23 March 2011

"Bike Lift" for Citizen Cyclists

Bike Handle 001
One of the great ideas in bicycle design that has sadly, largely, disappeared. Once standard on many bicycles, this handle helped the bicycle user lift the bike up stairs, over curbs (if laden with shopping) or any number of similar situation. It appears that it was particularly popular on Swedish bicycles.

Attached to the downtube, the handle is at a perfect position for a well-balanced lift. I've tried it.
Bike Handle 002
While something like the hook on the back rack is still around, you don't see this simple, practical accessory anymore, not even on bicycles in mainstream bicycle culture. A fact that we lament.

But here it is. Let's see which bike brand is the first to reestablish the bike lift handle on newer models. The race is on.

19 comments:

Will said...

Brilliant little accessory for a bicycle. Never seen one before myself. I'll have to pass this along to some of the custom frame builders in the area to see if one will start incorporating these in their bikes.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of buiding this into the frame, but why not simply tie/glue a strap to the frame -- not unlike the sort one uses to steady self on a bus or metro -- and just heave ho?

Anonymous said...

Down tube or seat tube?

Scott Loveless said...

Behold! http://belovedcycles.com/bikes/everyday/2/ Granted, it will set you back $5k.

varjo said...

Such a great and simple idea. I have to carry my bike three storeys up to my apartment and would love to have something like this :)

Tinker said...

Since my bike weighs upward of 50 pounds, I doubt that strapping/tying/gluing a handle to it would be all that effective. And that's probably why the handle has gone by the board.

If you put a handle on it, you admit it MAY BE HEAVY.

Not good PR to Spandex Man.

ZA said...

Isn't that slightly redundant with a triangle frame? I find I can usually lift the bike from my top horizontal bar, or hang it on a shoulder with groceries in hand.

Mikael said...

Downtube, uptube, seattube... whatever... :-) you know what I mean... :-)

It's hardly redundant if it survived for more than half a century. If you know what I mean.

ZA said...

Point to the host. :-)

Edward Scoble said...

I saw those while I was in Copenhagen yesterday, was wondering what's the function was!

I think I saw you two days ago, were you riding a red Larry Vs Harry cargo bike with a black/red jacket and (what appear to be) an orange hoodie inside?

shuichi said...

It might be practical indeed. Well, I will introduce a practical tool for a bicycle in the winter season tomorrow on my blog.^^

philippe said...

Awesome.

Teemu said...

I have similar handle in one late 50's bicycle. I must say that it's very practical to have, and I've also been wondering the lack of them in new bikes for years.

Location of handle is important and not accidental - you can easily lift and carry the bike with one hand, as it's located roughly on center of gravity of bike, so bike doesn't twist and turn on it's own. Also, it's better than top tube (or "top horizontal bar") because you can keep your carrying arm relaxed and straight. Plus you don't get dirt on your clothes so easily.

I made a similar handle to my everyday commuter by installing U-lock on seat post upside down (ie. curve up, lock pointing down). Kryptonite Evo had suitable mounting bracket, some others might have too.

Or you can just grab the midpoint of seat tube (see pic 3.):
http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2010/11/up-lifting-experiences.html

(sorry about the long comment, but I've carried my bike up and down several sets of long stairs daily for years...)

varjo said...

Teemu said...

Or you can just grab the midpoint of seat tube


Yes, that's the easiest way to lift a bike unless you're wearing gloves or the frame is wet / covered in dirt etc. A handle like this still seems like a good idea. It's just one of those little things which makes cycling easier.

Alisdair said...

As before mentioned, any other part of the bike will do for many people. I see it like a bike stand, and many bike stands have since disappeared. Nice idea though.

ndru said...

@Scott Loveless - yeah this bike has it too http://www.adelineadeline.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/b/a/bakfiets_2.jpg

Anonymous said...

It's an absolutely ingenious gadget, really. I know. I own a Crescent bicycle of about the same vintage (c.1947) as the one in the photo, and as it weighs about 22 kg in all its mighty solidness, the handle is a lot easier to use than just grabbing the seat tube or hanging it on the shoulder. Of course, with my lightweight bikes, the shoulder works fine, but not with this tank!

Jonah said...

I created my own bike lift with an old belt - check it out here:
mceuro.blogspot.com

alex said...

Yes it is very useful indeed.
I am a designer and some years ago I designed a bicycle and the frame was handle-shaped to ease lifting operations. You can check it out here!