Skip to main content

Traffic Cone Bag 101

Traffic Cone Bag

Put in reverse and let's ride/party! 

David Lam of demonstrates the original bag circa 2009 (Click here if you can't see the video)
As of November 2010, all TCB's now feature a new 3M Scotchlite strip for low light visibility.
Read about TCB visibility

The Traffic Cone Bag™ is a simple, ultralight, squishable, 3-in-1 safety bag for cyclists, walkers, travelin' gals 'n' guys and minimalist multi-purpose freaks, designed and road tested by world bicycle adventurer and author of The Handsomest Man in Cuba, Lynette Chiang aka  The Galfromdownunder.  Loudly and proudly made by local talent in New York's Garment District, USA.

TCB by day: Brooklyn Bridge NYC

TCB by night: Westside Greenway bike path, NYC

Right: Guys like it too! Art Hellebusch from Kentucky with a TCB on PAC Tour Desert Camp 2010. Read about amazing Stage 4 cancer survivor Art here and here

Traffic Cone Bag Specs

  • Two sizes: Small (13" wide x 17" deep), Large (15" wide x 18" deep). Compare here 
  • Two modes: orange mode makes you visible a mile away, in the saddle, walking or running (cross straps over chest); black ("stealth") mode makes you stylish off the bike. No dowdy cordura!
  • Two orange pockets for stowing keys, cellphone, glasses; even that annoying wet mini-umbrella until you get home; and water bottles if you must
  • Single black pocket holds a manila folder/trashy magazine (small TCB), or the New York Times unfolded (large TCB). Some people have used the black pocket as a simple holder for a Camel Back bladder
  • Comfortable straps are webbing rather than the usual rope - less likely to cut into your shoulders when overstuffing it like you shouldn't. One size fits most - though you can extend by adding a couple of simple carabiners to the D-rings.
  • Compressible like this - it can be folded into a jersey pocket to tote a loaf of artisan bread or purchases you might pick up on the way home from a ride
  • Helmet-sized main compartment Take a look
  • Materials and construction: From November 2009, ANSI-standard neon orange coated polyester, DWR (durable water resistent) 2.2oz black Taslan. It is not 100% waterproof or ballistic, it's a simple, soft bag for dry weather riding conditions.
  • A black snap closure engraved with a traffic cone symbol stops the black pocket from gaping.
  • Expertly constructed for a fair labor price in New York's garment district, USA. Please read my blog post about this
  • CARE INSTRUCTIONS: Handwash in cold water and hang to dry to prolong life of the coating.

Musette Mode - The third of the 3-in-1 shapes. By reversing the black pocket, it becomes a small, neat shoulder bag for holding keys, wallet and a book, as modeled at right

Customer commentI do a lot of bike commuting around Chicago. Have a little pannier that I put my off-the-bike riding clothes in. Now I can stuff my TCB into my pannier and then when I'm all professional looking after getting off the bike, I can use my TCB to carry my smartphone, work papers, billfold, etc. Thanks for a great invention - Susan Reed. More customer comments
TCB by night II: let's party!

Stayin' alive, stayin' alive ... Several riders on (RAAM legend) Lon Haldeman's PAC Tour Arizona camps use the TCB to be spotted by the sag wagon from aways off ...

From saddle to the Sofitel and back with this bag I designed for the minimalist touring woman cyclist - although guys seem to like it too. As the former Bike Friday Customer Evangelist I've constantly been asked about my bag, so I decided to get it loudly and proudly produced in the USA. It's based on a standard drawstring gym bag with extra thought for the safety-and-style-conscious cyclist.


Thank you to ... 

  • Super seamstress Caroline Fu, who has a lot sexier things to sew than this bag, but likes to support Made in America. "Make local, buy local, that's sustainabilty!" she says.  Caroline Design Inc, 265 West 37 St, 16th Floor, Phone (917) 660-4673, Read my story about Caroline on
  • Apparel pro Chuck Krieger for some pithy NY garment district and construction advice!
  • Heirloom Labels who let you order labels in small quantities, like around 50-100 or less:

  • This bag was originally inspired by Terry de Campo of Denver, who is never seen on the bike without his little drawstring bag ... 
  • To "mountain man" Jeff Bryce, a guy who makes his own clothes and helped me build the original prototype.


