How shall I begin?


Starting by thanking 'Begin' magazine seems like the right way after all our yellow 'Avenue' was placed on the front cover of their magazine:



Here is a closer look: 



It seems our 'Avenue' received a high amount of praise and became a recommended item - so thank you once again!:



Why not find out for yourself why our 'Avenue' came up highly recommended?



Our friends at Diner are also offering a very special something... using a special one-off 'Hombrementary' frame which uses a thinner headtube to allow for a threaded quill stem to be used just like on our 'Avenue', which gives the bike a classic feel enhanced by the use of drop-handlebars:



This particular frame is a size 53' and comes with the yellow and white coloring that sets the 'Hombrementary' apart from all other bikes we have in our fleet.



That plus also this special sticker which looks like it only says "MBRE" but in actuality, the "HOM" and "NINO" are colored in a sharp white, which of course you can see clearly on the matte black version:




The key point of this bike though is the frame; making use of a triple-triangle geometry that made GT famous, which acts to give a stiffer and more efficient ride.




Given the classic feel of the 'Avenue' it's only right we name this the 'Hombrementary' classic custom - which is available right now exclusively from our friends at Diner for the same ¥59,400 as the 'Avenue':



I do like sharing with you all what I believe to be good music, especially because I am sharing artists that I either personally know or discovered myself. On that it's always a pleasure watching artist that I personally discovered grow...even if it's simply fact that they have's still a good feeling:


Today I once again want to share with you the sounds of Dretti Franks....



Not only has he been spotlighted by Pitchfork to have one of 5 new best rap songs out the moment:



He has also dropped his latest mixtape...Rare Sounds 3:



His sound really holds a real element of nostalgia, while still sounding new and especially fresh - that plus his smooth laid back flow and voice, and then remember he produces almost all tracks by himself and also does the artwork for each release... a true one-man powerhouse!


Today being Thursday means it's time for Funktion; the weekly meeting point of kindred spirits and folks who like to get our home away from home Oath:



To start off by giving a big thanks to Fine Magazine for putting our matte white 'Avenue' to good use for their October issue of Fine Magazine:



Bringing a whole new perspective to our bikes by always co-ordinating them with particular looks and styles specific for riding or for those with certain lifestyles:



Which makes total sense as currently, as cycling and bikes have continued to prove themselves to be integral to our day to day living whether for recreation, sport or commuting or daily use:



It was also nice to see our bikes matched with brands like Ralph Lauren, as on a normal day to day, it's little tricky for us to get our hands on such fine threads to use for a shoot:



On the subject of white, I thought I would share two customs bikes with you that are worthy to be matched with any fine threads you may own yourself.


A slightly traditional feel here, which we offset by using long riser handlebars for the added 'street' feel:



The traditional element of this custom 'Avenue' comes from the use of Brooks Team Pro saddle and here we have the Honey colored version of this fine leather piece:



The only part we could follow up that fine saddle with is their own Plump leather grips which are also the color Honey:



To keep those shades of brown going and that classical theme running we used another favorite of ours...Michelins Dynamic Classic tires:



If you are interested in this custom or want to find more ways to customize our bikes please contact our friends at Diner - 03-6427-2745



Keep an eye on our Instagram to see more of this custom:


Let me take a moment to honor my friend Alani Cruz, the person who'd always rather be making art... probably even now wherever he is...




Let's start by sharing a song I sometimes played out and he really enjoyed...



Off the album 'Visions of a Dream' by Vontel:



The song was called dream no more:



I will once again share the mix we compiled together:


The below comment is from Summer 2011 I think:

Mr.Tikini alongside  Alani ‘Peep Game’ Cruz went to Osaka last year July. Our time there was special to say the least. We were taken to a vintage clothes store, whose owner is a vinyl junkie. Needless to say that vinyl got bought, especially since all the records were just ¥100 yen.


To show our appreciation we have put together a little mix of 22 tracks in total (only ¥2,200).


