Overview: WorkCycles Fr8 Transport Bikes
Fr8 Series Bicycles Overview
The WorkCycles Fr8 (pronounced “Freight”) is a modular range of heavy-duty transport bicycles based around two versatile and super-sturdy frames. Unlike most so-called “transport” bikes the Fr8 is a genuine, hard-core workhorse. Everything about the Workcycles Fr8, including the geometry, generous clearances, fittings and materials has been developed to create the toughest, most stable and convenient bicycle possible. It happens to ride beautifully too, regardless of what you pile on.
Like all WorkCycles’ bikes the Fr8 is hand-built in the Netherlands. This enables us to use the special parts and finishes required for such heavy-duty bicycles, maintain a very high level of quality and provides enormous flexibility to build the Fr8 to suit each customer’s needs. By choosing from various componentry variants, front and rear carriers, boxes and other options each Fr8 can be configured for a remarkable range of applications. Thus all of the Fr8 models referred to on the WorkCycles website are essentially variations of the same bicycle; Almost all of the parts are compatible with each other so you can even build unique combinations such as a family bike with the delivery style Massive Rack front carrier or a stripped-down Fr8 Cross-frame as a city bike for a huge rider.
- Family transport
The Fr8 can carry one or two children on the rear carrier and one either in a child seat or kiddy saddle behind the handlebar. There’ll still be plenty of room for mom’s or dad’s knees and groceries on the front carrier. Carrying two or even three kids without a bakfiets has never been so easy.
- Industrial internal transport
The Fr8 industrial variants are as bombproof, low maintenance and safe as a bicycle can be. The “Massive Rack” front carrier with stable and smooth working integrated parking stand can carry at least 150kg.
- Delivery service
Boxes of up to 95 liters can be fitted to the “Massive Rack” front carrier, and the extended rear carrier can take even the biggest delivery panniers along. Special carriers can also be built to integrate the existing bins and cases of parcel and delivery services. Even with huge loads the Fr8 handles predictably and safely.
- Urban utility
The Fr8 combines the utility, durability and honesty of the old Dutch and Danish transport bikes with modern technique. Its an ideal vehicle for the baker, deli, photographer, handyman…
- Heavy cyclists
The Fr8 is strong enough for the heaviest riders. The fat tires, low instep and spacious frame geometry make it extremely comfortable. The Fr8 even looks good under “people of large stature”.
- Tall cyclists
Thanks to the special, universal ergonomics the Fr8 Cross frame fits riders from 170cm to about 215cm (5’7” to 7’) regardless of what they weigh. For most really tall individuals their initial ride on the Fr8 is the first time they’ve ever sat comfortably on a bicycle.
WorkCycles Fr8 Features
The Fr8 is not just one or a collection of bikes; It’s a modular system of parts that can almost universally be interchanged and combined. That means you can carry kids on your Fr8 delivery bike, use the bike for multiple purposes or swap carriers to repurpose your Fr8 when your needs change.
- Universal ergonomics
The sitting position is comfortably upright. Both Fr8 frame types feature a proprietary (and protected) non-radial seat-tube geometry called the “Adaptive Seat Tube”. The handlebar reach and seat tube angle actually vary accordingly with the height of the saddle, following the ergonomic norms of the population. To state it simply: A woman of 160cm feels as comfortable on the Fr8 as a man of 200cm. The Fr8 Universal frame reliably fits riders from about 155cm to 200cm and the Cross frame fits from about 170cm to well, we haven’t yet met a guy too big.
This makes the Fr8 an ideal bicycle to share; for a rental company, within a chemical plant, or within a family. The Fr8 is also a bicycle a teenager will never outgrow (or destroy).
- TIG welded chromium molybdnum steel frames
Very large diameter, 4130 chrome-moly tubing makes the Fr8 frame stiffer and stronger and more corrosion resistant than frames from other manufacturers. The front fork is also chrome-moly steel with oversized steering tube and blades. After six years of production and thousands of Fr8’s in daily service nobody has yet managed to bend or break a Fr8 frame or fork!
