Review: Granite Hides a Tiny Socket Wrench in Your Steerer Tube

Jun 6, 2022 at 9:37
by Mike Levy  
Granite Designs' $69.99 USD Stash RT is a spring-loaded socket wrench with nine tool bits that pops up from underneath your top cap when needed.


Multi-tools come in countless favors, from the 'I can rebuild my transmission with this 8lb folding brick' to the slimmest of barely-there mini-tools best suited to short rides or race days. And if you'd rather not wear a backpack or carry said brick in a pocket, there are all sorts of options that can be stowed anywhere from your bottle cage, crank spindle, handlebar, or your inside of your fork's steerer tube.

Granite Designs' new $69.99 USD Stash RT takes the latter route with a spring-loaded design that pops up from beneath your top cap when you need it but, rather than a traditional folding multi-tool, it consists of nine bits and a pocket-sized socket wrench.
Stash RT Details
• Steerer tube-mounted tool
• Spring-loaded design
• Two-way, 1/4-inch-drive socket wrench
• Tool bits: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm, T25, extended PH1
• Optional computer mount
• Weight: 160-grams
• MSRP: $69.99 USD
www.granite-design.com


The plastic top cap latches shut firmly and hides the tool until you need it.
When you rotate the cap to the side, the tool carrier pops up to save your ride.


The Details

This isn't Granite's first steerer tube-mounted tool, but the new Stash RT is different from their previous offerings that came with a more traditional mini-tool and needed to be pulled out from inside the steerer with a firm yank. Also, those older versions didn't fit into the thicker-walled steerers that the latest modern long-travel forks use, so a slimmer version was necessary.

The RT's smaller diameter solves that, and a tapered coil spring hidden beneath it means that the tool carrier pops up like you're playing Whac-A-Mole when you rotate the plastic top cap to the side for access. There's an o-ring at the top that should help to keep some of the water out and prevent any rattling, and the whole thing, including the two-piece bottom cap and a medium-length bolt (it comes with three lengths), weighs 160-grams and can be had in either anodized black or orange.


A small but strong magnet is hidden under a black clip to keep the tool bits in place.


The plastic carrier that pops up is home to a small, two-way 1/4-inch-drive socket wrench and 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm hex bits, a T25 bit, and an extended Phillips bit that you can slide into the wrench's handle for more leverage if you're trying to loosen a stubborn bolt. The big 8mm lives in the wrench's handle when not in use, while the others are held in place with a small magnet hidden under a black clip on the carrier; this should keep the bits from falling off and rolling into the underbrush to never be seen again.

At the top, a black plastic cap rotates out of the way to allow the spring-loaded tool to pop up, and those who like to mount a computer in that location can buy an optional top cap with a small threaded hole in the center and the matching computer mount that works with Garmin, Bryton, and Wahoo devices.


The kit consists of a two-way 1/4-inch-drive socket wrench, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm hex bits, a T25 bit, and an extended Phillips bit.
The bottom cap is a two-piece design, and there's an o-ring to keep water from getting in at the bottom.


How does it work? You likely have a traditional star nut that's been smashed into your fork's steerer tube with a hammer, and this is what the top cap and bolt tighten against when you finally fix your loose headset. You'll need to punch that old star nut out to use the Stash RT, though, as Granite's tool takes its place and uses a cap that goes underneath the fork crown and one of three steel bolts (depending on how long you need) runs through the bottom of the insert and threads into the cap. Now, when you need to tighten your headset, you use a long 5mm hex key to reach that bolt.


Performance

Granite isn't the first brand with a spring-loaded tool in your steerer tube, but the idea makes so much sense that I'm surprised we haven't seen many others doing it. The pivoting top cap looks clean, and rotating it to the left lets the tool carrier to pop up like a happy little helper... usually. It was sometimes a little hesitant to come out of its nest, with the tool bits catching on the o-ring at the top and making for a tight fit. Tapping the top of the carrier a few times was enough to free it up, and I suspect that the tolerances won't be so tight after a few months of use.

