The Industry Nine MatchStix is a 15mm front axle for your mountain bike featuring an integrated multi tool. As Industry Nine says, the MatchStix is “everything you need. Nothing you don’t.” Designed for trail side repairs, the MatchStix has a little bit of everything needed for a quick fix, featuring a chain breaker, spare chain link, spoke wrench, valve core remover, and a collection of allen wrenches. Just like Industry Nine wheels, this axle is manufactured and assembled right here in the USA. The MatchStix is machined from high grade aluminum with the quality finish we expect from Industry Nine. Below we break down more on how the MatchStix functions and how it performed on the trail.
Below is an illustration explaining how the MatchStix works. The handle comes fitted to the thru bolt and is used to thread the axle into the fork. The handle can be removed from the thru bolt like shown below and houses the bit receiver, spoke tool, chain breaker, and 5mm allen wrench. In the third illustration below, you can see where the spare chain link is stored, as well as the valve core remover and additional bit receiver.
The second set of illustrations highlight the chain breaker in action along with the bit tube. Using the secondary bit holder and 3mm allen, the chain breaker functions the same as an ordinary chain tool. Industry Nine recommends you leave the handle attached to the thru bolt for additional leverage. Lastly, the bit tube stores up to 4 bits in a clear rubber sleeve. After removing the debris cap, any of the stored bits can be used in the bit receiver on the handle.
Installation of the MatchStix went simple and easy as expected. The axle had no problem threading in to my Fox 36. The axle fit tight and secure and never came loose on the trail! I am very impressed with the fit and finish of the unit. This thing is really packed with features and is packaged nicely together.
The handle itself is certainly what makes the MatchStix great. As a tool by itself, I could see another MatchStix handle finding its way into my toolbox. The 5mm allen wrench pressed into the handle is perfect for making on the fly adjustments on the bike. Whether you need to tighten your derailleur or want to change your handlebar height on the trail, this multi tool can do it as well as anything. I decided to go with the black color but for those looking to get a matching color to their i9 wheels, the MatchStix comes in 11 different colors.
The MatchStix comes with 6 different bits that can be placed in the bit tube. Because the handle already holds a 5mm allen bit and the bit tube can only hold 4 bits total, I would recommend keeping the 3mm, 4mm, 6mm, and T25 torx bit with the MatchStix. Remember the 3mm is required to use the chain breaker tool.
The dust cover on the chain breaker kept the threads clean even in some nasty riding conditions. The chain tool worked flawlessly in my opinion! I was nervous that the chain breaker might not work as well as a traditional tool because it doesn’t have any guides to hold the chain in place but that was not the case. Once you have everything lined up, the chain came apart with ease.
One of the only negative things I experienced with the MatchStix is the bit tube. I found it to be a little tough to access all of the different bits without fumbling around with the clear rubber tube. At the same time, the clear rubber tube is lightweight and keeps the bits from making any noise inside the thru bolt. In the end, I think a more seamless bit holder would be helpful.
The handle does take a bit of force to pull off the thru bolt so don’t be afraid when removing it. At first, I hesitated to really get a hold of the handle when removing it. This is a very small note but still an experience I had. The handle never fell out while riding and certainly doesn’t seem like it ever will.
The MatchStix is a great addition for someone who doesn’t prefer to carry a pack while riding. I think the MatchStix is a well thought out product and feel better about having some tools with me on the trail. I am usually someone who doesn’t like to carry anything more than a water bottle and a Clif Bar while riding and the MatchStix was something I didn’t have to think about. It is just there whenever I need it.
The fit and finish of the MatchStix is exactly what you would expect from Industry Nine. The multi-tool is packaged nicely inside the thru bolt. I like my bikes to be as sleek as possible and think the MatchStix looks pretty sharp as well. It’s not too bulky for what it can do and isn’t much heavier than the stock axle. In the end, I would recommend getting one of these multi tools for your own bike!
Click here to learn more about the Torch mountain series from Industry Nine.
Max Morgan is 24 years old, and lives in Brevard, North Carolina. Max grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and started racing downhill at the age of 15. He has now been racing professionally for the last 6 years, competing in the U.S. Pro GRT series and UCI World Cup series. Find me on Instagram @mxmorgan77.