Which frame size do I need ?
The Fr8 Universal frame has a low instep for convenience but is as suitable for men as for women and comes in one size. It features a proprietary geometry called the “Adaptive Seat Tube” or AST. The handlebar reach and reactionship to the pedals actually vary accordingly with the height of the saddle. To state it simply; the Fr8 Universal frame reliably fits riders from about 155cm to 200cm. This makes the Fr8 an ideal bicycle for sharing.
The Fr8 cross is a men’s style frame that fits riders from about 170cm to about 210cm (5’7” to 6’9”). The Fr8 cross frame features the same “Adaptive Seat Tube” as the Universal frame. 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. The seat tube of the Fr8 cross frame is longer than seat tube of Fr8 universal frame.
How much does the bike weigh ?
A Universal frame Fr8 with roller brakes front & rear and an 8 speed hub weighs around 28 kg. The same bike with a 3 speed hub weighs around 25 kg. The total weight depends on how you build up the bike; 3 speed, 8 speed, Enviolo, front carrier, rear carrier, crate, chain lock, child seats, etc. The Fr8 is a transport bicycle built with an incredibly stiff and strong chromoly frame with heavy duty components, it isn’t meant to be a light bicycle. Transport bicycles are all about bearing loads, reliability, practicality, comfort and ease of use. These factors are more important than the actual weight of the bike itself. If you are riding over very hilly or even mountainous terrain then weight becomes important, a proper touring bike would be more suited to that kind of terrain.
What are the dimensions, how long is the Fr8 ?
With a city front carrier and long rear carrier mounted the Fr8 measures 190cm end to end. The widest point is the brake lever tip to brake lever tip distance, between 60 and 70cm depending on the handlebar choice. The height depends on how high you have your handlebar, on average this is around 120cm. The wheelbase is 118 cm.
The Fr8 and the Gr8 look the same, what’s the difference ?
Almost daily we’re asked “What’s the difference between the WorkCycles Fr8 and Gr8?” or “Would a Fr8 or Gr8 be better for my needs?”. They’re certainly fair questions considering that, at least in photos, the two bikes look very similar. The Fr8 (“Freight” or “Vracht”) is the super versatile load carrier. It’s long wheelbase, load specific geometry and extremely heavy duty construction make it ideal for transporting heavy stuff. The Gr8 (“Great” or “Gracht”) is our hyper versatile city bike. Though nearly as tough as big brother Fr8, the Gr8 has a much shorter wheelbase with steering geometry tuned to be much more responsive and fun. It’s 3 kg lighter than the Fr8 which is handy as a personal bike though rather irrelevant as a family or load carrier. The Gr8’s frame ergonomics are also smaller than the Fr8 in both height and length so it fits almost the smallest of adults but will feel smallish for very tall men. The Massive Rack, Fr8 child saddle and double rear kid’s seat options are not compatible with the Gr8.
What are the available colors, can I choose the color ?
After selecting which Fr8 setup suits your needs you can choose which color scheme you would like the bike to come in. It’s also possible to have a custom color that you choose yourself or colored rims. There are extra costs involved in building a special order custom color bike.
What is the build time after ordering ?
Normal build time after ordering is around 8 weeks, it depends somewhat on your order. A standard color Fr8 with roller brakes and a Nexus 8 hub normally takes around 6 - 8 weeks to build. Whereas a Fr8 painted in a custom color, with a nameplate and a massive rack would be around 8 - 10 weeks.
I am a larger rider, is this bike suitable for me ?
The cycling industry tends to ignore the fact that there are all kinds of people in the world; small, tall, average, large, thin, at WorkCycles we have all kinds of customers. For many customers buying one of our bikes is the first time they actually have a well fitting comfortable riding bike. The Fr8 is an extraordinarily robustly built bicycle and one of the few bicycles in the world suitable for the larger rider. Interestingly, very tall men generally tax their bicycles and parts harder than heavy guys. For the very tall or very heavy rider we build a special ‘Clydesdale’ spec Fr8. A Clydesdale Fr8 comes outfitted with heavy duty rims, SR Torx saddle, reinforced seat post, double seat post clamp and stronger bottom bracket axle. If you are buying a Brooks B67(s) saddle we suggest a maximum rider weight of around 80 kg (for the saddle, not the bike).
What is a frame fixed front carrier ?