August 2012

Feb 2012

  • New metal stud snap
  • 1" black reflective strip found to be generic and deficient, now using 5/8" genuine 3M Scotchlite strip on all TCB's 

February 2011

November 2010 

March 2010

Jan 2010

  • About 100 sold so far - maybe more? Via word of internet.
  • New Guy version now has 2 extra inches added to each strap, later reverted back - people aren't as big as I thought! 

Dec 2009

  • Added Snap Source Snaps
  • Made black pockets 2" deeper to accommodate snap closure
  • Made Guyfromdownunder black pocket big enough for unrolled New York Times

Nov 2009

  • Launched 15" wide Guyfromdownunder version, 3/4" nylon webbing straps
  • Switched to lighter, 2.2 Oz Black Supplex material
  • Switched to more water resistant, fade-resistant ANSI orange neon polyester material
  • Reinforced orange pocket center seam with backing material 
  • Hand-sew large back snap to black pocket on Guy bag
  • Increased orange pocket depth on both sizes

June 2009

  • Added stitch in channel to restrict straps from twisting
  • Cauterized strap ends with flame before sewing to eliminate fraying
  • Switched to yellow embroidered "Galfromdownunder But Made In America" label.
  • Increased orange pocket width, double center seam for added strength
  • Added elastic loop on orange side for blinky light

Jan 2009

  • Launched 13" wide Galfromdownunder version, 1/2" nylon webbing straps
  • 4.4 oz Black Taslan
  • Neon Orange Nylon Packcloth
  • Sewn by Caroline Fu Design, 265 West 37 St, 10th Floor, Suite 10W, Phone (917) 660-4673

Jan 2007

  • Prototype, using triple layer XALT laminated orange/black from The Rain Shed, Corvallis. Like all good laminates they bubble and separate over time, therefore next prototype incorporates two separate layers sewn back to back.

Last updated: Feb 2012


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

TCB: Making the straps a leeeeetle bit longer

A simple carabiner from any dollar store add length the straps. Buy a quality one from a camping store for extra strength. 
In the spirit of K.I.S.S. I've tried to keep the straps of the TCB's One Size Fits Most.  And indeed they do. When the bag is laid flat and the top is opened completely, the strap lengths are cut as follows:

Small TCB:  54" (or about 13" exposed length)
Large TCB:  56" (or about 14" exposed length)

It's better that they're a bit shorter than longer, because it's a real pain to make them shorter later (the join and strap anchoring stitches have to be in just the right place, ends cauterized with a flame and stitched etc etc - all by hand).

But if you want to make them longer, it's simple. Buy an inexpensive, stylish black carabiner like the ones sold at the store I worked at*. Or you can get a real el cheapo kind from $2 stores.

You simply insert the carabiner between the D-ring and snap hook at the bottom corner of each…

3-in-1 Reversible Traffic Cone Bag™ Customer Reviews


Write your review in the Comments below. Or, you may prefer to post on the TCB Facebook Fan Page.


Reviews prior to 2010:

September 10, 2009: Lynette,

The bag I won at your generous Weekday Cyclists raffle was so appreciated by Randy, when we recently biked from Lexington MA to (almost) Boston on their wonderful bike trails. She was so pleased with the design, workmanship, and usefulness. - Joseph

Lauren Hefferon, principal of multi-award-winning Friday Friendly bicycle tour company Cicilsmo Classico, says: Ciao Lynette. I have been loving your Galdown Under Napsack...whatever you call it. One of our backpacks was stolen and we needed another one to carry water and extra layers. Now I am using it to carry my laptop. I love the bright color!

April 14, 2009: Danny Chiang is a New York architect, Bike Friday owner and brevet aficionado - he likes the bag in "musette" mode. "It's a New York bag!" he declares. Shot in Chelsea's Senegalese-F…

Watching your back in Lebanon: Following 120 women cyclists on a mission of peace

This week's TCB sighting hails from a bike seat in Lebanon - where 120 adventurous women cyclists visited Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps, bringing a message of peace. As you can see, two of the riders, Colleen McGuire and Carol Murry wore their Traffic Cone Bags - least they could find each other in that big peloton!

According to the FollowTheWomen website, the ride is the brainchild of 2001 European Woman of the Year, Detta Regan. In April 2004 she gathered together 270 women from all over the world, including America, Palestine, Britain and Iraq, to ride bicycles for over 300 kilometres through Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to campaign for peace and an end to violence in the region.

According to Colleen, this year's edition was organized by Beirut By Bike which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in business.

"Its director, Jawad Sbeity, enabled us to meet with common people who expressed enormous gratitude that we came to visit their country. Lebanese mother…