Talk about Monday motivation?

 

With such an exciting week lying ahead I just felt the energy and set about the day with the iron will to get things done; exactly what that entails for me I shall leave a mystery, giving you the opportunity to ask me in person (no awkward silence over here).

 

 

I went by to Diner to show them the 'Naughties Hoodie' I made with Factry but barely have had to chance to show you all. It's not some cheap body either, but a proper heavyweight hooded sweat with an inner fleece-like material, so that means even in the winter daytime when combined with some type of heat tech (long johns and some type of inner down jacket - notice mine protruding from the hoodie - shot above).

 

 

The print is inspired by my late teens and specifically around the year 2000; where I spent a lot of time in London's Soho area where I would visit places like this:

 

 

Yeh, I miss the excitement of entering a new millennium, the record shops, clubs and the internet back then... it was all very exciting until certain events unfolded back 01'...meh!

 

 

Delivery of W.A.C.C goods is soon, so get your order in while you still can, at FACTRY ONLINE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy to announce the arrival of another one of my talented friends from my home city (London)... 

 

 

He goes by the name Henry Wu, and he like some of my other friends continue to show through their works, that there is a difference between music and *music*.

 

 

This will be his 2nd visit to Tokyo his first being back in 2016, where we got to link up and spend time visiting spots like the Jazzy Sport store in Gohongi (real ones recognize innit):

 

 

I could ramble on about the sense of people today, what that means for music and culture around etc, but simply his tastes and music speaks for itself:

 

 

Get a real for his music and playing style via his latest NTS show:

 

 

Also, do not forget to 'Catch the loop' via his latest creation 'Kamaal Williams':

 

 

 

If you like these vibes then be sure to check us out this Saturday the 16th at Night Club Trump Tokyo...

 

 

‘Free Parking’ 

12/16/SAT 21:00 - 05:00  at Night Club Trump Tokyo:

Featuring special guest ‘Henry Wu’ and friends Sauce81, JMS Khosah, DJ IZM, RGL, Fujimoto Tetsuro and Tikini!!!


I usually reserve music and such for the W.A.C.C posts, but kinda felt this one today...

Go check out there Bandcamp...

Recently I have been thinking about routes, as in the paths you choose to take and how each of them affect your total travel time, speed and fatigue level. If you ride single speed (fixed or free); you know that some routes are quicker than others but more troublesome (like they contain a big hill, too much traffic or rough roads)...other than those reasons though surely your choice of path comes from familiarity or preference?

The familiarity of roads is something that helps me ride confidently no matter where I am, so even if I am in Osaka which I don't know geographically soo well, I can still get a feel for the roads by type and this other sense you build up the more you ride around.

In winter though I just want to get from place to place as quickly as possible!

It's always been that way...

Ever since I started riding...

One of the best ways to speed this winter (or anytime) is by making your bike lighter, by using our original Carbon Forks

Weighing just 340 grams...

You'll be sure to notice the difference immediately - that plus the added aerodynamics and obvious aesthetics:

The toughness of Carbon Fiber as a material is well documented - so what are you waiting for?

I've been using these forks since late 2014, and they have served me well as you can see from the battle scars they hold...

I hope you get to make good use of your carbon forks I have done...

Need a bike to go with the forks? How about this:

'Avenue Lo' chrome Carbon Fork edition


The latter half of this year has seen a lot of firsts for me, about two weeks ago it was visiting the sub-tropical Island of Amami Oshima; and while there took a real solo ocean adventure, me and a SUP board you have to ask me in the flesh about the incident it was very real.

 

 

Soon after coming back, I was able to meet a real legend (in my books)...

 

 

 

The gentleman on your left is Yuzo Koshiro who's musical creations were definitely the soundtrack to some of the earlier years of my life, I guess this was the first time meeting someone who has had an influence on my life BUT that I absolutely had no idea I would ever get to meet.

 

From a musical perspective specifically the game 'Streets of Rage 2' (aka Bare Knuckle 2), had sounds that are just bonkers for the time and the way the referenced club/rave music of that era.

 

 

It was also the first time I've had my money swallowed by this machine - the real question is what drink was I actually trying to buy? 

 

 

A notable first however was my experience snowboarding, just a couple of days ago in Niigata (Kagura)

 

 

I was struck with a real sense of forbearing since everyone was quick to tell me how hard it is to slide, how much I would fall over and finally how much my body would ache after everything - I guess everyone was right...

 

 

 

The snow was still hard and weather shifted from a clear day to a rainy and misty one...

