It's always good when our bikes are put to good use, and by good use, I mean being ridden by few for the good of many, this works best when our bikes get picked up by the press. Here are at Cartel we are always grateful when given these opportunities, so once again, we thank for 'Fine magazine' for the love:

 

 

Love for sharing with people our matte white 'Avenue'

 

 

With the bike holding an air of simplicity thanks to its clean white coloring, slim tubing, and black parts. Maybe it is for these reasons that some stylists pay attention to the possibilities of using our bikes in combination with the varieties of looks that they create for people to relate with.

 

 

Due to its simplicity the 'Avenue' in matte white, can most definitely be a tool for you to work with, complimenting your lifestyles and of course, match your style:

 

 

For this particular model, we used silver parts that blend in well with the matte white coat, offering a world of opportunity to its users; be it for how they wish to match their own personal style with the bike...

 

 

Or for the chance to the build up the bike around how they look, either way, the 'Avenue' is our staple with unbeatable added value for money:

 

Matte white 'Avenue' - ¥59,400 

 

 

Last Friday on my travels, I found a good example of someone who has built their 'Avenue' into something totally unique for themselves...

 

 

I actually remember seeing this customer somewhere on Diner's blog... 

 

 

I like how he added 'Diners' original 3 spoke, the front mount rack and the riser handlebars with orange bar tape - I think these all add up to give our 'Avenue' the image of a street bike, not to mention the addition of SRAM's Omnium...

 

 

Following this customers idea, I made this up:

 

 

Modest use of carbon on both the front and rear wheels via Diner's 88mm carbon wheel for the rear, and 50mm carbon wheel for the front:

 

 

 

Following with the riser bar theme, but this time keeping the grips black is something we thought everyone could appreciate.

 

 

Which keeps the dark and mysterious looks of the bicycle consistent.

 

 

This particular custom can be put together exclusively by our friends at Diner Tokyo (English ok!).

 

 

 


Looking back at the video works we have done over the past few years has really got me hyped to get back out there to shoot something new with our bikes...

 

 

Our videos started back in 2015:

 

 

Then we did a run of shorts about who we are connected too, which first started off with me and my adventures as a DJ in and around Tokyo:

 

 

It seems that me being a DJ and riding around Tokyo is a central theme in my life, as such this was expressed in the following video, where I guess we are showing how I am using my bicycle - or how my bicycle supports my lifestyle. Which really does get me to thinking about how other people are using their bikes to support their way of life? 

 

 

The period in which this video was made was a very transitional one for me; I think the way my bike was set up back then articulates this point...

 

 

For instance, my carbon fiber handlebars from Diner had no bar ends so they looked exactly as pictured:

 

 

I was also riding around on a well worn Brooks Saddle that I feel stood out way too much...

I also had to return to London to deal with a family matter; where I found a lot of support and good energy from my direct family and friends...

 

iPhoneImage.png

 

 

 

Being able to share with you all via this blog, also gives me the chance to really reflect on things that have been, are and are to come  - writing (typing) is a powerful tool indeed, I am grateful to have this channel.

 

 

An essential part of W.A.C.C is music, which as you have seen above defines how I view the world of bikes, and in recent times I have been enjoying the sounds of Jamma Dee's NTS radio show 'Soul in Paradise'...

 

 

His selection reminds me roughly of the images I created in my mind for Funktion when I first conceptualized the event back in 2009, a time when I was rediscovering G-Funk and rap music from the southern side of the U.S, an example of which would be...

 

 

But the image of Funktion could best be carried the by the artist Vontel:

 

 

 

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed all this reflection.

 

Almost every day we're sharing custom versions of our bikes with the world, we do this of course via our Instagram with the hopes that our followers will either be inspired to customize their own cartel bikes, or join the cartel by visiting one of our dealers and putting together their own custom.

 

 

We don't really have much space to explain in detail the ingredients that go into the customs but if you have been following this blog for a while you'll know that we use one update a week (usually) to do just that.

 

 

The rear wheel of this particular 'Avenue Lo' is the real catch point - our friends at 'Diner' provided us with their original carbon fiber 4 spoke baton rear wheel. With it's reduced surface area and finely balanced 2D blades, this wheel provides it's riders with dramatic aerodynamic gains.

 

 

We also placed Diner's more slightly modest original 50mm carbon wheel on the front, with the idea of putting together a custom bike that offers even complete beginners something special from day 1.

 

 

Fun fact: Did you know that our Cartel Bike logo seal is optional? So for this custom, we opted to leave the frame clean.

