Custom Xtracycle Bags

Posted: April 7, 2010 in Uncategorized
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I love my xtracycle.  I got it from Franklin, who is THE MAN when it comes to all things xtracycle.  If you need one, track him down.  
I don’t love the stock bags, though.  They are a good concept, but the material is pretty thin, the velcro flap pockets aren’t useable, and they just don’t seem that substantial.

I decided to make a new set, based on xtracycle’s design, but with a longer flap.


The original bags.


I visited my sister a while ago in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and she took me to an incredible crafters junk store in Durham, NC.  It was my kind of place.  They had wacky things like 55 gallon drums full of film canister lids, big bins full of foam boppy sticks, and endrolls of reflective 3M scotchbrite sign-making film (you’ll see more about this in weeks to come).  

The lady there sold me TWO FULL COW HIDES for $20 (!), plus a box of scraps (‘just get them out of my way…’)  I cut apart my stock bags to make a template, and laid out custom pockets for lock, water bottle, pump, etc.

Here is the finished product.


The buckles are from a belt factory that we found after a weird taxi ride around a sketchy neighborhood on the north edge of Guadalajara, MX.

The structure of flaps that attach to the freeloader rack – I was worried that if I just riveted the flaps to the leather, that they might pull thru the leather with heavy loads, so I made a webbing harness that wraps each flap.  Rivets pierce the leather and three thicknesses of 1.5″ webbing.

For the side pockets, I used netting that a fisherman named ‘Erby’ gave me on the docks in Moss Landing.  The trim is lightweight 3/4″ fire hose.  I made the sides a little taller than the stock ones.  I didn’t like the chintzy drawcords on the stock bags, so I just used parachute cord with grommets and tie a knot in the cord where I want it.

Pocket trim is also lightweight fire hose.

We’ll make these to order starting at $200/pair.  Leather is expensive, and it takes about 20 square feet of it to make a pair, so leather will cost more – depends on what materials you want to use.

Other material options include burlap, fire hose, canvas, waxed cotton, truck tarp or anything else that we can find used – we don’t buy new fabric.


  1. collin hoffmann says:

    yo…. this is awesome… i’m lookin for what you got… would be happy if we could maybe correspond a little about what i’m lookin for/what works on my big dummy.. lemme know how to get ahold of someone.. thanks!!!!

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