Spied: Sunn Kern Will Get 29in Wheels And A New Carbon Frame In 2019

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If you have been involved in mountain biking as long as we have then you’ll remember French cycling brand Sunn, but if not here’s what you need to know.

Way back in the day Sunn was a bike brand force to be reckoned with. Not only did they have a huge range of bikes for all tastes, but they also dominated BMX racing and downhill. In fact, it was the Sunn racing team that both Anne Caroline Chausson and Nicolas Vouilloz racked up many of their race wins on aboard the then radical Sunn Radical.

Sunn was born out of MX France, a BMX company started back in 1984 by Max Commencal, and was the first brand to use suspension designed by Oliver Bossard, the gentleman behind Bos Suspension. So there’s plenty of history behind this company.

After some financial issues back in 2003, Sunn relaunched itself in 2005 and again, in its present form, in 2014 still with a range of bikes from BMX to mountain bike, but this time focussing on Enduro rather than downhill.

sunn shamann
The last Sunn bike we were up close and personal with was the Shamann back in 2017.

Although we don’t really hear much about Sunn these days in the UK, the brand is slowly making a return to the limelight with a successful BMX, XC and Enduro teams.

With so much success in the EWS arena, it’s not at all surprising that Sunn is investing heavily into its Enduro bike range for 2019 with the introduction of not 1 but 2 new Kern models both rolling on larger 29in wheels and with all new carbon frames.

The enduro version of the Kern 29 will boast 160mm of travel.

While we don’t have actual photos of the new Sunn Kern EN 29 or Kern Am 29, we do have specs and 3D renders of the carbon bikes which show off a similar silhouette to the Sunn Shamann we spotted at Eurobike in 2017.

The zig-zag design actually envelopes the rear shock and hides a hidden floating linkage suspension system that offers between 135-150mm of travel depending on which model Kern you opt for.

AM for All-mountain, this version will have 135mm of travel on the rear but slightly longer reach.

We can also see an integrated shock guard on the rear of the bike, to help protect the rear shock from dirt spraying from the rear wheel, and on close inspection we can just make out a bolt on guards under the seat stay which we believe are to prevent debris getting trapped in the rear end under compression.

The render also shows that the Sunn Kern 29er frames are piggyback compatible and it appears there are mounts for a bottle cage in there too.

From what we’ve learned, the Sunn Kern 29er will only be available in carbon but will come in either an all-mountain or enduro configuration with the former sporting 135mm of travel and the latter 150mm of rear wheel movement. Both frames are a carbon monocoque with tapered head tube and boost rear wheel spacing.

Sunn Kern Carbon 29 Enduro Geometry
Sunn Kern Carbon 29 Enduro Geometry

Interestingly of the two frames, the AM model gets the longer reach, with a medium coming in 466mm, 10mm more than the Enduro variant. The Enduro bike is 1 slacker though with a head angle of 65.5. Both bikes have a 77 seat post angle. Sunn will be offering both new 29er Kern’s in S, M and L only.

As it stands, it looks as though both of these new carbon bikes will only be available in top-of-the-range “Finest” build option. Each bike will run SRAM 1×12 Eagle groupsets, RockShox Suspension, RaceFace kit and the latest Tellis dropper post from SDG.

Sunn Kern Carbon 29 All Mountain Geometry
Sunn Kern Carbon 29 All Mountain Geometry

Pricing for the 135mm travel Kern AM 29 Finest will be 4799 Euros, while the 160mm travel enduro bike will be slightly cheaper at 4299 Euros. Both bikes are expected to launch around February or March 2019, however, we don’t know yet if they will officially be available in the UK.

What do you think of the latest Sunn Kern 29er? Would you like to see Sunn make a return to the UK in 2019?

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