 

 

This custom chrome 'Avenue Lo'  is available now from Diner - ¥244,080

 

 

This second offering for the day is via our sky blue 'Avenue Lo':

 

 

Hmm sky blue is actually a nostalgic color for me because it reminds me of my very first pist bike... that someone nicknamed 'Funassyi'.

 

 

 

These sporty looking drop handlebars come courtesy of FSA which is an acronymn for Full.Speed.Ahead:

 

 

These drop handlebars are made so that riders can easily and quickly switch handling positions - something called the 'quick reach'. Without doubt handling position is really important, and allowing riders to feel confident while they push themselves to the limit.

 

 

Employing Diner's big 3 spoke for when you want to burst off from the lights and get those extra gains when reaching the top end of your speed limit...

 

 

All adds up to make this simple custom a great package for the more determined cyclist. Why not add our original carbon forks to make this really special?

 

 

This custom can also be obtained from our head shop Diner:

Without the carbon forks  - ¥176,400

With the carbon forks - ¥198,000

 

 

 


Welcome readers to the 28th chapter of the W.A.C.C Chronicles...

 

 

Where it seems like the whole world is bracing itself for the 'Black Panther' movie, on this subject lets look at where T'Challa is from... the country or land of Wakanda, which is located:

 

 

It seems to be neighboring to the origins of my Father's land Uganda, but since most of the world's current borders are nothing more than modern constructs, there definitely could have been a time when Uganda and Wakanda were part of the same civilization...just some random food for thought.

 

 

On the subject of superheroes; I get to thinking how riding around the city on my bike makes me feel like a superhero (or at least used to!)...riding around the city of Tokyo (mainly by night), spreading vibes, preserving dance music and the culture around it?  Defending the innocent from Space Invaders, Vampires, Sleep Walkers and other forms of duppies.

 

 

I would remain 'Tikini', however, my bike locks would be for beating off wack DJs and the aforementioned evils of the city, my superpowers would be my unorthodox method mixing of records; leading people to spontaneously dance, while improving bar sales and from time to time arousing listener's curiosity to the point that they ask "what tune is this?".

 

Actually, around this time each year, I find myself being rather more reflective than usual, and subsequently, I found myself going through some old pictures of myself...

 

Here I am patrolling the city a few summers ago; you'll note that my legs are very skinny for someone who rides a bike every day.

 

 

My costumes have changed over the years, but I was quite fond of this particular setup, the camouflage jacket I am wearing here had the ability to help me avoid Toyko's most ruthless road gang (disgruntled old taxi drivers with stomach ulcers), while also having special cloaking abilities...this item was passed onto me by a Nordic Prince

 

 

This is my workshop where I train and make tweaks to my two-wheeled chariot...but it's actually a front, that keeps the W.A.C.C HQ hidden (don't tell anyone ok?) - in the picture below I was removing my saddle to replace it for the current carbon fiber model I am using!

 

 

Yes, just like a superhero, as time has progressed I have made refinements to both my bike and also to my craft.

 

 

Here is one of the last times I rode out on that configuration of my bicycle:

 

 

Soon after this, I gave my ride the ultimate upgrade in the form of the direct driven Omnium which I combined with the renowned Japanese Sugino Zen.

 

 

The combination allowed for devilish speeds on the Tokyo streets and made other riders comment on how big my Chain ring looked! 

 

 

Truly legendary days...

 

 

Beaming out this update like...

 


Today on our Instagram we posted this picture;

 

 

That we actually took back in 2016 - as part of a nostalgic series of posts that we have been running over the past three days.

The photo shoot was for a new line of bike frame we proposed to launch back in 2016/17, which would have been the most premium model in our fleet, but we had always struggled with exactly how to present this bike frame to you...

 

 

We've always kept a few of these frames at our head store Diner in Nishi Azabu, and it has always been listed for sale on their website.

 

This frameset we call the 'Japan Pride'...

 

 

Made in Japan by the hand of the artisan from Tsuroaka racing whose hand is responsible for the racing bike frames of 'Bomber Pro', 'Bomber', 'Bianchini' and 'DONTZER'. Using the highest class 'Kaisei 8630R' tubing; which is easily one of the best pipes out there due to its lightness of 1820g while still being extremely strong and rigid. The frame slopes toward the front keeping in line with our 'Avenue Lo' models and is NJS approved...

 

Why are choosing now to tell you about this?

 

Well, the story starts with this complete build of the 'Japan Pride' bike:

 

 

Which actually makes use of our original parts... minus one very important part;

 

 

Yes, that is a Campagnolo Record Pista Track crankset; which uses its original bottom bracket and is renown for being one of the greatest cranksets ever built FULL STOP.

