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Old 04-16-18, 07:20 AM   #26
TimothyH
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
How a tool fits in your hand isn't always about comfort. It's about use. A tool that fits awkwardly in your hand is a tool that is awkward to use. The Alien, for example, is wide and the tool bits are stubby. It's difficult to line up the tool with the fastener properly but the bigger problem is that your hand is holding this wide bit of metal which makes lining up the tool even more difficult because your hand is in the way.
I don't know.

Three weeks ago my riding buddies and I reattached a guy's old crankset with a quarter and a tire lever. The guy made it eight miles back to his car. I'm not saying not to be prepared but there is a practical limit and regarding the OP's question, many go overboard.

I'm all for nice tools but if a bike is maintained properly, parts changed proactively before they are worn to the point of failure, then a multi tool should rarely if ever be used. $100 is way to much to spend on a piece of emergency gear which may not get used in a decade.

If, on the other hand, a rider waits until parts are completely worn out before deciding to do anything about it then yes, by all means, carry the best multi-tool money can buy because it will likely see frequent use.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 04-16-18 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 04-16-18, 08:10 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I don't know.

Three weeks ago my riding buddies and I reattached a guy's old crankset with a quarter and a tire lever. The guy made it eight miles back to his car. I'm not saying not to be prepared but there is a practical limit and regarding the OP's question, many go overboard.

I'm all for nice tools but if a bike is maintained properly, parts changed proactively before they are worn to the point of failure, then a multi tool should rarely if ever be used. $100 is way to much to spend on a piece of emergency gear which may not get used in a decade.

If, on the other hand, a rider waits until parts are completely worn out before deciding to do anything about it then yes, by all means, carry the best tools money can buy because they will more than likely be used frequently.


-Tim-
Stuff happens. Stuff happens to others around you. While I don't see how you can use a quarter and a tire lever to reattach a crankset and while I wouldn't suggest carrying a complete toolset, I don't see a downside to carrying some tools. Having tools that you can work with and makes the job easier is a plus.

Being proactive about bike maintenance won't help when the random happens. Bike crashes can bend derailers or even break them. Not having the tools to even minimally address that could make for a long walk home or, even worse, strand you on the side of a mountain for a cold night. Cell phones don't always receive a signal nor are all places accessible by someone who can come pick you up.

I will say, however, that I have little to no sympathy for someone who doesn't carry at least some tools...patch kit, tube and pump...at a bare minimum. While I will stop to help someone who has that newbie shine, I'm much less inclined...being a bit elitist here...to help the fast, light racer dude who wants to carry minimal gear. I figure for them a long walk home allows them to reflect on their lack of self-sufficiency.

There is also a case to be made for not all rides happening within a short car ride from home. I range far and wide and am on the road for weeks at a time. Not everyone does that but there are a number of us around who do. Being "proactive" in those instances isn't practical nor even all that possible. Having tools to make adjustments or to be as proactive as we can is a necessity.

No one, so far as I have seen, is suggesting a tool that costs $100. I'm sure there are some kind of multitool out there that costs that much but most are in the $40 to $50 range. That's not terribly expensive.
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Old 04-16-18, 08:46 AM   #28
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1. A set of ratchet handle with allen key attachments. So much faster and less brain power required when using.

2. A locking plier. Can fit and grip any nut with little effort.
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Old 04-16-18, 09:40 AM   #29
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What are you planning to do with it?

There seems to be an assumption that the more functions a multi tool has the better. I don't believe that anymore. I can remember once trying to install a water bottle cage with a multi tool. It didn't work because I couldn't find a way to orient the multi tool so that I could twist the screws. Sometimes the more functions a multi tool has the bulkier it becomes and the less functional tool it becomes.

For shop use, nothing beats individual tools. For on the road repairs, while some guys will swear about the need for a chain tool, you'll be surprised at how far just a couple of Allen wrenches will take you.
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Old 04-16-18, 09:47 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Do you guys think that having a small knife to cut whatever, is a crucial item of a bike's toolkit that you should carry on the road with you?
A knifeless man is a lifeless man.

Seriously even though a knife may be of little use on a bike.
Having a small folder with you means you can handle emergencies
where having a knife makes sense. E.G. cutting a safety belt.
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Old 04-16-18, 09:55 AM   #31
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Crank Bros. 5 function multitool works great for me!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002VFZ688...ustomerReviews
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Old 04-16-18, 10:02 AM   #32
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I've tried a few different multi-tools, and the one I came back to (and bought several of to keep on different bikes) is the Topeak Hexus II

It has just enough tools to have all I feel the need to carry, but not so many that the tool becomes too bulky to use in tight areas. Also, the tools (and body) are a little longer, so that also helps (along with the narrower profile) in getting into some tight spots.

