Overview: WorkCycles Fr8 Transport Bikes
Fr8 Series Bicycles Overview
Last Edit: April 2017
The WorkCycles Fr8 (pronounced “Freight”) is our 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 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.
The Fr8 is also available with a powerful and smooth mid motor electric assist. The Fr8 V8 enables you to ride further, with greater loads and in hillier terrain.
Like all WorkCycles bikes the Fr8 is hand built in the Netherlands. This enables us to use the special parts and finishes required for heavy-duty bicycles, maintain top quality and provide flexibility to build bikes 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 many applications. Thus all of the Fr8 models referred to on the WorkCycles website are essentially variations of the same bicycle; 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 up to three kids: one or two on the rear carrier and one either in a child seat or 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 industrial Fr8 models 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 technology. Its an ideal vehicle for the photographer, baker, deli, handyman…
- Heavy cyclists
The Fr8 is strong enough for the heaviest “Clydsedale” 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 folks 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) geometry called the “Adaptive Seat Tube”. The handlebar reach and reactionship to the pedals actually vary accordingly with the height of the saddle. 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; amongst employees, within a family or with your customers.
- TIG welded chromium molybdenum steel frames
Very large diameter, 4130 chrome-moly tubing makes the Fr8 frame far stiffer, stronger and more corrosion resistant than frames from other manufacturers. The front fork is also chrome-moly steel with oversized steering tube and blades. Each frame is guaranteed for 10 years though after nine years of production and thousands of Fr8’s in daily service nobody has yet managed to bend or break a Fr8 frame or fork!
- Integrated fittings
Mounting carriers and accessories to the Fr8 is easy because the fittings are cleanly integrated in 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 so they don’t turn with the handlebars and front wheel. Loads have almost no influence on steering and the bike stands solidly when parked. Thanks to the Fr8’s unique frame geometry it handles easily and safely even with very heavy loads or squirming kids.
- The “Escape Hatch”
On other bicycles changing rear tires and inner tubes is a time consuming job requiring an experienced (preferably Dutch) mechanic. The Fr8’s proprietary Escape Hatch enables the rear tire to be changed quickly, without touching the enclosed drivetrain.
- Heavy-duty 26” wheels
The Fr8 rolls on super durable wheels with box-section, aluminium rims, 2,3mm stainless spokes and smooth riding, highly puncture resistant 55mm wide balloon tires.
- Stainless steel parts & hardware
The handlebar, stem, brake/gear cables, spokes 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’s have sealed internal hub gears (2, 3, 8, 11 or NuVinci CVT) with either a rear coaster (backpedal) brake or roller (hand) brake. They offer foolproof shifting even while stopped, require minimal 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 the Fr8 V8 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 tough, powder coated stainless 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 bikes are equipped with bright, reliable and silent running lighting systems that require no batteries. The front hub dynamo (generator) runs silently without noticeable drag. 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 remains 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 applications. The Universal has a low instep for convenience but is as suitable for men as for women. It adjusts to properly fit almost everybody; riders from about 155cm to 200cm (5’3” to 6’6”). With a longer seat post 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 Component Options
These are the basic build packages available. The City models are for general use on public roads, while Industry versions are for factories, around plants and other closed terrains.
- Fr8 V8
This is the Fr8 with electric motor assist via a Schachner (Austria) motor in the crank. With 250W continuous power output and an 11Ah battery in the frame the Fr8 V8 expands your capabilities. Commute 20km, ride with your kids to the football game in another town, run errands around a hilly city…
- Fr8 City NR8D & NN8D
Our most popular Fr8 models are equipped with the Shimano Nexus 8 speed hubs.The 8sp hub offers a wide enough gear range for most situations. It’s smooth running and tough. The large, thick hub flanges help us build particularly durable rear wheels. Both NN8D and NR8D include a front rollerbrake (hand operated). The NN8D has a rear hand brake while the NR8D has a coaster (backpedal) brake.
