Where are they now?: Monoc

paulsfitz Posts: 6
edited March 2012 in The bottom bracket
About 4 years ago, when getting into cycling and Tri, I bought (from Ebay) a white Monoc TC2 with carbon chainstays. I learnt that they seemed to be a pretty good £700 bike, if a bit obscure! Liking being a bit different, and since moving on to an Argon 18 TT bike, I decided 12 months ago to buy (on ebay) the Quattro Pro Monoc with full carbon rear end, to upgrade the road bike, but stick with the brand I first bought into.

I now want a Monoc carbon handlebar, but they have disappeared from the web (the website is no longer) and this has prompted me to launch a rather geeky one man quest to find out who they were, and what happened to them!! Anyone got any clues as to why they have vanished?



  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Monoc was a 'brand' by Millenium Cycle Products in Preston - basically a generic Taiwanese frame with a paintjob. They now concentrate on Flandria branded products - taking said Taiwanese frames and making out it came from Belgium. The fact that there website hasn't been updated for months might mean business is a little tight
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • maddog 2
    maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    what MD said

    I had a Monoc frame - it's just branded generic stuff. There will be plenty of equivalent versions out there.
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • paulsfitz
    paulsfitz Posts: 6
    thanks for the info chaps. I read somewhere the Monoc was ridden by the Norwegian (or somewhere equally obscure) national team. So bit surprised by the Preston and generic taiwanese references. oh well. I still like the smooth looking frame, so will continue to revel in my slightly off brand choice :)
  • ajoten
    ajoten Posts: 321
    Aren't most bikes made in Taiwan? http://allanti.com/articles/where-was-m ... -pg328.htm

    My Monoc looks the dog's and to my untrained legs feels of perfectly adequate quality. I also enjoy having a less familiar brand. According to this new Cycling Plus "buyer's guide" thingy, those bigger brands with same hardware start c. £1600, twice what I paid. I am therefore cautious of "upgrading" as I don't know whether twice the price will get me twice the bike.
    Alu is real.
  • ajoten
    ajoten Posts: 321
    Addendum: I found this this week:


    1. I'm annoyed there was never the full carbon option when I bought mine.

    2. It says here "With our patented building technique, we eliminated the use of lug joints, resulting in a lighter and more rigid frame."

    Surely a company claiming to have patents like this are not merely rebranding generic frames? If true of course.
    Alu is real.
  • I bought an all-aluminium TC2 Compact from Paul Hewitt's back in 2005, having enjoyed the full fitting service that Paul provides. It's still my main bike, although the components have been changed a fair bit since then.

    Here goes my geeky knowledge of the name:

    As far as I can remember, Monocs were designed by Ted Wood, Seán Kelly's ex-mechanic and I think Russ Downing's too. I think Ted Wood went to Belgium around the same time as Tom Simpson, and made some money designing racing bike frames. There's a Ted Wood from Britain listed on BMC Racing Team's staff, which might well be the same man.

    I think the Monoc brand used his designs, usually around a massive downtube shape which pre-dated hydroforming. By the time my model was being built, the fancy aluminium shapes included the top tube as well as seat and chain stays. It makes for a lot of metal, but a seriously stiff machine. The Flandria bike brand of Millenium Cycles later used similar tube shapes.

    The brand did belong to the D'Hoch corporation in Taiwan, which also made bike boxes and golf equipment. (Doesn't Shimano also prouce fishing equipment?) It sold frames to Australian stores to be rebranded. I think one particular brand, RaceLine or something, still advertises its own-brand frames as 'Monoc' tubing.

    When I bought my bike, Monoc's website was also available in France and Belgium, as well as in the UK, but is long since gone.

    They were imported by Millenium Cycles in Lancashire. I enquired about the full carbon frame after having bought my all-aluminium one, and the guy at Millenium Cycles (who was always helpful) said they had brought one in for a cycle show in England and no one expressed any interest in it. I thought this was surprising, as it looks - five years on - to still be a more interesting carbon frame than lots of others.

    Anyway, I'm very fond of the Monoc that I have, as I could never afford another decent bike, so make do with it. It's lasted almost five full years' of all-year riding, and is tough as boots. Would I upgrade it to something snazzier if I could? - yup. But I think I'd be spending something like £1000 on a frame to actually get something 'better'. That's money I'm unlikely to have!

    There's my thruppence ha'penny's worth.
  • ajoten
    ajoten Posts: 321
    Blimey, hats off to you. Good work!

    Seeing as there was an address, I actually emailed D'Hoch last week after finding that website, asking about the carbon frame. Bearing in mind the European distribution has ended and the pics on the website had the 2005 model, I still got a response saying £1200 + freight... hmmm.

    [I'm hoping the creaking I'm getting currently isn't the frame, else I'm going to have to find that money.]
    Alu is real.
  • Can't fault them to be honest, I've had one for about 4 years, the Quattro Mono, with carbon forks and seat stays.

    Very stiff, smooth welds and campag groupset.....

    Also ride a Colnago carbon, and to be honest, I'm just as satisfied when I ride the Monoc, as I am when I ride the Colnago...

    And the reference to Taiwan shouldn't be seen as a downer! Crackin' bikes.....

    Good luck in your quest, but I've a feeling Gran E. Gear is pretty close!
    Live every day like it\'s your last, cos one day.......your gonna be right!
  • Teece
    Teece Posts: 138
    I've just picked up a filthy second hand one tonight. Is currently in the garage with the wheels off. Will feedback as soon as I've got it shiny and on the road.
  • Teece
    Teece Posts: 138
    Okay, got the Monoc TC2 Compact back on the road. It's still a little mucky with grease stubbornly hanging on to the rings after two post-ride washes. I plan to remove them and give them a proper clean.
    The bike is just as much fun to ride as my stolen Boardman Race, although not quite as light. If anything, the gear changes are smoother and the brakes even more effective. I also find the compact frame easier on the arms, although there still needs to be some adjustment as my lower back was aching at the end of the last ride.
    Oh, and please ignore the pink bottle cage...I'm completely skint at the moment and it was the only one I could scrounge from a friend!

  • Fixie1976
    Fixie1976 Posts: 1
    edited March 19

    I just bought a Monoc off of Facebook Marketplace for $250 and I definitely won on that deal! I took it to Bike Mart in Richardson, TX to have them look it over and all the parts on the bike are top tier parts. All I had to buy was a front tire and bar tape. Trying to find out more about this brand but looks like there is not to much info out there. I see all of these post are from some years back so if anyone out there has some new info please share. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy this awesome bike that I bought for next to nothing!