A proud 115 year history of manufacturing in New York City.
In 1898, a young Russian immigrant named Morris Worksman set up shop on lower Manhattan on the very footprint of what would become the World Trade Center. 115 years later Worksman carries on it the only place it has ever called home - New York City. After several moves in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Worksman calls Ozone Park, Queens its home since 1979. Our 93,000 square foot factory is unique for two facts that stand in stark comparison but which are both a source of pride: Not only do we operate the oldest bike factory in America, but it is the only solar-powered bike factory we know of anywhere in the world.
How it began
Morris saw the streets teaming with horse-drawn wagons and realized several inherit problems: horses were expensive to buy, costly to maintain and feed, and left unwanted "by-products" on city streets. Having recently become a dealer for the newly established Columbia Bicycle Company, Morris came upon the idea of developing a "bike-drawn" cart. Hence, the industrial tricycle was born. Soon after, Morris started manufacturing industrial grade tricycles bearing the Worksman name. Ironically, 115 years later these pedal-powered workhorses still offer a cleaner, more efficient alternative to other types of vehicles. In factories, they replace fuel-powered carts which are expensive to buy, costly to maintain and "feed," and leave unwanted "by-products."
Two famous products
In the late 1930's a new ice cream company - Good Humor Ice Cream - had an idea that selling ice cream treats via a network of vendors on bicycles would be a big hit. They turned to Schwinn Bicycles - the largest American bike manufacturer at that time - to develop this idea. But the folks at Schwinn suggested, instead, that they contact a small manufacturer in New York City that specialized in commerical grade cycles. Thus, the Good Humor Ice Cream trike was born. An immediate success, the trikes exploded in popularity following WWII as suburbs sprang up across the U.S.
Around the same time, two brothers who operated a sheet metal business on NYC's Lower East Side had an idea to improve the hot dog carts that they often bought lunch from. Instead of heavy and unsanitary wooden construction, a stainless steel hot dog cart would be a huge upgrade. The Beller brothers were correct. Today, the stainless steel hot dog cart is an iconic NYC image. Their company - Admar Vending - was acquired by Worksman in the 1980s. Today, Worksman Mobile Food Vending Division is headed up by Jack Beller, son and nephew of the founders.
The toughest cycles on earth
Today, Worksman continues to manufacture its products in New York City as it has since 1898. Our Industrial Cycles are legendary across the globe as the toughest cycles on earth. Our client list is a virtual Who's Who of industry and commerce including General Motors, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Subaru, Tesla, Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas, Exxon, Aramco,U.S. Army & Navy, U.S. Postal Service, UPS, Fedex, and thousands of other coprporations. Our products have seen "active duty" in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, of course, they are in use across the US by restaurants and local business who depend on our delivery bikes to work day-in/day-out.
Brawn meets beauty
While we see the beauty in a scratched and dented tricycle that has logged thousands of miles in a factory or oilfield, the following names have turned to us to produce cycles that offer striking, classic design: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Design Store, Restoration Hardware, Neimann-Marcus, Hammacher Schlemmer, Kate Spade, Lord & Taylor, Brooklyn Brewery, Michael Collins Irish Whiskey and Dylan's Candy Bar.
In 2010, Worksman established the bikes4biz division to best serve the needs of customers seeking customized cycles for promotion and branding purposes. Combining the decades of manufacturing expertise with cutting edge design capabilities has allowed Worksman to bring a completely unique product to the market - short run customs cycles. With a nearly unlimited choice of colors, graphics, components and task-specific modifications, bikes4biz has become a trusted source of custom product for large and