A good all-in-one tool is an essential piece of equipment that all cyclists should have. Anyone who’s had their bike break down while on a trail can tell you how horrible the experience is. A multi-tool that can help you fix any problem you might encounter can quite literally be a lifesaver.
In this article, we’ll help you get started on what multi-tool you should buy along with a few other things that you should know.
A good set of tools can save you from being stranded in the middle of nowhere in the off-chance that your bike breaks down. While it’s important to have one at all times when you’re out biking, you should also be aware of what kind of tools you need.
Most pocket tool kits have the same type of tools that you’ll need to perform repairs, but not all kits are the same. Here are some things you need to keep in mind before purchasing a multi-tool:
A good multi-tool can be very useful, but having one won’t matter much if you don’t know what to do with it. If you’re a new cyclist, one of the first things you should learn is how your bike actually works. Familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your bike: how the moving parts interact with each other and what problems are commonly experienced by other cyclists when mountain biking.
Not only will proper knowledge of your bike let you perform repairs on your own, but it can also save you some money by not having someone else repair it for you. Additionally, knowing the exact specifications of your bike will help you make a more informed decision on what type of multi-tool you should purchase.
Not all multi-tools are created equal. Some bicycle multi-tools have more features than others; and even then, the size of those features may vary from product to product.
For example, most mini multi-tools and toolkits come with a set of hex wrenches, but not all of them have the same number of wrenches that can fit certain measurements. This is part of the reason why you should know the measurements on your bike. If you need a 2.5mm hex key for a screw on your bike, be sure to check if your chosen tool has that exact measurement.
The same concept applies to other factors such as the size of a multi-tool’s screwdrivers, the length of each tool, and a multi-tool’s general compatibility with your bike.
Sometimes, it’s best to make use of what you have. If you already have a complete set of hex wrenches that fit all of the screws on your bike, then you may not need to purchase a tool kit that has them.
Bicycle tool kits, especially the mini multi-tools, tend to have everything that cyclists need to make a quick fix. That’s what makes them so great. However, some tools tend to be overloaded with features that are ultimately not necessary for your bike.
Again, knowing your bike can significantly cut down on tool costs. If you know exactly what you need, then you won’t have to spend any more money than you have to.
To help you decide on what the best portable bike tool kit to get, we’ll list our top choices for multi-tools below:
In a hurry? Checkout the winner
SILCA’s T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque kit offers a wide variety of torque wrenches that can be useful for getting stubborn nuts and tight screws off of your bike. Every part of this multi-tool is designed for high precision and maximum durability.
The T-Ratchet can be configured in many different ways that suit specific needs. If you need a T-handle or a long-reaching screwdriver handle, a few adjustments are all you need.
The kit comes with S2 steel tool bits of various types. It includes 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6mm hex wrenches, T10, T20, and T25 Torx wrenches, and a PH2 Phillips screwdriver head. These tool bits also have size indicators for your convenience.
The entire package weighs 9.6 ounces in total and comes in a waxed canvas carrying case with magnetized locks to secure the tools inside. The T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque Kit are perfect for general use around your workshop or as a back-up tool kit for when you’re on the road or trail.
The Big Switch Multi-tool by Blackburn steers away from the traditional Swiss Army knife style design of a usual pocket tool kit. Instead, it comes in the form of a small nylon case containing all of the necessary tools you’ll need to fix your bike.
The Big Switch is a set of tools including hex wrenches (2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm), T25 and T30 Torx, flathead screwdrivers, and bike tools like a chain breaker and disc spreader. Each tool bit can be equipped on a handle that can be used as a T or L-handle for easy use and greater leverage.
The case itself can take up quite a bit of space and the tools weigh roughly 6.1 ounces in total, making it relatively heavy. The Big Switch’s design also means you’ll need to be careful so you won’t lose any of the individual tools while you’re out.
Though not as compact or convenient as other multi-tools, Blackburn’s Big Switch is still a solid piece of equipment for those who prefer function over form.