- Fr8 City NR3D & NN3D
These models are the same as above but with less expensive three speed gearing. You’ll mostly use the direct-drive second gear, but the 33% reduction first gear can be very handy. The 33% overdrive third gear is for the occasional tailwind or downhill grade. Again, both versions have a front rollerbrake. NR3D has rear coaster brake (backpedal) and the NN3D has a rear rollerbrake.
- Fr8 City NNiD
The City NNiD features the super strong and smooth NuVinci N380 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: 380% vs. 305%. Probably the biggest feature of the NuVinci is its extreme durability, thus we build most Fr8 V8 (electric assist) bikes with the NuVinci hub.
Fr8 City HH11D, HHiD & HH8D
For those needing (or wanting) far more braking power than Shimano Rollerbrakes we offer the fantastic Magura HS11 hydraulic rim brakes in combination with the 3sp, 8sp and NuVinci options. These are extremely reliable and low maintenance brakes but they do require occasional pad replacement.
Only available with the Magura brakes is the Shimano Alfine 11sp hub (HH11D). This hub offers both the widest range (408%) and the most efficient power transmission.
- Fr8 Industry-NL
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 heavy duty chain, abuse resistant open chain guard and nearly indestructible saddle.
- Fr8 Industry-International
This is the same as above, except with a Shimano front roller brake and simple hub dynamo lighting system to make it street-legal in most European countries. Though the Industry is acceptable for road use the City models are far 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 can last 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; more traditional looking and with more pullback 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 or fun to personalize your own bike. Maybe it’s a theft deterrent or will at least help you recover your bike if it’s stolen. Maybe that’s wishful thinking. Maximum six characters.
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 almost no effect on steering.
- Massive Rack
The “mother ship” of front racks, 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 brilliant for daily transportation. Carry a couple friends to the pub if you like.
This frame-mounted, medium-sized, front carrier is extremely handy and basically indestructible. It’s ideal for urban 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.
Fr8 bikes not equipped with the Massive Rack need a parking stand. The stand has a very wide stance for stability but folds inward when not in use.
- Long rear carrier
The Fr8 rear carrier is long, strong 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 also be easily installed onto an integrated mounting point. WorkCycles double rear seat setup is the simplest way to carry two older kids (6+); it includes a long cushion, a backrest and two sets of folding footrests.
- No rear carrier needed?
No problem. An Fr8 with front carrier doesn’t necessarily need a rear carrier. The rear mudguard and taillamp/reflector will be mounted on an extremely sturdy tubular “bumper” instead.
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’s 60 x 40 x 33cm tall, making it great for deliveries, carrying tools or just doing (lots of) groceries.
- 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. When combined with a front child seat we cut away part of the MT crate’s rear panel for foot clearance.
- Milk crate
The perforated Dutch milk crate is a favorite in Amsterdam. Ugly, 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.
Carrying kids on the Fr8
The Fr8 is an ideal child transport bike. In fact it’s something of a cult object in Amsterdam. The long frame has plenty of room for even tall parents and children. 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 keep 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 and footrests behind the handlebar is the sweetest way to carry a child mature enough to hold on securely. You can easily talk with your child and they see the world from your perspective. Kids really love riding here and the bike handles better than with the child in the rear. The saddle frame bolts securely to the integrated mounts on the Fr8 down-tube, fits both Universal and Cross frames and can be with or without the front carrier.
For what age range is the Fr8 child saddle suitable? Here in the NL kids start at about two years old and don’t generally outgrow it before they’re riding their own bikes around town. Some customers even say that mom sits there occasionally for a romantic ride with dad.
- Bobike Mini
The Mini looks 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 one 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.
- Qibbel Achterzitje
This is our favorite car seat 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.
- Qibbel 6+
As the name implies this minimalist seat is for kids six and older. It fits the Fr8 rear carrier perfectly. The Qibbel footrests are junk so we include our own in our kit. Foot-guards MUST be fitted as well.
- WorkCycles foot-guards
Essentially very strong, broad dress guards fitted to the mudguard on either side of the rear wheel to keep little feet away from the spokes. The guards are unobtrusive in tough transparent/smoke plastic.
Notes, Terms and Conditions
Prices and specifications are subject to change without notice.
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