With our next ride fast approaching...

 

 

I thought it would be a good opportunity to review some simple ways to customize your bike (especially if you are an existing 'Cartel Bike' owner).

 

For this post, I am going to use our 'Avenue Lo' chrome as a base example:

 

 

We use our friend's at Diner's original 3 spoke for the front wheel here, a wheel that will make a world a difference to your bike's performance. Slicing through the wind to reduce your aerodynamic drag, while at the same time giving your bike a huge weight reduction since this wheel weighs only 850g. In my own experience, this wheel helps give me a huge boost off the start line, going further to give you extra gains as you reach your top speed.

 

 

Why not try the benefits for yourself? Available now - ¥ 97,200 from Diner.

 

This custom goes even further by making use of another one of DIner's carbon wheeled offerings in the form of their 24mm wheel.

 

The lightest wheel I've ever ridden on... and less weight = more speed, may I also add that every wheel needs a good tire...

 

Available now - ¥51,840 from Diner.

 

 

Currently, I have been using Vittoria's Zaffiro tire and must say it's one of the best tires I have ever ridden with, since it offers low rolling resistance while having high durability, so the risk of getting a puncture is reduced majorly, that plus you can skid without worrying so much about conversing rubber!

 

Vittoria Zaffiro - ¥2700

 

 

The final touch was including Diner's carbon saddle 2.0; a hard but light option that I believe works well when combined with our Chromoly bikes, due to the alloy's ability to be flexible, absorbing the bumps and jolts the road you feel when riding.

 

 

Available now - ¥12,960

 

 

In this 2nd example, we change it up...

 

 

Replacing the 'Avenue Lo' bullhorn bars with Diner's original aluminum drop handlebars:

 

 

A possible replacement option when by our bikes from Diner or...

 

Available now - ¥3240

 

 

Using Diner's original 88mm offering similar performance high as the 3 spoke but at a lower price.

 

Available now - ¥54,000

 

 

Custom 1)

 

 

Custom 2)

 

 

Contact our friends at Diner for more ideas on how to customize your bike.


When our sky blue 'Avenue Lo' first arrived...

 

 

My thoughts went straight to long summer days with open roads and without time being a factor... hmm I think this image is best captured by the works of Hiroshi Nagai:

 

 

Personally, there is something nostalgic about the both Hiroshi Nagai's works and the sky blue of the 'Avenue Lo', with major 'happiness' undertones...or the pursuit of it, hence his heavy use of roads and distant views of the cityscape or landscape.

 

 

Well if you are in pursuit of happiness, and to want to do it on the open road with the sun shining, our sky blue offering may just be your means to those ends.

 

A closer look?:

 

 

The black parts providing that contrast...

 

 

 

Actually, my whole reason for sharing this radiant 'Avenue Lo' with you, is because there are only 4 left... and like all our color variations bikes, we will not be remaking this one either.

 

Those last 4 are also on special offer from Diner:

 

AVAILABLE NOW - ¥79,920→¥69,120

 

 

Hiroshi Nagai's illustrations were popularized through the records jackets he designed, with this one being the most famous:

 

 

I am not familiar with this particular record myself but through my W.A.C.C adventures I have discovered many gems from *THAT* era... with one of my favorites being this:

 

 

I searched high and low for this record... resisting the temptation to buy it from Discogs, but alas my search was fruitless.

 

Then just yesterday my friend Kay Suzuki...

 

 

Shared a post about his new label... Time Capsule 

 

 

 

 

That is actually a re-issue label, with one of the first releases being...

 

 

 

Oh yes... what a touch and you dun know the 'Donna' track is on there!!!!

Kay Suzuki:

 

 

And if that was not enough...Lord Tusk

 

 

Sent me his latest LP with the message "PROTECT THE YOUTH & STOP THE VIOLENCE!!!" so here it is ...

 

 

The drop:

 

 

Be sure to also not miss his 'Alternative soundtrack' for the animated film Akira...

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next ride out...