The Euro17 Multi-tool is the most versatile of Unior’s Euro line of multi-tool. The Euro17 comes with the most number of tools in its product line, and it’s constructed with high-quality materials that are tough and highly functional.
Manufactured in Slovenia, the Euro17 is designed to keep you going even after your bike falls into disrepair. It has T25 and T10 Torx wrenches on top of the usual ensemble of Phillips and slotted screwdrivers. The Euro17 also boasts of having all the essentials. This includes a chain tool, spoke wrenches, and Presta and Schrader valve core removers.
The Euro17 is very sturdy. You won’t have to worry about high torque causing parts to loosen or break off. The tips of its tools are also coated with black oxide, handy for resisting corrosion. It weighs in at about 6.1 ounces. And although it’s a bit large, the Euro17 is a highly useful tool that you can rely on for years to come.
The Crankbrothers is a name that many cyclists should be familiar with. Their world-class biking products are top-tier, and their new F-Series line of small multi-tools is definitely worthy of their reputation.
The F-Series line of multi-tools is one of their newer products, featuring a sleek, minimalistic design that contains up to 15 different tools in one convenient package, including the usual set of hex wrenches, a T25 Torx, and a pair of screwdrivers. The F10 and F10+ models come with all of these tools, but the F15 model comes with an additional set of spoke wrenches and a speed chain tool. The F10+ and F15 also come with the added benefit of a magnetic case for secure storage as well as a bottle opener.
The tools are durable and are still light, weighing in at roughly 5.9 ounces. With the F-Series, Crankbrothers will leave you asking for nothing more.
The Rx Micro-20 Folding Multi-tool by Pedro’s is designed with convenience, performance, and ease-of-use in mind. The Micro-20 follows a more traditional design, so it feels very familiar to anyone who has had prior experience with handling field repairs. Its overall build quality guarantees good performance across the board.
The Micro-20 is equipped with various tools including 2.5–8mm hex wrenches, T25 and T30 Torx wrenches, a flathead screwdriver, a speed chain tool, spoke wrenches, a Shimano crank cap tool, a valve core tool, and micro levers. Whatever tool you need, the Micro-20 has you covered.
The tool’s frame is made of 6061 aluminum, making it sturdy. However, some plastic parts feel like they can break off easily. Luckily, Pedro’s offers a lifetime warranty for this product, which can alleviate any worries about durability. The Rx Micro-20 is a solid multi-tool despite being slightly bulkier and cumbersome due to its traditional design.
The Mini 20 Pro is a bicycle multi-tool manufactured by Topeak that has a full range of features that all cyclists need to make proper field repairs on their bikes while out on the road or trail. This compact tool can fit right in your pocket and weighs 5.28 ounces only, making it incredibly lightweight despite its steel construction.
It also has 23 different built-in tools: Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, T25 Torx wrenches, spoke wrenches, a chain tool, and a tire lever, just to name a few. With these handy features, you’ll be able to solve most of your worries with ease.
The Mini 20 Pro is a compact and reliable tool that anyone can use. Its size may leave it lacking in terms of reach, but the build quality and ergonomic design make up for its shortcomings. Overall, the Mini 20 Pro is a well-rounded multi-tool.
This depends on how long you’ll be gone and what type of terrain you’ll be biking through. If you’re going through a casual stroll around town for about an hour, you may not need to bring anything at all. However, if you plan to go up a mountain trail or go out for an extended time, you should definitely bring a tool kit with you.
A multi-tool that complements your bike should be enough, but if you expect to be out long, it wouldn’t hurt to bring some extra things along with you to make sure you can still get home safely.
This depends on the situation. Multi-tools are generally very light, with the heaviest usually being around the range of 200–300 grams (7–5 ounces). The weight of a multi-tool isn’t too noticeable by itself, but when you start to include other travel or biking essentials, a multi-tool’s weight will add up to the rest of your gear.
The same idea applies to its size. A multi-tool can be small, but when you want to bring along other stuff, make sure that you have enough space for the rest of your gear.