 

 

Yet none of the above stopped me from having a great time, I also have a very good basic grasp of how to snowboard and looking forward to the next time I hit the slopes.

 

 

Not your usual post, but my life has been far from usual.

Feed your soul and do something unusual today!

 

It's always exciting when we add new colors (sorry for the spelling) into our fleet, in the first place you can never be 100% sure if the color you selected from a swatch book will actually look good in the flesh (frame), actually even samples can differ from the final product - meaning it's always a gamble, we've barely ever lost this time around being no exception.

 

Ladies and Gentleman ("...and I use that term loosely") here are the newest additions to our fleet:

 

 

'Avenue Lo' Sky Blue ¥79,920 

 

 

Someone on the team called it the 'Amami Blue' after the clear blue skies and seas you can find on the sub-tropical Island. This color holds a particular nostalgia since it really reminds me of my first fixed gear bike (an NJS Panasonic job). Since black parts also finish this model off, I wonder how carbon fiber parts would look also?

 

 

The specs:

 

HANDLE: BULLHORN BAR 
STEM: ALLOY 
SADDLE: CARTEL SEAT 
POST: KALOY 
CRANKSET: CARTEL 46T 
PEDAL: ALLOY
WHEELSET: CARTEL42mm ALUMINIUM Deep, 32H, 700c, BK 
TYRE KENDA 23C 
COG: FIX/16T 
WEIGHT 9.8kg 
SIZE[C-C] S/50cm M/54cm L/58cm 

 

This is the only colorway we introduced to our 'Avenue Lo' line, which means we move onto our 'Avenue' bikes...

 

 

'Avenue' Bordeaux ¥59,400 

 

 

I pretty much love all things purple (even more so if they are edible), and this shade of purple reminds of some of my favorite drinks and snacks - and ever so slightly of the tone midnight purple.

 

 

The specs:

 

FRAMESET: CARTEL BIKES AVENUE
HANDLE: DROP BAR 
STEM: ALLOY 
SADDLE: CARTEL SEAT 
POST: KALOY 
CRANKSET: CARTEL 46T 
PEDAL: ALLOY
WHEELSET: CARTEL42mm ALUMINIUM Deep, JOYTECH32H, 700c, BK TYRE NYLON 23C 
COG: FIX/FREE 16T 
WEIGHT 9.8kg 
BRAKE PROMAX

 

The last of the new colors...

 

 

'Avenue' Forest Green ¥59,400 

 

 

This particular photo does not do the gloss of the frame justice, since, when you look deeper you begin to notice that this shade of green is comprised of a wide array of colors that become apparent depending on which way the light reflects them. The black parts are the perfect finish.

 

 

The spec:

 

FRAMESET: CARTEL BIKES AVENUE
HANDLE: DROP BAR 
STEM: ALLOY 
SADDLE: CARTEL SEAT 
POST: KALOY 
CRANKSET: CARTEL 46T 
PEDAL: ALLOY
WHEELSET: CARTEL42mm ALUMINIUM Deep, JOYTECH32H, 700c, BK TYRE NYLON 23C 
COG: FIX/FREE 16T 
WEIGHT 9.8kg 
BRAKE PROMAX

 

Our new colorways are available NOW!


The number 17, which according to certain schools of numerology does not actually exist (only values 1-9), when we combined 1 and 7 we have to view them as 8; however this has absolutely nothing to do with today's blog content, however, you may have noticed that I missed doing a number 17 W.A.C.C update.

 

So here it is...

 

Today, I share my humble bike collection with you...

 

 

I've been riding around Tokyo day-to-day since 2011, and when you only have 1 bicycle in your fleet, your perspective may be limited - I mean to say your experience of cycling is based on the particular bicycle you own. By creating my own bicycle 'The Specular' my perspective on cycling broaden; finding myself enjoying more of a yin-yang (on/off) experience of riding.

 

The Specular

 

 

This has quickly become my go-to bike, a subtle thing, which most people overlook...my experience when riding it has been that it seems to catch the attention of people who really have a passion or interest in bikes. Usually, it's the handlebars that draw them in, then after that - the split top tube:

 

 

 

The bike rewards you when push it though, and while it sports cruiser like features, don't sleep on it, I gave my one a direct crankset to ensure that I can push the bicycle to it's maximum - but it's not a fixed gear bike?  Well, you only have to look out some road bikes to understand the logic behind that.

 

 

The Blueprint (?)