 

The version of the Japan Pride was put together at the request of one of Diner's customers, who after several visits to the Nishi Azabu store and one visit to Tsuroaka Racing's Fujimino facilities decided to make this bike his own...

 

 

Now we feel ready to share our 'Japan Pride' with the rest of the world... 

 

 

This is by no means your average bike...

 

 

Such acute attention detail...

 

 

Employing the most special techniques performed by the steady hand of Tsuroaka's racing artisan...

 

 

'Japan Pride' is exactly that, something Japan should be proud of...

 

 

The pride of Japan is now available for anyone...

 

Cartel Bikes Japan Pride - ¥290,520

 

 

For more info please call our head store Diner - 03-6427-2745 


2018 has started off with an unusual amount of celestial activity (?), with the full moon/supermoon on January 2nd, the weird comet crash thing in Detroit...

 

And the rare super blue blood moon that I feebly tried to capture by iPhone the other night...

 

 

I took this as a sign of changing times and spoke my intentions in these changing times...

 

 

I have decided to base myself at Diner in Nishi Azabu, where my ongoing research into the world of West.Azabu.Cycling.Club continues...

 

 

During my research I came across some content, which happens to coincide with part of my intentions in 2018; bringing the feeling of the old days back, a time when racing around Yoyogi park was a thing:

 

 

When riding with friends was a thing:

 

 

In both of the videos, you might have seen some familiar faces? People who really laid down the foundation that we currently ride on here in Tokyo (/Japan).

 

It was also great to see Watarude cruising the streets in the videos...and hope he is reading this...

 

 

 

Let's get in 2018...whatever way we can...

 

 

I want to find and share much more with all my Club members (and those to be); and anyone else who has an adventurous spirit ...

 

 

The spirit that should lead us into almost all areas of culture - especially music for me...

 

 

Let us find more ways to express the spirit of our club... building on the legacy we have created already:

 

'The Specular'

 

 

The collaboration with FACTRY...

 

 

And our original drop... the ALWAYS MAINTAIN long sleeve T:

 

 

Let me know if, when and how you'd like to get down with W.A.C.C and we can do it!

 

 

Peace

Monday blues? 

We hope that after viewing our Instagram post today that would have changed your view!

Expect to see more of the sky blue 'Avenue Lo' this week, as well as other custom versions of the 'Avenue Lo'.

 

On the topic of Instagram, last week we focused on our 'Avenue' and the many ways it can be customized, from the simple to the complex. In this blog post, we will share the best examples of the forest green and Bordeaux.

 

The biggest highlight of last week was probably the snow here in Tokyo...which hindered a lot of movements but allowed for some good photo opportunities that we, of course, took advantage of;

 

 

The Bordeaux 'Avenue' frame color is intoxicating, just like a bottle of wine from the year 2000 with the same name. Our Bordeaux begs its owners for custom parts that help its deep purple frame to be distinguished, we knew that so use silver parts as the default color of the bike. So what is left for the owner to do?

 

 

These Promenade handlebars; offer that rare vintage feeling while also hinting at a type of elegance that one might associate with a classic sports car...maybe because we added Brooks black leather grips to them?

 

 

With the classic sports theme being exaggerated by the C19 Brooks saddle; that is composed of the lightest materials and is widen at the base for prolonged rides both in the country and city.

 

 

Who would have thought that one saddle can make such a difference to the mood of your bike? 

 

 

This package if bought from Diner could be yours for ¥91,152...

 

 

For those who are looking to bring out the darker side of the color purple, black parts are a definite suggestion, even more so if that black comes from carbon fiber like we have demonstrated with the custom below:

 

 

The effect of the carbon parts visually is the purposeful intimidation that comes with the idea of high performance and SPEED.

 

The 50mm carbon wheelset is obviously more subtle than it's 88mm and 3 Spoke siblings, and while perhaps not offering the same explosive performance of the later, weight loss and aerodynamics gain will be obvious, a difference that no other non-carbon fiber wheel could offer.

 

 

Not forgetting Diner's original carbon fiber bullhorn handlebars, that weigh in at 240g, and maybe the most menacing looking handlebar I've ever seen on the streets, but note you will need a headset adapter to fit those handlebars onto the 'Avenue':

 

 

With Diner's original carbon saddle also thrown into the works, this no-nonsense custom 'Avenue' can be yours for - ¥176,260 !!!

 

 

Keeping that sports feel alive while blending in elements of the above two customs, is this forest green offering...