 

 

DATE: 07/22/2018

MEETING TIME: 17:45

MEETING PLACE: The Wall (behind); 106-0013, Tokyo, Minato-ku, Nishi-Azabu 4-2-10, 102

ROUTE:  Approx 20km


  • START, The Wall; Nishi Azabu

  • Tengenji

  • Tamachi

  • Hinode

  • Hamamatsucho

  • Shiodome

  • Tsukiji

  • Ginza

  • Nihombashi

  • Tokyo Station

  • HIbiya

  • Akasaka

  • Nogizaka

Finish, DINER

 

At W.A.C.C we like to keep our pictures on 35mm film for the sheer nostalgic aesthetic and it seems that everyone who has been joining our rides has been the same, from the 2nd ride it was Adam (on the far left) who came through with is film joint:

 

 

However, the last ride was no exception with young master Sena (again on the far left) blessing up the ride with his 35mm shots:

 

 

Finally, Diner's young mechanic smiles (Naruya in the middle), with myself and Jiro adding to the overly friendly atmosphere of the photo.

 

 

Who will come through with the film camera this time?

 

Gonna leave you with a live mix that was recorded live at Jazzy Sport Shimokitazawa's 2nd anniversary and shared on the wonderful platform NTS:

 

 

You can listen back here:

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 


Extending the distance by approximately 4km, riding in the heat of the summer day, and competing with Sunday drivers... our ride 02 was a success - here is a basic summary of our ride (thanks to Takugami-san at Diner for providing us with his cycling computer):

 

 

The course was set to be just over 16km:

 

 

However, it seems somewhere along the ride we dropped of 300 meters, which I believe is due to us cycling, whereas google maps calculations were based on someone walking the route.

 

That said, I am very pleased that once again the route I planned worked out just as I imaged it would, with the proof being via the satellite image captured by the C.C (cycling computer).

 

 

The C.C gives us an even more detailed break down of our ride... and would you check out the top-speed we clocked (going downhill) 41.7 km/h, with our highest RPM being 108...not bad.

 

 

This ride we had two guests excluding Mr.Takugami and me:

 

 

And we had to the honor of being joined by Jiro who is very experienced rider and fixed gear bike head pictured below in the white tee...

 

 

I asked him a bit about his background and bike and he shared that he got into fixed gear bikes via the OG Otaki-san from T19 (RIP); who told him simply that "pista bikes were cool".

 

Jiro's bike uses a special frame (which I won't name on Cartel's blog...but ask me), and also makes use of some special parts in particularly his wheels which he made the size calculations for and also gathered together the parts for...I mean the spokes were butted FFS... not only that his bike makes use of a 'Dura Ace' groupset, Mavic rims, custom MKS Neuvo pedals and a retro Brooks saddle that he pulled out of the 80s.

 

This is one reason why group rides are exciting... the mix (?! ask me ).

 

The ride itself was pretty intense until we reached the Suidobashi area, by intense I mean that is when the C.C clocked us at 108 rpm going downhill from Yotsuya toward the Suidobashi, oops not forgetting the preceding step, that short but intense climb from Akasaka MItsuke toward Yotsuya... our guests were caught a bit off guard by that one. 

 

 

The biggest highlight being when we hit the Kokyo area...

 

 

Since every Sunday, the road is for cyclists only...and after competing with the Sunday drivers, it was like we had found an oasis of our own... Mr.Jiro got hyped and suddenly showed us his speed, experience, and love of cycling!

 

 

Also need to give a big shout out to young master Sena, since this was not only his first proper ride it was also his first time getting to see many of Tokyo's famous landmarks...

 

 

More updates coming soon about our next ride... big shout out to all those who tried but could not make it...

 

 

See you at the next one!

We starting this post by saying thank you very much to 'Fine magazine' for always supporting us, with this month our matte white 'Avenue' getting the shine:

 

 

==========================

■媒体名:『Fine』
■発売日:6/10 売り7月号
■掲載ページ:P123

==========================

 

The matte white 'Avenue' is a stable in its own right since here at 'Cartel Bikes', we have had the unspoken rule of not repeating the colored variations of the bikes in our fleet with the exception of matte black... and matte white, we even had a matte white version of our 'Avenue Lo'.

 

For now, only our 'Avenue' comes in matte white, and in this post, I want to share with you a custom version that while simple is not understated:

 

 

From this angle, it looks like almost any standard 'Avenue', with one exception...

