Espresso en Bakfietsen

espresso-bakfiets 2 on-your-trike

Coffee is good. Bakfietsen are good. So why not combine them into mobile coffee vending trikes? It’s a business with a very low barrier to entry, catchy and probably fun too. Great idea and though you write us weekly to build such a beast… you’re actually not the first one to think of it. You might have first seen it on TV.

In 2005 Paul Sabin from Kent, England bought a couple of our classic bakfietsen, fitted them with a gas-fired espresso machines and the necessary plumbing and called his Little business “Tradecycle” Paul’s trikes were featured in an episode of “The Apprentice” on BBC1. Somebody’s coffee trikes were also featured on Eastenders, though I’m not sure whether they were Paul’s. Paul bought a couple more bikes over the next couple years but somehow the publicity didn’t jump-start their business. It did, on the other hand, launch a growing interest in coffee bikes. Since then hundreds of Workcycles classic trikes have been built into espresso bakfietsen, coffee trikes, coffee bikes, cafe bikes, kaffefahrrader… whatever you prefer to call them. Basically if you see such a beast on big chassis that looks like a Workcycles, it is one of ours.

Below the original Tradecycle coffee trike. All were built on a WorkCycles chassis but each one was a little different from its predecessor.
espresso-bakfiets-tradecycle (1)

Meanwhile mobile coffee vending specialists Coffee Latino from the other end of England took a look at the offerings and decided they could do better. Being the only such vehicle in the world they also begin with a Workcycles classic bakfiets chassis as the basis. They then fit their Fracino LPG-fired espresso machines with gas and water plumbing that meet UK standards. They sell their bikes throughout the world so apparently these systems will also meet the regulations of most other countries. These new coffee bakfietsen are sold under the name of On Your Trike. If you want a turn-key coffee trike you needn’t look any further; contact On Your Trike.

So will Workcycles build you a complete espresso bakfiets / coffee trike? No, that’s just a bit too specialized for us. Thanks for asking but we’ll happily build you the chassis, box, canopy and stabilizer legs, and perhaps other adaptations as needed: a little front table, a well for the gas bottle, a compartment for a fridge, hatches and drawers to store things…

Building on our platform the experts can select the most suitable espresso machine and coffee grinder, as well as safely rigging up the machines, gas, electricity and water. Only complicating matters further is that each country and sometimes municipality has its own laws about safety, food hygiene and mobile vending. Workcycles not only doesn’t have expertise in these areas, we’re also not certified to do the plumbing and other critical work. Think about it: Water, high pressure steam, electricity, gas… all running in the tight confines of a tiny, enclosed kitchen. That’s a job for a specialist.

Many of our customers do go the do-it-yourself route though. They buy a Workcycles bakfiets and sort out the installation of their equipment with local experts. Below is a nice example from Sven Boerner in Leipzig, Germany. He built his own beautiful espressobakfiets for his coffee vending business. You can check it out on Sven’s own site (in German language): Das Kaffeefahrrad
espresso-bakfiets sven boerner

Of course the vending applications for these bikes are hardly limited to coffee. We’ve built trikes to (just out of my head): Grill hotdogs, make and sell panini, soup, crepes, sandwiches, sell souvenirs, ice cream, as mobile puppet theaters, to promote licorice and life insurance and certainly ten other things I can’t remember right now.


Meanwhile I was thinking about selling Dutch “peperkoek” (“spice cake”?) from a bakfiets but it doesn’t seem to be catching on.

Need coffee trikes (or trikes for another purpose) just contact us:

34 Responses to “Espresso en Bakfietsen”

  1. Nicolas Says:

    Nice bikes, espresso… add a fresh, crisp pils on tap on there and you’ve got the most perfect object ever.
    (The pictures are kinda big, would you resize them? Or is that just a problem for me and my IE6 at work?)

  2. henry Says:

    Nicolas, Thanks. Beer certainly would be a nice addition but will probably have to be a partner trike parked next to the espressobakfiets; These bikes are already quite packed with equipment, plumbing and supplies.

  3. henry Says:

    Oh… the pictures look the right size on the browsers/computers we use and I haven’t heard anybody else with problems (of course now you’ll all tell me the same); Must be an IE thing. Maybe time to try a better browser.

  4. Amsterdamize Says:

    definitely an IE6 thing (“It’s not a bug, it’s a feature”) :-0

    Beautiful bakfietsen, if I ever spot one on my rides, I will stop, no matter what. Gotta have a fix(ie) like that 😉

  5. Norma Says:

    Nice article in which your bikes are mentioned:

  6. M Says:

    Go see the espresso bakfiets in Artis (amsterdam Zoo)
    They have also bikes for selling soup, hotdogs and icecream.

  7. henry Says:

    Yes, we built those Artis bakfietsen. There are 15 of them in total and I’ve got lots of pictures on Flickr:

    Maybe I’ll do a blog post about them.

  8. Claudia Says:


    Your link is very interesting and I’ll really wanna know how much such a Espresso trike/ bike costs? The whole logy costs. My email: [email protected] Thanks you!

