The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

Walnut’s Frame Handle: “Carry your bike as easy as a briefcase”

Posted by on June 11th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Walnut’s new Frame Handle.
(Photo: Erin Berzel Photography)

We love local bike-inspired artisans. One of them that has been a favorite since he burst onto the scene at the 2009 BikeCraft show is Geoff Franklin of Walnut Studiolo.

Geoff’s leather works are very solid. He’s nailed that sometimes elusive mix of quality, function, and execution. This morning he shared his latest product, the Frame Handle.

Geoff calls the Frame Handle design “deceptively simple” and says it “makes carrying your bicycle as easy as carrying a briefcase.” It looks like one of those things that you see and say, “How come no one else made one of those before?” Here’s a bit more about it:

“The Frame Handle (a.k.a. “The Little Lifter”!) is a comfortable, stylish, sturdy, and easy-to-use leather handle for carrying your bicycle, whether it’s up the stairs, across the tracks, or into the metro.

Designed for urban commuters, this minimalist handle makes carrying your bike actually feel easier and lighter by lowering the center of gravity and using your normal muscle groups for lifting and holding your bicycle, same as lifting a grocery bag or carrying a briefcase. Because it’s easier to lift and hold, you’re in more control of your bicycle, making it safer to hold in crowded settings.”

Here are a few more photos…

Custom monogramming available.

Love it. Great design. And a local success story continues.

Turns out lots of other people like this idea too. Geoff and his partner Valerie used Kickstarter for the first time to do a presale of the Frame Handle and purchase the $3,500 in leather to make the first run. It was funded (and over-funded by $700) in just two days! Check the Kickstarter vid below…

I’ll definitely be grabbing one of these for my work bike. Learn more at the Kickstarter page and see more photos here and

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Andrew K June 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm


    I wish this was around back when I had to carry my bike up and down five flights of very narrow stairs when leaving to go to work every day. Now days I live in a house and don’t carry my bike much. Still, I might buy one of these anyway just in case I find myself living in an apartment again.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Andrew K June 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm

      …. god, did I really just misspell “briliant” ?

      Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Adam H. June 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I hope that your bike is very balanced from front to back, otherwise this will be difficult to use.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • beck June 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    these guys have been around for a little while. they make some nice, and pretty expensive stuff. why do they need a kickstarter to produce a little strap?good idea but come on…really?

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Jessica Roberts June 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Did you watch the video? They wanted to reach the volume to be able to make a wholesale leather purchase for this project.

      Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Jonathan Gordon June 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      The answer to your question was clearly explained both in the story text as well as the very well produced video, but you chose to complain instead. Come on…really?

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • beck June 12, 2012 at 4:51 am

        that wasn’t a complaint but a statement smart guy.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Sunny June 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Wow. No chain grease anywhere, lefties be damned! They could at least show them carrying the bikes on the non drive side.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Sunny June 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I suggest everyone try this with duct tape as it really does make carrying much easier. Thanks Walrus Stulio!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Over and Doubt June 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    That Huret derailleur has an awfully big gap above that TA chaining. Did the lady need to remount the derailleur (and affect the shifting) in order to get the strap where it needs to be? One hopes not.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • jered June 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      “Oh my God Becky ,look at her deraileur gap it is so big”

      Recommended Thumb up 9

      • are June 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm

        it does affect shifting. or am i missing your point.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • matthew vilhauer June 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    am i missing something? simply grabing the downtube near the chainring has worked for the past 20+ years for me. this seems to be a solution to a problem that never existed. then again, this is portland.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Sunny June 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      Not everyone has long arms, and a strap would help lower the center of gravity as one is carrying it, which makes a big difference if you’re not burly. Also, odd shaped down-tubes. and leather.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • matthew vilhauer June 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm

        i miss vance longwell. if he were still comenting here he’d flame you in royal fashion. arm length is not an issue, there’s no law that says you have to put the top tube under your armpit. if you know how to lift you do not use your arm to *lift* the weight but rather hold it in place while using your back & legs to do the real lifting. burly has nothing to do with proper lifting technique. i’ve never run accross a knife blade downtube or any shape that i could not grip easily with my hand. leather+wet=slimy. anything else i missed?