One the best bicycle accessories ever invented. Fr8 front and rear carriers are very securely bolted into the frame where they have almost no effect on steering. This frame-mounted, medium-sized, front carrier is extremely handy, basically indestructible and ideal for urban use. 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.
I already have a Fr8 with city carrier, can I remove it and mount a Massive Rack ?
Yes, the Fr8 is designed as a modular system of parts that can almost universally be interchanged and combined. That means you can use the bike for multiple purposes or swap carriers to repurpose your Fr8 when your needs change. The Massive Rack is securely mounted (with six bolts) to the Fr8’s frame. It doesn’t turn with the handlebars and front wheel when you steer so it has almost no influence on steering and handling. As for a maximum load capacity we’re not really sure, 80kg is absolutely no problem. 125kg won’t break it either but you’ll have to pump the front tire quite hard to steer well. Maybe the most brilliant part of the Massive Rack is its integrated parking stand. At 65cm wide the bike stands as solidly as a house when parked. To deploy the stand just push it down with your foot and roll the bike back a little. Roll the bike forward and the spring-loaded stand folds up automatically behind the front wheel. It’s far enough from the pedals that you’ll never hit it with your feet and high enough from the ground that it cannot bottom out when cornering. Like other Fr8 parts, the Massive Rack can be shipped worldwide. It is only compatible with a WorkCycles Fr8 bicycle.
What is the maximum weight on the carriers ?
Our weight guidelines for the Fr8 are; 40kg on the city carrier, 70kg on the long rear carrier and 80kg on the Massive Rack.
Can an adult sit on the rear carrier, Dutch style side-saddle ?
The Fr8 long rear carrier is strong enough to handle a small adult.
What size crate or basket do you recommend for the city carrier ?
Your Fr8 will need to have the front carrier mounted and suitable crates are available in our webshop. WorkCycles’ own MT crate and the ‘Milk’ crate. The MT crate measures 50 x 30 x 30cm tall with solid walls and a solid base. It has holes for mounting and for water drainage. The perforated Milk crate is a favorite in Amsterdam. Ugly, indestructible, black plastic. It’s 43 x 35 x 27cm tall. Both crates are mounted by means of strong zip ties fastening the crate to the carrier. An additional WorkCycles crate mat functions as an anti-noise mat, locks and groceries don't rattle around anymore. Wooden crates and wicker baskets that have roughly the same dimensions as our crates will also work.
Do you sell crates or boxes for the Massive Rack ?
Any standard 60x40cm crate or box fits perfectly in the Massive Rack and you can either bolt the crate down or secure it with a strap or clips to make it removable. We sell the ‘Euronorm Box’, These indestructible 60 x 40cm plastic industrial boxes fit perfectly into the Massive Rack. We have them 22cm or 33cm tall in black, red or blue. A simple hinged lid is also available. For people looking to have a lockable box on the Massive Rack we sell the closed, aluminum box from Zarges. 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.
The rear fender seems like it’s not long enough and sometimes mud and water fly up, why is this and can it be fixed ?
When it comes to parking your bike, Amsterdam is crowded. Your bike often ends up sandwiched between other people's bikes. Long fenders are nice however in a city like Amsterdam flimsy rear fender stays have a habit of being damaged or broken by other bikes. The Fr8 was designed as a tough urban bicycle, the rear fender was intentionally made shorter so it wouldn’t need a rear fender stay and therefore be less prone to damage. Some customers riding electric assist Fr8s do experience water and mud flying up, this can be fixed by mounting a rubber mudflap.
Does the bike come with a bell, lights, fenders, kickstand and a lock ?
Absolutely, all WorkCycles bicycles come complete with hub dynamo powered LED lighting front and rear, fenders or as they are also called 'mudguards', a double leg parking stand, a frame mounted rear wheel lock with two numbered keys and a bell.
What kind of pedals come with the Fr8 ?
Fr8 bikes normally come with large BMX platform style pedals. Made of steel and hardened plastic with small nobs, these robust pedals are great for comfort and grip. Cycling in sneakers and boots will be fine, they are not suitable for dress shoes with leather soles though. For riders who wear elegant shoes or high heels we offer a more traditional classic city bike pedal with rubber grip.
Can I mount panniers on the back ?
