Protecting Your Paint Job with the Bicycle Frame Handle

I see that your Bicycle Frame Handle attaches with small buckles. Will these scratch my bike?

Customer Q.

The Bicycle Frame Handle will not scratch the paint on your bike if installed properly. We have had ours installed on several bikes for years, including vintage, handmade, and custom paint jobs, and have not had any problems with it scratching our own.

The way to avoid paint scratches is to protect the frame from the end belt’s rivet, not the buckle. Tuck the belt rivet inside the frame handle ends: rotate the belt into the loop at the ends of each handle, all the way up to the buckle. 

This has the added benefit of keep the end belt secure. The rivet will stay inside the leather, so the leather is the point of the contact with the bike. The buckle cannot scratch the paint, but the rivet can if not tucked inside the handle.

Optionally, for those with a particular concern, you can add a strip of electrical tape to the rivet to cover it up for a “belt-and-suspenders” approach to protecting your paint job.

It can be difficult to explain this concept with words, so we’ve created multiple tutorials and guides to show how to tuck the rivet into the handle. See below for our resources to help you protect your paint job:

Multi-Media Resources to Help Install The Bicycle Frame Handle Correctly

Printed Illustration

We include an illustrated installation guide and a YouTube video illustrating proper installation with every order (shown below):

Video Guide

In addition to the printed illustration, we made a video showing how to install the Bicycle Frame Handle correctly. Skip ahead to 0:28 seconds to see the exact moment where we show how to tuck the belts inside to prevent paint scratches:

Step-by-Step Photo Guide

The handle in top half of the photo has one end belt removed to show you the rivet, and one end belt installed correctly. As you can see, when installed correctly, no rivet is visible to the area where the bicycle frame would be.

The bottom half shows the metal tubular rivet on the back side of the belt. A tubular rivet has a finished surface on one side (not shown), and on the backside of the material it is exploded into a rough star shape after it has been forced through a riveting machine. The rough back side of the rivet is what could scratch paint if it were not tucked inside the handle.

This photo shows an incorrect assembly, what the end belt looks like BEFORE it is tucked into the handle. As you can see, the rough rivet material is visible to the bicycle frame, and more importantly, the end of the belt is not securely tucked inside the handle. It could become loose and unbuckle on a rough ride. This is how a paint job could get scratched.

Electrical Tape for Backup Protection

For those want a little bit of extra protection for their bicycle paint jobs, we have a solution: good ol’ electrical tape.

  • Cut a length of electrical tape, about 4-5″ or so.
  • Using scissors, cut it down the skinny end so you have two thin strips.
  • Wrap one around the rivet of each end belt and assemble the frame handle as normal.

The electrical tape becomes the surface that contacts the bicycle frame, protecting the paint from the rivet if the belt were installed incorrectly.

We’d love to hear your experiences! Send us your feedback on the Bicycle Frame Handle.

About Walnut Studiolo’s Leather Bicycle Accessories

About Our Leather Bicycle Accessories

Our handcrafted leather bicycle accessories are the finest on the market.

  • As cyclists ourselves, we create completely original designs and make them ourselves in our Oregon workshop.
  • Often imitated but never equaled, we take no shortcuts in our production: every product we make is built to last, and made the “longhand” way.
  • We have a strong commitment to sustainability in both our products and operations.
  • Repairability is the new luxury.” Our unique hand-dyed American leather gets better with age, offering a warm and comfortable touch with strong, long-lasting durability.
  • Award-Winning Designs: We’ve been honored national and internationally by renowned design arbiters and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art NYC (MoMA), Kickstarter, German Design Council, and more.

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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