Granite Design Stash Tools: First Look

Granite Design’s Stash Chain Tool, Multi Tool, and Tire Plug are designed to stow away in your bike’s steerer tube and in both ends of your bars, ready at a moment’s notice. Here’s a closer look and our thoughts on each after a month of use…

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We’ve seen more and more stashable bike tools on the market over the last few years, each designed to tuck away into the various crevices on a standard bike frame. When it comes to taking advantage of every nook and cranny, these sorts of tools make a lot of sense, but are they actually that useful? Granite Design’s line of Stash tools, including the Stash Chain Tool, Stash Multi Tool, and Stash Tire Plug, are designed to tuck away into your bike’s steerer tube and bar ends, providing an easily accessible home for everyday bike tools. After using all three for the past month, I’m ready to report back with my findings.

Granite Designs Stash Tools
  • Granite Designs Stash Tools
  • Granite Designs Stash Tools

Granite Design Stash Multi-Tool

The Stash Multi-Tool is similar to other steerer tube mounted tools we’ve seen, but with its own unique design. Instead of tapping the steerer tube like One Up’s EDC Tool, which I consider invasive, the Stash Multi-Tool uses a small plate at the bottom of the fork crown, attached to a long bolt, which secures to the bottom of a storage sleeve within the upper portion of the steerer tube. This requires the removal of the star nut within the steerer tube, but ultimately provides the same function by preloading the headset bearings. The kit comes with two lower fork crown caps for tapered or straight steerer tubes and three different bolt lengths, depending on the distance from the lower fork crown opening to the top of the stem. This measurement must be between 150mm an 240mm, otherwise the provided bolts won’t be long enough.

Granite Designs Stash Multi Tool Review
  • Granite Designs Stash Multi Tool Review
  • Granite Designs Stash Multi Tool Review
  • Granite Designs Stash Multi Tool Review

The tool itself lives within the aluminum storage sleeve, held in place by an O-ring under the lip of the plastic top cap. So, what’s included? The tool is divided into two pieces: the main component is a folding multi-tool with 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6mm hex keys, as well as T25 Torx and a flathead. A smaller aluminum part with a 0, 1, 2, and 3 spoke keys and valve core tool attaches snugly to the side of the main multi-tool. The multi-tool works, but due to the diminutive size of the various bits, isn’t a powerful tool and lacks serious torque. For quick trailside adjustments and tweaks, though, it works. I like how the spoke key tool is attached magnetically and via a small plastic hook, making it a little harder to lose.

I have found that water has been finding its way into the aluminum sleeve that holds the tool – the O-ring seal on top isn’t quite enough to keep the weather out. The third photo below shows some early signs of rust because of this. The valve core tool slips around the core sideways, and interferes with neighbouring spokes when loosening and tightening, rendering the small tool pretty much useless. I’ll stick to packing my Park Tool VC-1 Valve Core Tool.

  • Granite Design Stash Multi Tool
  • Granite Design Stash Multi Tool
  • Granite Design Stash Multi Tool
Granite Design Stash Multi Tool

Granite Design Stash Tire Plug

Granite Design’s Stash Tire Plug is one of two tools designed to stash away in the end of your handlebar. A slick aluminum sleeve houses a ‘fork-style’ applicator, reamer, and four tire plugs, and the tool is held in place using a rubber expansion plug. The Stash Tire Plug ships with two different sized aluminum bar end plugs for open-ended and lock-on style grips. As long as the opening of your bar is 18 to 21mm wide, and you have a 10cm straight section at the bar end, you’ll have no issues with compatibility. Installing the tool is as easy as it gets: simply select the appropriate bar end cap, insert the tool into your bar end, and tighten up the bolt until it’s snug. If you over-tighten the plug, which I’ve done, the tool will eventually work its way back out of the bar.

Granite Design Stash Tire Plug
  • Granite Design Stash Tire Plug
  • Granite Design Stash Tire Plug
  • Granite Design Stash Tire Plug

I’ve been pleased with the design and finish of the tool. The aluminum sleeve is a nice touch, and provides a sturdy home for the tire plug tool. The reamer and applicator ends thread into the centre sleeve, and do so smoothly. While in use, the ends of the sleeve provide enough material to grip on to while plugging thick rubber. The applicator head is fairly wide, so inserting a plug isn’t as seamless as the coveted Dynaplug Pill, but it’ll get the job done. Overall, the Stash Tire Plug is my favourite tool in Granite Design’s Stash lineup.

Granite Design Stash Chain Tool

Granite Design’s Stash Chain Tool, like the Tire Plug, hides away in the end of a handlebar. Although quite small, it’s a well designed little tool. CNC machined out of 7075 alloy, the main body is like most chain tools available and compatible with 9- to 12-speed chains. As an added bonus, the tool also has a spot dedicated to storing an extra quicklink by way of a small O-ring and cutout to fit the link’s pin.

  • Granite Design Stash Chain Tool
  • Granite Design Stash Chain Tool
  • Granite Design Stash Chain Tool
  • Granite Design Stash Chain Tool
  • Granite Design Stash Chain Tool

Something I’ve found frustrating with tiny chain tools is that they don’t provide any kind of handle or grip to transfer enough torque when breaking a chain. The Stash Chain Tool addresses this with a threaded steel pin, about 2” long, that threads into the bottom of the tool to act as a handle while in use. The pin itself, like most packable chain tools, is operated using a standard hex key. I think it would be cool to see this hex-operated pin exchanged for an additional steel handle, since turning the pin with another multi-tool can be pretty awkward at times. Just like the Tire Plug, the Stash Chain Tool is held securely in place using expandable rubber and an aluminum cap.

Granite Design Stash Tools

Wrap Up

Overall, I’ve been impressed with Granite Design’s Stash Tool lineup. I like that the most invasive part of installing the Stash Multi Tool was removing the star nut, which is easily done at home with a cordless drill. Once installed, it’s a clean little tool that can be easily accessed for quick adjustments, packing in a good selection of bits in a small package. I really like the expandable rubber found on both the Stash Chain Tool and Tire Plug, providing a secure connection and reducing the chance of me losing any of the components. From what I’ve experienced, these tools are well designed and reasonably priced, and can’t think of any major reasons to not recommend them to a friend.

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