 

 

Using the headset adapter allows for these slim black handlebars to be fitted, with riser handlebars being the most friendly to ride with, while always giving any bike those good looks you'll notice that Brooks leather grips make a return here too for some black-on-black action:

 

 

This time we skip the wheelset but add 10mm of carbon fiber on the front wheel via Diner's orignal 60mm front wheel:

 

 

While once again making use of the original carbon saddle, that is thin sleek and weighs only 90g...90grams!!! 

 

 

This custom forest green is the perfect step up your game package for anyone looking to get a bit more serious with their ride - ¥132,948 for any budding cyclist.

 

 

We'll end this update with the custom that you all showed the most love last week...

 

Just like my own cartel bike it shares the same 3spoke and 88mm wheel pattern I have that offers that real explosive acceleration plus all the aerodynamic benefits once you reach cruising speed...

 

 

Yes, I also use Diner's original saddle which makes me suspect where the inspiration behind this custom came from...hmmm

 

 

The charming point of this custom has to be the drop handlebars by Deda; the drop is relatively small which allows for rapid hand movement between the top of the bars to the bottom, finished by Deda's cushioned bar tape which is a pleasure to grip onto as your speeding to your destination:

 

 

The 3spoke I have already mentioned, but I am going to use the below picture to mention Michelin's Pro 4 tire, which is built with high puncture resistance, durability AND it has that yellow go faster stripe:

 

 

The ultimate 'Avenue'? - ¥225,000 

 

 

Fortune favors the brave...


Welcome to the thick of winter where it's hard enough to get out of bed in the morning, let alone get on your bike, not even mentioning going out there to buy one. Motivating you to get on two wheels is what I am paid for though , but jeez it's cold out there ... 

 

 

So what are you gonna do? I know you freeze walking to get the train, then when you get on the train sweat so hard only for that sweat to be blown dry once again by the winter wind to giving your body the choice between FLU A or B? 

 

And you STILL MUST WATCH OUT FOR the black ice...

 

 

So whatcha gonna do?  Personally, I am still riding around at a slower pace (for me), avoiding anything that shines or resembles water on the road, and when it looks all shiny and wet I simply stop, dismount and push my bike through it.

 

 

The point I am making here though is to 'Always Maintain'... not even this weather is a true deterrent if you want it... 

 

 

A man who definitely knows how to maintain is the man, Jay Daniel, who after "merking" his Tokyo show at Vent (with just under 300 in attendance), took time out to visit 'Diner':

 

 

It's because of him I added this particular tune to my catalog...

 

 

After watching him play, I am always forced to really think about what it means to be an artist/DJ or what it means to be involved in any art...ironically, and for now, I'll take this as an answer (another tune I had to buy):

 

 

Being an honest expression of yourself .. your true self, maybe I am making it sound easy, but in my experience, that part of you that your conscious mind would not much rather you did not face or confront; a bit like you reflecting on that horrible drunken night before and remembering something which makes you cringe and blurt out some curse word...I will expand on this concept soon! 

 

It's 2018 ... let us now open the mysteries of self!

 

 

All WACC goods are still available in limited amount - so hit me at mrtikini@gmail.com!

Starting the week off with the idea of simple customs with our entry bike; the 'Avenue', the term entry bike should not be overtly taken as a product of lower quality - that would be a mistake simply because the main component of any bicycle is the frame; and all our frames are made from a compound called Chromoly.

 

Chromoly is an abbreviation for "chromium-molybdenum steel." It is not as lightweight as aluminum alloys but has the advantages of high tensile strength and malleability.

 

A workhorse of the industry, Chromoly is a light, strong steel. When it is butted and shaped to take off excess weight, it can deliver a fairly light frame that will last through years of hard use. Chromoly is responsive and offers good flex while maintaining its form.

 

Our 'Avenue' is the easiest way to experience the joys of single speed riding with the emphasis being on simplicity. This post I will show you simple ways to customise this bike defining your own riding style:

 

 

Starting off with our 'Forest Green' model, with the base parts of this bike being black I thought it would be interesting to once again combine a mix of black silver, as I demonstrated last week via this 'Avenue Lo'...

 

 

One of the main points of this particular custom, is something that people would usually not give much thought to, and that is the tires; for this custom, I opted for Michelin's 'Dynamic Classic' tires which offer the performance handing down from its 'Lithion' big brother, but also have that beige strip that makes me love them even more...

 

 

The usual version of the forest green 'Avenue' comes complete with black parts...

