There are plenty of stealth mini-tool systems out there for alloy steerer tubes, but the new Granite Stash RCX is the first we’ve seen for forks with carbon steerer tubes. Which is surprising, actually, because it’s a dead simple design that’s incredibly easy to install.
Their original Stash hidden mini-tool design for alloy steerers used a lower cap and longer bolts to pull top and bottom together to remove any play from the headset and get your stem snugly into place. Since carbon forks don’t usually (ever?) have an opening at the bottom, that wouldn’t work. But an expansion plug would…
Granite Stash vs. Stash RCX
The standard Stash (left) comes with three different bolt lengths to fit most any fork, but requires the bottom of the fork to be open, which is the case for most tapered alloy steerers on suspension forks. But carbon forks are molded without that hole, and use an expansion plug inside (rather than a star nut).
So, the new Stash RCX replaces the bolts and lower plug with an expansion plug. Simple, right? Here’s the best part: It’s lighter, and Granite Design says it’ll work just fine on your alloy steerer, too…as long as it has a standard inside diameter between 23.5mm and 27mm.
The only catch is you’ll need enough steerer tube for at least one spacer (any height) to sit above the stem. Technically, it could rest on top of the the stem, but it’s not exactly “best practice” to have the stem itself sitting above the top of the steerer tube.
The top of the sleeve’s flange diameter is designed to rest on top of a spacer. Simply drop it into the steerer, tighten the bolt to pull everything tight, then drop the tool into it.
Stash RCX stealth mini tool features & actual weight
Pull the top cap to remove the unit, then pull the mini-tool off for use. There’s also a small plate that has your spoke wrenches and valve core remover. Complete tool list is:
- 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6mm hex keys
- Flathead screwdriver
- 4 spoke keys
- Valve core remover
Snap it back together and drop it back into the steerer and you’re ready to ride.
Claimed weight is 110g, ours weighed in at 111g. That’s about 34g lighter than the original.
It’s hard to argue with the Stash RCX’s ease of installation, especially on a carbon steerer where there’s no star nut to remove. Just loosen and remove the old expansion plug, drop this in, and tighten it up. No need to touch the stem’s adjustment or anything.
It comes in orange and black, so if you’re not a fan of that sliver of orange at the top of your stack, go for black.
The tools are short, which can be a pro or a con depending on what you’re trying to adjust. They should reach/fit just about anything you need to tweak trailside except maybe your brake/shift levers…or a loose crankset since there’s no 8mm bit on it. So, just make sure those two things are tight before you roll and it should serve you well.
The bits are tight on the tool, which prevents them from flopping around. I like this because they hold their position when adjusting something…I’m not wasting time with a loose bit that keeps flopping over between each rotation.
The unit sits snugly inside its tube, no rattles and no indication it would fall out during a wreck. First impressions are really good, both for it’s incredible ease of use and well thought out design.
Retail is $54.99, available direct and on Amazon with free Prime shipping. Combine this with their bar end plug chain breaker and tire plug tools and you’ve got most everything you need for trail- or road-side repairs.
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