My other gripe is more subjective - I prefer to have all the tools I like to carry, including a chain breaker, together in a single unit. Granite sells a separate chain breaker for $21.99 USD that hides inside your handlebar, but the Stash RT obviously doesn't include one.


The Stash RT would usually pop up when needed, but sometimes fouled on the o-ring and needed a tap to free it.


Does the Stash RT work? Of course it does. The little ratchet wrench ratchets when needed, and the tool bits don't have the sloppy fit in bolt heads that you can sometimes find with some multi-tools. I know they're usually just for trail-side emergency repairs, not shop work, but it's still nice to see a tight interface. I'm of two minds as to whether I prefer a traditional folding tool or this ratchet wrench set-up... The folding tools can be a pain in the ass when you're trying to tighten a hard-to-reach bolt and they're either not long enough or the tool itself is too large and cumbersome. But with the Stash's tiny wrench, you can easily spin a loose bolt in or out by putting the bit in the end of the handle, and there are going to be many times when the ratcheting head is way quicker than rotating your 8lb brick around and around.

To me, the wrench and separate bits also feel more professional than a multi-tool, especially the rusty one I've been using for the last twenty years, and you can easily replace any of the bits, or even the wrench itself, with a quick trip to the hardware store if you wear out, damage, or just loose any of them like I surely will. Of course, you can also substitute different bits as needed, so this little tool might come in handy for working on more than just your bike.


The little wrench does wrench things.
Granite Stash RT


To me, the best part about the Stash RT, or any multi-tool that you store on your bike, is that it's always going to be there when you need it. While I used to never leave home without a backpack or bum bag, I can't stand wearing them anymore and that means that my pockets are often stuffed full of tools and candy when I'm heading out on a big ride. Having a tool on my bike instead of my body frees up a small but vital amount of room for those kind of rides.




Pros

+ Ratchet wrench is much easier to use than some cumbersome multi-tools
+ It'll always be there when you need it
+ Easy, inexpensive to replace tool bits

Cons

- Tool was sometimes hesitant to pop up
- You'll (maybe) want a separate chain tool




Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesWhile I still prefer my all-in-one 8lb folding brick, the Stash RT is a simple and clean solution for riders who prefer to carry items on their bike rather than in a bag or pocket. And if you've ever struggled with a cumbersome multi-tool to tighten (or loosen) a hard-to-reach bolt, you'll appreciate the socket wrench's ability to fit into tight spaces better. Mike Levy







118 Comments

  • 109 0
 These new tools are popping up everywhere.
  • 6 25
flag valrock (Jun 15, 2022 at 8:27) (Below Threshold)
 I assume that making them is dirt cheap, on large scale each of these cost manufacturers like what? 15 bucks tops? Maybe 10? Then you sell it from 60.. boom Big Grin I like my Crankbrothers m19 but I am pretty sure in parts it worth about 10 bucks maximum
  • 28 1
 @valrock: woooosh
  • 22 1
 @garneau565: loosen up, it may take a bit to click.
  • 38 0
 its ok if yours doesn't pop up as quickly as it once did. This is fairly common once you get to your mid thirties, especially with the stress of a family and job. Don't be ashamed, and just give your Dr a visit.
  • 8 0
 @valrock: Even if that's the case, it doesn't mean there's a 50 dollar profit. You gotta include the design process, prototyping, shipping, packing, rent, marketing... It adds up.
  • 6 0
 @valrock: its all in the phrasing ! if you had just written that they're "leveraging economies of scale", the others here would steer away and not screw with you about it.... Wink

Anyway, this is a fine thread of comments. Im following tightly.
  • 2 11
flag valrock (Jun 15, 2022 at 13:10) (Below Threshold)
 @foxinsocks: don't know about scale... I think they are leveraging premium price by making an MTB-specific tool. My other tool ( yeah I need two for another bike so it is always on me) is Bell branded and I got it for 20 CAD... has all the same stuff, but that was 6 years ago.

