The legendary Cjell Monē of Monē Bikes has released information on the dates in which you can order his handmade bikes. Cjell has spent a lot of time riding and perfecting his design on various different adventures over the past years. These steel bikes are designed with all of the new modern fixings one would want for their bikepacking rig. The pre-order for Monē Bikes begins in 2 weeks, so make sure you are on the list.

I love handmade bikes, especially brazed steel ones. I don’t, however, enjoy the fact that most of these bikes come with a seriously high price tag and long wait time. A long wait time and a high price tag are not points of pride for me as a builder. Bikes are meant to be ridden, not waited for. My hand built frames are competitively priced but I am not crazy enough to think that at this price everyone should have one. For almost all people, myself included, a production bike is more than adequate. Bike companies are coming out with some seriously amazing bikes these days. Pick your size and ride the damn thing. Maybe it’s not hand brazed. Maybe you don’t know who made it, but will you have less fun riding it? Now imagine a world where you could find a bike that will fit you amazingly with custom details like hand brazing and killer components that didn’t set you back the price of a new car. This world would likely have free ice cream and beer as well. This utopia, my friends, has arrived. Maybe not the free ice cream and beer, but the bikes.  I had the good fortune of connecting with one of the finest steel bike producers in the world today. Not only do they have the largest stock of Columbus steel tubing, but they know how to stick it together to make bike frames…very very well. They also do it a bit faster than I can myself. It was when I saw the quality and attention to detail that they put into each frame I knew it would be a good fit for Monē Bikes. Over the last few years I have been developing two models of bikes with a single goal. Fun. Plain and simple, these bikes are smile machines. These two production models have a few things in common. Clearance for 29+ tires, new boost spacing and serious value. They will be available as frame only or complete bikes.  A touring bike to end all touring bikes, and a slack yet nimble 29+ or 27.5+ trail dominating hardtail. Both of these bikes will feature sweet Monē Bikes details like raw fillets, clear raw steel finish, side attached seat stay etc. but will be much more affordable and readily available.

El Continte

This bike was literally born on the Tour Divide. This model now has 5 trips up and down the Great Divide Route already.

At the risk of throwing around too much marketing rhetoric, I can say that no other bike exists today that is better suited to that route. My mantra for the Tour Divide has been, ‘It’s not how much you can endure, but how endurable you can make it.’ The divide will kick your ass, no doubt. You will not ‘out-tough’ the beast, no matter how serious your mid-life crisis. Being comfortable on your bike is the difference between suffering and reverie. El Continente’s middle name is comfort. Continente Comfort Monē. Dirt Drop specific geometry puts the bar exactly where it needs to be for all day comfort. Not the first bike to do this but this bike does it just a little bit better than it’s competitors. The bike also features a short chainstay and front-center giving it a very short wheelbase. This combined with a trail number of 86mm makes it stable yet incredibly maneuverable. It’s a dirt tourer but I would challenge you to find a bike that’s more fun on single track. 29+ is the largest rolling diameter available today short of a 36er. It also provides the greatest volume. This wheel size brings maximum comfort while maintaining efficiency, perfect for touring off road.  If you think it’s a gimmick, or too clumsy for aggressive riding, you haven’t ridden one of these bikes. Custom selected Columbus Zona Tubing. Each size features different diameter and butting profile to maximize comfort. What bikes out there can say that. It could very well be the most comfortable frame on the market today. Sayins-all. CONTINENTETESTCARD The frames and completes come with a custom fillet brazed Monē stem as well as the ride tuned 29+ Monē twin plate fork. Those items will be available separately as well. If you look at the other dirt drop specific designs, these bikes achieve the desired handle bar height with a long fork. Nothing wrong with that other than it makes your front triangle much smaller than necessary. El Continente features a shorter axle to crown to give you as large of a frame triangle as possible. There is no better, more accessible place to store your food, water and gear than a frame bag. The bigger the better. This is also why all frames and complete bikes will ship with the creme de le creme, Dave Wilson’s Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks frame bags. Dave and I have been improving these bags for 4 years now. The bag will be a lace up design, light x-pac cloth, with big #10 YKK zippers. Again, you literally can’t do better. Did I already say that? The bike was designed around the Tour Divide, yes, but it has been my go to machine for all kinds of riding. At low low pressures it will take on snow. It’s not a Surly Puglsy, but it will take on snowy trails, groomed trails and snowed in passes with no problem. The big frame bag makes it a no brainer as a around town commuter too. Groceries seem at home here. There is not a lot this bike doesn’t do.

La Roca

The AM (all mountain) hardtail. What does that even mean, ‘All Mountain’?

The La Roca is a bike that will make your enduro buddies a little less confident that their 30# full squishy rigs are the best tool for the job. A 29+, short chainstay, slack, 140mm travel hardtail that could quite possibly be the most fun on 2 wheels today. Yes, that is a whole lot of very marketable buzzy talk but allow me to tell you how the La Roca has been thought out to do it just a little bit better than anything else out. 29+ and short chainstays is a no brainer. Even Trek knows this. But this bike is more slack and has more travel up front, combined with 3 in tires it stops for nothing.  It’s diet includes rock gardens, drops and steeps. Is it too capable? Is that possible? Like El Continente it features Columbus Zona tubing that varies in diameter and butt length. It’s burly yet retains the comfort and feel of the world’s finest steel tubing. LAROCATESTCARD The AM hardtail is a hot segment, and with good reason. These bikes rip. The trend is this…combine a long top tube with a very short stem and slack headtube angle. A long TT and slack front end makes for a very stable bike. The most lust worthy examples today are the ones that seem to be the longest and slackest. All of that comes at a price.  Long wheelbases. The La Roca has struck the perfect balance in this area to be a bike that descends as well as anything available while maintaining a reasonable wheelbase. A very very short chainstay with a medium length top tube while retaining a slack 67° head angle is the perfect combination to navigate a tight switchback, climb as well as descend. Let’s not be mistaken, this bike is made to go down, but it climbs and handles tight twisties too. ‘All Mountain’ lets say. One of the coolest things the La Roca does is change personality. Change out the fork and it’s a new bike. It has been designed to get along with a whole load of different forks. Throw a 160mm monster on with 650b+ wheels and it gets a degree more slack and the standover height comes right back. A 487 A-C fork (100mm of travel) yeilds a 69° heattube angle and 43mm of BB drop. A very forgiving full rigid single track queen. Something like a 450mm fork is still good to go giving a 71° head angle and and 57mm of BB drop. 35mm of seatpost setback brings the seat angle back to 73°. Throw a Jones Loop bar on and you can do it all. With three bottle cages it doesn’t forget those who can see how well this bike is suited to single track events like the Arizona Trail Race or to Colorado Trail Race. Steel, 29+ with three bottle cages…yes my friends, utopia has arrived.

The frames and bikes will be go on presale in 2 weeks. You will hear from me again at that time with pricing and timeline. Stoke it high.


  1. Man, I want one of those El Continente framesets so bad. I’m pretty sure that it’s the perfect frame for me.

  2. looking forward to see production frames! sounds good

  3. Pingback: A Vision Quest in Nepal - Bikepackers Magazine

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *