New Manitou Junit suspension forks are built to cater to young riders, ensuring kids full suspension mountain bikes have proper forks
The next generation of mountain bikers and racers has got it better than ever before, with more and more brands bringing out proper full-suspension mountain bikes for kids and teens. Now Manitou has added two new forks – the Manitou Junit line – to give young riders front suspension that promises them the same technology and performance as the adult versions.
Need to know:
- Based around Manitou 34mm chassis
- Two forks to suit 24- and 26-inch wheels
- Junit Pro and Junit Expert
Manitou says that the 34mm chassis increases stiffness to allow ‘bigger kids to go even bigger with only benefits and no compromises’, allowing them to tackle more technical terrain or go higher in the jump park.
The forks feature 7000 series tapered legs and the Dorado Air spring system, which offers, Manitou says, comparable small bump sensitivity and big hit support as those supplied on the adult forks.
The forks also allow for internal travel adjustment, and Manitou states that the 100mm fork has the same initial stroke feel as the 160mm, thanks to new travel spacers which account for negative air volume change.
IRT or Infinite Rate Tune allows riders to adjust pressures at the beginning or end of the stroke by ‘effectively creating a secondary positive air spring that affects only the middle to end-stroke of the fork’. This, says Manitou, means the main air spring can be set to a lower pressure for greater small bump sensitivity, while still offering the mid-stroke support and end-stroke ramp up hard-charging young riders need.
The top model in the lineup – the Junit Pro – features Manitou’s new compression damper technology the VTT-6P, with a single external compression adjuster that adjusts both high speed and low speed damping. With both a primary fixed and secondary shim stack, preloaded by this external adjuster, the forks have a wide tuning range so they can be adapted to suit a wide range of terrain and riding styles.
Weight is obviously a big consideration for bikes for young riders. Smaller bodies don’t have the same strength for throwing around heaving bikes, so the combination of tapered legs and a reduced oil volume, with a half-cartridge system controlling rebound, helps keep these relatively low weight, according to Manitou.
Looking for chunkier forks for grown-up bikes? Check out our guide to the best mountain bike suspension forks and best MTB shocks we’ve tried and tested. Or if it’s your little ripper you’re shopping for, the best full-suspension mountain bikes for kids guide has your back.