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Which multi-tool?

Old 02-21-11, 02:53 AM
  #1  
fishymamba
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Which multi-tool?

Hello everybody!

Today my old multi tool broke(cheap $5 tool from harbor freight tools) and I want to get a bike specific one now. What do you guys recommend? My price limit is $40. Thanks!
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Old 02-21-11, 04:21 AM
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https://www.topeak.com/products/Tools/mini20pro_silver


Everything you need on the road including spoke wrenches and chain tool
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Old 02-21-11, 04:53 AM
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https://wheelworld.com/product/crank-...ol-44545-1.htm Does everything as advertised. Just a tad heavy if you actually use the included sleeve they give you. Though in the end it just comes down to what tools you want for the road. A lot of people here will just need a 4-6mm hex key and be done with it.
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Old 02-21-11, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
https://www.topeak.com/products/Tools/mini20pro_silver


Everything you need on the road including spoke wrenches and chain tool
That's lovely. I carry similar on long rides.

On 100km rides I carry this:

and a phone
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Old 02-21-11, 07:52 AM
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i carry one of these generally:

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Old 02-21-11, 08:27 AM
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Lezyne Multi tool 12 stainless.



You can do virtually any repair or adjustment on a bike with it, including repairing a chain, or truing a wheel.

It's compact, light, is resistant to rust (which can be a problem if you leave a multi tool in your saddle bag over a period of years.) and has a nice little neoprene sleeve that fits over it, and protects against puncturing a tube in the saddle bag.
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Old 02-21-11, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
https://www.topeak.com/products/Tools/mini20pro_silver


Everything you need on the road including spoke wrenches and chain tool
Park tool gets my vote, for the same reasons
https://www.parktool.com/product/i-be...ith-chain-tool
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Old 02-21-11, 08:33 AM
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Crank Bros Multi 17. Have had mine for 5 years and still not bent up or rusted too bad. All the tools you need except a pedal wrench, but who really needs that anyway? I have worked at 4 different shops and can say that in every shop I worked at it was the tool of choice, both to sell, and to carry.
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Old 02-21-11, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post

It's compact, light, is resistant to rust (which can be a problem if you leave a multi tool in your saddle bag over a period of years.)
ha, that's exactly why i bought the lezyne stainless. i hadnt used my multi-tool (or virtually anything in my saddle bag) on one bike at all last season, and when i took it out, it had nasty surface corrosion all over it, which was bleeding onto everything. stainless steel is where its at.
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Old 02-21-11, 11:32 AM
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Have any of you tried this: https://www.topeak.com/products/Tools/ALiEN_II


$30 on Amazon and it has pretty much everything I will ever need.
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Old 02-21-11, 12:23 PM
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They're all really heavy. Even the teensie-weensie Specialized EMT Micro I had once.

All I need is one plastic tyre lever, one 4mm and one 5mm allen key (plus minipump, 1x spare tube and patch kit). My 5mm allen key came with an Ikea flat-packed bed and is a little smaller and lighter than a standard one. They both fit in my patch kit box.

I don't bother with a chain tool. I assemble my campag chains properly with the proper uber-expensive campag chain tool and change them before they are worn. Never had one break on me yet. Sure, it might happen sometime, but so might my derailleur hanger snap off or my frame explode.

Last edited by neeb; 02-21-11 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 02-21-11, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by fishymamba View Post
Have any of you tried this: https://www.topeak.com/products/Tools/ALiEN_II


$30 on Amazon and it has pretty much everything I will ever need.
I have one, and it is really a boat anchor. Plus over half of that stuff has no use on most road bikes.
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Old 02-21-11, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by neeb View Post
They're all really heavy. Even the teensie-weensie Specialized EMT Micro I had once.

All I need is one plastic tyre lever, one 4mm and one 5mm allen key (plus minipump, 1x spare tube and patch kit). My 5mm allen key came with an Ikea flat-packed bed and is a little smaller and lighter than a standard one. They both fit in my patch kit box.

I don't bother with a chain tool. I assemble my campag chains properly with the proper uber-expensive campag chain tool and change them before they are worn. Never had one break on me yet. Sure, it might happen sometime, but so might my derailleur hanger snap off or my frame explode.
The Lezyne tool is 115 grams, which I wouldn't call really heavy.

As for the chain tool, I'd agree it's pretty rare you'd need it. I've used it on a tandem and on an MTB, not on a single road bike. However, the likely scenario where you'd use it on a road bike would be a snapped derailleur hanger, post crash, in which case it could be the difference between riding and walking.


And comparing a mini tool to carrying a 4mm and 5mm allen key, I can think of a number of repairs that the mini tool handles that your setup doesn't, such as:

1) loose cleat screw,

2) truing a wheel (which can come in handy with a broken spoke),

3) adjusting a limit screw ( again handy post crash)

4) tightening a crankset (8mm allen key)

5) chain repair

6) emergency single speed conversion

7) opening a beer bottle ( chain tool does this pretty well)

How much repair capability you choose to carry is of course a tradeoff, and involves consideration of how risk adverse you are, and how much you value self reliance.

For me the Lezyne, which handles about everything short of a broken frame, at 115 grams is a good compromise.
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Old 02-21-11, 12:33 PM
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I really like the stuff that Lezyne builds. I have one of their pumps and will be buying a multi tool from them and some day will have one of their seat bags too.
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Old 02-21-11, 12:34 PM
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I remember when I got my Topeak Alien and thought it was the greatest thing ever. It was so cool, it split into two parts. I lost half of it.... Well, maybe I lost it, but whenever I see one half, I've forgotten if it's the half that was lost.

