quite good on the other hand. Really though, if you put your diaper bag, groceries, sandy kids toys and other stuff under the flat box cover they’re not going to get stolen… even in petty crime ridden Amsterdam.

    There are a few other features we add periodically: a clip for a dog leash, doggie doors, tie down points, I’ve lined a couple boxes with foam for kids to nap en route. None of these have ever been asked for enough to make them production items.

  21. henry Says:

    Matthew,
    Kr8-Solo, Duo, Trio… some of the best ideas we’ve seen yet. Thanks for that and the compliments as well.

  22. metin Says:

    Hi,
    although i haven’ drived your new model, i liked it so much. Congratulations..
    I was about to buy a bakfiet.nl premium transportcycle this week but after I saw your web site i`ve seriously changed my mind. Do I have the opportunity to see you in Velocity berlin at the end of March ?
    I live in berlin and I think there is no one selling your products. I would like to buy a kr8 long bakfiets model. Is it possible to buy a installed one and how much does it cost with transport fees.
    Greetings from Berlin

  23. henry Says:

    Hi Metin,
    Thanks, we really are proud of our new baby here! WorkCycles doesn’t generally exhibit at shows though it looks like we’ll probably be sharing a stand at SpeziRad in the end of April.

    We had a dealer in Berlin but he didn’t pay his invoices and constantly lied to us so we stopped doing business with them. That’s unfortunate since a lot of Berliners have or want WorkCycles bikes. We’d be happy to hear from another suitable Berlin dealer.

    We can pack and ship the Kr8 to Berlin quite cheaply: currently under €200. The reassembly is straightforward since it’s already been built, tuned and tested… then packed up. Shipping one complete is expensive and the chance of damage is higher.

    Of course I can respect that you want to see, touch and try the Kr8 before buying. You could take the night train for a weekend in Amsterdam… of just take my word that the Kr8 rides quite a bit like the Cargobike Long, except lighter and more refined.

    Send a note to info@workcycles for a price sheet and we can discuss.

  24. metin Says:

    Hi Henry,

    thanks for your answer. I believe that you have accomplished a good job for your new baby. Till the end of July will be in Istanbul and then I will try to transfer a Kr8 model to Berlin. It seems to be rather cheap to fly to Amsterdam and afternoon with train back to Berlin.
    What do you think, should I pay a kind of custom fee for my new fiet, or is there a kind of custom agreement between germany and nederland ?
    How long does it take for you to prepare a Kr 8 for me. i would like to know when I have to order before I come to Amsterdam.

    Kind regards,
    Metin

  25. henry Says:

    metin,
    Nope, there is no import duty of any kind between NL and any other EU country. You just pay the Dutch VAT with the bike and that’s it.

    Figure about six weeks lead time, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer.

    BTW: Fiets is singular. Fietsen is plural.

  26. Pieter M Says:

    Henry,

    Last week I took the Kr8 for a little spin in Amsterdam (after I stopped drooling over your colleagues Big Dummy, and all the tuning involved) and I absolutely confirm your writing above! After riding 3 years with the Bakfiets Cargobike long, the Kr8 is in my eyes the new no1 for combined cargo and kids hauling (and everything else in between).

    We also rode the Fr8. Again, what a bike. Still in the process of discussing with the girl… (and discussing which other bikes that have to go first…).

    And oh yeah: I think/hope/believe there is also a market for your bikes in belgium, so hopefully more dealerships to come!

  27. henry Says:

    Dank u wel Pieter!

    Getting more dealers to stock WorkCycles is mostly up to the dealers themselves. If they’re looking for well designed and built utility bikes they’ll find us, but then they have to commit and invest something to make it happen.

  28. fab Says:

    these guys would be your natural berlin dealers.

    http://www.rad-spannerei.de/transport-fahrraeder.php

    i already mentioned the kr8 there.

    they have good taste in bikes and are generally helpful, even if not yet very experienced with cargobikes and more do-it-yourself-orientated than service providers. (which is true for many bike shops in Germany.)

    when it’s time to get a (possibly electrified) kr8 for a long school run i will approach them about it. (but for the moment it’s more of would-be-nice-to-have-idea than a necessity since I have a short bakfiets already.)

