Hayes Performance Systems has unveiled a new product line called JUNIT (as in J-Unit) that’s directly targeted at youth shredders who are looking towards a mountain bike rather than a BMXer. And make no mistake, this product line cuts no performance corners by matching all the attributes of the brand’s adult size offerings.
Components consist of a narrower ProTaper aluminum handlebar that’s 15.6mm in diameter towards the ends. Hayes said engineers decided on it after extensive research revealed that was the optimum size to fit the accompanying 23mm diameter grip, which is the average size a 10-year-old’s hand can comfortably hold. The ProTaper lock-on grips include integrated plastic extensions allowing for the use of traditional sized brake, shifter and dropper post clamps.
Hayes then took its Manitou Machete fork and shrunk it with new lowers to create a youth-sized 20-inch and 24-inch wheel suspension fork that still gets adult size travel. Machete JUNIT features a 1.5” tapered alloy steerer tube and a forged hollow crown. Thirty-two millimeter, 6000 series black anodized stanchions are completed with Manitou’s signature Reverse Arch and Hexlock SL2 Boost thru-axle. Internals are the same as the adult size fork with an Expert Air spring system, adjustable rebound and ABS+ damper. It accepts post mount disc brake calipers with 160mm rotor clearance and travel options are 100mm or 120mm for the 20-inch wheeled version and 100mm, 120mm and 145mm for the 24-inch wheel fork.
For brakes Hayes now offers an all-new two-piston version of its Dominion brake, called the A-2, which is lighter in weight compared to the four-piston A-4, making it perfect for cross-country use, while still sharing the same lever and master cylinder as the four piston Dominion A-4. But … as part of JUNIT (and for any rider who has small hands) there’s a special low-profile lever option for the A-2. This brake isn’t being marketed under JUNIT to avoid being considered a “kids” brake because its lever is custom designed for anyone with smaller hands or who desires less reach (even with my rather large hands the shape of the lever felt really good).
And lastly to complete the package, Hayes created 20 and 24-inch tubeless ready SUNringlé Düroc 30 JUNIT aluminum wheels with all the bells and whistles of its full-sized rims including 110 and 100mm hub spacing. The wheels, when purchased, include STR Tubeless Valves and STR Tubeless Sealant just like their full-sized siblings.
As a complete group this is an impressive step towards getting more kids on mountain bikes. My only criticism? Where was this when I was 10 years old?
Take a look at the video below of Hayes Performance Systems JUNIT Collection of pre-teen ambassadors kicking ass. The team from Utah includes Brodie Walker, 9; Sam Dean, 9; Carter Stanfield, 12; River Bell, 9; and Clive Lariviele, 7.
Get more spec details at hayesperformance.com