Right click and save this image – Which was lovevingly designed by Alani ‘Peep Game’ Cruz

Left click this image to be taken to the download page.

Tikini’s Mix. (click for download)

Alani ‘Peep Games’  Cruz’s Mix. (click for download)

Both mixes are full of snap crackle and pop, which was a bone of contention for us. However these records are old 45’s and the snap, cracle and pop just adds to the effect.

To our friends in Osaka, this one’s for you.

For everyone else enjoy the ride.

This picture was taken on the day we recorded the tape sometime back in Summer 2010 ...



I honor him because I remember the time I lost my first fixed gear bike in an accident...and was in the hospital for 10 days; where he paid me constant visits and made sure everything was okay at home...geez even after I was released from the hospital he watched over me...this is right before I joined the Cartel...



Thank you for helping transcend into what has become a whole new era!



Tonight being Thursday night means we get busy once again!


We will be joined by special guests tonight ...



1) LivingDead from Kyoto:




2) Sogumm from Korea:



Hope to see you here...


I remember...



It was the latter part of October; and the mild weather that is a true mark of October had begun to lose it's hold as that sharp, dry and cold winter air had begun making its presence felt 



During the shoot though, the weather barely registered with me, as I was far too distracted with riding and posing with our Japan Pride ...



In case you missed the basics, that Japan Pride is called so, due to amount detail and care that has been put into it; hand finished by the artisan at Tsuraoka racing who made use of Kaisei 8630R tubing for the frame, did we mention the frame is triple butted and complete with built-in lugs?


The Frameset itself weighs just 1.7kg!!! 


With more strength and stability than Aluminium counter-parts, but with no real noticeable differences in weight, that plus all that soft flex goodness that steel's no wonder that this frame builders bikes are a very popular choice among professional riders of Keirin.


I am very sure that a keirin rider's custom setup would look like something like this... 



Nitto deep bend drop handlebars made from the finest Aluminium (NJS APPROVED):



They offer a very impressive reach and an optimum position for sprinting:



And would not look right without being held in place by Nitto's NJ PRO AA stem (NJS APPROVED):



For the saddle, this custom makes use of my favorite saddle the Selle Italia Turbo classic:



Sticking with the Japanese pride theme the crank gets the Sugino SG75, that we also added Factory Five's super light  splatter lattice chainring too:



Have far are you willing to take your ride?



Why not find out by trying our Japan Pride? 

Let me start by thanking both Cotton Club and Omar for allowing me to come and vibe out at Omar and Courtney Pine's show.



The performance was amazing, with the Cotton Club's lighting and sound adding to the already magnificent ambiance - if that is not enough the food and especially the cocktails are on point, all served with proper OMOTENASHI!!!


Moving on, in light of the controversy around Nike's use of Colin Kaepernick, sales have risen a mighty 31% days after Nike ran this campaign. 



While I won't talk about the backlash against this campaign, but the Omar show at Cotton Club was a good chance to show everyone how I felt about the matter:



Thank you, Atmos for the hookup, and you can see the results of the shoot we did here on Hypebeast:



Thank you to everyone who made it to our W.A.C.C ride 04 last Saturday night... what a great run; the feeling of being united by destination, working up a hard sweat and of course beating off the weekend warrior traffic is a buzz for sure.



Excluding myself, we were joined by 6 riders of all levels with one the most experienced and youngest rider being a dirt BMX racer, international vibes from DPG and extra elegance being brought to the ride by Susie (thank you once again)!



DPG members were on their usual Armageddon type know they're coming but when? You can't even guess Ocean showed up a full two hours early...and the rest of their crew...well... Let's just say they arrived, but an old music friend of mine; Noxin of Watapachi and PPR fame was coming out from an extra 14km, so was already properly warmed up by the time he arrived - but big up to him for making that effort.


I have a tendency to get carried away once we start riding out, with my mind shutting off, and my eyes and body taking over impulsively... especially when it comes to catching those green lights. That said however the ride was awesome and really look forward to seeing everyone next month on the 10/8!!!



