John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Portland designers crafted this leather strap to make carrying a bicycle a little easier.
How much do bikers love Walnut Studiolo's carrying handle? Let's just say it's not often that Kickstarter projects get off the ground – but this one got funded by 559 percent.
Walnut's Geoffrey and Valerie Franklin are obsessed with making biking a classier, more comfortable pastime: Witness their doohickey for turning a bicycle into a beer-transportation machine. With the Bicycle Frame Handle/"Little Lifter," generated in the couple's garage workshop in Portland, Oregon, there now exists a way to carry bikes up stairs with relative ease and look like a fancypants who spends $38 for custom-leather goods. (All-American, by the way, via cowhides from St. Louis.)
The theory behind the lifter is that it exercises the same group of muscles that we use all the time to carry things like grocery bags and suitcases. It also puts the ride in better position vis-à-vis your center of gravity. By not using this product, you could be committing a grave error, suggest the Franklins:
Without the Frame Handle, most riders either hoist the bike triangle uncomfortably on their shoulder or pick up their bike by the top tube, which requires you to bend your elbow at an uncomfortable angle. This causes stress and strain on your elbow and shoulder and makes carrying your bike feel harder than it needs to be.
Handles: They're a modern-day miracle. What else can we handleize? Laptops? Skateboards? Babies, most definitely!
Here's a close-up view at the strap, which comes in dark brown, black or "honey":
Images courtesy of Walnut Studiolo.