 

 

This bike... the one we all know, you see it and you think of Cartel Bikes. The way I customized it, has really made it MY OWN - taking breaks away from it by riding The Specular' has helped me appreciate what a beast thing can be...always the quickest off lights (with me riding it anyway) - using the same OMNIUM for transferring the power to the wheels and for assisting my off-beat skid style...

 

 

It's those handlebars though that really give me a surprise each I ride this bike...they offer such a unique riding position, which makes you feel alive (ON), you also have to concentrate a lot more since they are extremely sensitive to your movements.

 

 

Combined with the stability of the Chris King no thread headset - the handling becomes accurate, making those traffic weaving decisions easy to judge.

 

 

The carbon saddle is also always part of that ON feeling, it's much more comfortable than it looks and sounds but you know you buy this saddle with weight reduction in mind, and also a good idea of how many kilometers your riding range is...

 

 

 

 

I am interested in expanding this topic, so will be introducing you to others who have a broader perspective of what it means to cycle.

 

Stay Tuned!

 

 

For me right now challenging myself to do things that I have never done before, seeking inspiration and refreshment are essential.

So I feel blessed that through my works with Cartel Bikes and those working along with us, we were all able to share some awesome experiences that ticked off all the boxes of things I am challenging myself to do now:

 

 

I guess the first thing you need to do is choose the right settings, usually going to place where you have never been before and perhaps have heard very little about will help with this...taking a plane can help with that.

 

 

No need to disconnect even when flying!

 

 

However, you might want to think twice before about staying connected, you wouldn't want to miss sights like this? Fuji-san in all it's aerial glory - there is even a hole in it...

 

 

Just to put into perspective as to how far you might have to get away...

 

 

Still in Japan and still a long way from home... Amami Oshima

 

 

Where we stayed at what is called a "Pension" here in Japan, which they named Green Hill...

 

 

I guess it had two parts to it...we stayed at the more homely one...

 

 

Which offered fantastic views of the coastline...

 

 

Amami offered us the unique chance to visit a mangrove by Kayak...

 

 

It was real...

 

 

Just like the stuff you see on the BBC...Never thought I'd see a mangrove in real life

 

 

Since we were on an island with temperatures still in the low 20s (Celsius), it only made sense that we take advantage of the beach...

 

 

Since I am not the greatest surfer in the world, I opted to sharpen my SUP skills...

 

 

We also had an underwater camera + snorkel, which I must confess made me a little shook since there was just such an abundance of life under the sea.

 

 

With the SUP thing though, I did improve...and also accepted a challenge, which if we meet in person I will tell you all about, I will say this much, the ocean is a vast and daunting place...

 

 

When you are just chilling on the beach it's awesome though!

 

 

I think I will use the car as our next Funktion flyer... appreciation for it being our mode of transport and it's nostalgic looks...

 

 

Thanks for to all the Cartel crew for making this happen...

 

 

Until next time...

 

 


If new things are nice, then new things you create have to be nicer!

 

For this, I have to once again thank Factry for bringing my ideas to life - we finally got our 6-panel cap samples in:

 

 

Apparently, the owners of the sewing factory are an elderly couple, who also had to deal with physically moving location, so big up to them for managing to cope with our orders on top of everything else.

 

Also got send a shout out to DJ Alamaki for repping our Naughties hoodie, while he was playing on Abema TV:

 

 

Here I am trying to show my appreciation for the sample by taking a selfie in the bathroom of Trump Tokyo, where we will hold Funktion every week:

 

 

Erm I have been really slow uploading these mixes we have been recording there, but I did get a little started so I thought I would share these with you today in the hopes it forces me to upload more and more:

 

 

If you want to catch some similar vibes be sure to come and chill with us this night at Space Orbit in Sancha...

 

 

I also have to tell you all how pumped I am for the new Diskotopia release...

 

 

Yes by Wally Badarou!!!

 

 

In 2017 and going forward into the future, new music released needs to be coming out on some sort of authoritative kinda vibes like this... everything sounds the same these days, so-called creators and artists falling victim to the new sounds, genres, and such they helped create, proving themselves to be novel at best - but that won't stop the masses, meanwhile in Nishi Azabu...

 

 

The one song he put out and that I have heard being played our ALOT recently is this classic:

 

 

I am going to sign out by letting you know that our 'Specular' is now available with these riser handlebars at no additional cost (it's actually on sale at Diner): 

 

 

However, don't limit your imagination to what we serve you by default, there are still many ways in which this original can be customized...

 

 

 

If you need some more ideas feel free to mail us at info@cartelbike.com or walk into any of our dealers nationwide.

