Hayes' JUNIT Component Range for Youth Shredders - Sea Otter 2019

Apr 13, 2019
by Richard Cunningham  
Hayes' new ambassadors: (from left) Brodie Walker, 9 from Orem Utah;, Sam Dean, 9 from Sandy, Utah; Carter Stanfield, 12 from Sandy, Utah; River Bell, 9 from Cottonwood heights, Utah; and Clive Lariviele, 7 from Lehi, Utah.

Hayes Performance Systems made a bold step by committing its development team to design a comprehensive range of components for up-and-coming shredders. The ensemble is named JUNIT (say "J-Unit") and it began with of a cleverly downsized ProTaper aluminum handlebar that is only 15.6 millimeters in diameter at the grip area. Hayes arrived at that number by first developing the grip to fit the average 10-year-old's hand (which turned out to be close to 22 millimeters) and then working backwards to design the dimensions of the handlebar. The ProTaper JUNIT locking grip has a plastic extension which accommodates conventional, 22-millimeter control perches and remote clamps.

The ProTaper grip has an extension which fits standard 22mm diameter brake and dropper clamps. The new Dominion lever is custom made for small hands.
Compare a conventional 22mm handlebar (below) to the 15.6mm JUNIT ProTaper bar. The clamp diameter is the standard, 31.8mm.

Hayes then reduced the travel of its adult-featured Manitou Machete fork platform and created new lowers specifically sized for 20 and 24-inch wheels. The full-featured forks have internally adjustable strokes and damping tunes that work well for lighter-weight riders. JUNIT Machete forks share the reverse arch, through-axle, low-speed rebound and low-speed compression adjustments as their 27.5 and 29 inch wheel brethren.

JUNIT Machete forks are dedicated to 24" and 20" wheels and share the same high-performance ABS+ damper, adjustable travel (up to 120mm) and damping controls of the Manitou adult fork.

Wheels were the next piece of the puzzle. Hayes developed lightweight and sturdy 20 and 24-inch wheels using their Duroc aluminum rim profile. The down-sized Duroc's are tubeless ready, which offers much needed suppleness and grip to smaller riders. The final piece of the JUNIT group is a specially profiled Dominion brake lever blade, designed to fit smaller hands. The lever is not labeled as an official JUNIT item, because Hayes recognizes that many adults could also benefit from downsized brake levers.

SUNringlé Düroc tubeless ready wheels ensure similar suppleness and traction for lighter, smaller riders. Vee Tires are spec'ed on Commencal's team bikes.

On a related note, Hayes debuted a new two-piston derivative of its excellent-performing Dominion brake called the A-2, which is slightly lighter weight and shares the same lever/master cylinder as the Dominion A-4. A six-inch rotor will also be added to the range for the first time.

Hayes new two-piston Dominion A2 brake caliper was released concurrent with the JUNIT youth range, along with a six inch rotor.
Another look at the small-sized Dominion lever, which includes Hayes' tool-less reach adjust function.

All JUNIT components will be available within a month. For more information, visit the Hayes website


  • + 13
 That’s sweet. I really appreciate bike companies doing custom stuff for kids. If you’ve ever lifted a standard bike-store-brand 12-24” kids bike off the ground, you’d be shocked at how heavy it is.

Spawn is one of my favorite manufacturers out there for this. Haven’t checked on a scale, but their 20” bikes feel about half the weight of the Giant equivalent they replaced.

On the other hand, it’s awfully hard to justify spending the $$s on that something like the Ripcord or (I assume) these components, when you know your kid’s going to grow out of it in a couple seasons at most.

The solution is, of course, to have more kids. I think. The math hasn’t quite worked out for me yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s only a matter of time.
  • + 3
 Kids that need a FS often ride so hard and so much that it's worth it. The development and growth of kids is so insanely fast for those kids too... Resale is good on a nice bike too. You only get to rip with them at this age for so long, might as well invest in it. How many people complain about the price of a nice bike (not you but in general) and you look over and the kids are both on an iPad lol.
  • + 1
 A friend of mine bought his kids bikes from Isla bikes. When they had grown out of them, he sold the bikes for nearly what he bought them for. Compare that to a crappy bike shaped object normally sold for kids, which just goes to the tip, it worked out cheaper.
  • + 6
 "yeeeess, lets get them hooked on trick-bits while they're still kids... smithers"
  • + 2
 Awesome. Downsizing to the small diameter bars offered by SDG made a huge difference for my groms. I wonder how stiff it is. SDG's had a nice soft flex appropriate for 60# riders.

Now if only someone would offer an intermediate size bar strong enough for my small man-paws so I could use thick soft grips instead of thin ones...
  • + 1
 I bet these have even a bit more flex. They are 15mm where sdg is 19mm. Hard to go wrong either way. I like the Protaper stuff as it's 7075...prob pretty light
  • + 2
 Hey we need a full run down on that Commencal bike tho!! Is it coming spec'd with those brakes and wheels and bars or just the fork and shock? Which BTW, that's their McCloud shock and while like the Dominions, it isn't kid specific, it does have an OEM tune specifically for kids... not just another ladies tune in a kids bike. Very awesome.
  • + 2
 They've updated the spec on the website with the protaper bars/grips and fork, rear shock in photo? Unfortunately 155 cranks. MSRP much lower than last years version.
  • + 2
 @dirtpedaler: the cranks are frustrating. It's so obvious when you put a kid on there with the seat up and his knees are coming up so high. There is just no advantage either.

Unfortunately it's an expensive fix. 160$ for Trailcraft cranks and BB (BB has to be swapped because stock is Dub). Wish sram just made 140mm cranks for their OEM specs
  • + 1
 @Svinyard: I got sr zeron 152mm cranks with external bb and a 32t NW for under 100 bucks to my door. Not the lightest on the market, but fit and cost were more important. When he grows a little, I can put the 165mm truvativ back on. Specialized BH Grom, weights a ton anyway.
  • + 1
 Nice to have some options, it would have been nice to see some external bb short cranks too. Trailcraft are the leaders IMO for kids' bikes and componentry, but they also charge the $$$ to back that up (largely because sales volumes are low compared with adult gear). It's hard to justify spending more on kids cranks and wheels than my own parts
  • + 1
 Yeah the wheels are heavy. Kids running 2.3 tires are fine on Stan's Crest MK3 i23. For DH sure, get wide and heavy. That's another 450$ if you can get an affordable builder and they'll be around 1250$.
  • + 1
 Now most common problem to be is to find replacement grips for all small kids bikes that I have, a lot of companies did the same )

However nice move from Hayes, would consider those parts in nearest future
  • + 1
 Brood grips are great. Good enough at least. Spawn makes/sells them. Sdg stuff too. Trailcraft as well. Lots of options
  • + 4
 And where is the 37mm LT fork?

  • + 2
 Be patient!
  • + 2

Only a week or one 4 month.... Or even another year ;-(
  • + 1
 @bansaiman: I cannot tell you...
  • + 4
 awsome stuff! just need a child now...
  • + 1
 Unreal. Had no idea the bars were going with a low diameter. Very very cool. Hayes REALLY went all in. We've never seen this before. Amazing. Take my money
  • + 3
 Hey honey let's make another baby.
  • + 4
 This stuff is so sick!
  • - 1
 So I guess they test it really well, using small hands mocks, asserting the components meet both positive and negative requirements through all the production pipeline continuously integrating into their solutions deployed on the (app)stores shelves...
  • + 1
 Brakes for juniors, which have much less power... winner!
  • - 2

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