The finest hand-tooled leather and wood accessories for bikes are made right here in Southeast Portland by Walnut Studiolo, otherwise known as Geoff and Valerie Franklin.
Says Geoff, an architect and cyclist: “Bicycle accessories are my core focus but I love good design, as an architecture student, and I loved learning how to work leather as a medium. Eventually I also started enjoying the juxtaposition of leather and wood. In these products, I’m expressing my love for good design, architectural concepts, and natural materials in products that I would want to use myself…and I do use myself. I field-test all my products until I’m comfortable with them before listing them on our shop. Walnut designs and makes beautiful, durable, and most of all functional solutions to everyday problems.”
How does it hold up in the rain? Everything Walnut makes is treated to withstand the long rainy season of the Pacific Northwest, so worry not. They even came up with their own all-natural leather-care dressing salve. See the bottom of this here page for more detail.
Joe Bike is Portland’s only Walnut retailer. In fact we’re the only bike shop in the world that carries the complete line of Walnut bike accessories. We ship Walnut goods worldwide. We’re adding these items to our webstore shortly. For now, please give us a shout if you’d like to place an order.
Without further ado, here are the goods. Remember, all these goods come in several shades: natural, honey, dark brown, black.
6-pack cinch, $24
And now: Leather care for rainy climes, straight from the horse’s mouth.
Walnut Studiolo’s vegetable-tanned leather holds up just fine in the rain. Leather has always traditionally been an outdoor material (think equestrian gear, work boots, etc). We use a high-quality leather same as that used for horse gear and bridles, so it’s designed to withstand the elements. Leather is an exceptionally durable material, which is why we like working with it. That said, dryness is harder on leather than wetness. We recommend taking care of your leather using the minimum care recommendations below.
All Walnut Studiolo products are finished before it came to you with a layer of our leather dressing, a beeswax-based weatherproofing conditioner.
Leather is a tough material that can take a lot of abuse, however, over time and with use, the effects of the finish can eventually wear off.
Care for your product as soon as it starts to look dry, or about once every year or two for occasional use with good storage conditions and once a quarter for heavy outdoor use in the direct sun with dry humidity.
If your leather gets dirty, clean it with diluted unscented castile soap or hand dishwashing liquid, diluted at least 1:10 (it should not be sudsy), and allow to dry before conditioning.
Condition your product lightly – even if it has been a while. You can use a simple oil, like mineral or olive oil, or a weather-proofing conditioner product designed for vegetable-tanned leather, that has wax in it for water resistance. Walnut Studiolo’s All-Natural Leather Dressing contains neatsfoot oil and lanolin for conditioning, local beeswax for water resistance, and pine resin and essential oils for preservation.
No matter what product you use, make it a light coat, and buff it with a clean dry rag. Keep in mind that conditioning leather usually darkens it slightly. Don’t worry, this is normal.