Accessibility Widget: On | Off

REVIEW: Granite Design Stash Tool Kit 1

Using a simple yet effective design, the steerer tube-mounted tool offers convenient on-bike tool storage at a competitive price.

REVIEW: Granite Design Stash Tool Kit

Remember the good old days when lugging around a stuffed-to-the-brim pack was commonplace on rides? From big pedals to bike park laps, a ride wasn’t complete if it didn’t include digging through multitools, tubes, derailleur hangers, and old beer cans to find the last patch kit at the bottom of a crusty bag. Nostalgia aside, the shift to stuffing every orifice of our bikes with trailside necessities has been a welcomed advancement that has left more riders prepared and prevented a lot of sweaty backs. (Don’t get us started on hip packs, though). A common location for on-the-bike tools has been inside the steerer tube, popularized by a few brands. One such brand is Granite Designs. Innovators of on-the-bike solutions, their Stash Tool Kit provides easy access to essential tools in a simple, effective, no-fluff design. 

Highlights

  • Compatible with tapered and 1-⅛-inch straight steerer tubes (different model for each)
  • Limited compatibility with RockShox and FOX eMTB forks due to internal tapered steerer tube
  • Does not require tapping the steerer tube to install
  • Tools included: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and T25 hex key
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Spoke keys included: 0, 1, 2, 3, and valve core remover
  • Fits steerer tube between 150 to 240mm 
  • Weight: 127 grams (measured)
  • MSRP: $54.99 USD

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Quick and easy installation that doesn’t require tapping the steerer tube
  • Snug-fitting multitool is secure and does not rattle
  • Quality hex heads
  • Only $54.99 USD
  • Limited leverage due to multi-tool size
  • Removing the multi-tool takes some finger strength
  • No 8mm hex key

Overview

The Stash Multi-Tool Kit shares similarities with Specialized’s SWAT Conceal Carry tool and OneUp Components EDC threadless tool, requiring no steerer tube tapping to install. Instead, the Stash Tool replaces the star nut and tightens from the top and bottom of the steerer tube, preloading the headset simultaneously. A plug with a long threaded shaft is inserted from the bottom while a threaded bolt and tool carrier drop in from the top. Three bolt lengths are included to accommodate steerer tubes from 150 to 240mm. 

Photo

Using a 5mm hex key from the top and a 6mm from the bottom, the Stash Tool tightens down on the headset spaces, acting like a top cap. Installation is incredibly fast, besides the time it takes to knock out your star nut. Luckily for us, our Specialized Enduro came with a SWAT tool, and tossing in the Stash Tool took just a few minutes. Once installed, the multi-tool and top cap press into the carrier and are held in place with a rubber o-ring. Two small lips protrude on the side of the top cap to remove the tool.  

Photo

 

Tools include a 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and T25 hex key, flathead screwdriver, and a 0, 1, 2, and 3 spoke key with a valve core remover. The hex keys and screwdriver are combined into a small multi-tool, while the spoke keys are cut out of a piece of metal that attaches to the multi-tool with a magnet. All tool sizes are labeled.  

Photo
Photo
Photo

Stash Ratchet Tool Kit

Since receiving our Stash Tool Kit, Granite Design released their Stash Ratchet Tool Kit, featuring a ratcheting wrench with nine tool bits. Bits include a 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, T25, and PH1 bit, which doubles as a wrench extender to provide more leverage. The Stash RT uses a spring-loaded holder with a flip latch on the top, much like Specialized’s SWAT tool. Available for $69.99 USD, the new version is compatible with modern steerer tubes from RockShox and FOX. 

Photo

On The Trail

With the Stash Tool installed and our headset properly preloaded, we honestly forgot it occupied our steerer tube after the first ride. And that is the best-case scenario for a product that should only come to mind when needed. The precise machining of the bottom plug and tool carrier kept our headset from creaking or loosening, while the aesthetic of the top cap was clean and minimalist, blending nicely with our all-black cockpit. 

Photo
Photo

The tolerance of the multi-tool inside the tool carrier was exact, and the o-ring created a tight seal that eliminated any rattling, water contamination, or the chance of the tool ejecting mid-ride. However, pulling out the multi-tool required some finger strength to decompress the o-ring. On a few occasions, we yanked so hard on the top cap that when it released, we tossed the tool down the trail. While we always want peace of mind that our on-bike tools are secure, the Stash Tool was more challenging to remove than the SWAT tool we used prior with its spring-loaded system. 

Photo

Once removed, we loved the multi-tools compact, organized design, and the crisp quality of the hex heads. Requiring just a simple outward rotation to select the desired tool, accessing each bit was straightforward. Compared to the SWAT tool, we spent way less time fumbling with the multi-tool trying to pry out the hex key we desired. The size of the multi-tool was relatively small, and we couldn’t find a nook or cranny on any bike that the tool couldn’t reach. The downside to the compact size was the lack of leverage. The tool was helpful for tightening loose pivot bolts, checking derailleur adjustments, or moving our lever angle, but we could not loosen pedals or axles without feeling like we were going to snap our wrist in the process. While more leverage would be appreciated for some situations, the Stash Tool resolved most trail-side fixes enough to get us back home where we could completely fix the problem with proper tools. Granite Design realized this was an area for improvement, and the new Stash RT model does offer more leverage with its long ratcheting wrench.

Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo

The spoke key tool was an excellent addition that performed as intended and fitted tightly on nipples with enough leverage to add tension. We lost our valve core remover shortly before receiving the Stash Tool, so it has received more use than any other tool in the kit and has functioned without a fuss.  

Things That Could Be Improved

The only improvement we would like to see with the Stash Tool is adding an 8mm hex key. Nowadays, most bikes have an 8mm bolt somewhere, and with all other sizes accounted for, it would be the final piece to a well-rounded tool. The Stash RT tool does include an 8mm hex key; however, it does not include spoke keys or a flat head screwdriver.

Photo

What’s The Bottom Line?

Granite Design’s Stash Tool Kit provides conveniently located, quality tools in a hassle-free storage design. A perfect addition to any bike, the tool kit is easily accessed when needed, providing the most common hex keys to solve trail-side problems. With a lower price than its competitors, the only factors riders should consider is what tools they prioritize on the trail. Within Granite Design’s product line, riders who want extra tool leverage, the addition of an 8mm hex key, or the option to mount a GPS computer to the top cap should consider spending a few extra bucks and reaching for the Stash Ratchet Tool Kit. For riders who are weight conscious and see themselves messing with spoke tension or want a valve core remover, the Stash Tool we tested will be your best bet. In any case, Granite Design offers riders quality steer tube-mounted tools that are a competitive option in the market.  

For more information on the Stash Tool Kit, please visit granite-design.com

Create New Tag
1 comment
Show More Comment(s) / Leave a Comment