 

 

Then you take a deeper look and realize...

 

 

The wheels are not the standard black Aluminium wheels, but instead, make use of Diner's original 60mm wheels both front and back:

 

 

And replaced our standard saddle with Brooks mighty Team Pro S here in chrome:

 

 

All 'Avenue' bikes start at ¥59400 and are the easiest way to join our cartel!

 

 

 

 

 

 


So first of we really apologize again for having to postpone 'The Wind Down', but it really was for the better as the weather was truly BBQ-PROOF due to this Typhoon/Cyclone? 

 

 

The run-up to our party saw a rise in the sales of the both the 'City Bike' and of course the 'Hombrementary', and since the yellow & white version with black parts is now out of stock. It seems the 2nd favorite has been the matte black version with black parts.

 

Thank you to Diner for providing us with the following:

 

 

 

I was supposed to follow up on our blog post 'Unwinding The Wind Down' with a part 2... to explain just how special being able to collaborate with 'Hombre Nino' is for us, due to History, and to also show that we are keeping the legacy of the culture alive, by recognizing the influence these and those had over us.

 

Your piece of that legacy exists too:

 

The 'Hombrementary' in matte black with black parts - Available Now.

 

 

 

Did I ever mention MFK to you before? 

 

I think I did when I once blogged about Goth Money Records... but I've been connected with the man behind the label, movement and truly one of the most influential people this facet of hip-hop culture that people called trap and more specifically Gothic Trap and even mumble rap however you wish to define them, MFK's efforts helped make Yung Lean, Gothic Boy Clique, Black Kray and many more to shine.

 

 

We had a great chat at one of my favorite places to kick it C.O.D... how allowed us to play my favorite album he made:

 

 

So while listening he confirmed for me that certain things are already well in place...and that if you want to find that 'Big Jerry' come to the states, especially LA. However, he was breaking down for me how they have set DC set up to merge with the ley lines...

 

 

Yeh that is Osiris... and Osiris is the reason we met:

 

 

And it was through Osiris that we were also able to connect MFK and his sound to Japan via TREAM:

 

 

It's funny how things come together but never an accident...leaving you with the video he dropped while he stayed over:

 

 

Thanks once again to Sawaken...

 

 

If you are around tonight come and celebrate with me at Trump Tokyo!!!

 

 

 

 

 

明日開催を予定しておりました
「The Wind Down」は
悪天候が予想されるため延期とさせていただきます。
ご来場を予定されていた方には大変申し訳ございませんが、
後日改めて開催を予定しておりますので、
日程が決まり次第お知らせいたします。
ご迷惑をお掛けし大変申し訳ございませんが、
何卒ご理解いただきますようお願い申し上げます。

This message is to inform you that 
Our party ‘The Wind Down’ has been postponed, 
due to approaching severe weather and the high likelihood of a Typhoon. 
We sincerely apologize and look forward 
to enjoying ‘The Wind Down’ 
with you and your friends, soon.

 

 

Allow me to unravel the web behind this event of how everything is delicately intertwined, though I am sure there are many out there who completely understand just by looking at the event flyer.

Starting with the venue, back when I started at Cartel Bikes in 2015 we'd call it by another name:

 

 

'Just Another Space' which we all refer to as 'Berry', now in case you didn't know 'Berry' has been a part of Cartel's network since 2015, so it's only fitting and also about time that we held a party there!

They have been kind enough to give us the 5F so we can get our BBQ on, and even if it rains we have been blessed with a few Tarps so the grilling can continue:

 

 

So we are truly good to go!

 

We started the year by revisiting our collaboration with Bal Original, this time with a limited edition color 'Dune Gold'...

 

 

The first drop of the 'City Bike' ended with more demand then we could supply, so we wanted to give those people another chance to get their hands on this rare vintage style step-in framed fixed gear bike - literally the bike is just that, defined by wheel size and the parts we used to make it. It's this type of ingenuity that has set Bal apart from other brands, and one of the main reasons I was happy to model for the brand for many years, with one of our last pieces of work being this short video, that was actually nominated for an award at an independent film festival in Milan:

 

bal original 2017 SS image movie from baloriginal on Vimeo.