  29. Lili B Says:

    Hi,
    we have a bakfiets.nl long, that we took with ourselfs when we moved back to Denmark after having lived in Amsterdam… I do love useing it, but to be hoest there’s a few things that annoyes me and your kr8 seems to “fix” them.
    The bakfiets.nl version is sold in Copenhagen in some shops, but do you know if there’s a dealer selling the new workcycle kr8 here?
    If not, how much would it cost to get it sent here?
    Thanks,
    Lili

  30. henry Says:

    Hi Lili,
    We don’t have a dealer in DK but we have talked Ben Ben there. Maybe they’d be interested in moving forward. Alternatively we have dealers in Helsinki and now also Stockholm (not on our site yet: http://www.defietsfabriek.se/) and both have Kr8’s on the way.

    If none of those work out we can of course also just pack and ship a Kr8 to you for €250. Just send a note from our site for the options and price sheet.

  31. Phil B Says:

    Hi there,

    The new bike really looks beautiful. Do you have any plans to offer an electric assist option to extend its usability to places like hilly Brighton in southern England? Or do any of your dealers in the UK offer that as an option?
    Cheers

    Phil

  32. henry Says:

    Phil B,
    We custom build a special e-Kr8 with a 36V system in our own shop. The 13Ah battery is under the bench in the box. Though a little less convenient than the battery in the rear carrier it makes the “e” part of the bike almost invisible and the battery is kept warm in the winter by young occupants. A passenger can sit in the rear as well.

    The front wheel motor is 225W with 30Nm torque. The rear hub gearing with Shimano Nexus 8sp or NuVinci remains unaffected. We also change the front and rear brakes to powerful Magura hydraulics. The excellent standard B&M LED headlamp and taillights are powered by the motor battery via a converter.
    Anno 2014 this system adds €1200 Ex VAT to the price of the bike.

  33. rosa Says:

    Hi! Looking sooooo good!

    When can we expect more info and pics of the Kr8R? We’re in search of trike for our family and are about to buy one, but Kr8R has me doubting if we should wait a bit… Any idea yet whether you’ll be distributing them soon or at the end of the summer?

  34. henry Says:

    Rosa,
    Right now we’re busy just selling and building bikes and making refinements to the 2-wheeled Kr8 so there just isn’t much time for working on the Kr8R. Sorry, I do’t dare name a delivery date yet, certainly not this summer as far as I can see. Sorry for the disappointment.

  35. klaus Says:

    What about Br8 for the three-wheeler.
    Atleast in german it means wide.
    It goes with Great, Freight and Crate

  36. henry Says:

    Thanks Klaus, “Br8″ is quite good. “Breed” is wide in Dutch… “Broad” in English.

  37. christina Says:

    I have just received the kr8 here in norway, and i am enjoying it like crazy:) I love how I can rely on gaining speed quickly from standstill at traffic lights, whilst sitting down. It is also great to be able to cycle really fast down hills and hear my daughter laugh her head off:D

    But I am wondering what the load capacity for the front box, thought I would ask here. Can I load grandma, toddler, doggie and bbq in it for an outing? The Bakfiets has a 80kg capacity, no? Couldn’t find any details on the KR8.

    Hooray from Norway!

  38. Ray Says:

    christina: Dunno where exactly your are in Norway, but in my corner of Oslo a person’s gearing/legs/balance is likely to run out before reaching 80kg of cargo. :) But perhaps you have an electric model.

  39. christina Says:

    Ha, you clearly don’t have my legs! But no, wouldn’t cycle around in the street with 80 kg – but through the park? at a leisurely pace? it has to be tried! I just don’t want to break any bolts, even though I am pretty confident it can handle it.