We offer Dutch style panniers from Clarijs. These simple, functional and waterproof panniers are hand made by our friends in Zeeland. They are made from European truck tarp material called Bisonyl. The size XL (44 liter) panniers fit the Fr8 nicely and come with an ‘ADR’ anti-theft ring that will let you run a cable or lock through the bridge of the panniers to secure them to your bike. There are plenty of companies making bicycle panniers, too many for us to keep track of. If you want to use your own panniers and already have something in mind, we recommend buying the bike first so you can check if your favored panniers will fit. The top tubing of the rear carrier is 13mm and the side tubing is 10mm.
Which internally geared hubs do you offer, do you sell the Rohloff hub ?
We currently build Fr8 bikes with four different hubs. The Shimano Nexus 8, which has a wide range (307%) and suits the needs of our riders for most situations. It’s smooth running and tough. The Shimano Nexus 3, which has a moderate range (187%) and is more suited for lightweight cycling, not for heavy cargo. The super strong and smooth Enviolo (NuVinci) 380 by Fallbrook Technologies, which is an internally geared hub with a constantly variable transmission. This unique drivetrain actually has no steps at all between ratios. The range of ratios is also greater than the Shimano Nexus 8: 380% vs. 307% and you can adjust your gear while pedaling up a hill without a pause. The Enviolo is an internally geared hub that is highly suited to the increased chain torque of mid-drive assist motors, more so than the Nexus 8. Lastly the Shimano Alfine 11, the Alfine works just like a Nexus 8 but with a much wider range (409%). The Rohloff hub is very nice but has quite a price tag to it. It makes more sense to have a Rohloff hub on a serious touring bicycle.
Which kid’s seats should I get ?
If you are looking to buy a Fr8 with the intention of using it as a family transport bicycle we sell complete family bike packages, you can get the bike together with the age specific child seats that you need. As your kids grow or your needs change you can always rebuild your Fr8 or change the seating arrangements as necessary. For those of you who already own a Fr8 and need some seats for the kids, or want to know more on which seats work best, here is our Fr8 child seat guide:
Thule Yepp Mini: for a child of 9 months to around 3 years, seat is available in black
Yepp Mini: for a child of 9 months to 3 years, seat is available in various colors
Urban Iki Mini: for a child of 9 months to around 3 years, seat is available in black
Fr8 Child Saddle: for a child of 4 - 8 years, seat (steel part) is available in various colors
Mini seat with crate on the front carrier
Mini seats like the Yepp are mounted to the bicycle’s handlebar stem. This means the seat (and footrests) turn with the handlebars when you steer the bicycle. Because our frame mounted front carrier and crate do not turn when steering, we need to allow some room for the mini seat footrests to do so. The MT crate child has a section of the rear panel removed so the footrests can turn freely. This is only necessary with a stem mounted mini seat not with the Fr8 child saddle. The additional MT Crate mat functions as an anti-noise mat, locks and groceries don't rattle around anymore.
Qibbel Rear Seat: for a child of 9 months to 6 years, 3 point harness belt, seat is available in dark grey with black cushion
Qibbel Air: (lighter version of the Qibbel rear seat) for a child of 9 months to 6 years, 3 point harness belt, seat is available in black
Qibbel Jr: for a child of 4+ years, seat is available in dark grey, we sell the Qibbel Jr complete with a seat belt and WorkCycles’ own strong frame mounted foot pegs
Fr8 Single Seat: 5+ years, complete with backrest, Ventisit cushion and strong frame mounted foot pegs. No seatbelt - as from this age it’s not necessary, the strong foot pegs help with the kid’s sitting safely on the bike
Fr8 Double Seat: for one or two children of 5+ years, (The long rear carrier is strong enough to carry a small adult) complete with one backrest, extra long Ventisit cushion and strong frame mounted foot pegs, no seatbelts (two backrests are not necessary).
Front foot guards are not necessary for Fr8 front seating. Foot guards are necessary for the Qibbel Jr, Fr8 Single Seat and Fr8 Double Seat. The Qibbel Rear Seat and Qibbel Air come with built-in foot guards.
Panniers (and kid’s seats)
It’s not possible to use our panniers with the Fr8 Double Seat option. We offer a specially made set of panniers the Q-LU, which are designed to be used with a Fr8 long rear carrier and the Qibbel Rear Seat or Qibbel Jr. The LU panniers can used with a Fr8 long rear carrier and the Fr8 Single Seat. The Qibbel Air is not compatible with panniers.