Gotta send a shout-out to both Yoyo and Uchu at Oath for becoming 'Avenue' ladies...wishing you can both also join us next ride? 



After the ride, we quickly made it down to check out the "PoshGod in SickTown" exhibition... always a pleasure linking up with the PoshGod though



And I can't wait to hear his latest tape...which he describes as "... as heavy Techno vibes..."



Allow me to start this blog post by sharing with you these three customs I have shared on our Instagram over the past few days. I wanted to make use of Encore's sublime and yellow colored carbon wheels in combination with our brightest and darkest frames...


Here I placed the sublime 700c wheel on the rear and coupled it together with our yellow 'Avenue':



This combination is my favorite for sure though for those who want their bike to make a statement, try our strong red 'Avenue' with a nice twist of 'subLIME':



Replacing the yellow frame with Encore's yellow wheel and using the matte white 'Avenue':



The finally making good use of contrast we take our matte black 'Avenue Lo' and add the yellow Encore wheel to the front:



Tomorrow I get to reunite with the legend Omar as he arrives with another legend Courtney Pine to perform their show:



Let's start with Courtney Pine; if you don't know the name your truly not a music head since his name is has been synonymous with British Jazz, and he talents with the Saxophone. Of course, he is a household name back in the UK but things only really got personal via this record:


Which features Courtney's talents and was handed to me personally by Dee Cape's nephew who you will know more as Brassfoot - who put together this mix for us way back when:



Not forgetting the legend Omar of course...who brought us all this wonderful song:




For those joining us, the route this Saturday is looking like this...


  • START, The Wall; Nishi Azabu

  • Nogizaka

  • Akasaka

  • Toranomon

  • Shimbashi

  • Tsukiji

  • Hamatsucho

  • Shiba-Koen

  • Mita

  • Shiro-kane

  • Tengenjibashi

  • Finish, Hiroo


If you have any questions feel free to ask -!




By now you surely know about our upcoming ride out this Saturday?



I was looking around for motivational videos and such, but I found nothing new that I have not already posted but I wanted to compare the kind of inner-city riding style of places like London and L.A where the wheelie reigns supreme and large numbers of riders group together to ride out:








Versus the kind of ride style you'd see on the European continent:



Which makes me think about how on our rides so far I have yet to see any real uses of wheelies or skids, just good demonstrations of speed and stamina...


The last ride I did with Ocean was also a good demonstration of how to also navigate the streets safely...



With my highlight being the powerful Sunset...



The 2nd ride we did, covered what seemed to be the longest distance; due to the scorching weather, which also allowed us the chance to get a good detox, with the highlight being riding through Kyoko on Sunday - where the roads are opened exclusively to cyclists.  



The first ride we did back in April had the highest attendance so far and was by far the quickest run of the 3 rides with us covering 12km in less than 30 minutes - almost a complete tour of Minato-ku...



I believe this could have been faster but we did to stop and observe traffic regulations, due to the size of our group and the fact some roads were under construction...putting the traffic on diversions which present a potential hazard.



Still, the legend of the Mr.Magico has yet to reappear...



My old partner 



And the many other faces I have had the pleasure of riding with over the years...on Saturday as always we meet behind here...



In general our rides over flat smooth roads that are well fitted for cycling... let our yellow jersey friends from Tour de France show you what a proper course consists of...



These guys are all over the place...check out their stage 7... they call flatland





So you see we have it easy my friends...



Let us do it...non-stop and see if we get under 25 minutes for 30km!


Well, that was quick... the summer is over and now we are in that twilight zone they call Autumn... with its ever-changing weather and unfortunately Typhoon's for those of us here in Japan.


Yet that has not stopped a lot of you jumping onto our bikes, like this custom bike put together at Diner...



Who must have been keeping an eye on our Instagram where recently we posted these versions of our 'Avenue Lo' chrome



Not only did he drop "the party in the back" move but including Encore's 700c raw wheel in the rear... he went that big further to a make sure he was transferring as much power to wheels...