I later got a CB 17. It's so much slimmer and doesn't require you to take it apart. I've adjusted derailleurs, aligned brakes, repaired chains, and trued wheels with it. All the other flat designs are cool, too. Park Tool has a truly tiny mini I-beam that I carry a lot, and somewhere I've got a Specialized that has a couple shims for spreading disc brake pads.
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Old 02-21-11, 12:37 PM
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I carry a couple of these and a couple of tire levers. They have different sized hex wrenches at each end. In 30 years of regular cycling, those are all the tools I've ever needed on the road. I don't know what kind of problems you folks are having to need those monster tool kits.

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Old 02-21-11, 12:38 PM
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I have this one - The black sides pop off and are tire levers. I carry this, a tube, and a mini pump. I have actually used the chain tool on the side of the road once when I had a link starting to separate. It was no permanent fix, but it got me home.
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Old 02-21-11, 12:43 PM
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I use the somewhat minimalist Crank Brothers Multi-Tool 5.
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Old 02-21-11, 12:44 PM
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The Lezyne tool is 115 grams, which I wouldn't call really heavy.
I've just been optimizing that sort of stuff for lightness recently as I keep it all in the jersey pocket and hate having the back of the jersey weighed down too much. I also became uncomfortable having a big lump of metal in my back pocket as I wouldn't like jammed into my spine in the event of a nasty crash...
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Old 02-21-11, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by fishymamba View Post
Have any of you tried this: https://www.topeak.com/products/Tools/ALiEN_II

$30 on Amazon and it has pretty much everything I will ever need.
Let me elaborate on why I don't care if I lost my Alien (same as that Alien II but fatter) --

It's a big wad of steel. Flat tools like Crank Brothers and Specialized's EMTs (and even Topeak's Mini line) lay flat in my pocket, which is nice whether it's in a jersey, jeans, or a saddle bag. It also concentrates its weight on a smaller spot than flat tools do, which just plain bugs the persistently sensitive spot on my lower back.

It's got too many "tools" for its own good. You could probably build a whole bike with just an Alien, BB wrench and headset press, but it's going to be pretty awkward. A set of dedicated tools will do the job easier and more consistently, and you'll be able to reach every bolt you need (remember that no minitool has its Allen wrenches in an "L" shape). If you're going to be building a bike, you're probably going to build more, so get the stuff you need to do it better.

Don't ask a minitool to build a bike. All you should ask of it is quick roadside repairs and adjustments. You just don't need that many un-ergonomic pseudo-tools that hardly allow good leverage or positioning.
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Old 02-21-11, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by pallen View Post
I have this one - The black sides pop off and are tire levers. I carry this, a tube, and a mini pump. I have actually used the chain tool on the side of the road once when I had a link starting to separate. It was no permanent fix, but it got me home.
I bought one of these when I rented a bike to ride in Joshua Tree. IT's a nice design, and the tire lever bit is kinda cool. But it's bigger and clunkier than the Lezyne tool.
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Old 02-21-11, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by icyclist View Post


I use the somewhat minimalist Crank Brothers Multi-Tool 5.
I've got a crank brothers as well. Only thing I didn't like about was that it was prone to rust, which may be more of an issue in my environment.

(And the reason I've accumulated so many mini tools over the years, is that I generally keep one of some sort in the bag of each bike.)
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Old 02-21-11, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
i carry one of these generally:

I fell instantly in love with that as soon as I saw it in the shop...

...and then was crestfallen out on the road when I realized it didn't have the 3mm allen (or perhaps it's a 2mm?) wrench needed for trim-adjustments on my 7800 brakes.
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Old 02-21-11, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Lezyne Multi tool 12 stainless.



You can do virtually any repair or adjustment on a bike with it, including repairing a chain, or truing a wheel.

It's compact, light, is resistant to rust (which can be a problem if you leave a multi tool in your saddle bag over a period of years.) and has a nice little neoprene sleeve that fits over it, and protects against puncturing a tube in the saddle bag.
I am thinking about getting the 20 tool version since it is the same price but also has additional features, like a knife, which can definitely come in handy.
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Old 02-21-11, 01:29 PM
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And comparing a mini tool to carrying a 4mm and 5mm allen key, I can think of a number of repairs that the mini tool handles that your setup doesn't, such as:

1) loose cleat screw,

2) truing a wheel (which can come in handy with a broken spoke),

3) adjusting a limit screw ( again handy post crash)

4) tightening a crankset (8mm allen key)

5) chain repair

6) emergency single speed conversion

7) opening a beer bottle ( chain tool does this pretty well)

How much repair capability you choose to carry is of course a tradeoff, and involves consideration of how risk adverse you are, and how much you value self reliance.

For me the Lezyne, which handles about everything short of a broken frame, at 115 grams is a good compromise.
You're right about the limit screws / cleat screws, I'm looking for some appropriately sized sliver of metal to use for this and keep in the patch kit along with the allen wrenches. Nothing worse than finding 10 miles into a ride that you can't shift onto the big ring because you trimmed the front derailleur it a little too tightly during a checkup the night before...

Spoke key - I'm running Eurus wheels which are pretty bomb-proof and have never needed a spoke key yet. For me it makes more sense to have to open up my brakes a little and limp home with an out-of-true wheel once every 5 or 10 years or so than to carry a spoke key every single day I go out. It's similar to the philosophy I used to apply to my bike lights when leaving my commuter in the on-premises outdoor bike rack at a previous work place. I figured that it was easier to buy new lights in the unlikely event they were stolen than to remove them and re-attach them every single day. In 3 years they were stolen once and cost me about £15 to replace, which as far as I am concerned was a price well worth paying just to avoid that daily hassle.

My campag crankset needs a specially extended 10mm wrench in any case - it's never going to be a roadside repair.

Beer drinking for me is also a home-based rather than a roadside repair...
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