Fr8 child saddle & Yepp Mini
The Fr8 has several features that make it a truly unique bicycle. One of them is the distance between head tube and seat tube. The Fr8 frame design allows for a child seat up front and ample room for the adult rider. There is also enough room to mount a Fr8 child saddle and a mini seat, naturally the two cannot be used at the same time. This is a handy feature for families with 3 or more young children. A mini seat can be quickly removed from it's head tube mounting clamp.
Can I use the Brooks leather saddle in the rain ?
Brooks traditional leather bicycle saddles are great but need to be looked after. Treat the topside with Proofide every 6-12 months and keep the underside dry. If possible store the bike in a dry place between rides so that the leather can dry out naturally. Use a waterproof saddle cover when the bike is parked outside in bad weather and remove the saddle cover when you ride the bike. Tension the leather when necessary, if the leather is touching the saddle rail it needs to be tightened. We sell a complete saddle care kit, including; waterproof saddle cover, a sachet of Brooks saddle proofide and a leather tensioning tool.
Do the tires have an anti puncture layer ?
The Schwalbe Big Ben Plus is a good all-round balloon city tire with a reflective sidewall strip and an anti-puncture protection belt.
Do you sell winter tires with spikes ?
Yes, we sell the 26” Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires that will fit the Fr8.
After purchasing what kind of maintenance does the bike need ?
The majority of customers rely on their local bike shop for their maintenance needs. A few customers have experience in looking after bikes and have a garage full of tools in order to do so. About a month after purchasing one of our bikes it should be checked over. Maintenance is highly dependent on how much you ride the bike and whether it sleeps in or outdoors. If you are riding your bike everyday in all weather conditions or it lives outdoors than on average it should receive a full tune-up at least once or twice a year. General maintenance guidelines include:
- air in tires
Half year intervals:
- tension chain
- check brakes and gears
- check headsets
- check steering joints
- replace chain
- check/clean contacts for lighting
- lubricate brake cables to avoid freezing
Two year intervals:
- replace rear cog
- open and lubricate rear hub
- replace rear, maybe front tires
- replace some headset parts
If the bike isn't being used so intensively and/or stored indoors you can probably double or even triple these intervals.
Fixing a flat tire
It is usually not at all necessary to replace the inner tube to replace a flat tire. You just put the bike on it's stand, pull the left side of the tire open, patch the tube and put it back together. You can keep patching the tube until there is either no more room for patches or there is another reason to take the wheel out. Then when replacing a tire or opening the hub for service you replace the tube at the same time.
Nexus 8 (and 4, 5 and 7) speed cable adjustment:
Assuming the cable is gliding smoothly and not kinked or anything the adjustment for the Nexus 8 hub is very straightforward.
- make sure that both ends of the cable housing are sitting properly in their respective receptacles at the shifter and hub
- set the shifter to fourth gear
- just to the right of the cog on the rear hub is an indicator with a pair of yellow lines. The two lines should be aligned when in fourth gear.
- if they're not aligned tighten or loosen the barrel adjuster as need
Due you ship replacement parts, like a new chain case ?
Replacement parts for your bike can be purchased in the Parts section of our webshop. If you need help or need a part that isn’t listed in the parts shop please email us. WorkCycles parts are specifically for WorkCycles bicycles.
I have seen photos online of a Fr8 with what appears to be a belt drive, is that correct ?
It’s actually the extra long version of the Hebie Chainglider fitted over a regular bicycle chain. The Chainglider works very well as an alternative to our standard chain case. If you convert your Fr8 to electric assist with a Bafang BBS02 motor our regular chain case will no longer fit and you’ll need the extra long version of the Chainglider, available in the parts section of webshop.
Does it come in an electric assist version ?
European customers can order Fr8 bicycles with electric assist. We build two electric assist versions, one is with the Bafang BBS02 mid drive motor, 612Wh li-ion battery, Enviolo cargo hub and Magura MT5 eStop hydraulic disc brakes. The other is with a Neodrives Z20 rear wheel motor, 612Wh li-ion battery, 10- speed derailleur and Magura MT5 eStop hydraulic disc brakes.
Overseas customers can order a Fr8 with the 48V version of the Bafang BBS02 mid drive motor, But without the battery and charger. E-bike batteries are classed as dangerous goods and are not permitted on passenger aircraft. We rely on passenger aircraft to deliver direct orders to our overseas customers. Suitable batteries for the Bafang motor can easily be ordered locally or online.
I am looking to buy a new Fr8 and I’m not sure if I really need electric assist, but I would like to have the possibility to convert to assist in the future. Which spec should I buy ?
