Fitting the Bicycle Frame Handle with Water Bottle Cages

hi there, i really like your Little Lifter bike handle but it looks like you have to remove any bottle cages to access it properly, is that correct?  


Our Bicycle Frame Handle fits at the bottom of a bicycle frame’s triangle where most bikes come standard with water bottle cage braze-ons. Many customers use the Bicycle Frame Handle with one water bottle cage, and some even use it with two or more.

One Water Bottle Cage

One water bottle cage is generally no problem for fitting and only marginally reduces the grasping area for handle efficiency.

Customer @collingoh’s commuter bicycle sporting one water bottle cage and a Bicycle Frame Handle (and our long-ago U-Lock Holster!).

Two+ Water Bottle Cages

Alternate Water Bottle Locations

Some riders carry two water bottles on their bicycle by only installing one water bottle cage on the bottom of the triangle and installing a 2nd elsewhere on the bike, or by carrying it in a pannier (as one long-time customer living the hot South says, she prefers to keep a second insulated bottle in an insulated pannier on summer rides; she’d rather pull over more frequently for *cold* water!). Other locations on the bike for a second water bottle cage are the handlebars, the top tube, stacked further up the down tube or seat tube, or on the outside of the triangle (ie, under the down tube).

Small Spaces at the Bottom of the Triangle

For bicycle riders using two water bottles facing each other at the bottom of the triangle, the trade-off is less space for fitting and grasping a Bicycle Frame Handle. The space sacrifice means that at best, the Frame Handle will have a 2-finger or 3-finger grip instead of a full palm. Customers in these cases have sometimes found a better grip by installing the Frame Handle high on the seat tube and low on the down tube when possible, so it maximizes the space by being at a bit of an angle.

However, in some cases — such as small-framed bicycles, low-height braze-ons and/or tall water bottle cages — the space is just too small to practically install the Frame Handle. Some customers have found there is just not enough space for all three accessories.

Customer @heyitsnickt’s Surly touring bicycles was loaded with two water bottle cages and a Bicycle Frame Handle. The grasping area is a little smaller but it still provides lifting support.
Adapting the Space for All 3 Accessories

The Bicycle Frame Handle is about 5.5″ long, but as it’s made from leather it is flexible and can bend somewhat and fit in a slightly smaller space. For the best fit with the most reach, pay attention to how high up the braze-ons are up the tubes and how much space the bottom of the water bottle cage takes up, choosing short, low-profile water bottle cages like the ones shown pictured here if you can (these are, we think, from Rivendale).

Customer Dana’s Rivendale A. Homer Hilsen bicycle in Goldendale, WA sporting two low-profile water bottle cages and our Bicycle Frame Handle after 3 years of use.

Custom Bicycle Frame Handles

We designed and launched our original Bicycle Frame Handle design on Kickstarter in 2012 after two years of careful designing. That crowd-sourced design process allowed us to test out the new design on hundreds of customer bikes at once and led to a few design iterations. This process led to the creation of a “Large” belt option for large-tubed bicycles like mountain bikes and e-bikes.

Through the crowd-sourced feedback, we got an idea of the range and style of customer bicycles and did our best to design the most universally-fitting bicycle accessory we could, while trying to keeps the variants simple. But with the sheer number and growing variety of bicycle frames and accessories, it is nearly impossible to make one design that will work in all situations.

Custom Leather Bicycle Accessory Solutions

For some of our customers, the Bicycle Frame Handle was the exact right solution for the bike, but with two water bottle cages, they just needed it to be 1″ shorter. For those customers and others like them, we can make what you want custom.

That’s what we did for this customer, who shared with us a photo after installation. If you want a custom length Bicycle Frame Handle, just contact us!

Customer NJF had us make his Bicycle Frame Handle 1″ shorter for the perfect fit — and it looks great!

About Walnut Studiolo

Walnut Studiolo crafts original modern designs by hand in our Oregon workshop using only natural materials. We are a family-run company located on the North Oregon Coast. Learn more about us on our website:

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