 

I spoke to Eda-san, who is one half of the Bal team, about how he too was also heavily into riding fixed gear bikes during that initial golden age here in Japan...where he picked up an injury by taking part in one of the night park races held at Yoyogi park - which of course means he is also good friends with the people at 'Hombre Nino' and meant he was also riding with Yoppi-san back in those days, so you can begin understanding how both collaborations and our party come together?:

 

 

I guess our event has been drawing attention to both our collaborations and as such here is the latest happy owner of the 'City Bike':

 

 

The 'City Bike' is still available now!

 

 

To wrap up, I want to thank all the press who have been giving our event support, it really has made a difference.

 

Thank you FNMNL;

 

 

Thank you Mastered;

 

 

Don't miss 'THE WIND DOWN', rain or shine we will have those good vibes for you!!!

 

 

 

 

As we published in our last blog post we are officially putting on a party; that commemorates the collaborations we have done with the brands 'Bal Original' and 'Hombre Nino'. You can be sure it's going to be one hell of a memorable evening (rain or shine)... and the event is also getting some pull in the media - starting off with the Weekender:

 

 

Seems our name has been carried far and wide these days outside the realm of fixed gear bikes, and you can expect some exciting news coming soon to a blog near you:

 

 

We also have to say a big thanks to Warp Magazine, this current issue is very bike-focused, as the title suggests:

 

 

As such you can find a lot of Cartel bits in there, primarily thanks to  our extended family:

 

They started with Hombre Nino's Yoppi-san; who is also the brains behind our 'Hombrementary'...

 

 

Here is a custom version you have seen on our Instagram based on the matte black model with black parts...

 

 

They also picked up our head shop; Diner and had me feature our chrome 'Avenue Lo' that was fitted with Encore's front and rear Arctic wheels.

 

 

Our friends at Bal also gave us a nice boost by showing our 'City Bike' collaboration, here modeled by 'Take' from the Monkey Timers:

 

 

I also posted a custom version of the 'City Bike', as it was being held on special offer at Diner...

 

 

Finally an added surprise via our friend Tsumi from HellRazor; here with his well customized 'Avenue Lo' that we featured on here some years back... 

 

 

 

The matte black 'Avenue Lo' is still the staple and to re-affirm that point I took the following photos of it to show just how simple yet powerful it is even without any customization being done to it:

 

 

It's no wonder we are getting out there...

 

See you next update!

 

We are very happy to announce our next party:

 

'THE WIND DOWN'

 

 

Date: 6/10/2018 日・ Sunday
Time: 16:00 – 23:00 
Place: Berry, Fujiya Building 5F, Kamimeguro 1-3-9, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan

2018年”Bal Original”と”Hombre Nino”2つのストリートファッションブランドとコラボレーションを果たしたCARTELBIKES。そのコラボレーションに感謝し、サンクスパーティーを開催!!「The Wind Down」”くつろぎ”をテーマにCARTELBIKESとの親交のある"Berry"で開催。Berryの自慢のルーフトップテラスにて心地よい風と音楽をご提供致します。また当日はCARTELBIKESオリジナルドリンクもご用意しております。皆さんのお越しをお待ちしております。

This year 'Cartel Bikes' has had the pleasure of collaborating with two street fashion brands ‘Bal Original’ and ‘Hombre Nino’. To show our appreciation, we are holding a thank you party that we call ‘The Wind Down’ at ‘Berry’, with the theme being “relaxation”.
Our friends at Berry’s rooftop terrace offers a comfortable atmosphere, a specially curated drink menu on the day, and an open BBQ grill with the soundtrack coming from our choice selection of DJs. 
 

 

So come and unwind with us at ‘The Wind Down’!

Special Guests (DJ):
Magara
Yoppi
Eda
Tikini
Frankie $

Special Drink Menu 
Grill & Food by Berry
Supported by Pioneer DJ

 

Thank you to Bal for providing us with 'City Bike' - On special offer right now at Diner:

 

 

Another thank you to Hombre Nino for providing us with the 'Hombrementary' - Available now in Yellow & White with SIlver parts:

 

 

Also available in Matte Black with Silver parts:

 

 

See you there?