Advertisement

Sign up for our newsletter

Advertisement

Best cycling multitools: Nine of the best

Cyclist magazine
1 Jul 2020

Our round up of the pocket companions that’ll come to your rescue when mechanical mischief threatens to mess with your ride

A decent multitool is an essential sidekick on any ride, allowing you to tackle the majority of mechanical problems you might experience. So when considering which one to get, you’ll need to look for reliability and versatility as well as economy of size.

It should also be easy to use and its tools of high enough quality to ensure they don’t bust up the bits of your bike you’re trying to fix.

At the bare minimum, it’ll need to include a good range of different sized Allen (or hex) keys, Torx keys and screwdriver heads.

The more elaborate ones can also include chain tools, knives and even bottle openers. Obviously, the more tools, the greater the weight, so you’ll need to decide what’s likely to be superfluous for your everyday needs before plonking down your cash.

Nine of the best cycling multitools

1. Topeak Mini 20 Pro: The best fully-featured multitool

Buy now from Wiggle for £31.99

What they say: A precision full-metal 23 function mini tool made to handle any road or trailside repair. 

What we say: This is about as comprehensive a multitool as you’ll need with 23 separate tools on board. So what do you get for your money?

About as fully featured a tool as we think it wise to carry, the Topeak Mini 20 Pro has all the modern bits you’ll need. These include Torx wrenches and a stubby metal tyre lever that’s actually more useful for jimmying apart disc brake pads.

With an easy to use removable chain tool, this features a bunch of spoke wrenches for truing your wheels. Also smuggling in a fat 10mm Allen key, it’ll even fit or remove pedals, although you might struggle for leverage.

A good model for those who like to be equipped for most eventualities, Topeak and other brands do make more featured tools, but we tend to find them heavy and awkward to use. In comparison, the Mini 20 strikes the right balance. Includes a self-tightening tool and a neoprene bag.

Buy now from Wiggle for £31.99

2. Birzman Feexman E-Version 5: The best minimalist multitool

Buy now from AlpineTrek for £10.99

What they say: A simple, unobtrusive multitool that’s hard-wearing and constructed to get you back in the saddle quickly.

What we say: A quality minimalist design that’s small on size yet big on utility

The five most commonly required tools, each rendered in quality steel, and each with enough length for reaching into tricky spots. Back this up with a robust metal body for exerting plenty of leverage and you get the Birzman E-Version five function multitool.

Providing 4, 5, and 6mm Allen keys, a T25 Torx key, plus a crosshead screwdriver, it’s easily ergonomic and robust enough to use at home while you’re working across your bike.

Just 69mm long, it’ll easily fit into your pocket or saddle pack, plus it only weighs 58g. Yours for £12, it begs the question - do you really need anything else?

Buy now from AlpineTrek for £10.99

3. PRO Mini tool: The best small-sized multitool with a chain breaker

Buy now from Tredz for £22.99

What they say: Ten essential hex keys and screwdrivers in a convenient folding package.

What we say: Small it may be, but there’s a good range of tools in this compact collection.

Consisting of 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm Allen keys, plus two Phillips screwdrivers, a T25 Torx key and a flat 4mm screwdriver - there’s also a chain tool and bottle opener.

With its casing made of aluminium, all the tools are nickel-plated to ensure durability. It’s also got a neat little ruler in inches and centimetres integrated into the design, something you could argue bumps the tool count up to 11.

Billed as a mini tool it really is wee. Weighing a piffling 93g, it slips almost unnoticeably into your rear pocket.

The one con is that its slender size translates into a lack of leverage and therefore the need for more effort on the user's part. In all honesty though, like the tool itself, it’s no biggie.

Buy now from Tredz for £22.99

4. Fix It Sticks Replaceable Set: The most innovative multitool

Buy now from Tredz for £24.99

What they say: Fix It Sticks feature a design allowing them to travel flat for compactness, but snap together to form a T-wrench for fastening applications. By adding replaceable bits, custom combinations can be created to match your needs.

What we say: A clever take on the traditional multitool, Fix It Sticks provide both leverage and a customisable tool selection.

