Six or seven years ago I started my search for a comfortable, heavy duty bicycle, and discovered omafiets, or “granny bikes”, and totally fell in love with them!
I spent a year researching and reading user forums, spoke with bike shops around the country, and even a few outside (we special ordered our Bromptons from England) and sadly came to the realization that an omafiet bicycle was simply too heavy for me to be able to lift on and off of a bike rack… a necessity as I have to drive somewhere to have a place safe to bike.
I did more research, and finally settle on a Trek Verve 4. That was six years ago! And when I ride, I still mostly ride my Brompton, but I intend to change that this year. This bike is so much nicer to ride.
That’s how the bike looked (except of course, mine is a step through) when I bought it. I knew I was going to make it as close to a granny bike as I could, without it being nearly so heavy.
I replaced the black seat with a Brooks sprung leather seat, added fenders to the front and back, a luggage rack and a couple of canvas bag for tools, wallet and phone. I also replaced the handlebars, one of the most significant and important modifications for me, with cruiser bars, and then replaced the grips that came with them with ergonomic ones.
Of course I added a bell!
I love the way the bike looks and feels now, and I’m happy with my choice. As much lighter this bicycle is compared to an omafiet, it’s still tough for me to lift in on and off the bike rack on our Jeep.
But I still lust after a granny bike in secret. They’re just so darn gorgeous!
It’s pretty wickedly chilly outside today, but after lunch I’m going to load my bike up and go check out a trail I haven’t been on in a couple of years, I want to see if it’s been extended from the last time I was there.