  40. henry Says:

    Hi Christina,
    Super to hear you’re so happy with your Kr8.

    The Kr8’s load capacity (in the box) is comparable to the Cargobike, roughly 80kg. With the bike in good condition and tires pumped up hard you can ride with more but somewhere around 80-100kg you’ll find that the handling begins to get too heavy and the braking power inadequate.

    Happy cycling!

  41. henry Says:

    You won’t break your Kr8 by occasionally overloading it and riding carefully. No worries there.

  42. Gus Says:

    Thanks Henry, thats very useful.

  43. Rui Martins Says:

    If I wanted the bike with “normal” gears and disk brakes, for example, would that be an option?
    My wife and I are planning a trip from Amsterdam to Lisbon and we’re going trough some hilly terrain.

  44. henry Says:

    Rui,
    “Normal” gears? For us the internally geared hub is very normal. Do you mean with derailleur gears? No, that is not possible. Disk brakes are also not possible but as noted in the post we can build the Kr8 with very powerful Magura hydraulic rim brakes. A rim is essentially a very, very big disk.

    Though that sounds like a great adventure touring in seriously mountainous terrain is just not the forte of such a bike. It’s not geared for the climbing and the handling is also not designed for the descents. You could better choose a milder route, or a different type of bike better suited to the task.

  45. Ryan Says:

    Henry,
    I’m wondering if you have any plans to distribute in the Washington DC area? There are a growing number of families going car-lite or car free but our local options are quite limited (and there is no secondary market yet). Some travel to NYC to test ride/purchase, but it would be nice to be able to do it here.
    I was able to test ride an older Workcycles today and really enjoyed it. It was in a very flat part of town however and I am surrounded by hills. I’m wondering how much e-assist + disk brakes would add to the cost? I feel like they may be necessary for carrying a child(ren) + groceries on hills (especially in the rain).

  46. henry Says:

    Hi Ryan, I think we’re tweeting as well? As of 12 July 2014 the electric assist with hydraulic brakes (magura rim brakes , not disks) adds €1281 to the price of the Kr8. Mail us for the options/price sheet and other info.

  47. Rui Martins Says:

    We’re not going to do off-road, but France, Spain an Portugal are not flat like the Netherlands. That’s why I wanted derailleur gears.
    My wife are planning to move back to the Netherlands this year and travel to Lisbon next summer with our daughter, that’s why I thought about the Bakfiets.
    Why is not possible?

  48. henry Says:

    Rui,
    Actually mild off-roading is just fine with these bikes. We do it all the time. But the Kr8 (and Cargobike and other similar bikes) are essentially geared for the terrain they’re best suited for. That doesn’t mean at all that you cannot ride up and down hills on a Kr8. By all means you can and many customers live in places hillier than the NL. Be realistic though; The bike is designed to be ridden fairly slowly, up to for example the speed of riding with a tailwind in 8th gear. 20-25kph maybe? Beyond that I just don’t know.

    Choosing a reasonable route and schedule a tough and smart traveler could probably ride around the world aboard a Kr8, with kids and camping gear in the box too.

    We CAN gear the bike differently. The Shimano Alfine 11sp hub will fit. If you’re willing to pay for it a Rohloff 14sp hub will fit too. A rear derailleur could be hacked with a cheap steel hanger but the front derail not without metal fabrication. We haven’t built one yet but my impression is that the Alfine 11 would be the most practical way to get a broader gear range.

  49. Rui Martins Says:

    Actually, it was after reading one of your posts, http://www.bakfiets-en-meer.nl/2011/04/11/bakfiets-touring-with-baby-and-toddler/#more-5015, that my wife told me that she wanted to do the same, but all the way to Lisbon.

    These days, I just ride my old Giant Cadex with 42/53 front and 13/23 rear, complete Dura-Ace, and I climb this every week, http://tinyurl.com/plbnc59. Not a problem.

    BUt it’s my wife who wants to ride the bakfiets, so I just wonder if 8 gears is enough for the Pyrenees.

