The WorkCycles Gr8 (vs the Fr8)
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.
Universal frame ‘one size fits all'
As its name suggests this is the ideal frame for most applications and the sitting position is comfortably upright. The Universal frame has a low instep for convenience but is as suitable for men as for women. The universal frame 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 Gr8 universal frame reliably fits riders from about 150cm to 195cm. This makes the Gr8 an ideal bicycle to share; within a family or amongst employees. The Gr8 universal frame seat tube is 2cm shorter than the Fr8 universal frame seat tube.
TIG welded chromium molybdenum steel frames
Large diameter, 4130 chrome-moly tubing makes the Gr8 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.
Mounting carriers and accessories to the Gr8 is easy because the fittings are cleanly integrated in the frame. Accessories developed in the future will use the same fittings as well. Naturally all fittings for control cables, brake reaction arms, steering stabilizer and lighting are also integrated into the frame and fork.
Frame-mounted city carrier
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 Gr8 load 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 and 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.
The Gr8 has its own, lighter and slightly shorter rear carrier (compared to the Fr8). While most rear carriers seem to be installed just to fulfill the expectation that a bike has one, the Gr8 carrier is a carefully engineered basis for either delivery or a lightweight passenger. The carrier is stiff enough to ride stably with large panniers.
The 'Escape Hatch'
On other bicycles changing rear tires and inner tubes is a time consuming job requiring an experienced mechanic. The Gr8’s proprietary Escape Hatch enables the rear tire to be changed quickly, without touching the enclosed drivetrain. Instructions on how to use the Escape Hatch can be found here.
Heavy-duty 26” wheels
The Gr8 rolls on super durable wheels with box-section, aluminium rims, 2.3mm stainless spokes and smooth riding, highly puncture resistant 50mm wide balloon tires.
DV or AV
DV are Dunlop valves on the inner tubes of your tires and AV are auto or 'Schrader' valves. Most cyclists in Europe will want DV valves and the majority of North Amercian cyclists will find it handier to have AV valves. Both valve types work equally well.
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
Gr8’s have sealed internal hub gears 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. The majority of Gr8s in use are equipped with Shimano roller brakes front and rear, a low maintenance type of drum brake which is unaffected by weather. Some riders prefer to have a coaster brake as their rear brake instead of a hand brake. For those in hillier areas powerful Magura hydraulic disc brakes are also an option.
Chain-case & fenders
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 Gr8.
Hub dynamo powered lights
Gr8 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 standlight function is optional.
The standard Gr8 handlebar is called the “Moon Cruiser” bend and most riders prefer it for its leverage and comfortable wrist position.
Laser cut nameplate
We can even weld custom nameplates into the Gr8 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.
Stable and strong centerstand
We find the combination of this stable, 2-leg center-stand, steering limiter spring and the headlamp mounted on the left fork leg to be much handier than the more typical side-stand. The bike stands upright which is great when loading the front carrier or rear panniers. The parking stand has a very wide stance for stability but folds inward when not in use.
Rear wheel lock
The integrated lock immobilizes the rear wheel. This won’t prevent the bike from being carried away but when combined with a chain or U-lock it’s a very complete locking system. For those fortunate enough to live in a low-theft area the ring lock is adequate on its own.
(Info on Gr8 City Deelite options:)
MT crate & crate mat
This is the WorkCycles crate, measuring 50 x 30 cm it’s a perfect fit for your frame mounted front carrier. Just drop your grocery bags, backpack, briefcase, kids toys in and go. The additional MT crate mat functions as an anti-noise mat, locks and groceries don't rattle around anymore.
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 L (38 liter) panniers fit the Gr8 rear carrier 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 18 different colors to choose from.
Comes with Widek synthetic handlebar grips, a unisex Selle Royal Ondina saddle and nylon Grind pedals. Made by Widek, these are our most sold grips, comfortable and highly durable. The Ondina is a traditional sprung saddle with cushioned vinyl covering on top. This waterproof saddle is great for absorbing the shocks of bumpy roads and a good choice for a bike that lives outdoors. Grind pedals are constructed from one piece of nylon, bearings and a steel axle. This type of pedal is common on mountain, touring and bmx bicycles but is also highly suited to transport bikes and around town riding in sneakers or other comfortable shoes. It’s a nice feeling to have a wide, grippy pedal under your foot.
Comes with Brooks Cambium rubber handlebar grips, a unisex Selle Royal Lookin 3D saddle and aluminum Grind pedals. Brooks Cambium grips are made from thermoplastic rubber with organic cotton for shock absorption and a natural look and feel. The Lookin saddle is a WorkCycles' favorite, the gel padding is super comfortable while also providing a significant level of support. It’s waterproof and the sides of the saddle have a double layer of protection. The pedals are a wider version of the regular grind pedals and are made from aluminum instead of nylon. This type of pedal is common on mountain, touring and bmx bicycles but is also highly suited to transport bikes and around town riding in sneakers or other comfortable shoes. It’s a nice feeling to have a wide, grippy pedal under your foot.
Comes with Brooks Plump handlebar grips, a women’s Brooks B67s saddle and Union 828 pedals. Plump Leather Grips are made of vegetable tanned natural leather rings cut from the remainders of their saddle production. These comfortable chunky grips compliment a leather Brooks saddle nicely. The B67s is shorter and wider than the men’s B67. When you first receive a Brooks leather saddle it feels hard for around the first three months, after this ‘breaking-in’ period it will feel quite comfortable. The leather slowly softens and forms to the shape of your sit bones. Brooks saddles are not for the heavier rider though, we recommend a rider weight of around 80 kg max. You need to care for them as well, treat the topside with Proofide every 6-12 months and keep the underside dry. 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 also sell a complete saddle care kit). The 828 city pedals comprise of a steel axle, aluminum body and a flat, yet grippy nylon surface.
Comes with Brooks Plump handlebar grips, a men’s Brooks B67 saddle and Union 828 pedals. Plump Leather Grips are made of vegetable tanned natural leather rings cut from the remainders of their saddle production. These comfortable chunky grips compliment a leather Brooks saddle nicely. The B67 is longer and not as wide as the women’s B67s. When you first receive a Brooks leather saddle it feels hard for around the first three months, after this ‘breaking-in’ period it will feel quite comfortable. The leather slowly softens and forms to the shape of your sit bones. Brooks saddles are not for the heavier rider though, we recommend a rider weight of around 80 kg max. You need to care for them as well, treat the topside with Proofide every 6-12 months and keep the underside dry. 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 also sell a complete saddle care kit). The 828 city pedals comprise of a steel axle, aluminum body and a flat, yet grippy nylon surface.
The Gr8 universal frame comes with a quick release seat tube clamp. This means you can adjust the saddle height on the fly, handy if you are sharing the bike with someone or you want to lend it out. The saddle cable is a coated steel cable that loops through the saddle rail and part of the bicycle frame. It’s a security measure to prevent theft of your saddle and seatpost.