Re - screwing... not sure what you are talking about Big Grin

@Pedro404 - agree with you on that part. Something like this has a more or less unique design ( at least it ised to be, now everyone makes headtube tools), but something like CB M19 is identical to everything else on the market, not sure how much innovation there is. Marketing... oh yeah... I am pretty sure most of the price is marketing.

My point was - the reason EVERYONE is making tools like this is probably due to HUGE margins on them. Each of us has multitool on them.. right?
  • 16 2
 @valrock: Doubling down on the whoosh, eh? I think the others will have to ratchet up their explanations.
  • 13 0
 @noapathy: he's just throwing a spanner at our attempts to humor :/
Nevermind, i dont have the need to Hexplain my jokes....
  • 5 0
 @valrock: our point is here is 100% to fool around with silly word puns. No more....
Popping up
Loosen up
Click
Leveraging
Steer
Screw
Fine thread
Ratchet up
Spanner
Hex....

We're just an immature bunch of tools. Play along Wink
  • 3 0
 @foxinsocks: a good pun can be taken for granite on this site. (Username checks out, by the way.)
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: mid thirties eh? Yikes buddy lol
  • 4 0
 @warmerdamj: ITS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF!!
  • 4 1
 @foxinsocks: not a native speaker, I do not get those in writing. I would if you were talking to me in real life tho Big Grin Thx for the explanation... pretty funny Big Grin
  • 5 0
 @valrock: Bits lost in translation is a common problem.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: that's what she said
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: mid thirties lmao if you having issues in your mid thirties you ain't living right. I'm 37 and still pop like I was 20!!
  • 3 0
 @mhoshal: Wow you were already struggling when you were 20? I know a doctor in Mexico...
  • 38 0
 Can we please just make one of these for a one hitter already.
  • 4 0
 Man that would be incredible. I'll even settle for a hideaway delta 8 pen
  • 4 0
 @larryssman7: This is freaking awesome
  • 2 0
 @mildsauce91: Those delta 8 pens are so good and convenient. I used to partake a ton, now the regular delta 9 stuff from the club is too much. Love delta 8.
  • 3 0
 @larryssman7: I don't even toke and I want one...
  • 3 0
 I will keep rolling
  • 2 0
 @DylanH93: I feel the same way. Delta 8 is so nice, 9 is just uncomfortable at this point. Maybe I'm just old.
  • 1 0
 Problem with both of these one hitter systems is that they don't have a spot for the little metal cleaner rod. Without that the one hitter can be rendered useless after one use, definately after a couple.
  • 2 0
 @larryssman7: lol I was wondering why my Etsy listing was getting a bunch of traffic from Pinkbike.

Mine is just a dumb idea I made for Levy that I ended up taking too far and selling a couple of. It's been good fun! Iozzo does a great one if you want to keep your star nut. And Stash-Cache does one for your bars. stash-cache.com/product/stash-cache

@warmerdamj: with mine you can just pop a little toothpick into the one hitter as a cleaner. But I think the Iozzo one comes with a pick stock.
  • 30 1
 Cool enough of a concept, but I think the EDC does the same thing and it has more functionality. Not to mention you're not going to be accidentally losing bits in the dirt due to the design. Also, with the size of the wrench you could just have a tiny pouch that mounts on the saddle rails, and you could have more bit sizes.

6/10: good idea, but there exist better alternatives at the same price.
  • 7 0
 Agreed on edc as the best. I’ve had the spesh swat system and the tool was nice and quick, but to access the chain breaker was a bitch. EDC overall is the superior system
  • 9 7
 My biggest gripe with the EDC is you can’t tighten your headset with the tool. You replace your top cap with the basket that holds the tool, so essentially your top cap is much deeper in the head tube. And the tool isn’t long enough to reach the bolt to tighten it down. Granted a loose headset isn’t a really common problem, but be had mine come loose in a crash and had no way to tighten it. Otherwise it’s a great little tool. Not much else you can’t do with it. Minus a chain tool of course.
  • 4 0
 The Giant bottom bracket mounted one is better than the EDC except the "stash crack cocaine" compartment of the EDC, but with a lower fork plug, you can actually stash way more stuff in the headtube than with the EDC.