I really don't care much about ergonomics, that has never been an issue with any multi-tool. The real issue for me is whether it can reach what it needs to and have room to turn. And in this capacity, the Hexus has always worked. I rarely ever use the tool on the road (mostly seat post/saddle adjustments as I am tuning the fit of a bike) but they do see a lot of use on the mountain bikes (either mine or someone else). I have never not had what I needed, and it always seems to fit into wherever needs to.

Sure, it is not as easy to use as individual tools, and I don't use it in the shop, but it is very compact, light, and most importantly it keeps all the tools together with very little to get lost.

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Old 04-16-18, 10:19 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
While I don't see how you can use a quarter and a tire lever to reattach a crankset
We couldn't believe it ourselves.
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Old 04-16-18, 10:34 AM   #34
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Do you guys think that having a small knife to cut whatever, is a crucial item of a bike's toolkit that you should carry on the road with you?
I always have a small folding knife in my pocket, whether on the bike or not. On the bike it has been most useful for digging small stones, mud, snow and ice out of my cleats when I have had to get off the bike under less than ideal conditions. It can also be used as a small screwdriver or pry bar if you have no alternative and don't care what happens to the knife. Finally it can be used to open candy and snack wrappers when the "tear here to open" notch doesn't work.
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Old 04-16-18, 10:49 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by TimothyH;20285539[I
]I don't know why using multi tools for extended periods or how well it fits one's hand is a persistent topic. [/I]

...


-Tim-
I agree. I don't waste my time talking about their poor ergonomics, etc. I just leave them on the shelf at the store and put together the specific tools that particular bike needs. 3-4 hex wrenches, 15mm wrench (for my fix gears; 6" crescents also work very well if I can live with slightly marred nuts), spoke wrench for bikes with eiter suspect wheels or taken for long rides, spare hub hut.

Allen keys are, in my opinion, are poorly done when on a multitool. We ride bikes where virtually all the adjustments are with allen bolts. To have to do routine adjustments with emergency level tools, in one simple word, sucks. Pulling that key out of my little bundle of 4 keys wrapped with a rubber band - well now I have a serious tool for the job. (The poster above who talked of getting out on the road and finding his just swapped wheel needed a minor tweak - yeah that is a reality for those of us who ride, especially those of us who ride multiple bikes and wheels.)

I do carry one of two multitools on all my rides. A Leatherman (or the much smaller, cheaper and more jersey pocket friendly Gerber for around town). That Leatherman is, yes, a multitool, but - it is a very high quality and very usable tool that might save a life someday. It works so-so for most of the screwdriver needs on a bike but the blade and pliers are excellent. (My house key and bike lock keys are on those tools, so bringing them is a no-brainer. The Leatherman + keys is a real jersey pocket-eater so I made a little leather pouch for it. Great in the pocket, but around town with it's many lockups, the Gerber is a lot faster.)

Ben
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Old 04-17-18, 03:48 AM   #36
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Under $100 that is.
The one that has tools that fit your bike. Lots of multi tools have many tools you will never need and lack some you do need. For my bike, all I need is a few allen keys, a philips screw driver and a chain tool. Your bike may be different or you expect to be able to do "everything" on the road. Imo you should concentrate on the most likely issues, like having a flat, breaking the chain, tightening a loose bolt, adjust a derailleur, ... and do preemptive maintenance at home, like replace cables, chain, brake pads before they break or are worn out. Better to bring a spare gear hanger and a quick link than a massive multi tool.

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Old 04-17-18, 04:52 AM   #37
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I dont carry a multitool. 2 tire levers, couple of Allen keys, 13mm open end wrench (in case I need to adjust the position of my brake calipers a hair - which Ive never had to do on the road ) total cost might be $15 and covers everyone of my roadside repairs.
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Old 04-17-18, 06:37 AM   #38
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I also carry a bontrager torque hex key (I think 4mm - whatever the common size is for stem and seat-post bolts) and assembly paste. I'm sure that there's better (lighter) torque hex keys, but this one was given to me. Having the key keeps my gorilla hands from stripping bolts on the road.
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Old 04-17-18, 06:51 AM   #39
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To me the "best" take-along multi-tool is also one of the lightest and cheapest, Park's MT-1 "dogbone". It has 3,4,5,6 and 8 mm hex keys, a small flat head screwdriver and 8.9 and 10 mm box wrenches. All of the larger hex keys and boxes are oriented to have adequate leverage and it only weighs 40 grams and costs about $12.

