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Thread: Multi-tools

  1. #1
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    Multi-tools

    I'm new to cycling and trying to gear up properly. It seems like one of these miniature multi-tools with a combination of hex keys, open end wrenches, etc, would be useful to have along on bike rides. Can anyone give me any recommendations on which one I should buy? I am riding on the road, not off-road. Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
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    I have the Alien, made by Topeak. Costs about $35.
    It has everything you will need for roadside repairs except pliers. I carry a small (about 4 inches long) pair of pliers after having fought a presta valve screw that would not come loose.

  3. #3
    Chi-Chi Monger *WildHare*'s Avatar
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    My vote goes for the Alien as well...
    When it's good it's really good...And when it's bad I go to pieces - David Bowie

  4. #4
    Those that can do, do do
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    Originally posted by *WildHare*
    My vote goes for the Alien as well...
    ...Ditto...
    JAPH

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    I suggest going to MTBR... www.mtbr.com and reading the reviews if your going to put alot of thought into getting a tool. I have a PARK MTB-1. One side has a chain tool and wrenches and the other side has allen wrenches. The side with allen wrenches is too big to get in almost all places, so i have a cheap GIANT allen wrench tool. I carry the side of the park tool with the chain tool, and the giant tool with me. I would suggest getting a cheap allen wrench set, usually their only like 8 bucks, and getting a park mini chain brute. But like i said, go read the reviews. Later

  6. #6
    put me back on my bike stewartp's Avatar
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    I have 2 multitools.
    Why? because sometimes you need to be holding somehing with pliers while you apply spanner to t'other side, or you need 2 spanners.

    So one is multitool with allen keys, spanners, driver etc. and other is those pliers that fold back on themselves, also has screwdrivers and stuff.

    Both pack plenty small. Plus 3 metal tyre levers, small puncture repair kit (At home I have patches and glue bought bulk, I keep the small kit topped up) plus, chain tool and spoke wrench. All fits very easily in under seat baag with spare inner tube.

    Stew
    The older I get the better I used to be.

  7. #7
    Ich bin ein Lowlander! toolfreak's Avatar
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    I think we are better of with seperate tools or toolsets like Pedro`s or Parktool, some multitools have pretty bad shaped pliers and wrenches.
    Topeak makes me , trying to tighten a hex bolt.......well the bolt survived but the tool was totally worn, sorry lads no TP for me!
    And like Stewart said; sometimes it`s quiet irritating, to tighten a bolt and you can`t reach the damm thing because the shape of your tool, or you need both tools and its on the same body.
    Invest in some descent tools and it will make your repairs allot easier
    Mark







    Dancevalley 2th of august 2003 -> JXL, Laidback luke, Sasha, John Digweed, Monica Krusse.....and on!

  8. #8
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    I'm with Toolfreak on this one.

    Forget the multi-tools. They are clunky and difficult to use.

    There are so few tools needed, you might as well just get yourself some real full-sized tools.

    When your machine breaks down on the road, nothing is going to feel so good in your hand as a reliable and fully useable tool.
    Mike

  9. #9
    Ich bin ein Lowlander! toolfreak's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mike
    When your machine breaks down on the road, nothing is going to feel so good in your hand as a reliable and fully useable tool.
    Nothing to say about it Mike! ,thats so true :thumbup:
    Mark







    Dancevalley 2th of august 2003 -> JXL, Laidback luke, Sasha, John Digweed, Monica Krusse.....and on!

  10. #10
    hyperactive ferret LightBoy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mike
    When your machine breaks down on the road, nothing is going to feel so good in your hand as a reliable and fully useable tool.
    True as this may be, how will those full size tools feel on your back when stuffed into a jersey pocket?

    I use the Topeak Alien when I'm on the road, and I've yet to have a problem I couldn't fix with it. Now, I'm all for the full size shop tools for use at home, but I fear my pockets aren't big enough for my toolbox.
    Work to eat. Eat to live. Live to ride. Ride to work.

  11. #11
    Ich bin ein Lowlander! toolfreak's Avatar
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    Lightboy, this is what i take on my weekly hometrail;

    - Hexwrench 5mm (t-handle,it works great),Leatherman tool,1 spare tube and a pump

    If i go for a bigger trip, there`s also 4 & 6 hexwrenches, chain rivet tool, spokewrenche, zipties and small flat plier.

    All the tools for my weekly ride fit in my baggy shorts including pump, you can`t take your home toolbox, but take a good look on your bike, then decide what you might need.

    For example, i`ve got maybe 15 hexbolts 5mm on my bike and one 6 mm, so i choose the 5 mm wrench and leave the 6 & 4 home.

