Impressively creative and highly functional
The Industry Nine Matchstix replaces your thru-axle with a compendium of tools. Versions to fit both Fox and RockShox forks in both Boost and non-Boost.
There’s a trend for designing bike tools that can be stashed in ever-more creative nooks and crannies. We test one of the most devious hidden multi-tools.
It’s a simple screw-through design, so no lever to close, but the handle cleared the lower leg on our RockShox Pike with ease. At 104g, it adds 26g over a standard Maxle weighs 64g more than a Maxle Lite.
The handle itself houses both a spoke key and a chain breaker, and both function very well considering they have to do double duties.
Pull the snap-fit handle off and there’s a 5mm hex key on one side and a socket on the other that accepts any of the standard 1/4in bits housed within the axle. To access these, you pull the end cap out. This doubles as a valve core tool and a holder for your chain link. Inside the axle is a rubber sleeve holding four bits. You can mix and match these to suit your bike, and slits in the tubing allow you to remove a bit without disturbing the others. There’s also a hex socket at the opposite end of the axle to the handle for when you need extra torque.
It’s hard not to be impressed with the ingenuity of the Industry Nine Matchstix. Everything functions really well, and it covers most bases in the event of an emergency mechanical. However, it’s an expensive bit of kit, and it’s a definitely more of an involved process to make small tweaks to your bike during a ride than it is with other multitools.
Impressively creative and highly functional. The tool's concept is of using plug-in tool bits and a handle/receiver, rather than a fold-out, Swiss Army style design. Which means it can be customised to suit your bike, and replacement tool bits can be bought easily and cheaply. Industry Nine’s Matchstix is a comprehensive unit, with the ability to true wheels and break chains. However, it’s expensive, and you can’t whip it out that easily when you need to make quick adjustments.