I went with the EDC Lite so that I could go to Kanuga Bike Park or a short loop and always have it.
The EDC lite is $40, you whack a hammer twice into your steerer using your own top cap as the bolt guide and you're done. I suck at bike maintenance and yet dropped it in my bike in less than 5 miuntes. 4 of those minutes were reading the instructions.

Honestly feel lik dropping the EDC Lite in and then putting an expansion plug in the bottom of the head tube with any odd thing you might want to have as backup is the better answer.
  • 2 0
 miles-wide.com/product/fork-cork

With that you can take a Park Mini chain breaker into two pieces in a ziploc, pouch, etc and have a real tool in the bottom of your fork and the EDC Lite up top.
  • 19 0
 @schwaaa31: I think you're talking about EDC Lite. In that case the 4mm hex was designed to reach the 4mm bolt head in the bottom of the carrier. The bits on the other end of the tool fold out in an 'L'. To tighten the headset, turn the tool, carrier and bolt as one. When you get home, use a shop tool to re-straighten the carrier.

If you are talking about the threaded EDC cap, the custom bit can tighten by spanning the cassette tool grooves.
  • 8 0
 @schwaaa31: the edc tool has a flathead with two prongs on the side for exactly this reason
  • 10 0
 @OneUpComponents: Well I’ll be. Scratch what I said. It’s perfect!
  • 1 0
 @schwaaa31: Are you using the threaded steerer tube EDC or a diff version? I have the threaded steerer tube and I can tighten the headset with the tool.
  • 3 0
 @bronson2point1: I should have said EDC Lite. But it sounds like you can actually use the tool to tighten it. I’m just a dolt.
  • 1 0
 @schwaaa31: I think you're doing it wrong as the 4mm hex is right in the middle so you can tighten the headset bolt, the only thing is that the container is turning as well, but that can be fixed at home later
  • 2 0
 I do like the computer attachment idea though - wish my EDC had that….
  • 2 0
 @schwaaa31: That must be with the EDC Lite?

The new Threadless carrier is pretty nice, it tightens from the underside and can be adjusted with the tool.
  • 1 0
 @Worley1: I’ve scratched the balls out of my top cap with those prongs, but they’ll get you by.
  • 2 0
 @Krahdmirr: EDC Lite you can use the tool itself to tighten the deeper mounted bolt to tension the hesdset up if it ever works loose.

Granted the EDC Lite paper instructions .do not mention that feature. There is a visual of the handle on their site now that mentions it, but a YouTube video link would be nice on their site showing how to tension trailside. @OneUpComponents FYI Beer

I had to find it in on another YouTube channel b/c I assumed there had to be a way if the tool is right there. Smart design to not leave that out since when I first dropped mine in, I used a long T handle and didn't think about having to re-tension it until I had to use a @dnrdesigns alignment tool on my handlebars at Kanuga one day..
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse:

Is there somewhere a solution which is cheaper and available?
  • 1 0
 @bansaiman: solution for what?
  • 21 0
 But where will I put my OneUp EDC?
  • 6 0
 There's more than one hole you can shove up or down Wink
  • 3 0
 In the excellent OneUp pump so you can take it easily from bike to bike.
  • 3 0
 @Mike-Jay: that’s why I went with the pump. The under-rated way to go. Plus, it will give me something to fight off a mountain lion if I ever end up with a stand off.
  • 2 0
 @Mike-Jay: totally, and it's not as though I'm gonna go for a ride without a pump, it strikes me as being equally essential as the multi tool.
  • 11 1
 cons - tool was hesitant to pop up. Did my ex wife write this?