Adieu 

 

"Don't let the cold weather slow you down" this year - as we posted on our Instagram yesterday.

 

 

Even during Tokyo's dry and cold winters, slowing down (by not riding) is not an option for me, the thought of cold dry winds is indeed intimidating as the wind chill can be serious (painful?), with a bit forethought though, you can be dressed to face all conditions:

 

 

It's always about what you wear, the right balance that enables you to keep warm while not overdoing it with heavy and cumbersome clothing that makes you sweat. 

 

 

It's funny that sweating while riding is pretty much a summer and winter thing, the difference being that summer is more of an annoyance, rather than in winter where you can face the chance of catching a cold or worse from cooling down too fast or by not thoroughly drying your body off when you finally stop riding.

 

 

One of the most useful items you could make use of is a neck warmer/face mask; I made this custom one myself...

 

 

It keeps your mouth, nose, and throat moist while of course protecting the sensitive areas of your neck and face, seriously having your neck exposed is the road to suffering - as that cold wind will enter underneath the rest of your clothing via your neck ESPECIALLY if you are riding. 

 

Just to re-emphasize:

 

 

Are you ready to ride this winter?

 

 

Our bikes have always been about customization, if you been following this blog long enough you'll remember this is a point we pushed strongly. Building up a bike that defines you and answers all your demands - standing out from the rest.

 

Just like this customer's bike does:

 

 

The super light blue bar tape from fizik, is already enough to deter most would-be thieves:

 

 

Also, the unmissable Eroica limited edition saddle by Brooks:

 

 

 

How well does your bicycle define you?


Welcome to West Azabu currently one of the safest places in Japan...

 

 

It's not just because of the previously mentioned barracks, but since there is a controversial political figure about to cast a huge shadow on our beloved neighborhood, by his visit to both Japan and parts of Asia. The visit has put Tokyo's 43,000 police officers into overdrive mode, which has them patrolling the area around the Hardy Barracks, referred to as Kasumi-Cho and also where we just happened to be based for now. What does this mean? Loads of patrols, posted guards and a lack of Oden and Umakara chicken at Lawson (snack time ruined!) - them man dere hungry.

 

However this visit, Halloween, this weekend's national holiday AND the very pleasant weather have definitely given Tokyo an injection of energy with a number of fairs and events currently taking place.

 

 

I got on my early Friday afternoon to check one particular event out:

 

 

More than for the digging in the crates appeal, I went to link up with some friends who I have not seen in a while...

 

 

When I saw the following category of records I had to at once pursue further...

 

 

For two albums from this guy; Yuji Toriyama:

 

 

You can find an abundance online, but the prices were reasonably high to start with, and have as much as doubled during this year - not sure who dropped one of his tunes on a mix of some sort, but it was that mix which got me into Toriyama-san and maybe everyone else?

 

It was not all records though...

 

 

In the end, I also managed to pick up some records on the cheap...

 

 

And was able to play them out that very night:

 

 

You can get your latest W.A.C.C gear via the collaboration we have running with Factry...

 


Last Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the Tokyo Motorshow, which was my first time, quite surprising as from since I was a young teen it's always been one of my goals to pay a visit (too much Sega GT or Tokyo Highway Challenge - being inspired by scenes like this:

 

 

Fast forward to 2017, and the emphasis has definitely moved away from brute horsepower towards zero emissions and self-driving cars. However, No Motorshow would be complete without some kind of performance cars; and where there are performance cars, I found there is one composite material being put to use is...

 

 

That one composite material that links all high performance  / special operation machines and vehicles together...

 

 

I am sure by now you would have guessed I am talking about Carbon Fiber - you can read about it more by clicking on the word, but the benefits are obvious:

 

 


 

As I posted on our Instagram today - Looks + weight reduction + aerodynamics + momentum = our C.B.3+

 

 

Which is a stylish alternative to our C.B.3

 

 

The perfect companion to both our original Chromoly bikes and...well any single speed bike for that matter.

 

 

Another charm that baton carbon fiber wheels offer is the noise they create while chopping up the wind and making the aerodynamic envelope. 

 

 

Did I also mention how good they look?

 

 

I believe it's the texture caused by the unique weaving technique involved in creating carbon fiber.

 

 

The C.B.3+ and other parts are available from specialists stores like Diner - 03-6427-2745

 

 

As the weather cools down and I am taking back to this video collaboration we did with the good folks at Powered.by:

 

The Time Is Always Now from poweredby.tokyo on Vimeo.

 

See you on the next update