Serge Lopez - Sunn Bicycles

Serge Lopez - Sunn Bicycles

"I'm talking to you about a time that those under twenty cannot know" says the famous song of Bohemia and yet. Even if the first Sunn (BMXs!) saw the light of day in 1982, it is clear that the brand not only still exists today, but that many of its models are truly accomplished. Following the example of Kern.

Then, let's not forget that these are the machines chosen by Cédric Tassan to carry out his adventures on the other side of the world. If this is not a guarantee of quality!

By Pierre André.

Can you introduce yourself ?

Hello everyone, my name is Serge Lopez. I was born in Toulouse on July 14, half a century ago. And yes… time passes. I console myself by telling myself that every year for my birthday, I am lucky to have a parade and fireworks in addition to being a public holiday!

I am an INSA Mechanical Engineering engineer by training.

How did you get into mountain biking?

I have two older brothers, both passionate about and practicing motocross. Naturally, when I was old enough to ride, I was more interested in bumps and paths than asphalt and I took up BMX. After a few years spent traveling around France for races on my little bike, I stopped to enjoy my adolescence differently, then I then took up cycling again via mountain biking. And I was immediately attracted by both the practice and the technical side of the product which, in the 90s, was constantly evolving. I spent a lot of time riding and a lot of time tinkering too!

What is your professional background?

Once I finished my engineering school, I joined the army (and yes, it still existed) and I started looking for work. As I was passionate about mountain biking, Sunn was on the rise and was in my region, I applied to them and was hired. Firstly to take care of quality and after-sales service then, a few years later, of the product.

It was passionate ! I experienced my best moments of my career there but also the worst because although I loved the brand, I had no chemistry with the managers who had replaced Max.

Then Max called me in 2004 to join Commençal and take care of the product. A real challenge because it was a young brand which had already established a friendly image with fun bikes, but we had to innovate with the team and move towards more technically advanced products. The Meta and Supreme, which, after numerous evolutions, are still the brand's flagship models, were born shortly after.

In 2011, it was Gilles Lapierre who called me to join their staff. This seemed interesting to me because it was a French brand, historical but which seemed a little “dusty” to me. I spent 7 years there with a fantastic team trying to modernize the product and the image of the brand.

Finally, I spent 2 years, promoted within the Accell group (parent company of Lapierre in particular), as manager of the group's sports products. In other words, mainly, Ghost, Haibike and Lapierre.

More international mission, great from a human point of view to manage people of several nationalities but in the end, the group's strategy did not seem to me to go in the right direction for the brands and products that I “managed”.

And so, when Sunn called me at the end of 2020, it seemed like a new challenge to return to my first love to help restart the brand.

Can you tell us about the iconic French bicycle brand: Sunn?

Sunn for me, you will have understood, it is much more than a brand, it is a big part of my life! More than 35 years ago, I was already riding BMX on a Sunn!

I love the brand, the image it conveys through its compact, slopping, sporty, stylish products, from BMX culture. And she herself comes from motocross. In the same way that most cars today are inspired by the lines of 4x4s.

This is good for the user because the look of the bike is flattering and the advantages of having bikes that are easy to handle and agile are undeniable.

And then, apart from the fact that Sunn has brought a lot of things to the industry (by being pioneers in geometry, discs, suspensions, etc.), the development and assembly of the bikes have always been done in France. It is also important to be able to defend our cycle industry and to convey this know-how beyond our borders.

What are the development prospects / what is the future?

We are just at the beginning of the renewal + addition of the product range, particularly on sports or urban electric vehicles, with the new team in place. Currently, each time we release a new model (Kern, Rage, Charger, Skill, etc.) we are quickly “sold out” so the prospects are promising if we do a good job and we go in the right direction. direction. We are also developing the network of resellers, whether in France or outside our borders. The future should be pretty good for Sunn!

What machine do you ride with?

I don't really have time to ride regularly anymore. But whenever I can, I get on my Sunn Kern EL which is just an incredible machine! I live in the mountains, I have little time to train, so the switch to electric was a natural choice for me so that each outing doesn't turn into a nightmare! And then by riding this type of bike, I learned a lot of things over the years which I then use in my job.

A place to ride in France?

The central Pyrenees! Either on the Luchon side where it is still unknown, wild and very varied, or on the Loudenvielle side. Both spots are just incredible!

Your best memory with your mountain bike?

Frankly, this one is difficult and I don't want to do too much “planplan” but each time I ride, that I discover a new bike or new places it's a unique pleasure, a new emotion and images that remain engraved !

We're waiting for Cédric Tassan, our ambassador, to take me to a country with an unpronounceable name that ends in –stan and shall we talk about it again?!

Can you share an anecdote with us!?

Okay, I get it, the last questions are all going to be complicated. I could write a book on that I think! When we filled the first Chaos forks with whiskey to see if they worked better than with oil or other similar “scientific experiments”…

Free expression

Just saying that I feel really privileged to have always been able to evolve in an environment that fascinates me! Retour ligne automatique
I have had the chance to meet so many champions, to see so many different countries and cultures thanks to my job!

Today, wearing the colors of Sunn again, a brand to which I am viscerally attached, and trying to make the most beautiful products with a team as passionate as they are talented, it's still cool!

All with the support of MFC who puts it all together expertly in France. Finally, Intersport allows us to develop, it also makes things easier.

What is your vision of mountain biking in 20 years?

What is certain is that cycling in general will take up more space in our lives, whether in our daily lives or for leisure activities.

Mountain bikes will continue to evolve significantly with integration and the democratization of electronics and connectivity. Materials and manufacturing processes will also evolve towards greater environmental responsibility. All while relocating more and more components to Europe.

We will have lighter bikes, on which we will no longer need to worry about changing gears or the configuration of the terrain.

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