From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



A bakfiets in the Netherlands.
Children being transported on a bakfiets.

Borrowed from Dutch bakfiets, from bak (container such as a box, crate, tray, or tub) + fiets (bicycle). Bak is derived from French bac (vat; ferry), possibly from Vulgar Latin *baccu (container), from Latin bacar (type of wine glass), possibly from Ancient Greek βῖκος (bîkos, amphora), possibly from Egyptian bꜣkt (oil flask). The etymology of fiets is uncertain; it is possibly derived from regional (southern Limburg) French vietse (to run quickly), possibly ultimately from vite ((informal or obsolete) fast, quick) (see further at that word).[1]

The plural form bakfietsen is borrowed from Dutch bakfietsen.



bakfiets (plural bakfietsen or bakfietses)

  1. (cycling, originally in the Netherlands) A bicycle or tricycle with a long wheelbase between the front wheel and handlebars holding a large box, originally used solely to transport goods but now also commonly for carrying young children.
    Synonyms: box bike, cargo bike, carrier cycle, cycletruck, freight bicycle, freight tricycle
    • 2007 November 5, Paul Tolme, “A Minivan With Real Pedal Power”, in Newsweek, page 65:
      Utility bikes are the pickup trucks of the cycling world. [] Imported from the Netherlands, the Bakfiets brand is like a pedal-powered minivan for soccer moms.
    • 2013, Alex Newson, “The cargo bike”, in Fifty Bicycles That Changed the World[1], Octopus, →ISBN:
      Still commonly used and manufactured today, the bakfiets typically consists of a frame with a longer wheelbase and a large cargo container positioned either between the wheels or over the front wheel.
    • 2015, Raleigh Briggs, Robyn Jasko, Elly Blue, The Urban Homesteader, Microcosm Publishing, →ISBN, page 94:
      Imported bakfietsen have some major advantages: Huge cargo capacity (you can easily carry a reclining adult, or two or more children plus a week of groceries in the box).
    • 2018, Melissa Bruntlett, Chris Bruntlett, Building the Cycling City, Island Press, →ISBN, page 110:
      Despite a rise of car ownership in the early twentieth century, the bakfiets maintained its role in urban delivery, and soon proved useful for transporting children as well—that is, until the arrival of motorized trucks, vans, and buses, and a corresponding increase in the size of goods being transported.

Alternative forms[edit]



  1. ^ bakfiets, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2020.

Further reading[edit]




Compound of bak (tray, box) +‎ fiets (bicycle).


  • IPA(key): /ˈbɑk.fits/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: bak‧fiets


bakfiets f (plural bakfietsen, diminutive bakfietsje n)

  1. A cargo bicycle, a freight bicycle.

Derived terms[edit]


  • English: bakfiets, bakfiet