Integration has long been one of the cycling industry’s cherished concepts. From integrated headsets and bottom brackets to seatpost and stems, it has seemingly all been done before (with varying degrees of success). But a relatively new and hopefully more useful take on the concept of integration was the SWAT system developed by Specialized. Short for storage, water, tools and air, the concept of SWAT is basically tidying up — incorporating the items we already ride with into the bike.
Other companies have taken notice and are developing their own improved methods for transporting ride essentials. Here’s a look at a few of the items that caught our attention at this year’s tradeshows.
Industry Nine MatchStix
Anybody remember Pedro’s Tülio? That quick-release axle tool took years to develop. By the time it was finally introduced, the industry had ditched quick-release levers for thru-axles. Now, wheel manufacturer Industry Nine has taken advantage of the oversized diameter of the thru-axle to devise a new axle-based multi-tool.
Enter the MatchStix, a thru-axle multi-tool with up to 10 functions. Industry Nine claims that the chain tool with bits and a quicklink plus the front axle is less than 25 grams heavier than a 15mm front Fox QR or Maxle. Even better, replacing front and rear Maxles with MatchSticks can actually save 20-30g, the company claims.
Industry Nine plans to produce MatchStix for Fox and RockShox forks in 100 and 110mm version. There will also be MatchStix rear axles for RockShox and Syntace X12 standards in 142x12, 148x12, 150x12, 157x12mm versions.
Topeak Ninja tools
Topeak has a trio of integrated tools that are housed stealthily inside your bike.
The Ninja P is a road bike pump that lives inside a seatpost
Have a broken chain? The tool you seek is within your grasp, literally. The Ninja C chain tool lives inside your handlebar
The Ninja TC8+ mounts to Topeak’s water bottle cage and offers 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 and 6mm hex wrenches, along with a Phillips head and T25 Torx wrench
Ritchey Barkeeper levers
Like Topeak, Ritchey has sought to utilize the empty space inside handlebars.
The Barkeepers are bar plugs that double as tire levers
Fix It Sticks
Fix It Sticks’ tools are nothing new. However, the company is developing a bracket that behind a water bottle cage so they can be easily carried on your bike.
This Fix It Sticks mount will make them easier to transport
It looks like Bar Fly is out to show the world that it’s more than just a computer-mount company — it’s an anything-mount company. One of the Bar Fly’s latest projects is a tool and storage carrier that mounts behind a water bottle cage. Unlike Specialized's SWAT system, which uses three mounting points, Bar Fly’s design works the two water bottle bosses on any frame.
Bar Fly is developing versions to hold tubes and CO2 and another version that carries a multi-tool
Fabric Chamber tool
Okay, so the shotgun-shell sized Chamber tool from Fabric isn’t currently integrated into anything, but it should be.
Fabric is owned by Cannondale’s parent company, Dorel Industries, so it's possible that Cannondale will figure out a clever way to stow this little multi-tool on future bikes.
The Chamber is about the same size and shape as a 16g CO2 cartridge, so there may be some homebrewed possibilities if you’re the type who likes to tinker.
The Chamber tool is a perfect candidate for integration