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


Volume 15 already?

 

Spending the majority of time here in Nishi-Azabu, and still, I can always be surprised by what you can glimpse casually...

 

 

The fact that there is some kind of military base here (of course owned by the U.S), just adds another dimension to these random visual treats, seriously you could be in Aoyama park innocently taking photos of products (like I was) or casually enjoying a break from the inner city grind - when suddenly....

 

 

Suddenly a 'Black Hawk' decides to fly into the base (which is located next to and behind Aoyama park), you a regular civilian may have only seen the likes of such on TV or the movies...

 

 

Seeing such a thing up close was fascinating but...

I am surprised Somalia is still a part of Africa and not somewhere between Oman and Mumbai after a few of these helicopters were sent in...WHY? 

 

Listen, this helicopter as it was alighting for landing... blew the colour off my skin (like MJ but not years just seconds), blew the breath of life into my lungs, blew items of my clothing across the park, blew the camera equipment I was using + bag into the shrubbery...uprooted a couple of trees and call me a conspiracy theorist if you like, but yes these Helicopters may be linked to all these Typhoons we have been experiencing of late - still recovering from the shock btw.

 

On another note, this is Kaotan Ramen.

 

 

And here is my 'Specular' in the same evening light...

 

 

Since I am far from being a photographer, I will be left to work with natural daylight since I don't use flash when capturing certain objects.

 

 

I am not sure this is the greatest time to take pictures though, but still, these snaps will do for our Instagram and such

 

 

Did you have a chance to read this interview we participated in?

 

 

ON review it's not as related to cycling, as you and I might experience the activity, but it was definitely enough to get us back on our bikes (TOGETHER) when the weather permits (damn those 'Black Hawk'!!!).

 

 

That pre-ride tension and banter...

 

 

Those sights during the ride...

 

 

Just some of the things we live for here at W.A.C.C

Will this wet weather ever let up? 

 

Over here at Cartel Bikes, we use our bikes EVERY day - personally, I can count the number of times I've ridden the train on one hand, this month (and maybe last month combined). 

 

It's not all bad news though, once again our Chrome 'Avenue Lo'  is featured in the December issue of Oceans magazine:

 

 

Blending nicely co-ordinated styling with our front sloping 'Avenue Lo', is such a delight to behold...

 

 

What do you wear when you ride? Is this something you even think about? Personally, I use trousers that are tight fitting around the cuff or have the cuff well above the ankles (if they don't I will just cut cuffs to ensure they don't get chewed by the chain ring).

 

 

Thank you Oceans!

 

Since they featured our Chrome 'Avenue Lo' I thought I would too, naturally with more trimming:

 

 

We added these wider riser handlebars; that give the bike more impact and of course that give you more push when climbing uphill - just mind the gap between cars with these:

 

 

For wheels, our C.B.3 combined with Michelin's Lithion2 tire (in yellow because why not?)

 

 

The icing on the cake? Diner's original carbon saddle the slim version...

 

 

The result?

 

 

Want to build a similar custom? 

Contact us at info@cartelbike.com for more information or simply start yourself by purchasing the Chrome 'Avenue Lo'.

 

Hoping that we get a dry spell soon so we can get out there and ride!


Thank you, one and all who came through to Trunk Hotel for the Factry launch event...

 

 

Along with other collaborators, we were able to present our contribution to Factry's starting lineup ...

 

 

It was actually the first time we were able to see the clothing we designed ourselves, which is definitely the greatest satisfaction when creating anything (the finished product)... actually, this feeling is something the people at Factry are offering to would be collaborators!

 

Anyway, it really did bring us great pleasure to see our ideas come to life...

 

 

I was also invited to DJ for the opening (of course while wearing the purple 'Sets in the West' long sleeve)... 

 

 

Recently when playing out I always have this one in the bag:

 

 

The tune "Punk" fitting perfectly into my sets each time  - the song gives me images of a Mediterranean coastline or port of some description, which I think fits the mood of the long sleeve we made:

 

 

Anyway I'll big up the Factry crew and everyone else once again ...

 

 

Be sure to get onto the Factry website and get your W.A.C.C. pieces before time runs out....

 

 

If you've been following the W.A.C.C insta you will also notice that we've made an adjustment to the 'Specular':

 

 

It now comes with silver riser handlebars as standard... 

 

 

If that wasn't enough Diner have the 'Specular' on special offer RIGHT NOW

 

 

The time to explore is now!