Giant Clutch Tool System Review

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Earlier this year, Giant quietly released its Clutch stashable tool system. They sent us a full kit to try and we’ve been using it for a few months. Here are all the details and our impressions…

Over the last few years, small brands such as Granite Design, Wolf Tooth, Industry Nine, OneUp, and All In have made some pretty interesting innovations with tools that stow in otherwise unused tubes on the bike. The goals with these various tools is ease of access and the certainty that they’ll be there when you need them. More interestingly, these solutions save packing space—a valuable commodity to trail mountain bikers and bikepackers alike. Following suit, mega cycling brand Giant Bicycles released the Clutch Tool System, a line of tools that consists of three components designed to fit into tubes and components primarily found on modern mountain bikes. The system consists of a suite of necessities to keep you rolling on a day ride or even a short bikepacking outing. Here are the details.

Giant Clutch Crank Storage

At the heart of the Giant Clutch Tool system is a lightweight and easy to access multi-tool that slides into the crank spindle and stays in place via a magnetic ring. We first saw a similar design from All In, an Italian brand that makes the heavy-duty All In Multitool. When we initially got that tool for review, the obvious worry was whether it would be there after a long and bumpy ride. Surprisingly, that wasn’t at all a problem. It also proved to be extremely easy to access—probably quicker and easier than any other tool out there—which was super nice when making regular adjustments out on the trail.

Giant Clutch Tool System, Crank Storage
  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Crank Storage
  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Crank Storage
  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Crank Storage
  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Crank Storage
  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Crank Storage

The Giant Clutch Crank Storage multi-tool proved itself to be equally as reliable, and almost as quick to access. The Clutch version is much lighter and more minimal, however. It’s made of a hard impact plastic column with a recess that fits a small folding multi-tool. It also has a hinged chain breaker fitted to one end and two additional recesses that hold a quick link for further chain repair.

The Crank Storage tool is pretty simple to install and works with a variety of SRAM, Shimano, and Praxis hollow spindle cranks. To bolster the magnetic connection, Giant includes two different steel press-fit rings and a plastic fitment tool. To install, you simply measure your crank tube, match it to one of the steel rings, and use a rubber mallet with the fitment tool to hammer the ring into the tube. It’s fairly simple and only took a few seconds. The magnetic locking system on the tool column then keeps it intact once slid into place. It actually works without the ring on some cranksets, such as the SRAM GX crankset we tried it on. However, it’s best to go ahead and fit the ring into the crank tube for maximum magnetic force. Although the tool itself is super easy to access, the magnetic seal is pretty strong and it takes a little bit of effort to break it free.

  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Crank Storage
  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Crank Storage

While it’s simple to retrieve and use, the Clutch Crank Storage tool might be a little too bare bones for some as the functions on the multi-tool are fairly basic. It includes five Allen keys (2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6mm) and a T25 Torx. In addition to the chain breaker, the hinged end of the tool includes a valve core remover and a spoke wrench. In preparation for bigger trips where anything could go wrong, it might be best to take a look at what other tools and bits you anticipate needing prior to relying solely on the Clutch multi-tool.

  • Weight 87 grams
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • Price $80
  • Manufacturer’s Details Giant-Bicycles.com

Pros

  • Easy to access multi-tool
  • Stays in place and keeps weight at low center of gravity

Cons

  • Doesn’t have all the functions you might need on a bigger trip
  • Expensive for a multi-tool

Giant Clutch Bar End Storage

Building upon the suite of functions offered in the crank spindle multi-tool, Giant created a pair of tire repair accessories that stash directly into the bar ends of a standard mountain bike handlebar. The Clutch Bar End Storage is a cleverly designed and relatively easy to access tubeless tire plug kit that includes a tire plug tool and five spare tire plugs on one side, and a simple canister storage sleeve on the other. The Clutch Bar End Storage system works with just about any aluminum or carbon handlebar.

Giant Clutch Tool System, Bar End Storage
  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Bar End Storage
  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Bar End Storage
  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Bar End Storage
  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Bar End Storage
  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Bar End Storage

The bar-end tubeless plugger concept is nothing new. However, Giant’s implementation is rather unique. While some bar-end solutions use a simple press-fit or a weird Allen key expansion plug to keep it in place, the Giant Bar End Storage plugs have a unique dial system that secures them in the handlebars. The textured ring allows you to hold the plug, then there is a slotted dial on the end that turns and expands a cam locking mechanism that braces the plug inside the handlebar. It works surprisingly well and is easy to use, even with gloves on.

The included plugger fork is pretty straightforward and uses standard “bacon strip” style tire plugs. The system includes a five-pack that fits neatly inside the capsule with the plug. The other side is empty but could be used to stash additional plugs, patches, or whatever other bits you need to store.

  • Weight TBD
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • Price $35
  • Manufacturer’s Details Giant-Bicycles.com

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to access for tubeless plugs
  • Unique screw system is better and easier to use than other bar-end systems

Cons

  • Could be lost if not properly screwed in

Giant Clutch Fork Storage

The Giant Clutch Fork Storage kit uses a magnetic cap to fit a CO2 cartridge and inflator within the fork’s steerer tube. The design uses a metal compression plug that installs with a rubber mallet and is compatible with RockShox, Fox, and DVO forks. The system has a foam insert that can stow a 16g or 25g CO2 cartridge and inflator, and uses a similar plastic dial mechanism to seal up the bottom.

  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Fork Storage
  • Giant Clutch Tool System, Fork Storage
Giant Clutch Tool System, Fork Storage

We haven’t used the Fork Storage component—mainly because I don’t use CO2 canisters—so I can’t report anything beyond first impressions. While CO2 storage might be interesting to some, I see a little more potential in using this area to stash spare bolts, parts, or repair accessories during a long trip when using a suspension fork.

  • Weight TBD
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • Price $40
  • Manufacturer’s Details Giant-Bicycles.com

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