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Sunny June 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm

          Ask a ten year old and this is his answer.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

    • kt5000 June 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      You might be missing the variation that exists in bodies and bikes that aren’t yours.

      Sounds like a handle would be a waste for you, but it’s something I’d like to try.

      There’s nowhere on the downtube of my current bike that I can reasonably wrap my fingers around. Being a short person, I have a short downtube to which my fender is attached with a bracket, taking up all the space where you’d have me grab. Previously, on differently-arranged (and heavier) bicycles, I could not carry my bike that way because it made my overworked wrist feel like it was on fire.

      Right now I generally lift from the top tube, but lifting that way is not ergonomically sound if my bike is loaded with gear – bad for the shoulder. I know people for whom lifting this way AT ALL is a terrible idea due to minor shoulder or elbow injuries.

      Yes, I can get my bike ON to my shoulder, but that puts my elbow in contact with my chain (short person!), and sometimes my tire in contact with my shirt, and simply isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • dwainedibbly June 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      “grabbing the downtube”: is that what the kids are calling it these days? 🙂

      (I was thinking the same thing. It’s a nicely made product, that I find completely unnecessary. If I can’t reach that far, the frame is too big.)

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • kittens June 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I think it is clever, as the downtube is often dirty and I dont want to grasp it. One wonders how clean this might stay though.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • craig harlow June 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Dang, too bad the pre-order via Kickstarter includes only black (unless you buy in at the $100 level)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • dan June 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    From doing a lot of touring, I’ve developed an effective way to portage a bike up stairs. This even works when it’s loaded for touring, though the initial lift is tough if you have a heavy load.

    Crouch on left side of bike (non drive side). Place right hand below top tube, palm facing up. Stand up and lift bike to your shoulder.

    You do most of the lifting with your legs, and easily clear stairs (a potential challenge when carrying the bike lower).

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • are June 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      amen, brother. but then there is a lot of stuff being sold in the consumerist economy that people do not really need. some bunch of economists will tell you that if people buy it there must have been demand. some bunch of advertising people will tell you about creating demand by selling lifestyle.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Anthony June 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      I’ve never toured in my entire life and this is always how I carry my bike up or down any stairs. I feel like it’s a fairly obvious solution, though it can be a particularly heavy one when loaded with 1 or 2 panniers

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Rob June 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Seems like those metal buckles would scratch the frame up….

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Lazy Spinner June 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Does the leather strap repel wet road grime? If not, then you are lifting your bike with a squishy wet handle of yuck in normal Portland riding conditions. But the fair weather bike dandy can curate his bespoke artisan frame nicely with this marriage of hipster fashion and ergonomic design!

    I’ll keep using time honored CX techniques to carry a bike and save my money.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Craig Harlow June 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      If the leather behaves like their leather handle grips–and are properly treated–then yes, shouldn’t they repel wet road grime nearly as well as the metal bike frame?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Todd Edelman, Slow Factory June 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Sigh…. poor, poor cows! Couldn’t they have recycled something to make these? The future of bike parking is at ground level, and this is just a distraction.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Nick June 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Last picture is going to get grease all over their pants. Cross carry, it is much easier, and more comfortable….

    That said, great idea. Frankly, for a bike with straight handlebars, this is a good idea.


    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • PDXbiker June 11, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    I was checking out how this would work on some of my bikes but right away noticed seat tube, downtube bottle cages would get in the way.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Eric in Seattle June 12, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Shouldn’t the headline say “easily” instead of “easy”?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • 007 June 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Are these made of cowhide or dog and cat leather from China?

    Recommended Thumb up 0