  50. Pieter M Says:

    Rui,

    “BUt it’s my wife who wants to ride the bakfiets, so I just wonder if 8 gears is enough for the Pyrenees.”
    I’ve ridden a bakfiets cargobike long with 2 toddlers and full camping equipment in the flat Netherlands, and having an ex background as triathlete (best performance over 180km: 5h07, with 238 watts average), there is no way I would consider going to the Pyrenees with a cargobike.

    If you wife is able to push 300 watts continuously uphill (which is alot!!!), than it would only be something like 2watts/kg, which is good for the flats, up to some % of uphill, but as soon as it is above 5%, you wont get uphill.
    Furthermore, you have to come down as well, which as Henry pointed out, is not the rationale behind the Kr8. Please don’t do it and reroute… This seems to me, as an avid (cargo)bike but alos loving father, a scenario for catastrophy.

    There is only a last option, but it’s a hard one. That Henry makes a disc and rim brake compatible frame in one (to have at least 3 independent and heat dissipating brakes), an alfine or rohloff, and a electric support with high torque (and regenerative braking…). But the easy way: reroute…

    Dont forget: the toddlers can stay max 4hrs in the bak, cumulative over a whole day (after which they get bored, and need to play/move/run/jump etc…)…

  51. henry Says:

    Rui, That’s cool that my post and our experiences have inspired your wife into action. You must be a strong climber (or just have very strong knees) if you’re climbing that with flatland gearing. Even the pros ride much lighter gears these days. I usually put a 38/28 on my road bike for riding in the mountains.

    Maybe your wife is an even stronger cyclist, but in any case you’ll want to usually have the stronger rider pedaling the bakfiets and partner on a standard touring bike carrying as much of the load as possible. Put the bulky but light gear in the Kr8 and the compact but heavy things on the touring bike.

    Fortunately the Kr8 can be easily adjusted to fit both you and your wife to swap back and forth. But to do that your touring bike must be able to be shared as well. That will be tricky unless you’re fairly close in size.

  52. Rui Martins Says:

    The route that we thought about doing is the same we did 4 years ago, but with my old and reliable GSX600F.
    Two weeks of motorcycle riding all the way from Wageningen to Lisbon, it was great.
    It would be nice to recreate it with bikes and our daughter, but I guess Pieter is right. It’s probably better to reroute.
    Yes, Henry, my friends all started like me, but they all have 39/28 these days.
    I climbed Sierra Nevada in Spain twice, and I used 42/30. Took me 5hrs to climb it.
    I did miss climbing when I was in the Netherlands, it was all so easy. lol

  53. henry Says:

    I’ll venture a guess that riding a Kr8 with kids aboard across the Pyrenees would be slightly more difficult than on a 75hp motorcycle.

    No mountains here but we do have wind and plenty of very strong racers to make you suffer.

  54. Rui Martins Says:

    Since you speak of “plenty of very strong racers to make you suffer.”, I read one of your posts about racing in a track, http://www.bakfiets-en-meer.nl/2012/11/14/racing-bikes-at-workcycles-really/. I gotta say I envy you, I always wanted to do that.

    Yes, just slightly more difficult. ;-)

  55. Johan Says:

    Hi, the Dutch babboe model also recently is sold in the US, I believe no pictures of this one in this blog yet. It is quality and affordable, some Dutch parents started that company 10 years ago or so and they have become the biggest in the Netherlands. Great stuff:-). Myamsterdambike.com are selling it in the US to deliver at your home address, rather convenient… Pyrenees…I would not do that hill!!!

  56. henry Says:

    Pfff, yet more spam from Babboe. Will it ever end?

    Johan has been posing as a neutral party placing links to myamsterdambike.com wherever possible but doesn’t seem to realize that there’s some animosity between WorkCycles and Babboe since Babboe began posting (fake) comments in my blog. They promote their poor quality bikes and denigrate those of competitors, including WorkCycles amongst others.

