As more of us make the move away from riding packs and bum bags, the market continues to grow with solutions to aid in moving all our essentials onto or into the spare space on our frames.
Granite are no exception and have gone full speed in developing their 3-piece set of appropriately named Stash Tools. The set includes a steerer tube installed multi tool (I have the RCX model), bar end installed chain breaker and tubeless tyre plugs.
Granite are no strangers to the channel as I really liked their frame strap back in the group test at the start of the year but how do their tools stack up?
Straight out of the box you know you’re getting quality with granite, the orange (also available in black) anodised parts have a good weight about them, they all fold and fit together as they should and the hex and torx bits are accurately cut.
The RCX multi tool (£49.95) includes hex tools in 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 a T25 and flathead screwdriver. As a nice addition you also get a spoke key in size 0, 1, 2, 3 and a valve core removing tool held to the side with magnets.
The chain tool (£23.95) is driven by the hex keeping it nice and compact. It has storage space for a quick link and has a handle with 2 different positions to allow storage in your bars*.
Finally, Granite’s tyre plug kit (£19.96) includes reamer, tyre fork and 4 tyre plugs to get you started*.
The 3 tools, complete with end plugs and fittings came in at 191g, 34g less than my usual multi tool with the same functions and plug kit.
*chain tool and plug kit also comes with a 30mm and 22mm cap to allow installation with open end or lock-on grips.
Fitting the chain tool and plug kit into the end of my Nukeproof bars was easy. Remove grips (DMR Deathgrips and Burgtec Bartender Pro), push tool in, tighten hex bold to expend the gromet, put grips back on and tighten lock ring – job done.
The RCX multi tool wasn’t much more challenging. Remove stem top cap, knock star nut out the bottom of fork steerer; then using the storage sleeve put in the expanding washer and tighten up to expand.
Granite provide clear instructions and the tools required to carry out the job however be careful, the expanding washer is incredibly easy to over tighten!
All in, the job took 10 minutes with no modifications made to steerer tube or bars, a big bonus and leaving everything completely reversable.
On the trail
Having your multi tool so easily accessible is a no brainer for me. Those little adjustments you usually ignore are a 2 second job and the Granite multi tool is bang on the money for most jobs. The bits are quite short but I’ve adjusted callipers, removed pads, tweaked the saddle etc with no issues at all.
The only mishap I’ve had; on one of the first rides the expanding washer worked its way loose leaving the whole thing rattling in the steerer tube. I ended up picking up a new star nut and using this instead of the washer. An easy enough fix to do with a bit of measuring and one that worked a dream.
We seem to have had a spate of punctures recently, so the plug tool has been used frequently. It’s easy to remove once the grips off, the reamer works, and the plugs stay in place. The storage tube doesn’t rattle in the bars and after 5 months hasn’t seized shut or let any moisture in. The ‘bacon strips’ are nice a sticky and bond to the tyre well creating and airtight seal.
Finally, as with the other tools the chain splitter just works. You unscrew the handle from the storage position and into the correct position to hold, grab your multi tool to turn the pin and use like any other chain splitter. Having the quick link storage is a nice touch as well. After a month or so the handle did work its way loose from the storage position leaving it rattling through the bars but a little thread tape has kept it in place since. I’ve taken it out a few times just to check it and its all still moving, dry and ready for action.
There isn’t much to say here. Yes the tools can be a little slow to get out from under lock on grips but they are secure, more than compete with the competition and I really like them!
The Stash tools work well, are tidy and are there when you need them. They have stood up to 5 months of constant use without much of a mark and will, I’m sure continue to do this.
At time of writing all 3 parts of Granites stash kit can be had for around £80 which stacks up with the competition all in.
It would be nice if Granite made the sleeves available as an additional purchase for multiple bikes but either way these will certainly be my go-to carry tools from now on.