Down Under, the inevitable turning of the seasons is currently swinging towards the ascendant, bringing an end to riding in the dark and cold of Winter. What better way to celebrate the advent of Spring than to check out this commuter-fied Sunn Crosss.
Sunn is a French brand that enjoyed near cult-like status during the 90s thanks to a colorful aesthetic typical of the era and sponsorship of several glamourous world champs, such as Anne Caroline Chausson, Nicolas Vouilloz and François Gachet.
It featured logos and cartoons designed by Zoobab, the pseudonym of designer Jean-Pierre Garnier, who lent the bikes, kit, and catalogs the same ‘Marcinelle school‘ cartoon style as an Asterix comic.
The bikes were designed with French finesse, even the dual-suspension Radical Plus, but it was the more-accessible hard tails that always caught the eye. Not too many made it to Australia, but this Crosss did, and into the hands of Tom, a Sydney architect.
It was a fortuitous acquisition: a food delivery rider parked it in front of Tom’s building one day and, on a whim, he gave the rider his number and said to give him a call if he ever upgraded. Two years later, he got that call and became the new owner. For free.
It was covered with random stickers and many month’s worths of street grime, but Tom cleaned it up and, with the help of fellow members of the legendary local fixed.org.au — or FOA — crew, converted the Crosss into a street-ready commuter.
After a fresh rebuild helped by a BMX Eclat stem from Harry and a set of DMR tires from Cam, a front rack, two-piece moto bars, Avid brakes, and XT drivetrain, it was ready to hit the streets.
One of Tom’s pet peeves is generating unnecessary landfill, and his line of work involves a bit of 3D printing for model making so when the strap on his Knog light failed, he printed out a natty universal holster, prolonging its use by many more years.
Fellow architect John James’ famous Brutalist Reader’s Digest building in Surry Hills, with its cast-iron fittings, provided a fitting backdrop for this shoot. However, there’s no doubt what could be thanked for the contrasting shadows.
Big thanks to Tom for allowing me to steal away his Sunn Crosss for a lunchtime shoot.