    :cool:
    Mark







    Dancevalley 2th of august 2003 -> JXL, Laidback luke, Sasha, John Digweed, Monica Krusse.....and on!

  12. #12
    Senior Member (Retired) gmason's Avatar
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    Does anyone actually have the Park PPM-2? I had thought about the MTB-1, but the idea of separate tools, and the tiniest of cost savings as well, turned me around.

    But I have yet to buy it, so ...

    Cheers...Gary

  13. #13
    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    See what tools you need to carry(for example virtually all of my bolts can be undone with 3 allen keys)

    I use a multi tool, a small adjustable spanner and tyre lever (plastic) for commuting, and add a chainset remover and chain remover when touring. (with spare cables etc)

    So far been ok, but I agree with Mike and Toolfreak. When working on the bike at home, I use proper tools from my big toolchest.
    Last edited by chewa; 10-09-01 at 07:20 AM.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

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  14. #14
    Dazed and confused Ellie's Avatar
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    I use a cool tool, but then I ride an old raleigh which is not allen key throughout. I've found it really useful.

    Ellie

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    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    I carry "real" tools.

    - a 6" monkey wrench
    - 3 plastic tire levers
    - a stubby #3 phillips screwdriver
    - a stubby #3 flathead screwdriver
    - a small patchkit
    - 6 allen wrenches on a ring
    - a chain break w/new pins

    All this wraps up in a shop towel to a
    size a little larger than a pack of cigs.

  16. #16
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Pliers and knife

    I had the need for a pair of pliers and a knife blade whilst out with my wife on Sunday. Rather than carrying my pen-knife and a pair of pliers to complement my allen key and screwdriver set I was wondering about getting another multi-tool. The Leatherman tools looked quite nice but seemed a bit pricy for what will hopefully be once in a blue-moon use. Has anyone any experience with the various 'clones' - how bad are they? Whilst I don't expect to get the service out of a cheap one, are they good enough to warrant carrying around?

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  17. #17
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Guess, to remove rear cassette- you must carry the designated removal tool.When out on ride, how often has someone desperately needed this tool, and not had it? TO carry every needed tool, it would require quite a wedge.?

  18. #18
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    Hi All'

    Wheather you choose a multi tool or seperate tools never put any of them on your person but rather in an under seat bike bag or the like. The reason is if you do go down I would not like anything on me that could cause injury. I see people putting tire tools etc in jersey pockets and I think how would that feel stuck in a kidney after an accident ?

    Ride Safe....Dudley

  19. #19
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Richard,
    I have several of the traditional plier/knife-type multi-tools (as opposed to bicycle-type, which I also have). I have one more expensive one, a Buck Tool, and several inexpensive (US$5-10) ones that I keep in glove boxes, bike bag, etc.. I find that for most things, a $10 one works just fine. Generally the knife blade is not very high quality, but it can be sharpened enough to be useful. The pliers and screwdriver blades work fine. The wire cutter works. The Buck is obviously a much higher quality product, but I have never had a situation where I thought the $60 tool would have done a better job than the $10 tool except perhaps for a sharper knife and smoother wire cutter.

    FWIW, I have a couple of inexpensive (Nashbar) bike multi-tools. About the only thing lacking are chain tools, and I have a Park Mini Brute for that. I can't imagine that a more expensive tool would work better than these that I picked up on special for about $7. Again, the quality is not great, but the 5mm (and others) hex wrench works as well as any other.

    Now, for work at home, I buy high quality tools because these are the ones that will get used most. I just can't see spending a lot of money on tools that are going to sit in a bike bag when less expensive ones work fine. One day, I may get caught short. In that case I will have learned a lesson, and I will 1) buy a better tool and 2) come back here to warn my friends.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  20. #20
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Pliers etc.

    Thanks for the thoughts - there seems to be a fair few about in the shops destined for christmas presents I suspect.

    One thing I don't currently carry that I notice several people recommend is a 6 inch adjustable spanner/wrench. As far as I can tell I've got no bolts on the bike that aren't allen key. I can't think of any real need for something quite weighty. Am I over-looking anything?

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  21. #21
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Some older bottom brackets necessitate the use of a spanner wrench. Some are also NOT reverse thread and necessitate frequent tightening. That is about the only reason I could think of as to why a spanner tool would be required.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  22. #22
    Dazed and confused Ellie's Avatar
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    Well, for those of us who don't have quick-release, the spanner is pretty useful for the odd occasion I've forgotten to re-tighten my back wheel properly! Or there's some brake adjustments that just have to be made, or the gear cable slips...

    Spot the person with the old bike who doesn't have allen key throughout!

    Richard, you probably won't need one if you've got a lovely new bike.

    Ellie - not jealous at all...

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