....hey is that your Granite or are you just happy to see me?
  • 6 0
 Just tell her to follow Levy's instructions "would usually pop up when needed, but sometimes fouled on the o-ring and needed a tap to free it."
  • 10 0
 Can we please get a review of Brian's steer tube one hitter?
  • 18 0
 It also works very well.
  • 1 0
 now were on to something
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: after listening to the superstitious podcast I immediately new you had written this article. Perhaps a new reviewer is in need as you will always be bias towards "the brick." Smile
  • 1 0
 @fektor-b: I knew he had written it because his name is at the top as the writer.
  • 7 0
 at first glance...looks like the cartridge they use to smuggle the dino DNA in the original Jurassic Park
  • 3 0
 Is it menthol?
  • 3 0
 I had that exact ratchet on a Toppeak tool. Cannot recommend against it hard enough. Broke several times, and while it was warrantied each time, it was very obvious it wasn't made for 4/5NM levels of torque. I now have a gearwrech mini-ratchet and it's been VASTLY more reliable, having not broken once.
  • 1 0
 Thats pretty sad, I have a $1.99 hex ratchet that has lasted me years, and its smaller than a tire lever.
  • 3 0
 I'm one to ALWAYS carry\use a backpack with tools - but having researched a new one, I realised that I can fall on my back whilst riding & damage my spine with any hard object in said back pack - so now, although I will still ride, back, packed, I will have my tools ON my bike whilst I carry my food & other SOFT cushy items on my back... & this tool suits me PLENTY as I prefer to use a bit tool over an all in one multi tool... THANKS... =]
  • 2 0
 Color coding to help you tell the difference between phillips, torx, and hex, but no color coding for the hex sizes. So the differences that are obvious (different interface completely) get colors, but the differences that require squinting at a tiny embossed number (did I grab the 4mm or the 5mm hex) don't get colors... So dumb.
  • 3 1
 Here's an alternative for those in the U.S. looking for a more cost-effective solution. I'm using the version with a chain tool on both Shimano and RaceFace boost cranks. This is the best deal on a stashable tool that I was I was able to find. The magnet is rock solid.

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08T8C55L4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1
  • 1 0
 If/when you crash this tool WILL eject. The magnet is decent enough though. I've been using one for a while myself and also reccomend it.
  • 1 0
 Too short and the body too fat..lol
  • 2 0
 @abueno: they call that a choad
  • 2 0
 so this is brilliant and i really like it but i cant help but wonder... how do you tighten the headset with the tool if you need a long 5m to reach the bolt? doesn't look like the head of the ratchet rotates, can you use the bottom of the tool carrier if you to reach the bolt? the bottom of the ratchet?
  • 5 0
 You know you're a bike nerd when the first thing you ponder is how many engagement points on that ratchet?
  • 3 0
 "It'll always be there when you need it"
Nope. I've got 6 bikes,my friend.

Also,my "cumbersome" multitool doesn't drop bits in the bushes.
  • 3 0
 the one up - you can buy separate carriers/headset cap/whatever it is, for about £15. Have one of those per bike and switch the tool between them. All the other brands (unless I'm missing something) seem to only sell as a complete unit.
  • 2 0
 I have always been of the thinking fold up is best, nothing to lose by dropping it in grass and I can easily swap it between any of my bikes (sorry to hear you only have 6.)

But!...One cold day last winter when a shifter terminally jammed I discovered that my topeak mini is not compatible with a SRAM GX rear mech as the allen key is too short to reach the adjuster. Then a few weeks later when removing a friends wheel the longer allen key found on a Topeak Hummer snapped in half. No chance to replace only the allen key on that and the key was a useless spike.

