If you have been following our Instagram you may have noticed we've made a slight change to the way we have been posting our content. The shift being how we post and the way we take pictures of the bike, which is what I want to share with you all today:

 

 

We've been taking pictures of bikes for years, personally, for me, it has always been for the gram' or this blog, having started by simply using an iPhone (5s or 6s), from now progressing to SLR with the occasional use of 35mm film. The main point has been improving how we present our bicycles to you.

 

Observing photographers around me and how they are capturing/presenting their art takes a new meaning when you think about ways to apply techniques and styles to bikes:

 

1) Lines and Shadows; are something we are trying to incorporate, and for this reason, it's always been educational to observe what Jesse Freeman does:

/🖤

A post shared by Jesse Freeman (@jesselfreeman) on

 

I thought this matte black 'Avenue Lo' with it understated custom parts, that contrast against the frame a good subject to capture...

 

 

Using Brooks 'Colt' saddle and 'Slender' leather grips, the bike holds an air of sophistication and simplicity; which is the whole point of having a 'piste' bike in the first place, our bicycles take this minimalist perspective further, due to their geometry; particularly their slim tubing.  

 

 

This custom 'Avenue Lo' can be yours for just under ¥116,000...

 

 

2) Using textures, shades and importantly colors to give a visual effect is something I have observed from the photographer RkRk:

 

 

All his photographs look like they have all been through some major lightbox/darkroom experiences, and I wanted to recreate the feeling of a heavily edited photo with this custom 'Avenue Lo':

 

 

The different shades of the chrome frame, 'C.B.3+'s carbon fiber, and the beige stripe that comes from Michelin's 'Dynamic Classic' tires:

 

 

This custom chrome 'Avenue Lo' goes for a smooth ¥176,040: 

 

 

Bringing the two above customs together, we applied them to our latest 'Avenue Lo' the Sky Blue...

 

 

Namely our 'C.B.3+':

 

 

Brooks' saddle and grips:

 

 

The above combining together for a total of ¥199,368:

 

 

Of the late, the idea of using film seems to have gripped user's of Instagram as a lot of them have been making use of these apps:

 

Huji Film

 

 

Kamon

 

 

I have been using the apps quite a lot while riding around town and say they are definitely a lot better to use than the standard camera your smartphone offers...

 

 

 

No matter what it's hard to beat that real 35mm compact camera feel:

 

 

Expect more via our W.A.C.C updates!

 


I guess now I declare that in order to be a fully ordained member of the W.A.C.C Table you must meet the following pre-requisites... that actually sounds a bit much. 

 

However, I do feel in Tokyo there is a connection between people involved in music/culture and riding proper bikes (ie any bike that I see fit) I can definitely make a long list for you but in case I miss people out I will refrain from writing it out here...

 

For some the evidence speaks for itself:

 

 

I've known Zen-La-Rock for years and as far back as I can remember he has always been riding around on a decent pair of wheels, it seems very conducive that someone who is as on their grind like as he is, uses a bike to get around the city:

 

 

Bim from the OTOGIBANASHI'S, not exactly sure when he started riding but he definitely seems to be enjoying the experience and was recently looking for a new frame, again it makes total sense that a rapper who style fits the city like a glove, also uses a bike to get around!

 

 

He was also recently in my home city London:

 

 

My life for the past few years has literally been music and bikes; I have never viewed music as a hobby and I would say the same about cycling; both I believe to be a necessity and have become mediums of which I can use in various ways, to express myself and importantly have become key points in my lifestyle. Speed is a must in my life, especially when moving from point to point...no time for public transport long tings!

 

I've been inspired by those who have gone before me though; such as Watarude; who always put in a great effort in promoting his 'GODSERVICE' goods, events and the related - it was always inspiring to look at his Instagram when he was preparing for a tour, as you just knew he was moving around dropping flyers off and spreading the word around the city... by BIKE! 

 

 

I've been getting to know YO.AN quite well recently and have been playing together at numerous 'heads heads' kinda events for the past couple of years, though most of the people around him were skating, just like me, he was that one guy on the bike.

 

 

The more I've gotten to know him the more I see his talent whether that be his productions, mastering skills or DJing. One of the latest drops from his imprint Hole and Holland comes via Yoppi-san himself; one of the men who pioneered and drove the fixed gear scene here in Japan (that and so much more though!).

 

 

Moving onto the artist who stays young in my mind always... MAR89; always young because I met him back in 2012 at module, where he put in an amazing set using the power of the groove and his sheepish looks to capture his audience, we hit it off instantly, even more so on discovering that we were both riding around the city, and he use to do the craziest DIY stuff to his bike but always with sound reasoning.

