Granite Designs Stash RT and RCX Multi-Tool Review


Granite Designs Stash RT and RCX Multi-Tool Review

Granite Designs has some pretty slick options for stashing a multi-tool inside your bike’s steerer. The Stash System comes in a few flavors depending on how the tool housing clings to the inside of your steerer. Spencer has been using both the Stash Ratchet Tool and the Stash RCX and, below, reviews the tools along with the Stash system…

Granite Design’s Stash system allows you to keep a multi-tool stored inside the steerer of your bike’s fork. The concept isn’t new; the first time I saw something similar was the OneUp Components EDC years ago. OneUp’s system initially required engraving threads into a fork steerer so the headset could be tensioned. It seems they now moved to a threadless system akin to the products offered by Granite Designs, which are the subject of this review.

Additionally, Travis reviewed similar systems from OneUp and Bontrager last year.

Let’s dive into the details of two versions of the Stash system.

Stash RT

The Stash RT (ratchet tool) consists of a spring-loaded tool carrier, a long M5 bolt, and a bottom cap. The M5 bolt holds the two pieces together to preload the headset like a regular top cap. Notably, this system is most easily used with a suspension fork as they usually have openings at the bottom of the steerer.

Quick Hits

  • 159 grams
  • 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm hex bits, T25, Extended PH1 bit
  • Two-way ratchet tool
  • Available in orange or black
  • Works with steerer lengths from 150mm to 250mm
  • $69.99


The Stash RT was the more complicated installation of the two tool holders. I luckily had one bike with a tapered steerer shorter than 250mm, but it was a bit close nonetheless. Before you consider this tool, measure your steerer to ensure it is within the working range (150-250mm).

While a standard L-shaped hex tool works well enough to torque the headset together, I think a T-handle hex would be much more suited. I could barely clasp the hex to get deep enough to tighten the two halves together. Coordinating the two halves of the Stash system and a very long bolt took a few tries. Even once I got it, I had to make sure the Granite Designs logo was pointing the right way, and I repeated the process a few times until I got it right. This felt very doable for most home mechanics, even if it was a bit finicky.

The Tool

The Tool is housed in a molded plastic spring-loaded container that excitingly pops up at you as the stem cap is rotated. The spring won’t catapult the tool; rather, it raises it so you can easily grab it.

The molded tool carrier has inlaid magnets to keep all the 1/4″ bits securely stuck to the carrier. The bits encompass a wide range of sizes from 2mm-8mm hex, T25, and a #1 Phillips head screwdriver. Not everything to repair a bike, but a solid chunk of the standard tools.

The ratchet feels solid enough for such a small tool. I assembled a bike almost entirely with this tool when I got the opportunity. The only downside of this ratcheting tool is the short reach of the bits. I would have liked them to have included a bit extender as they do with their standalone ratchet tool set.


  • No need to thread your steerer
  • Bits were held securely via magnets and never came loose while riding
  • Good range of bits to fix most common bike issues


  • 250mm steerer length can be limiting for tall folks
  • Tool bit reach is short
  • I heard the tool bottom out the spring on some big hits, which made a disconcerting sound
  • Need to be careful changing bits as they are easy to lose

Stash RCX

Staying true to the Stash system, the RCX incorporates a smaller multi-tool and uses a compression plug instead of a long through-bolt. This system doesn’t rely on a lower cap or open steerer, so it is a great option for plenty of carbon forks.

Quick Hits

  • 110  grams
  • 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6 mm hex bits, T25, Flat-head screwdriver
  • Available in orange or black
  • Works with any steerer compatible with a compression plug
  • $54.99


The RCX installation is more involved than the RT, but it should still be no problem for at-home mechanics. Granite Designs’ video will show it better, but the system is quite clever and uses the tool housing to install the compression plug at the proper height.

Once the plug is installed, it all fits together as normal, with the tool housing serving at the top cap to hold tension on the headset.

The tool slides into the housing and is held in by a simple O-ring. The O-ring locked the tool in the housing during off-road rides for me with no issue. It would be nice if a few extra O-rings were provided in case they wear out or are damaged.

The Tool

The RCX uses a smaller, more traditional multi-tool compared to the ratchet. Having an arrangement of hex bits from 2mm-6mm and a flat head screwdriver instead of a Phillips. There is also a small machined piece to use as a spoke wrench or to remove a valve core. I like the construction of the tool as the rotating bits can be adjusted with (another) single tool, unlike needing two hexes for most multi-tools. Travis shared this predicament and wrote a whole piece about the subject.

Notably, the tool is missing an 8mm hex, which is a big bummer. This can be remedied with something as simple as an adaptor, but that makes the cool aspect of the self-contained tool in your steerer fall apart. The flat head is a bit odd, but most Phillips screws could probably still be adjusted in a pinch. If this tool had a Phillips and 8mm bit, I think it would have stolen the spot of my favorite mini multi-tool. It’s so close.


  • No need to thread your steerer
  • O-ring tool carrier head securely
  • Compression plug compatibility works with many forks
  • No steerer sizing limit


  • No 8mm hex
  • No spare O-rings provided


I was pleasantly surprised by the Granite Design Stash system. The installation of the RT and RCX was mostly simple and straightforward. Multi-tools will always be limited as they are meant for in-the-field service. But neither of the reviewed tools is without fault: the ratchet tool lacks reach for certain applications, and the RCX has a limited number of bits.

The Stash RT feels more premium with its rotating cover and spring-loaded tool carrier. With a slightly wider array of bits, it is possible to ratchet in two directions. The tool carrier needs a very long bolt and a lower cap, which makes the system more cumbersome. If you want the same smaller multi-tool as the RCX, it is available with the standard Stash model.

I enjoyed the simplicity of the RCX system, and I think its compression plug compatibility will allow them to be installed on a wider array of bikes. If the multi-tool had an 8mm hex, I think this system would be a home run.

Granite Designs has a suite of cool tools and ways to strap stuff to your bike; check out their website for all the goodies.