The Hummer was a generally good tool, low cost and did a good service so I bought a new one but part of me thinks that a good quality ratchet might be better long term, adaptable and future proof investment, they are a faff though.
  • 1 0
 I run the OU EDC pump with the tool/tireboots/ml pliers/plugs etc in it and then have holsters for the pump mounted to the bottle cages on both the bikes I use it on and my wife's. Just a simple swap to move it between bikes that takes roughly .7843 seconds. Been using that system for three/four years ish and have been really happy. Struggle to find any real drawbacks and it has gotten me and others I've ridden with out of some jams.
  • 1 0
 @Riggbeck: I just learned that the hard way too with an X01 derailleur. I don't think any multi-tool can reach the adjustment screws with how buried they are
  • 3 0
 This is a ratchet bit driver kit, not a socket wrench kit. There are no sockets. Mike corrects the terminology about half-way through the review.
  • 1 0
 "The bottom cap is a two-piece design that lets it rotate freely when you tighten your headset,"

Isn't that a bad thing, rotating freely, in this case? The bottom cap is the "nut" part of the preloading system... if it spins freely then tightening the bolt is going to be difficult.
  • 2 0
 I definitely messed that wording up - it doesn't spin and can be tightened easily. There's an o-ring down there that keeps the two pieces together.
  • 1 0
 I like my Topeak Burrito attached to the underside of my top rube, just before the joining with the seat tube. The Burrito has enough room for all my essentials except for tubeless repair kit. For this I've got the Zefal Z Bar plugs tubeless repair kit which inserted to the bars.
  • 1 0
 Big fan of on bike tools until I need to use them. The specialized SWAT water bottle tool is the best i've found, it's always there, super easy to access and use, and great quality. If I need more than that I'll probably take my small but very well thought out tool roll bag in my pack. When shit goes sideways on the trail sometimes you just need a little more, esp if you ride alone.
  • 1 0
 The Swat is just so user friendly it's hard to overlook. Just don't forget to put it back in the holder! It ain't cheap.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy is the spring retained in the holder? say if you take the tool out and flip your bike upside down as a lot of people seem to do when working on them.. will the spring fall out?
  • 2 0
 I have the Normal non instem version of this tool, its waaay better than a multi tool - absolutely cannot stand multi tools, they are a pain to get the right size out and they have next to no leverage.
  • 1 0
 I had that, still regret losing it two years ago and replacing with a typical folding tool. The ratchet was so nice to have that I almost never used my hex keys.
  • 1 0
 @AndrewHornor: for sure, i just have mine in a hip pack or strapped to frame, its handing as, could do with a smaller holder design though.
  • 1 1
 The perfect gift for that bike enthusiast who has everything and will chuck this in their toolbox and never use it. Remember it is the thought that counts. Hell my multi- tool is older then my kids, glad they are leaving the nest soon but will keep my trusty tool.
  • 2 0
 It's all fun and games until you need to tighten your headset, good luck reaching that bolt without a long Allen key.
  • 1 0
 Seems like overkill. I have granite tools in both bar ends. (chain tool and tire plug) and a Specialized multi-tool in my swat cage and they weigh less than this combined.
  • 3 0
 Heh-heh, heh-heh. Boyoyoing.
  • 2 0
 hey beavis...
  • 2 0
 @bok-CZ: heh, he said “tool”
  • 2 0
 Much respect to Mike for using the same rusty tool for 20 years, this is the way.
  • 1 0
 I know one specialized bike company that will be pi..ed off becouse they didn’t made that kind a tool
  • 1 0
 Does it come with spare tool bits, for after all of them pop out of my steerer and into the bushes?
  • 3 0
 No spare bits, but the magnet keeps them from falling off. It works.
  • 1 0
 This looks fantastic. I love the concept, and I love ratchets. I agree though, an integrated chain tool is a must for me.
  • 2 0
 But can it hold a pipe?
  • 1 0
 Cons: Expensive if you have more than ONE bike.
  • 1 0
 That coil spring looks kinda heavy. Can I get an air spring version?
  • 1 0
 Did it rattle at all during your testing?
Below threshold threads are hidden





You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2022. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.017634
Mobile Version of Website