If you are buying a new Fr8 with the intention that you might want to convert to electric assist later on then you can order the Fr8 3.0 frame instead of the regular frame. The 3.0 frame allows for a large battery to be mounted on the down tube so you retain the cargo space on your front carrier. The most suitable spec as a base for a future conversion is SSGE, which is Magura hydraulic disc brakes and the Enviolo internally geared hub.
I bought a Fr8 a few years ago can it still be converted to electric assist ?
We receive lots of questions from customers looking to retrofit their bike with electric assist. So let's start at the start, do you need an e-bike ? what kind of weight are you carrying ? What kind of terrain are you riding ? If it’s short rides on relatively flat terrain you will probably be just fine without electric assist. For long rides with heavy cargo (or children), a company delivery bike or for crossing hilly terrain the electric assist can make all the difference. We recommend having a conversion done by an experienced mechanic. Customers in the Netherlands can have their Fr8 converted at our workshop in Amsterdam. For Fr8 owners around the world, a local bike shop with experience in converting bikes or a bike shop that sells cargo and family bicycles is the best place to have a motor installed. All Fr8 bicycles can be converted to electric assist, however there is more to converting a bike to electric assist than just adding a motor. The majority of Fr8 bicycles around the world have a Nexus 8 hub with roller brakes front and rear. With that in mind here are some guidelines on conversion.
A powerful mid drive motor creates a higher level of torque on the chain. This in turn puts more stress on the hub and can result in poorer gear shifting, depending on which motor you use. If you experience problems in shifting gear as a direct result of upgrading the bike to mid drive electric assist you can always switch from a Nexus 8 to an Enviolo hub. Because of it’s variable transmission design and extreme durability the Enviolo hub is highly suited to mid drive electric assist bicycles. We can ship you a Fr8 rear wheel with an Enviolo hub built in.
Roller Brakes work regardless of weather conditions and are low maintenance. If you are converting to electric assist primarily for the support, not for the added speed and you don’t plan on carrying heavy cargo on children then the roller brakes will most likely be fine. If you are using your Fr8 as a family bike or cargo hauler and you are adding a powerful electric assist motor then you may very well need more braking power than the roller brakes can supply. We sell the parts to convert your Fr8 to disc brakes. Some people add a front disc brake, others convert both front and rear brakes. We like the Magura MT5 hydraulic disc brakes, conversion to Shimano disc brakes is also possible but we just sell the Magura brakes.
There are front wheel motors, rear wheel motors and mid drive (crank assist) motors on the market. One of the advantages of retro fitting a mid drive motor is the simplicity. It lets you keep the front and rear wheels as they are; the hub dynamo in your front wheel the powers your lights and your gears inside the rear hub. Front wheel or rear wheel motors involve more work in rebuilding the bike. The most commonly used conversion kit for the Fr8 is the Bafang BBS02. The battery for the Bafang motor is quite large so you’ll probably need to mount it in a crate on the front carrier.
Installing a mid drive motor means you are altering your current drivetrain, this involves removing the cranks, bottom bracket and chain case. Fr8 bicycles have a 68mm BSA (British) thread bottom bracket. Mid drive systems come with their own cranks and chainrings which are part of the motor. If you install a Bafang BBS02 our regular chain case will no longer fit and you’ll need to mount the extra long version of the Hebie Chainglider. The extra long Chainglider consists of a front part for either 38T, 42T or 44T size chainrings and a rear part for Nexus or Enviolo hubs. The maximum recommended chain width is 9mm. When you use a Chainglider you'll need to lubricate the chain well and clean the inside of the Chainglider from time to time. We recommend Squirt chain lube, which is a paraffin based chain wax.
Do you ship electric assist conversion kits ?
For customers who own a WorkCycles bicycle we can ship bicycle parts worldwide. However e-bike batteries are classed as dangerous goods and are not permitted on passenger aircraft. We rely on passenger aircraft to deliver direct orders to our overseas customers, so we can’t ship ‘conversion kits’. However you will be able to get the motor, battery & other parts locally or online.
Do you also sell Fr8 bicycles secondhand ?
The general answer is no. Every now and then we have one for sale at our retail location in Amsterdam, which we would sell to local customer. We don’t ship secondhand bikes. 99% of the time we don’t have secondhand bicycles for sale. The buying and selling of secondhand WorkCycles bicycles is permitted in our facebook group.