It's certainly not a shop level tool and not for routine use but it fits in any pack or pocket and, along with a small chain tool will do nearly any roadside emergency adjustment. Why it isn't more widely known is a mystery to me.
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Old 04-17-18, 07:25 AM   #40
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The one with a bottle opener is my preferred favorite.
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Old 04-17-18, 10:39 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Do you guys think that having a small knife to cut whatever, is a crucial item of a bike's toolkit that you should carry on the road with you?
Yes a knife is really needed to get all of a goathead thorn out of your tire.
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Old 04-17-18, 12:16 PM   #42
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...but you need a big saddle bag....
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Old 04-17-18, 07:00 PM   #43
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To me the "best" take-along multi-tool is also one of the lightest and cheapest, Park's MT-1 "dogbone". It has 3,4,5,6 and 8 mm hex keys, a small flat head screwdriver and 8.9 and 10 mm box wrenches. All of the larger hex keys and boxes are oriented to have adequate leverage and it only weighs 40 grams and costs about $12.

It's certainly not a shop level tool and not for routine use but it fits in any pack or pocket and, along with a small chain tool will do nearly any roadside emergency adjustment. Why it isn't more widely known is a mystery to me.
Just googled it and 3 of the top 10 hits were you talking about this tool here on BF. I smell sponsorship.
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Old 04-17-18, 08:11 PM   #44
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I've been thinking of getting a Gerber multi-tool, as it allows for a great variety of allen key and torx attachments, plus obviously has the knife and various pliars too.


The only problem is that this will be something that I would have to have on me, as I wouldn't want to leave it in a tool bag, in case it gets stolen.


This is why I am also looking at the best and cheapest multi-tool option, that I would be prepared to leave in a tool bag on my bike, that is locked up for a few hours.
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Old 04-17-18, 08:16 PM   #45
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Just googled it and 3 of the top 10 hits were you talking about this tool here on BF. I smell sponsorship.
I can only wish! No, no affiliation with Park or any other seller. Perhaps it's because I chime in on most of the "what multi-tool should I buy" threads here and I'm consistent.

I have one of these on every one of my bikes and think they are the best compromise of weight, size, utility and cost. I've had other multi tools but this one works for me. However, if Park wants to send me a sponsorship check.........
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Old 04-17-18, 10:22 PM   #46
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Many good points have been already made. The concept of 'best multitool' is illusory. Different people have different parts on their bikes, ride different distances, maintain their bikes at different level and have different skills and willpower for different repairs. A tool with set capabilities is not a particularly good choice since it cannot evolve when one better recognizes what one needs and actually uses.

As some others I start with a small ratchet wrench, and the one I particularly like is Topeak Ratchet Rocket, and combine it with various bits. I sewed my own pouch for the bits and hold these in a larger commercial pouch. Once you have a tool set in your pocket, you find that you can fix things other than the bike and your set can evolve to accommodate new uses.

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Old 04-18-18, 12:05 AM   #47
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The best all in one tool is the rock. If you get desperate use another rock to flint knap it into the right shape, assuming you can't find a handy Indian-worked rock lying around near the road which will do what you want.
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Old 04-18-18, 07:47 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
I've been thinking of getting a Gerber multi-tool, as it allows for a great variety of allen key and torx attachments, plus obviously has the knife and various pliars too.


The only problem is that this will be something that I would have to have on me, as I wouldn't want to leave it in a tool bag, in case it gets stolen.


This is why I am also looking at the best and cheapest multi-tool option, that I would be prepared to leave in a tool bag on my bike, that is locked up for a few hours.

Topeak Alien II has a knife FWIW...pliers not so much. Spur Cycle, makers of the best bicycle bell ever, just released their multi-tool:


https://www.spurcycle.com/products/tool


Not it is titanium, with chrome steel bits...unlike lots of cheaper tools that are carbon steel and rust. Also MUSA, and a great company that makes good stuff. Granted El Cheapo is nice for leave-it-and-not-cry-if-stolen. I have a Gerber for work, simply being on a belt holster in summer--sweat has rusted it.

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Old 04-18-18, 07:55 AM   #49
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Not it is titanium, with chrome steel bits...unlike lots of cheaper tools that are carbon steel and rust.
The bits are "chrome coated", i.e. chrome plated, and while S2 is a fine tool steel it is not stainless steel and can indeed rust. If the chrome plating gets scratched or nicked the bits will rust. That said, it seems like a pretty decent, if pricey, take along tool.
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Old 04-18-18, 08:39 AM   #50
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Looks cool, like a Swiss Army Knife equivalent. May get one for my son-in-law.
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