Frames are coated first inside and out with a special zinc-based anti-rust primer and then covered with a tough and environmentally friendly powder-coat. Each frame is guaranteed for 10 years.
- Integrated fittings
Mounting carriers and accessories to the Fr8 is easy because of the necessary fittings are built into the frame: front and rear carriers, steering stabilizer, storage box, child seats and footrests. Accessories developed in the future will use the same fittings as well. Naturally all fittings for control cables, brake reaction arms and lighting are also integrated into the frame and fork.
- Frame-mounted carriers
The Fr8 front carriers are solidly affixed to the frame meaning that they don’t turn with the handlebars and front wheel. The frame geometry is also specifically developed for use with its carriers, enabling the Fr8 to handle easily and safely even with very heavy loads.
- The “Escape Hatch”
On other bicycles changing rear tires and inner tubes is a time consuming job requiring an experienced mechanic. The Fr8’s proprietary Escape Hatch enables the rear tire to be changed quickly, without touching the sealed drivetrain.
- Heavy-duty 26” wheels
Fr8 City variants have wheels with strong, box-section, aluminium rims, 36 2,3mm stainless spokes and smooth riding and durable 55mm wide balloon tires with Kevlar anti-puncture layers.
- Stainless parts & hardware
The handlebar, stem, brake/gear cables, spokes, carrier brackets and almost all of the nuts, bolts and washers are made of stainless steel so they won’t rust even when stored outdoors for years.
- Sealed hub gears & brakes
Fr8 City variants have fully sealed 3 or 8 speed Shimano Nexus (or Nuvinci CVT) hub gears with a rear coaster (backpedal) brake or roller (hand) brake. They offer foolproof shifting even while stopped, require almost no maintenance and are out of harm’s way. Industrial variants keep it simple with a super tough, automatic shifting, 2-speed SRAM coaster brake. Road-going models are normally equipped with Shimano front roller brakes (a low maintenance type of drum brake) unaffected by weather and your choice of either rear coaster or roller brake. For those in hillier areas and for Fr8’s with electric assist powerful Magura hydraulic rim brakes are available.
- Chain-case & mudguards
The sealed chain-case means no dirty trousers and almost no chain maintenance. The mudguards are stainless steel and powder-coated steel to take a beating and never rust. There is no need to wear special clothes to ride the Fr8.
- Hub dynamo powered lights
Fr8 City bicycles are equipped with bright, reliable and silent running lighting systems that require no batteries and almost no maintenance. The front hub dynamo (generator) is protected from harm and runs without noticeable drag or sound. The B&M headlamp has a powerful LED with a clean beam pattern. The tail-lamps have LEDs with a 100,000 hour life-span and energy storage circuitry to remain on for a few minutes while stopped (called “standlight”). Double wiring is routed though the fork, frame and rear mudguard where it’s invisible and out of harm’s way. An even more powerful headlamp with stand light is optional.
Fr8 Frame Types
There are two Fr8 frame styles available. Both are strong enough for the roughest use and have the same special geometry that makes the Fr8 ride so well under so many conditions. All Fr8 carriers and parts fit either frame with the exception of the advertising board that only fits the Universal frame.
- Fr8 Universal frame
As its name suggests this is the ideal frame for most general use. The Universal has a fairly low instep for convenience but is as suitable for men as for women. It adjusts to properly fit riders from about 155cm to 200cm (5’3” to 6’6”), more than 95% of the adult population in Europe and North America. With a longer seat post (from a Brompton folding bike) it’ll even fit taller riders.
- Fr8 Cross frame
The Fr8 Cross is a men’s style frame that fits riders from about 170cm to about 215cm (5’7” to 7’). The crossed top-tubes enable the same stand-over height as a 58cm frame while the saddle and handlebars can be adjusted to the equivalent of frame sizes more than 75cm tall.
Fr8 Componentry Variants
These are the basic build packages available. As their descriptions imply the “City” models are intended for general use on public roads, while Industry models are generally used in factories, around plants and other closed terrains. Adapting the Fr8 to suit your requirements and regulations is also possible. Please inquire.
- Fr8 City NR3D & NN3D
The Fr8 City 3sp is equipped for for the rigors of daily, outdoor use: Great lighting with hub dynamo, 3-speed gearing, top quality and nothing you don’t need. You’ll mostly use the direct-drive second gear, but the 33% reduction first gear can be very handy on a heavily loaded bike. The 33% overdrive third gear is for the occasional tailwind or downhill grade. The NR3D has rear coaster brake (backpedal) and the NN3D has a rear rollerbrake. The 3sp models now feature the same top-of-the-line IM80 roller brakes as the 8sp versions.
- Fr8 City NR8D & NN8D
The City 8sp is the same as the 3sp above, except with a Shimano 8-speed hub. The 8sp hub offers a much wider range of gears for hillier areas, though the spacing between gears is smaller as well. You’ll shift more in normal use. Not only is the 8sp hub more pleasant to use, it’s also much stronger than the 3sp and thanks to large, thick hub flanges wheels built around the 8sp hubs are much more durable. The only difference between the two versions is rear coaster brake (backpedal) on the NR8D and rear rollerbrake (hand operated) on the NN8D.
- Fr8 City NNiD
The City NNiD features the super strong and smooth NuVinci Constantly Variable Transmission. This unique drivetrain actually has no steps at all between ratios. You can turn the shifter a tiny bit and change your “gear” by say 1%, which is really nice. The range of ratios is also greater than the Shimano 8sp: 360% vs. 305%. On the other hand the NuVinci is considerably more expensive.
- Fr8 Industry-Netherlands
The Fr8 for internal transport, stripped of all but the essentials and as heavy-duty as possible: extraordinarily strong wheels, an automatic shifting, 2-speed coaster brake, no cables or lights and nearly flat-proof tires. The Fr8 Industry also has a special HD chain, abuse resistant open chain guard and nearly indestructible saddle.
- Fr8 Industry-International
This is the same as above, except that it adds a Shimano front roller brake and basic dynamo lighting system to make it street-legal in most European countries. Though the Industry is acceptable for road use the City models are nicer riding and better equipped all-around city bikes.
Outfit the basic Fr8 bicycle for your needs:
- Brooks Leather Saddles
Brooks leather saddles are beautiful, durable and gradually form to their owner’s anatomy. They’ll last many years if cared for, but a leather saddle can be permanently stretched out by being ridden wet too much. B67 is the standard size, while the “S” designates the “slightly shorter” or ladies’ versions. Brown is standard. Honey and Black sometimes available, maybe for small additional fee.
- Anti-theft cable
In some cities a saddle with a quick-release will get stolen, so we can fit a small cable from the frame to the saddle. It’s discrete and allows room for adjustment.
- Handlebar bend
The standard Fr8 handlebar is called the “Moon” bend and most riders prefer it for its leverage, comfortable wrist position and clearance around child seats. We also offer the square bend “Transport” handlebar. The Transport bar is more traditional looking and pulls further back toward the rider, providing a very upright position. Neither handlebar is “better”; it’s a matter of taste.
- Special Colors
For an extra charge the Fr8 can be powder-coated in your choice of one or more colors. The special color fee applies whether we paint an entire bike or just one part.
We also periodically have a batch of frames and parts painted in a color we think is nice. For lack or a better description we call these “Seasonal Colors” and charge only half as much as the custom color option. Just ask what the current seasonal colors are.
And if that doesn’t make it hard enough to decide we also keep a stock of carriers, child saddle frames and even some rims and fenders in many fun colors so you can mix and match. We normally just charge a half hour labor fee to swap out the carriers for another color, and an hour labor fee for the rims or fenders.
Note that we are limited to colors from the “RAL Classic” range (about 200 options). Most corporate graphics are specified from the Pantone system so it’s your responsibility to choose the best match in the RAL system. This is something we are not qualified or equipped to do.
- Advertising board
With this addition the Fr8 Universal frame gets a large advertising surface. Note that it effectively converts the frame into a “men’s” type frame, though one with a fairly low instep. Tough steel construction. Workcycles can also put your graphics on the board for an additional cost.
