Something a little different…

Something a little different…

A multi bit screwdriver that lives in your MTB Fork Steer Tube…

This post isn’t about electronics at all, so it is a bit different. But, I think it’s worth sharing what I learned with a 3d design and print project I completed recently.

First, let’s ask Chat GPT to explain the problem.

Chat GPT: Some mountain bikes have integrated multi-tools that fold into handlebars or fit within the frame for on-trail repairs. Storage compartments in frames or under saddles can also conceal tools. Integrated tool systems and bottle cage tools offer discreet options, but availability varies among manufacturers and models. Check with bike brands, reviews, and forums for the latest innovations in hidden repair tools.

When it comes to discrete / hidden bike tools, there are very few on the market. And those that do are not the most affordable. They do look excellent, so if you are in the market you may opt to go for one of the ones I am aware of. These also may require you to thread or otherwise modify your fork for installation.

Queue the 3d print goal:
Find a storage option for a tool that does not require modifying the bike fork in any way.

Step 1: Find out what designs exist already?
Option A –
Option B –

Step 2: Do these work? If so, problem solved.
Well, it turns out these did NOT work for me. Why? You ask, well, A did not fit in my RockShox 35 fork, or my bro-in laws Fox 36 fork. That just doesn’t work. B looks promising, the author created a YouTube video demonstrating the thing. However, he uses a tool that is already designed to fit in a fork. And, so we can’t use that as is.

Step 3: Let’s remix B for a cheap multitool from Amazon, it’s just got to be narrow enough. It’s difficult to know exactly the dimensions on the taper inside the Fork, so I make a best guess. Buy this tool ( and shave it down a bit by removing tools I don’t need. And then I designed a storage option that instead of attempting to follow the taper of the fork, just uses exactly the space required by the tool and then immediately tapers to the minimum diameter of the fork. This should work with more fork models. Here is the result:

Honestly, this looks really good. I’m pumped! But..

It doesn’t fit! The tool width is too much at the required height for my Fork. This does however, pretty much fit in my Bro In-Laws Fox 36 fork. But for me and my RockShox 35, I’m still out of luck… What am I going to do?

Step 4:
If a 3rd party tool isn’t going to fit, I’m going to make my own. So I got to work. And trust me, I am skipping some of the steps here, as measuring, re measuring, tweaking, and test prints happen throughout.

I’m going to try to make a screwdriver out of PLA, will it be strong enough? How do I get leverage? How do I store bits? Where do I store my tire plug kit? These are all the thoughts I have. The result? A stackable 1/4 inch drive screwdriver that fits in my fork, and hopefully is more universal than these tool things out there already.

If it looks confusing, maybe it kind of is. But, essentially you’ve got a stackable screwdriver, with storage for bits, and tire plug kit that hopefully fits a wider range of MTB Forks as it is only as thick as needed. It includes a few leverage points that either the bolt from the plug, or your tire plug tool can provide. I tested this with my brake levers and was not close to breaking the 3d print. So, I think it is adequate for a trail tool.

I learned a lot about bike forks, and just improved my FreeCAD fluency through this whole thing. And, hopefully it’s useful to someone besides me!

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