Following the aesthetic death of three-pocket jerseys, many companies have designed inventive ways to carry what we need on the bike. No one wants to carry more than they have to in their bag, and we all want the comfort of flowing, baggy T-shirts.
Granite Design released their line of stash tools in August, and I have since had the pleasure of testing a set. The three tools cover nearly any mechanical issue you would deal with alongside the trail, and they all store neatly in the cockpit for quick access. Since I also own the EDC system from OneUp Components, I will draw a comparison between the two stash systems in this review, where applicable.
The STASH Multi-Tool from granite Design fits into the steerer tube of a fork without threading the tube or purchasing a special stem. This not only means that it doesn’t void your fork warranty, but it can be set up with steel steerer tubes like the one pictured above. The company plans to release a version for carbon fiber steerers in the near future, to suit your road and cyclocross bike tool needs.
Installing the tool holster was rather simple, requiring a similar amount of time to the OneUp ECD system with their new EDC specific stem, though the Granite Design version works with any old stem. Simply remove the star-nut, slide the upper tool carrier in, slide the lower fork cap and extension in, and tighten them together with the appropriate length bolt until the headset is tight. Then throw the tool inside and go ride.
The main multi-tool includes 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6 hex keys, a T25 bit, and a flathead screwdriver. The smaller detachable tool has 0, 1, 2, and 3 spoke wrenches and a valve core wrench. The tool itself weighs 55g, and the system and tool combined adds 138 grams to the bike.
I found the STASH Multi-Tool easier to remove from the steerer than OneUp’s EDC tool, and similar to the EDC, I haven’t had any issues with it making noise or ejecting despite that easier release. The tool body is made of alloy, giving it a tougher feel than other stash tools, and the plastic top cap that serves merely to hold it in place shouldn’t wear since it doesn’t require much force to remove it from the bike.
The tool is necessarily small, and may not provide the leverage needed to loosen or tighten some bolts. To add torque, riders could try gripping a pair of sticks alongside the handle, or simply tighten things up enough to get home.
All of the bits are well machined, providing better purchase on bolts and spoke nipples than some tools this size.
The STASH Multi-Tool retails for $54.99 with the carrier hardware, and should be available soon.
Granite Design notes: “Compatible with tapered and 1-1/8″ straight steer tubes with different low cap options. Suitable for MTB with the ‘bottom of fork crown to top of stem’ length from 150mm to 240mm.”
The STASH Tire Plug from Granite Design can be stealthily hidden in your handlebar end, keeping it quietly at the ready. The reamer and plug-fork are kept clean and dry inside an alloy capsule, along with 2-3 plugs.
The tool is held in the end of the handlebar with an expanding rubber ring that tightens in place securely with the multi-tool’s 3mm hex key. It includes two different end caps for use with closed or open-ended grips. The Tire Plug tool takes several seconds to remove from the bar, which might be frustrating while you’re listening to air escape from a puncture.
The Granite Design Tire Plug weighs roughly 35 grams and retails for $19.99 at Amazon.com.
Granite Design’s Chain Tool rounds out their STASH collection, and also fits in the bar beneath closed or open-ended grips. The tool breaks chains from 9-12 speeds and weighs around 50 grams. There is a slot to secure a spare quick-link in the handle for emergencies.
The body of the tool is made of 7075 alloy and feels a fair bit sturdier than the plastic handle of the OneUp EDC chain tool. I recently cut a chain with it and the handle provided plenty of leverage to push the pin through.
The Chain Tool is available now for $24.99 at Amazon.com.
Thanks to Granite Design for sending the tools for review.