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

comparison of Granite STASH mini tool designs

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.

granite stash RCX stealth mini tool features closeup

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

granite stash RCX stealth mini tool slides inside your bicycle forks carbon steerer tube

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
  • T25
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • 4 spoke keys
  • Valve core remover

granite stash RCX stealth mini tool slides inside your bicycle forks carbon steerer tube

Snap it back together and drop it back into the steerer and you’re ready to ride.

granite stash RCX stealth mini tool actual weight

Claimed weight is 110g, ours weighed in at 111g. That’s about 34g lighter than the original.

First impressions

granite stash RCX mini tool hides inside your carbon steerer tube

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.

granite stash RCX mini tool hides inside your carbon steerer tube

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.

Granite-Design.com

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12 COMMENTS

  1. I would only be intrested if the expander plug was still able to be installed where the stem tightens down on the steerer tube without 2+ inches of spacers above the stem.

      • Unsupported crushing forces on carbon steerer tubes is a bad idea. If you where to install this as recommended by carbon fork manufacturers your stem would have to be placed about 2″, i.e. the length of the tool above the expander plug down, exposing 2″ of steerer tube. Thats how 2 inches.

      • This system is not safe for use carbon steerer tubes. Full stop. The compression plug is intended to support the steerer tube and prevent compression forces from damaging the laminate. Unless this is mounted so the expander portion is within the stem clamp area, the steerer can easily be damaged. You take a risk not using a compression plug, and it’s not worth it to hide a tiny multi tool.

        For alloy aluminum steerer tubes–game on. No issue. Would be great for that.

    • This would be the correct way to install it. The expander plug is supposed to support the inside of a carbon steerer where the stem is clamping. This thing is dangerous and warranty voiding.

      • Although I agree that this product isn’t the best idea for a carbon fork, the expander plug isn’t ‘supposed to’ support the fork steerer. If you look at many designs of expander plug, the area where they actually provide counter pressure to the stem tightening is pretty small. They’re wedged at the top and bottom but do basically nothing in the middle.

  2. It doesn’t have to be the compression plug resisting the compression forces of the stem – it just has to be something sufficiently rigid and correctly sized. In this cast the sleeve the tool sits in is taking that role. There doesn’t seem to be anything dangerous or “warranty voiding” about this.

    • I wouldn’t be too sure about that – there is a range of acceptable Steer tube inner diameters given… that would suggest that this fits in the steertube with diameters in the small end of the range more tightly, but for steerers on the bigger end of the range there would be space between that sleeve and the inside diameter of the tube.

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