  9. henry Says:

    Hello Claudia,
    One of the main points of the post was that WorkCycles does not offer complete Espresso Trikes. Please contact one of the firms discussed in the post. On Your Trike can certainly supply a complete bike to Germany, for example. Good luck!

  10. Yuri Chopyk Says:

    Please advise how to buy Espresso en Bakfietsen. My e-mail address: [email protected]
    Thank you!

    Yuri Chopyk

  11. Mandy Arnold Says:

    We open in April 2012, a coffee at a lake in Markkleeberg. We would like to offer our coffee with a coffee bike.
    Can you give us a contact. Where can we buy or build such a bike?
    Thank you and best regards from Germany!

  12. henry Says:

    Please contact us at Workcycles: info at workcycles dot com

    We can supply the basic bike as described above or now we can also offer a completely equipped espresso trike.

  13. Tor Johansson Says:


    If someone still reads this page can you please confirm why workcycles are not trading any more, what is the reason?



  14. henry Says:

    Workcycles is doing business as usual. I’ve no idea what you mean. Both of our shops are open today if you’ve any questions.

  15. Tor Johansson Says:

    Hello Henry,

    ok, in the article above it said “The Tradecycle website is still online but they’re no longer in operation” so i thought this was the case.

    I am myself a keen entrerenur and are building my own workbikes for own use and as a business and was only wondering how you feel this is as a business venture, are the profits sustainable and do you trade all year around?



  16. Tor Johansson Says:

    Hello Henry,

    It’s me not reading the article correctly, it is tradecycle that is not opperating that i was checking out NOT workcycle.

    My appologies, and no i am not building the bike just the unit that goes on top.


  17. Masud A. Khan Says:

    I am interested to establish a Coffee Brand with such Mobile Sales Van.
    As such, I want to import similar vans fitted with LP Gas driven Coffee Vending Machines.
    Masud Ahmed Khan
    MAKhan & Associates
    Daffodil Tower (Apt. C#1)
    House # 22, Road # 28, Dhanmondi,
    Dhaka – 1209, Bangladesh
    Tel: 88 02 8153507
    Cell: 88 01711 327145
    E-Mail: [email protected]

  18. roy Says:


    I was wondering how do you get the electric power if your underway…
    sun powered generator or batterys??



  19. henry Says:

    The espresso machine is always gas powered. The coffee grinder and espresso controls (if any) are powered by a rechargeable battery. Some do add solar panels on the roof to extend the battery run time.

  20. Oksen Gyulnazaryan Says:

    I would really like to buy one of those coffee bikes. Please advise me how can I do it and the price also.

  21. Oksen Gyulnazaryan Says:

    I would really like to buy one of those coffee bikes. Please advise me how can I do it and the price also.
    [email protected]

  22. henry Says:

    Please just send us a note at [email protected] and I reply with a price sheet and help you understand what you need and what it’ll cost.

  23. chris Says:

    hi, i’m impressed about your bike. But is it possible to intergrate a grillplate and or cooler in to the car? or other things like a slushpuppy machine? we would like to start a business selling homemade cooled lemonade and maybe grilled sausages with bread. Please let know. kind regards, chris.

  24. chris Says:

    And is it possible to – due to expanding- add a second car to it in the same style but has a towing bracket instead of the bicycle?

  25. Three thumbs Up wheels caffe Says:

    Anyone interested in the coffee trike and how to get into the coffee mobile business with one of these find espresso carts in North America feel free to drop me a line or go to our web page

    We can supply the trike as a turn key business and offer you training and how to market your new business.

    Three thumbs Up .wheels caffe



  26. Ondrej Says:

    Hi all, kindly ask you for help. please advise where to buy the coffee trinke/bike. what is an average price for it? thank you in advance. feel free to write me on [email protected]

  27. henry Says:

    This is the blog of WorkCycles, the manufacturer of these bikes. Please just send us a note at [email protected] and I’ll reply with a price sheet and help you understand what you need and what it’ll cost.

  28. Three thumbs Up wheels caffe Says:

    We look after any sales that go into Canada …

  29. Martin Says:

    Could you help me who does public liability insurance for these bikes?
    Also what is the aprox fee for the documents what I need to be allowed
    to trade?
    Many thanks!

  30. Joshua Mendoza Says:

    Hi I’m Joshua Mendoza and I want to know Where can I get a coffee bike? What is the price? and if Can ship to Mexico? my mail is [email protected] Thank if I provide information; tks 😉

  31. Eder Ruiz Says:

    Hello I’m Eder and I want to know where can I get a coffee bike? What is the price? and if Can ship to Mexico? my mail is: [email protected] thank you very much.

  32. Lianne ruiter Says:


    Mijn mam heeft ook een bakfiets en is hem aan het restaureren en hij lijkt heel erg op de lotus peperkoek bakfiets.
    Maar nu is de vraag of u ook een foto kunt sturen vanaf de andere kant van de fiets.

    Met vriendelijke groet,

    Lianne Ruiter

  33. Elizabeth Guevara Says:

    Hola, estoy interesada en comprar una, me podrían decir cuanto cuesta?

  34. harald Broszey Says:

    Can I buy it???

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