Regarding the Little Lifter, in the photo the bicycle example shows a Leather Top Tube protector. However after looking over the site I don't see a Top Tube protector. Are they sold together? -Hunter
We often get asked about top tube protectors! It seems like most top tubes are shaped differently these days, which can make designing a universally-fitting top tube protector a challenge, but the top tube is exactly the place where you want to have a warm, tactile wrap that invites handling.
A Note on Cables on Top Tubes:It's fine for the leather to cover the cable housing, but you do not want the leather to touch the cable itself. So if the cable is exposed, the leather has to go underneath the cable.
Here are our options for wrapping your bicycle top tube, chainstay guards, or anywhere else in our gorgeous, hand-dyed, vegetable-tanned leather:
A) Portage Strap Top Tube Protector
The Portage Strap is always in inventory and ready to go, and it serves as a top tube protector as well as a shoulder cushion for bikes with a 1 1/8" (approximately 28-29 mm) diameter top tube and down tube. It comes with a stitch kit for sewing it on, and there is an installation video on YouTube. This is also fastest and the most economical option, because we make them in batches and have them in stock.
B) Coiled Leather Top Tube Protector and Chainstay Guard
The Coil Leather Bar Wraps are also in stock, ready-to-go, and can serve as a wrap anywhere on your bike, including the top tube. You'll probably have extra left over after wrapping your top tube, which can be used for chainstay guards or other bars in your life you'd like the wrap (we particularly like wrapping tool handles with extra, like brooms and wheelbarrows!). Anchor the ends with electrical tape or a whip tie, just like with the handlebars.
C) Custom Sew-on Leather Top Tube Protector and Chainstay Guard
We can create a custom-sized sew-on top tube protector (cost depends on size, workshop availability, etc.) which is just like the Sew-on Bar Wraps. You sew it on with an included stitch kit, just like our bar wraps and city grips. You would need to measure the dimensions of your top tube and the length you want it, and request a custom work by contacting us. Here's are photos from our customers, some of whom ordered two wraps:
We can also make a custom chainstay guard that is sew-on. If the chainstay guard tapers, this can be more difficult to measure and make. Here's an example of a custom sew-on chainstay guard on a customer's bike from his blog, whose chainstay guard did not taper:
D) Custom Bullwhip Braided Leather Top Tube Protector
We can also make a custom version of our Bullwhip Bar Wraps for a top tube protector. Our Bullwhip Bar Wraps come with a sew-on section that gets stitched around the brake levers, so our custom version comes without the sew-on area. It will wrap approximately 12 inches in length, depending on top tube diameter. You finish it with tape or twine just like with drop bar wraps. Request a custom work by contacting us. Here's a photo of a customer installation:
All of these options are available in our four colors: Natural, Honey, Dark Brown, and Black. Just like all of our high-quality, vegetable-tanned leather, these will last you a lifetime. You can unwrap and re-wrap these as many times as you want as change and maintain your bikes, so you can keep the patina that you've earned.
If you're interested in one of the custom options, request a custom work by simply contacting us.