Spend any amount of time in the company of Cjell Moné and his work or, at the very least, reading about him or it, and you will come to the conclusion that he possesses both creativity and knowledge in equal abundance — one of the results of which is his La Roca adventure bike.
The La Roca, which has been described as the “Millenium Falcon of Mountain Bikes“, has a pretty interesting background. Along with the El Continente, it’s one of two production models created by Moné Bikes, with Cjell’s custom orders being made in a 1990 Wonderbread truck out the back of the Silver City Post Office.
Cjell personally made a mission to factories in China and Taiwan and sourced the most skilled facilities to implement his designs, staying for a period with one in particular, and thoroughly debunked any preconceptions about manufacturing in the Far East in this very readable essay.
At the 2019 Sedona MTB Festival a couple of weeks ago, industrial designer Spencer Maughan bumped into Cjell, capturing these images of his personal prototype La Roca, which is now up to its third iteration. A next-level amount of experience and development has brought it to where it is today.
We’re particularly in love with the adjustable chainstay system Cjell has engineered, the yoke, the rugged, bomb-proof construction, and the raw finish that contrasts brass and steel. Spencer had the opportunity to take it for a blast around Sedona and attests to its high level of funness.
The finishing kit is just as captivatingly quirky: a Lefty fork, Cinelli stem, Race Face cranks, and Corbin Brady’s Flat Out bars. It might look a little homegrown, but this is a frameset destined for serious cross-country touring, and, being a production model, you’re more than welcome to fantasize about how you’d build your own La Roca up.
Cjell’s main ride, however, is a heavily modified 1962 Schwinn Cruiser, that’s a whole ‘nother story. It’s reassuring to know that there are characters like him out there, challenging conventions and thinking so far out of the box that bog-standard big bike brands appear blandly mediocre in comparison.
Moné Bikes Instagram
Big thanks to Spencer Maughan for the photos.