- Laser cut nameplate
We can even weld custom nameplates into the Fr8 frame. This is handy to identify fleet bikes but also fun to personalize your own bike. Maximum six characters.
- Custom build-up
Special versions of the Fr8 can be built for fleet use such as for rentals or postal delivery. Please contact us to discuss the possibilities.
Carriers & Parking Stands
Probably never before has so much attention been focused on producing such strong, versatile, good riding cargo carriers for a bicycle… and conversely on designing a bicycle to carry such large loads. All Fr8 load carriers are very securely bolted into the frame where they have little effect on steering.
- Massive Rack
The “mother ship” of front carriers, the Massive Rack is a huge carrier strong enough for any load you dare pedal. A rock-stable and smooth working parking stand folds up behind the front wheel. The carrier surface fits Euro-norm 60 x 40cm boxes and bins perfectly. The Massive Rack was designed for industry and delivery but its also handy and fun for daily transportation if you don’t mind attracting some attention. Carry a couple friends to the pub.
- City carrier
This frame-mounted, medium-sized, front carrier is strong and extremely handy. It’s ideal for city use, for example in combination with child seats. It’s also perfect for business use when the loads don’t warrant the Massive Rack. Typically a crate, box or basket is mounted on the City carrier and because it is affixed to the frame the load has no influence on the bike’s handling or parking stability.
- Center stand
Fr8 bikes not equipped with the Massive Rack need a parking stand. We use the excellent Hebie 2-legged stand. We can fit the more stable Ursus Jumbo stand (that folds outward for a wider stance) but warn that they really don’t last very long. Count on replacing it each year or so.
- Long rear carrier
The Fr8 rear carrier is long and versatile. While most rear carriers seem to be installed just to fulfill the expectation that a bike has one, the Fr8 carrier is a carefully engineered basis for either delivery or child transport.
The carrier is long and stiff enough to ride stably with big newspaper delivery panniers.
Pannier support frames keep heavily loaded bags away from the rear wheel.
The excellent Qibbel rear seats clamp right on (and are our top recommendation). Bobike Maxi or Junior child seats can be easily installed onto an integrated mounting point. WorkCycles double rear seat setup is the simplest way to carry two older kids (6+); it’s just a long cushion, a backrest and two sets of folding footrests.
Two GMG 911 (for 6+) or a 911 and a GMG T30 (for 1+) seats also fit but have been out of production for several years so you’ll need to find your own 2nd hand.
- No rear carrier needed?
No problem. An Fr8 with front carrier often doesn’t need a rear carrier. In this case the rear mudguard and taillamp/reflector will be mounted on an extremely sturdy tubular “bumper”. The bumper does triple duty, also protecting the taillamp and mudguard, and serving as a handle as well.
Boxes, Bins & Bags
Below are some popular examples of bags, baskets, bins, boxes, cases and crates that can be combined with the Fr8 carriers to move your goods around.
- Closed, aluminium box
This lightweight, weather-sealed box with a locking lid fits nicely on the Massive Rack. It is 60 x 40 x 33cm tall, making it great for deliveries, carrying tools or just doing the groceries.
- Closed, wicker box
The classic wicker box with hinged lid is just as handy as its charming. 60 x 40 x 40cm tall.
- Euronorm box
These indestructible 60 x 40cm plastic industrial boxes fit perfectly into the Massive Rack. We have them 22cm or 33cm tall in light gray, red, blue and (recycled) dark gray. A simple hinged lid is available.
- Workcycles “MT” crate
A tough, black plastic box that fits the Pickup rack perfectly. It’s 50 x 30 x 20cm tall.
- Milk crate
The perforated Dutch milk crate is a favorite in Amsterdam. Indestructible black plastic. It’s 43 x 35 x 27cm tall.
- Clarijs cargo panniers
Simple, functional and waterproof panniers hand made by our friends in Zeeland in a dazzling array of color combinations. European truck tarp material (“Bisonyl”). 46 liters big.
Highly customizable including many colors and combinations, rings for locks, cutouts for child seats, hand-cut flowers, insert shopper bags, printed business graphics… We always have a random bunch of examples in stock or you can design your own.
Fr8 Child Transport Options
The Fr8 makes an ideal child transport bike. The long frame has plenty of room for both parents and child seats. The Fr8’s extreme stiffness, transport-bike geometry and fat tires translate into amazingly stable, safe cycling even when loaded with squirming kids and groceries. The low cranks and shallow seat angle bring you close to the ground for easy mounts and dismounts. All of the accessories needed to carry various combinations of kids have been designed to bolt on securely and without fuss.
Smaller children from about 9 months old to about 15kg can ride in a front seat which is nicest for both child and parent. Rear seats are used for kids from 9 months to about 9 years old or 35kg. Front and rear seats can be used together.
Child transport is too extensive and important a topic to cover in detail here but below is a quick overview of the options. Contact us to discuss your specific needs.
- Front child saddle
This saddle with foldable footrests mounted behind the handlebar is a minimalist and fun way to carry a child mature enough to hold on securely. You can easily talk with your child and they feel like they’re really riding. Kids really love riding here. Having your child here has the least influence on handling. The simple frame bolts securely to the front carrier mounts on the down-tube of the Fr8. It fits both the Universal and Cross frames and can be used in combination with a front carrier.
How old must a child be to ride on this saddle? Well, that depends on the child and the situation. In the Netherlands many two year olds ride on the saddle but that’s in safe cycling conditions and with kids who’ve grown up on bikes. A four year old is normally absolutely secure sitting here. We’ll let you use your judgement.
- Bobike Mini
The Mini is beginning to look a little old fashioned compared to the newer Yepp Mini but it’s still our favorite front seat. The biggest plus of the Bobike is that the footrests are tucked in nicely so it works much better in combination with a front crate than the more voluminous Yepp. Mounting is simple. The Mini fits all Fr8 variants except in combination with the Massive Rack. There are various accessories such as the windscreen to keep baby (and parent) warm and dry, and a little handlebar/sleeping pad. Additional mounting blocks are available to use the Mini on other bikes as well.
- Yepp Mini
The Yepp seats are made of that skinned foam stuff that Crocs made so popular and it’s ideal for a child seat because it’s soft and absorbs no water. The Yepp also incorporates nice features such as a secure five point harness and quickly adjustable footrests. Like the Bobike Mini there’s a windscreen available and the Yepp also comes in several colors. Downside: You basically won’t be able to use a front crate together with the Yepp Mini, in our experience a huge bummer.
- Qibbel Achterzitje
This fairly new seat is our favorite for younger kids on the Fr8 and Gr8. It fits perfectly with a minimum of hardware, is adjustable in angle and is generally just a nicely designed and made seat. The pads, by some miracle of textile engineering, don’t absorb water. Foot protectors are built in so the Fr8 footguards aren’t necessary with this seat.
- Bobike Maxi
The Maxi is a rear seat suitable for kids from 9 months to about 22kg and it affixes directly to the loop on the Fr8 rear carrier. Again, its available in various colors and variations. Foot-guards must be fitted (see below).
- Bobike Junior
The Junior is for kids from about 6 years old up to about 32kg. A nice feature is that it folds up so that you can use the top surface as a carrier. Foot-guards must be fitted (see below).
- Qibbel 6+
As the name implies this minimalist seat is for kids six and older. It fits the Fr8 rear carrier perfectly and replaces the much missed GMG 911. Just note that the Qibbel footrests are junk so we fit our own (and charge a little more too).Foot-guards MUST be fitted as well.
- WorkCycles Super-Duper Foot-guards
Essentially the same idea as jacket or dress guards fitted to the mudguard on either side of the rear wheel, these offer more coverage, more secure mounting and are much tougher. The guards are unobtrusive in tough grey plastic.
Note September 2014: The supplier for the WorkCycles Super-Duper Foot-guards went bankrupt and they’re almost out of stock now. Rest assured we’re working on WorkCycles Even-Better Super-Duper Foot-guards.
Notes, Terms and Conditions
Prices and specifications are subject to change without notice.
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