    If curious about the Babboe spam episodes or just want a humorous diversion have a read through the comments here:
    http://www.bakfiets-en-meer.nl/2008/07/11/roundup-reviews-of-various-family-transport-bikes/

    Anyhow Babboe are NOT quality bikes nor are they “great stuff”. Kindly read the above for clarification. Here are some pictures of real Babboe bakfietsen in the wild:
    https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=babboe%20rot

  57. Ray Says:

    Regarding the Pyrenees: Can an Alfine 11 take more torque than an Alfine 8? Its not the number of gears, its the lowest ratio that will make or break a mountain tour on a cargo bike. The lowest ratio of Alfine/Nexux 8 is relatively efficient (one gear set in action) and in my experience it is also strong. Alfine 11 is a complex beast, and is unlikely to be advantageous unless geared lower (reliably) than a Alfine/Nexus 8.

  58. henry Says:

    Ray,
    I just don’t know whether the Alfine 11 is stronger than the Nexus/Alfine 8sp. We’ve tons of experience with the various incarnations of the 8sp and almost none with the 11sp.

    The 11sp’s lowest gear is the same at 0.527 (52.7% of the input ratio), but the range is wider: 409% vs. 305%. Thus you can use an input ratio with the 11sp that would otherwise be too low with the 8sp. I’d recommend 38/22 or even 33/22, both of which we can fit.

    Given that both hubs have exactly the same lowest ratio I’ll venture a guess that they also both achieve this by using the same single gear set… probably even using the same internal parts.

    The two hubs probably share quite a few parts. The main differences would then be in the extra gear set used to make the upper three ratios, the shifting mechanisms and the sealing. The Alfine 11 is an oil bath hub whereas the Alfine/Nexus 8 has a little oil for the gear sets and grease for the bearings

  59. Ray Says:

    Henry,

    I’m kind of interested in hubs so I’ve thought about it a lot, and I suspect Alfine 11 is actually a development of Nexus 7. The lowest gear ratio being the same as Nexus/Alfine 8 is pretty suspicious, but note the lack of a direct drive gear (as in Nexus 7). That means they have two planetary gear sets in there with almost the same ratio, but used to raise and lower the ratio in opposition to each other. That is definitely a page from the Nexus 7 playbook.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/775816-alfine-11-design.html

    Kind of off topic, but anyway I’d be good and suspicious of just how much torque an Alfine 11 can take compared to Nexus/Alfine 8.

  60. Elliot Says:

    I wonder what the restrictions would be regarding laws etc. There has to be some sort of safety issue here, no? That being said, if I could get my hands on one of these, I’d be ecstatic.

  61. Maria Paz Says:

    Hi! I need a bike to carry my two youngest children. The kr8 looks lovely, but I assume it doesn´t fold or dettach so that you can carry it on the back of your car, right? What choices do you recommend that can be transported in a big suv car? I´m leaning towards buying a zigo leader x2, what´s your opinión on that bike? Also, where can I find these kinds of bikes in South America (Chile) or how much would the shipping cost? Please I would really like to hear from you. Tanks!

  62. henry Says:

    Hi Maria,
    No, the Kr8 (and every other cargobike, 2- or 3-wheel) is not suitable for carrying behind a car, even a really big car. We tested the Zigo years ago and weren’t impressed. I’ve never written about the Zigo but several readers wrote about their Zigo experiences in the comments of this post: http://www.bakfiets-en-meer.nl/2007/10/04/triobike-internet-reviews/

    The only real, independent review of the Zigo is here:
    http://carfreecambridge.com/2011/10/family-bike-shopping-part-iii-zigo-leader/

    If carrying the bike by car is the prerequisite it’s just not going to be a box bike of any kind. My recommendation would be (of course) a WorkCycles Fr8. On the Fr8 you’ll comfortably carry two kids of any ages and it will fit on a rear carrier… not every carrier but some are rated for carrying e-bikes and other heavier bicycles. The topic of Fr8 on car carrier has been discussed in the @WorkCycles Facebook group several times.

