The Granite Design Stash RT is a steerer-hidden multitool that provides excellent ergonomics in an easy-to-install and operate package. It’s simple to access and a pleasure to use but its somewhat higher price tag takes a little more justification when considering some of the cheaper options in the best mountain bike multitools category.
Granite Design Stash RT – Technical details
In a nutshell, the Stash RT takes all of the goodness of Granite Design’s Rocknroll Mini Ratchet Tool Kit and packages it into a spring-loaded steerer tube stored multi tool. The two-way ratcheting handle clips snugly into a plastic carrier which also holds each of the Allen and Phillips bits in place via a magnet. That plastic carrier then slides into an alloy housing which takes the role that the star-fangled nut and top cap would perform.
> Buy now: Granite Design Stash RT Ratchet multitool from Amazon for £46.68
As well as the carrier and handle, the kit comprises Allen bits ranging from two to eight millimeters, along with a T25 and an extended PH1 that doubles as a leverage arm. Granted, the Stash RT doesn’t offer quite as much as other steerer-based multitools, such as a chain tool, spoke keys, tyre levers, and others but this slimmed-down design allows it to fit into any fork, tapered or not.
Included in the pack are three bolt lengths so it can fit a range of head tube lengths and the kit weighs in at 144g without the bolt. Oh, and there’s no need to tap your steerer, so you’ll can ride install knowing that you’ll keep your fork’s warranty.
A trick that the Stash RT has up its sleeve is that its top cap can be modified to become a Garmin, Bryton, or Wahoo mount. Though these mounts are sold separately and will cost £7.95 a piece. Granite now also offers the Stash Tool AirTag mount, an Airtag mount that attaches to the Stash RT under the fork crown which costs £14.95.
Granite Design Stash RT – Installation
Installation of the Stash RT was a very simple task. All that’s needed is to knock out the star-fangled nut, slide the housing into the steerer, line up the base with the bolt and tighten as if it’s your top cap. You will need a long 5mm Allen however.
When installing the bolt, be sure to thread it through the spring with the narrower end of the spring in contact with the bottom of the housing. Otherwise, the spring won’t be secured and can easily fall out… I learned that the hard way. Thankfully, replacement springs, as well as most of the tool are covered under warranty.
Granite Design Stash RT – Performance
There’s no hiding the fact that I’m a fan of the original Stash tool, having tested the RCX model a couple of years ago. So when I found out about the RT tool, I was very excited to see what Granite Design felt could be improved and how these upgrades would be realised.
Deploying the tool is beautifully simple. Just turn the cap and the plastic carrier, holding the tool and the bits pops out for easy grabbing. Thereafter, putting the tool together is as simple as assembling any other ratchet-type multitool.
The ratchet mechanism itself is a big benefit against traditional hinged multitools as it offers a whole different experience ergonomically, allowing access to tight spaces, and quick tightening or loosening of bolts. While comparatively micro-sized, the ratchet handle offers a similar feeling to its full-sized counterparts, making quick bolt checks and general bike faff a joy.
At first, I thought that the plastic carrier could result in an extra thing to hold whilst making adjustments but when not in use, it can be neatly held in the steerer, waiting for the user to pick their next bit. Or, it could be used with the ratchet handle in place, making for a grippier handle.
As previously touched upon, all of the bits are held in magnetically and, to make them easy to remove, Granite has had to compromise on the strength of the magnet. They can fall off of the carrier if not looked after properly but if you’re careful, you shouldn’t have an issue.
You’ll also need to take care when putting the bits back on because often if they’re not stuck back on straight, it can cause quite a lot of resistance inside of the steerer. Sometimes so much that it’ll refuse to pop out. However, this only happened once or twice before I caught on.
If the ratchet handle wasn’t enough of an ace in the hole, the computer mount top cover really gives the Stash RT an edge against competing tools. It requires a different top cap and a quick bit of bolt fiddling but the mount makes for a tidy place to mount a cycling computer. It’s stable too but depending on the size of your computer, you’ll need to remove it from the mount to access the tool as the computer itself can block its ejection. I tested this with the Hammerhead Karoo 2 and this was the case.
Granite Design Stash RT - Verdict
When comparing the Stash RT it’s tough not to bring up the OneUp Components EDC V2 Tool. This one costs just short of £60 but for that, you get all of the Allen bits on the Stash RT along with the T25 but it comes with a flathead screwdriver rather than the Phillips. All of those are stored on a hinged multitool but the EDC also comes with spoke keys, a tyre lever, a chain tool as well as a few other handy bits. While that does sound a lot more than the Stash RT, it’s no good without the £44 EDC Threadless Carrier. So the EDC really, is a £104 spend.
To match the repair power of the EDC, you can buy the Granite Design Stash Handle Bar Chain Tool for an extra £24 and then the brand offers a Tyre Plug Handlebar Kit for another £20. All in, that’ll be £109 and what you’re getting that the EDC doesn’t offer, is excellent ergonomics. Of course, you might not want all of the EDC’s tools either, as you may already have them
Of course, OneUp isn’t the only brand to offer a similar tool as Specialized has the SWAT Conceal Carry MTB Tool. It’ll set you back £100 and offers a similar number of tools, but it’s missing a 2mm Allen and the Phillips bit. It also forgoes the ratcheting handle.
Bontrager also has a steerer-integrated tool called the BITS Integrated MTB Tool which is priced at £75. This comes with everything found on the Stash RT as well as a chain tool. It just doesn’t get that excellent ratcheting handle.
At £65, the Stash RT is not cheap but does represent one of the more budget-friendly options on the market, showing its rather impressive value for money. While you’re not getting all of the repair power straight out of the box, it offers brilliant ergonomics that are yet to be found on any other steerer tube-integrated multitool.
I’ve really enjoyed testing the Granite Design Stash RT. Despite a couple of quirks, namely how the carrier can get caught if the bits aren’t aligned correctly and the not 100% foolproof installation, it’s proven to be an excellent improvement over its previous design and a tool worthy of a home in any bike’s steerer tube. The Stash RT is an excellent choice if you’re looking to move your tools out of your bag and onto your bike.