 

 

His original music has gathered him a lot of international attention, from which he has been invited to host his own radio show on Radar Radio (London) and play as a guest on many others:

 

 

This narrative of the musically focused who travel on two wheels, spreading or gathering inspiration wherever they go...

 

 

I guess those occurrences have particularly been after the sun goes down...*cue the music*

 

 

 

 

We all know the Sun...

 

 

"Sets in The West"

 

 

So don't miss the last chance to grab this drop before it finishes...

 

 

 

This Thursday we'll be back with the first Funktion of the year...and this time will pull out the big guns for Ryo from Neighborhood's birthday, same time same place...

 

 

Looking even further ahead, we once again look forward to the return of the brother Jay Daniel:

 

 

Are you ready for him?

 

 

The date is 1/20 SAT and the place will be Vent...

 

 

As we mentioned in the last blog post, it's custom to start the year by doing 初詣, a word which has no direct translation to English; but it is simply the first visit people make to the Temple of the year. 

 

Personally, as blogged I first visited the Hie temple in Akasaka/Nagatacho:

 

 

The second visit was to the Sakurada Jinja located close to Roppongi Hills:

 

 

Finally, last night visiting the Kumano-Jinja in Aoyama:

 

 

Having customs is very important whether that be your daily rituals or the customization of your 'Cartel' bike that makes your own custom (get it?).

 

Our friends at Diner have made it easy for you to make your bicycle 'custom' through their new year sale; where in particular they have all carbon wheels on a special 20% off discount!!!

 

So it's only right we featured some customs of our own that feature their carbon offerings, like this matte black 'Avenue Lo' and Diner's original 3spoke wheel up front:

 

 

I have always liked the 'Avenue Lo' bullhorn handlebars, they remind me of some mountain bikes I liked back in the day such as the Raleigh 'Outlander'...

 

The matte black, carbon fiber texture and black parts offer such a variety of subtle shades that only the beholder can appreciate:

 

 

With the 3spoke going for a reduced price of ¥77,760 down from ¥97,200... you need to ask yourself is now the time I need to lighten and speed up my bicycle?

 

 

The 3spoke 'Avenue Lo' custom - ¥157,680:

 

 

Going even further with our chrome 'Avenue Lo', we decided to give to give a double dose of 88mm; yup a whole 176mm of carbon fiber divided equally between the front and back wheels:

 

 

This time we are working with the now rare polished chrome steel of the 'Avenue Lo' frameset, and it's black parts which give a nice contrast: 

 

 

I have been using the 88mm on my rear wheel for years now, and know that for its price is one of the most effective ways you can feel the aerodynamic effects of carbon, not even the mention the acceleration gains that come with it.

 

Diner has this wheel on offer for a mere - ¥44,928!!!

 

 

Or you can get the front and rear set for just under ¥90,000.

Add our chrome 'Avenue Lo' to the mix then you have an amazing custom carbon for the very special price of...

 

¥160,000!!!

DONT MISS THIS FANTASTIC OFFER:

 

 

That plus the final chance to pick up our collaboration bike with W.A.C.C  the 'Specular' your for the very special price of:

 

¥49,800!!!

 

No excuse for not riding out this year!

 


The first post of 2018, 

 

As this is the tradition here in Japan, I knew I had to take myself to a temple or shrine, to get my prayer on for 2018,  being a contrast to the start of 2017, where I blew off tradition and decided to go into the year commando; not this year though, I am asking for all the help I can get.

 

With temples and shrines numbering into the higher tens of thousands, I always wonder to myself how people decide where to go and for what reason? 

 

 

This year after receiving a solid pointer as to which deity (energy) I should be venerating, and from some research on my side, I knew that one of the possible places I could make a practical start to the new year was at the Hie Shrine in Akasaka:

 

 

The site itself is unmissable its city surroundings of Akasaka and Nagatacho, always having captured my imagination as I have ridden past several times when heading toward Ginza and such, thinking to myself "what exactly goes on in there...?" as the big white '門' gates daunting adding to the spectacle of the site.

 

 

Having set my desires and will I was happy to return to reality to face the new year:

 

 

So it's a Happy New Year from West Azabu; and really wishing you can all focus deeply on what needs to be done for yourself to prosper and rise above.

 

 

I think those thoughts are contained within within the statement "Always Maintain"; whatever that means for you in 2018.

 

 

I want to give DJ Haruki a shout out for representing for us during the last Funktion session of 2017 ...

 

 

You can get a feel for his play style from this recording I took a couple of months ago at Funktion:

 

 

Big up once again!

 

 

He inspired me to share the last few remaining long sleeves...