    WorkCycles ships all over the world. Just contact us via the WorkCycles website for more info about the options and shipping costs.

  63. henry Says:

    Elliot,
    WorkCycles sells bikes all over the world and in eleven years we’ve only heard of a few so called “safety restrictions” on child carrying bikes:
    1. Minimum age of child on bike in some parts of USA is 12 months… largely ignored.
    2. Child saddle behind handlebars apparently not legal in Austria… largely ignored.
    3. No more than two kids on a bike in Denmark… completely ignored.
    4. Children only to be carried on approved bikes (Japanese only) in Japan… our few customers there ignoring without problems.

    Now of course I’m not actually recommending that you break local laws, just noting that they’re not always sensible or based or appropriate.

  64. Danna Douglas Says:

    Hi Henry. I need some advising and don’t know where to best ask my questions . Please remove is it’s inappropriate on this thread. I am a single mom to a 5yr old, 16 month old and a 3 month old. Ive recently become disgusted with driving everywhere. Everything we do is in a 5 mile radius. Most things are under 2 miles. I’ve begun walking everywhere with a jogging stroller but am absolutely craving a cargo bike as our transportation instead. I’m not a biker at all. I wouldn’t know the first thing about bikes. I’ve spent weeks pouring over every article I can find and speaking to bike shops and wholesellers and retailers all over the United states. I should say I do NOT have much disposable income as a single mom of three. It’s for financial reasons that I’m stuck with babboe being my ‘ high end expensive choice’. From what you’ve said, it’s not even quality yet it would take all of my savings to get it. Dare I ask about the WIKE Super Cargo Trike? It’s $1000 less than the babboe. So, if my choices are wike or babboe, would you say it’s better to not have one at all and just walk? Lol… Surely one of those is better than nothing. It’s just sad that’s it’s such a huge purpose and taking all my savings to make a non quality purchase. I live in Florida. It’s flat!!! And I’m never going more than 5 miles away. What are your thoughts?
    Also: I’m not an experienced biker. I’m not awful, but I only biked as a child and for fun, never for transportation until this recent desire. Where I’ll be biking has lots of crosswalks and signals. Lots of starting and stopping and even getting off bike for the weirdly placed cross walk signals. For these reasons, I think a trike would be best suited for me. Is this assumption wrong?
    I would REALLY appreciate your expertise . I’m looking to place my order Monday!
    Oh… And I also expect to only use this for 4 years and then move into something different. For now, I’m really looking for it to be family time where we talk and interact on our rides so I’d really like them I front of me in a box style bike.

  65. henry Says:

    Hi Danna,
    I’d rather not have this thread get hijacked by Babboe employees who seem to scan the Interweb for any negative mention of their bikes and then bombard the comments as fake bike owners. See here for an example:
    http://www.bakfiets-en-meer.nl/2008/07/11/roundup-reviews-of-various-family-transport-bikes/

    My evaluation of the Babboe bikes and company has already been stated and I’ve seen nothing since to change my opinion. The Wike trike I’ve never seen but their two wheeler is very obviously the same Chinese BSO (bicycle shaped object) that shows up with ever a different name on it, I suppose to avoid liability claims. I could be wrong here but my gut reaction is… RUN AWAY!

    A second or third hand bike of quality origins would be a safer bet than either of the above, and probably cheaper too. It’d certainly be cheaper in the long run. There are also less expensive bikes being made in the USA. There’s a fellow named John Lucas who builds solid looking, moderately priced cargobikes. He posts photos periodically in the @WorkCycles Facebook group:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/workcycles.bikes/

    There was also a guy in Portland, OR building quite cheap cargobikes from discarded old bikes. His bikes from several years ago looked pretty sketchy but I understand they’re getting better.

    I hope that helps. As for trike vs. bike you need to try some bikes. Even in Florida there are some bakfietsen in use. I know we’ve sent several to Gainesville and there are a bunch in the Jacksonville area.

    Good luck!

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