SUNN, KELLYS AND THOK LAND ON AUSTRALIAN TRAILS
As 2019 bikes and products are appearing not just on the horizon but on shop floors, we’ve heard news that not one, not two, but three new bike brands are coming in to Australia. And when we say new – well one of them might be familiar if you were riding in the 1990s.
Ride Sports, based in Queensland, are importing Sunn Bicycles from France, Kellys Bikes from Slovakia, and Thok bikes from Italy.
Sunn bikes have a long history in mountain biking, having been piloted by mountain bike legends like Nicholas Vouilloz, Anne-Caroline Chausson and Miguel Martinez. Even our own Nathan Rennie spent some time aboard the French flyers. The enduro and trail crowd will love the Kern range, with 120-160mm models that share slack 66 degree head angles (67 on shorter travel bikes), steep 75 degree seat angles and long reaches. We think the Sunn Kern LT Finest will turn some heads at an Aussie trail centre or enduro race!
Cross-country riders will be impressd by the Shamann 100mm FS, the radical looking frame hides the shock and link, and it has a new school 69 degree head angle, 74 degree seat tube and a flex stay assembly which should keep weight really low. There’s a carbon hardtial called the Prim with similar geometry and design cues.
Sunn come to the eMTB party with the Rage and Charger mountain bikes, bring 140mm FS and 130mm aggressive hardtails to the trails with pedal assist to help boost your fun.
Kellys hail from Slovakia, and have a wide range of bikes and accessories. From basic hardtails, short travel full-suspension bikes, mid to long travel trail and enduro bikes, downhill race bikes and of course an eMTB range.
The 165mm travel Swag really jumps out at us, with neutral suspension, super short 419mm stays and a raked out 65.5 degree head angle this bike should please anyone looking to charge hard on gravity trails or planning a visit to places like Maydena Bike Park.
The Kellys Theos is a 140mm travel Shimano STEPS equipped eMTB, which manages to marry 455mm chainstays with a 68 degree head angle – ideally making a lively ride to really help work the terrain, your legs, and pedal assist to help you view your current trails differently and enjoy how a pedal-assist bike can change how you ride.
The Sunn Slanger might have a funny name, but as a 140mm trail bike capable of running 29” or 27.5+ wheels, it is the sort of bike that should feel right at home on Australian trails, be it on your local loop or visiting a major trail centre.
Thok bikes come right out of Italy. Better than that, they’re based on the Italian Riviera, known around the world for the quality of their trails. The brainchild of Stefano Migliorini and Livio Suppo,
Thok bikes exist to provide experienced riders with a high-performance eMTB. They had design expertise from Germany, and prototype testing from 22 time motorbike trials World Champ Toni Bou. The MIG eMTB has a low centre of gravity thanks to the placement of the battery under the raised downtube – ensuring the bike is super stable and planted. This is something most eMTBs are known for anyway thanks to their weight – but the Thok MIG uses the weight of the battery and the Shimano STEPS E8000 motor to its advantage as best as possible.
140mm travel out back is matched with 150mm up front, and the 66 degree head angle should let you keep the bike charging on steep descents while the 74.5 degree seat angle keeps you on top of the pedals when riding back up with the pedal assist.
The alloy frame boasts good standover height and Thok claim the weight distribution has been optimised not just for descending, but climbing back up trails too, and getting the heavier bike (Thok claim the MIG R is 21kg) back up over obstacles. We hear that a lot. Bear in mind that Thok make 3 bikes. The MIG, MIG R and a limited edition model - so they have been able to focus solely on this bike, and we’re hoping to get the chance to throw a leg over one for an in-depth review for our next issue.
THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING
Three new brands coming to Australia is a pretty big deal, but what we are stoked to hear is that Ride Sports will be setting up a fleet of about 70-80 test bikes to showcase around Australia for test ride weekends. We are waiting to hear the exact dates and locations, but we have been told to expect events at well-known and loved trail centres, with food on hand, bikes to ride, and plenty of information about the models on hand. Follow Ride Sports on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date about upcoming demo days.
KELLYS SWAG 50
KELLYS THEOS 70
KELLYS SLANGER 30
SUNN KERN LT