 

 

That I have made available at Diner...for all my friends at the discounted price of ¥3000

 

 

If that is not enough Diner also has two remaining 'Specular' bikes that are also on offer:

 

 

Featuring riser handlebars, this unique split top tube, and unique coloring, not to mention a really good hub set all finished in silver for that classic look:

 

 

Since there are only 2 left the price is at an all-time low of ¥49,800 so be one of those lucky two!

 

 

Love and light to all in 2018!

 

Finish as you mean to go on? 

 

Indeed, since the newest additions to our fleet have been doing the rounds; being picked up by a number of reputable media sources both print and online!

 

 

 

Actually, this year we had great press representation across the board, so we'd like to thank everyone for the love and support they've shown us throughout 2017...

 

In recent times...

Thank you, Houyhnhnm:

 

 

 

It's also our first time to be featured in Universe magazine, and hopefully not our last, Thank you:

 

 

Thank you, Humming Bird

 

 

We will carry this love and energy into 2018 for sure!

 

I'd like to share some of my personal highlights of 2017 - which is pretty much just music.

 

My favorite records:

 

Young and Company  - Waiting on your love.

 

 

If you've been coming to Funktion, then you would have heard this one:

 

 

In more recent times...

 

Hana - The Never End

 

 

Since September I've made it a point to work this tune into most of my sets:

 

 

So that's the music taken care of let's return to the bikes, I wanted to share with you all my favorite three custom bikes of this year:

 

1) This chrome 'Avenue Lo' - sporting the 'C.B.3' carbon wheel up front, long riser handlebars, Diner's carbon saddle and 'Michelin Lithion 2':

 

 

2) Our now finished gunmetal 'Avenue Lo' - Once again featuring riser handlebars, and this time Diner's original 3spoke  in the rear with their 60mm carbon wheel in the front:

 

 

3) And once again the gun metal 'Avenue Lo' - featuring Diner's 4spoke wheelset, drop handlebars and topped off with my favorite saddle the Selle Italia Turbo:

 

 

In 2018 I really looking forward to continuing this journey with you all via Cartel Bikes and W.A.C.C - I am not the most elegant of writers and my thoughts move just about as fast as I do when riding... but finally and mostly THANK YOU ALL for your patronage!!!

 


Speaking from Cartel's point of view, we are always grateful when we get shown love (in any form), so we want to take time out to thank Sense:

 

 

With more people using online media to keep updated, it is always nice when you see your products in print, and even more so when they are included in 'Sense' magazine's top 5 street bicycles list.

 

 

We also have to thank Loaded Magazine for sharing the newest additions in our fleet to their readership:

 

 

Thank you all once again!

 

Can we take a moment out to discuss the Space X project...first of all I gotta shout out my man Arian from Alien's Worldwide.

 

 

Elon Musk is already establishing himself a legacy that I am sure will surely surpass Steve Jobs, whatever they are doing for the greater good of mankind is one thing, but frankly, let's all be honest we have never seen anything like the above? Or have we? 

 

 

The has been a light with conspiracy theorists and skeptics alike going back and forth... the best theory is that it was a cover-up of some sort like maybe some aliens were returning home? 

 

If so then Reiji Matsumoto and Daft Punk had it right with this one...

 

 

The ending scene especially to which this song was background music...

 

 

I'll be watching this again tonight I think...

 

Last post I shared images of the latest W.A.C.C drop in collaboration with 'Factry, today I will do the same, starting off with everyone's favorite 'Sets in the West' Long-sleeve Tee.

 

 

If you enjoy collecting long-sleeve Tees...then you need to have a purple one in your collection...

 

 

Especially one that has such a simple yet nostalgic graphic on it's back; for all those to check when you ride past them or when DJing in the booth and the event camera person takes the stereotypical shot of your back. 

 

 

 

You also need to get with this sporty club hat... is surely the easiest way to get down with us?

 

 

Looking for something more? Then let our naughties hoodie be your answer...

 

 

Whatever you use to choose, the starting point is here...

 

 

It's been a good run for the 'Specular' but all good things must come to an end, and as the stock has finally reached the final few, so I wanted to use this post to consider this cycle as your 2nd or first bicycle.

 

 

As I mentioned previously we switched the handlebars over to these swept back riser bars, adding to the bike's easy to ride appeal, and actually a very attractive alternative to what we were previously offering, and don't forget about that split top tube for the win - if you buy a D-Lock for the bike you can actually just stick in between the split (not funny man!).

 

 

Why not try a different type of grip and brake lever as your first step in bike customization?

 

 

You've seen mine right?

 

I use Brooks leather bar tape in conjunction with Paul Component brake levers - what would you use?

 

You can head over to our friend's at Diner for more ideas on how to custom your 'Specular' and btw they also have the final few in stock on very special offer!!!

 


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!