He did this by adding Miche Pistard 2.0 crankset to the mix...


Which has it's own unique BB for making sure all that power is transferred to the wheels properly...


He also includes one of my favorite saddles out there...Selle Italia's Turbo saddle series in black:



Replacing the standard bullhorn handlebars with these risers bars:



A strong custom job indeed, which I could only follow up with our strong red 'Avenue':



Very strong indeed and sometimes resembling the pinkish strong sorbet type of red that you might have seen in the 80's giving it an instant nostalgic...



Even without any customization at all, our 'Avenue' is strong, and made even in stronger in strong red...



On the subject of strength, you have to watch the amazing story about two these cyclists:



I would never call myself a cyclist, since even though I ride my bike every day, my passion could not rival that of many riders out there, that plus my first passion is music, nonetheless, if I can ride every day and this wonderful couple below - what is your excuse?:



If you want to ride with purpose then why not join us? Want to improve you ridings skills? Get advice on how to custom and maintain your bike? Or push yourself to the limits? 


Then there is no excuse...come and join us!



DATE: 09/08/2018


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

ROUTE:  Approx 12km



I had started out this post by wanting to express how I have been delving deeper into the mysteries of this or that blah blah blah; which although true, more than anything I find myself exploring the work of my immediate friends as well as preparing myself for the fall...


We will pick up on that topic next blog post. Before I get into this post though I must say we are down to the very last few 'Hombrementary' bikes with the remaining bikes all with those majestic silver parts.



In matte black:



Or white and yellow:





They are still on that final offer at our headshop Diner for -  ¥59,400


If you have been following the Cartel Instagram you will notice that I have been using a particular location to capture the bikes we are posting usually like this...



One joy about taking pictures at this seeing how my little-feathered friends are progressing day-by-day, as there is a whole family of swallows(?) nesting in this space. Sometimes you can even see the chicks, usually when they are hungry, as they will stick their scrawny big beaked heads to beg for food...not sure it's cute though.



Which reminds me of how I have been using our 'Avenue' bikes in conjunction with Encore's colored wheels, with the last post being of the above matte black 'Avenue' with Encore orange 700c wheel:



Thank you all so much for all the likes and love we've been getting on our Instagram and expect more new about our feathered friends:




Don't forget we have the ride out coming soon...



And we should be seeing the likes of these fine young gents...



I am gonna bless you all with a gem that I have been playing out recently from the following LP:



The song is by the Rance Allen group and it goes a little something like this...



You can hear this tune and more at ....



Which we have finally dedicated an Instagram for...



Tonight being a Thursday = Funktion

In fact the party has already started...see you there?


The 'Last of the Summer's Wine' was a popular comedy-drama that used to air on BBC 1 back when I was growing up, the series based on the escapades of three retired pensioners who live in the north of England... a small town called Holmfirth in West Yorkshire to be exact: 



Very enjoyable viewing...



With summer coming to a close, our latest 'Avenue' colors have never been more relevant... today we will focus on the strong red:



The strong red's coloring as I mentioned today on our Instagram, looks delicious...have you ever had a rich flavored raspberry sorbet?



That deep fruity feeling is taken even further when coupled with one of Encore's many colored wheel offerings, of which we used the orange 700c front wheel for today's Insta post:



The ingredients for this custom? 


1) Diner's original aluminium riser handle bars:



2) Encore's orange 700c front wheel:



3) Diner's original 88mm rear wheel:



4) Selle Italia's Turbo saddle in black:



This custom is available from our friend's at Diner right now for - ¥166,900 + tax



The deeper meaning behind mentioning the show 'Last of the summer's wine' - was that, of course, we are at the end of summer, a time where we really must enjoy those precious final moments. The main cast is mostly over 65 and very much enjoying the final precious years of their lives... the last of their summer's wine. 



Going deeper though... the show was full of bicycles...



Even Smiler got his hands dirty...



How will you enjoy the last of the summer's wine?