 

 

Some of our dealers will give the option of choosing black or silver parts, so with this in mind, I wanted to see how silver parts would contrast against the metallic green of the Chromoly frame.  

 

 

With black and silver meeting in harmony here, with the seat post and saddle:

 

 

The saddle:

 

Brooks' C19 took 7 years to be developed... seven years to develop something you place your rear end on, and another bicycle part that most people would not give that much thought too -  but check this...the innovative saddle is made of hardened natural rubber and organic cotton for its canvas, which is then reinforced by a thin layer of carbon fiber for the structure. Unique flexibility, maintenance-free, waterproof saddle tops are designed to provide riders comfort and ease of use. 
Since it has a structure like a hammock, comfort during riding is assured as it absorbs vibrations and shocks, which gives rise to performance that is similar to that of a leather saddle. Also, the natural appearance and feel are due to the knitted organic cotton fabric. Cured vulcanized cotton is waterproofed using Brooks Numac to completely protect from rain and dirt and everything.

 

 

This custom forest green 'Avenue' totals at ¥80,028. If purchased from our friends at Diner 

 

 

Some of you might want a bike that is even more simple than the custom forest green model above, for those of you in that camp, then how does this suite you?

 

 

It does not get any more simple than our matte white 'Avenue', with all the ingredients set for you to build a truly vintage-inspired custom bike.

 

When throwing the concept of 'vintage' around in the bike world, then you can't help but bring Brooks into the equation, this time via the 'TEAM PRO L'Eroica limited Editon BRITANNIA

 

 

Based on Brooks team professional saddle, this limited edition saddle has an illustration of Buckingham palace embossed into it, to commemorate the event called 'Eroica'...

 

Supporting the saddle is the polished seat post via Paul Component...another maker with an interesting legacy, whose quality components are a match for any custom you want to build.

 

 

Subtracting from the bike's vintage theme are the long riser handlebars I decided to use since they give the bike a sporty characteristic but retain simplicity. Riser handlebars are a real favorite for a lot of people using fixed gear bikes, even though I have no real way of backing up that statement.

 

 

This custom matte white 'Avenue' can be yours for ¥111,780. If purchased from our friends at Diner 

 

 

 


I've always had mixed opinions about the law of attraction, for reasons which I find hard to articulate precisely. In recent times though I've been blessed enough to meet with individuals from what feels like a global extended family.

 

The story starting back in London 2006/7, just before my arrival to Japan, a time in my life where the endless possibilities of the future (with direction) were in the palm of my hand (and you know what I did with that!)...

 

Maybe it was taking DJing more seriously, being involved in a series of legendary parties, that we codenamed the "basement boogie" sessions...

 

 

Or the efforts of my homies in pushing forward their original brands and creations...

 

 

Those efforts led us to cross paths with people, that we may have only been able to admire from a distance...like

 

 

 

Perhaps that is what the law is; your hard work and efforts lead you to cross paths with like-minded people, with the key being your effort and hard work!

 

In December it was Henry Wu, who has been dropping the name 'Earl Jeffers' on his radio show, not just him, also my best friend and esteemed colleague 'Brassfoot' mentioned him on his last NCA radio show. Mentioning him because of his *music*, which has led both Henry and Brass to become friends with Earl, who will be making his Japanese debut at Contact this Saturday...but seeing that we share mutual friends, we were able to link up last night at Funktion:

 

 

1/2 of the Darkhouse Family, and longtime veteran producer of hip-hop N' such, he is now gaining even more recognition as Earl Jeffers himself, which is quite easy to understand, just listen for yourself:

 

 

His Bandcamp:

 

 

BTW, don't forget that we are holding down our Funktion session every Thursday at Trump Tokyo, where you can expect this kind of vibe:

 

 

We kept things kind of light last night, as we have to save that vital stamina for the main event, this Saturday, with the young and talented Jay Daniel:

 

 

He is definitely no stranger to these shores though, debuting at the now gone club Module (2014), after that he was among the last to grace to decks at club Air (2015)...

 

 

At that time we as 'Cartel Bikes' sponsored the event and in return were blessed with this mix:

 

 

His last visit was in 2016 where himself and Kyle Hall held their 'Fundamentals' party, and we are pleased to be able to invite him back once again, this time at the kind of newly opened club Vent:

 

 

Big thanks to everyone who has been pushing the event (thank you block.fm) with a special shout out to FNMNL:

 

 

 

Signing out I will leave you with the reminder, that all my friends and readers of this blog can still get the 'Always Maintain' long sleeve T...

 

 

 

Just let me know, by reaching me however you usually reach me!