Its unique design sees eight interchangeable tools which can be fitted into the end of two bars. These then combine to create a compact little driver.

Arriving wrapped in its own fabric pouch, this fully-featured set arrives with eight interchangeable bits; 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 Allen keys, a T25 Torx, plus a Phillips screwdriver. However, it’ll also accept any standard ¼” bit, allowing for a huge degree of customisation. With plentiful reach and lots of leverage, the tools are a joy to use and outperform those found on stubbier multitools.

Held in place by strong Neodymium magnets, the system can exert a chunky maximum 54 Nm of torque. Weighing a reasonable 118 grams, the whole system comes in its own carry case.

One of the best takes we’ve seen on this style of multitool. The ability to match the bits to your particular needs will appeal to keen mechanics and novices alike.

Buy now from Tredz for £24.99

5. Lezyne V-10: The best all-round multitool

Buy now from Wiggle for £35.99

What they say: Lightweight, low profile, and optimised for modern component groups. Machined aluminium side plates hold forged and stainless steel bits and equally durable fastening hardware.

What we say: Offering a lot of tools, along with the often essential chain breaker, the V-10 is compact yet fully-featured. About as large a tool as we’d like to carry, it packs in zero that’s surplus to requirements.

Considering it packs in ten different tools, this unit remains impressively light and slim. The bits, which include 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Allen keys, T25, and T30 Torx keys, and a Phillips-head screwdriver are joined by an 11-speed compatible chain breaker.

All made of tough stainless steel, and have proved more than averagely durable. Slim in profile, its rounded edges give the entire tool a pleasing feel - both in the hand and when stored in a pocket. Unlike its larger siblings, the V-10’s width isn’t so excessive as to hinder its use.

We’re not fans of the L-shaped kink given to the smallest 2mm Allen key, but otherwise, it gets top marks from a mechanical standpoint. Plus it looks nice, which never hurts.

Buy now from Wiggle for £35.99

6. Pedros Rx Micro-9: The best multitool for simplicity and life-long durability

Buy now from Tredz for £31.99

What the makers say: The Rx Micro multitool delivers the perfect balance of size, weight, and function, ready for trailside repairs and daily adjustments. Designed for performance and durability its aluminium body and premium tool steel bits our backed by our rust-free guarantee

What we say: Very simple, the quality of Pedros’ workshop tools is in evidence here, just in miniaturised form.

Pedros make a great selection of workshop tools, but its multitools have often been solid if a little clunky. Simple to the point of being basic, and not exactly cheap, the Pedros RX Micro-9 multitool is included here because it’s quality and nice to use.

The RX Micro-9 multiTool is one of the first that’s great to use both on the road, and with the bike in the stand. If you can do without a chain tool (check out the RX Micro-20 if you can’t), then you’ll likely find all you need.

With 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Allen keys, T25 and T30 Torx keys, plus a flat-bladed screwdriver you can later add a pair of Pedros’ Micro tyre levers, which can be snapped to the side of the tool.

At 95 grams it’s light. Yet with a lifetime warranty and guaranteed rust-free bits, it’ll outlast cheaper alternatives by years.

Buy now from Tredz for £31.99

7. Neos Precision 8F Folding Tool: The best balance of size and features

Buy now from Neos for £25

What they say: An all-weather, compact, and extremely robust folding tool with a corrosion-resistant surface treatment.

What we say: There are two schools of thought when it comes to multitools. You either carry one that can do it all or cut down on the heft and go for something that’ll get you out of most scrapes.

Weighing just 102g and measuring 9 x 4 x 1.5cm, this neat little thing definitely lines up in the latter category.

Made from high-strength carbon stainless steel, the Noes Precision 8F features eight tools (including 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6mm Allen Keys, plus two Torx keys (T25 and T30), plus a Phillips screwdriver) which means it can cope with tightening and adjusting duties for anything from saddles to disc brakes.

Coming in a neat little black leather pouch, too, it’ll slot into your favourite jersey’s pocket without snagging it. A limited range of tools, perhaps, but a decent enough get-out-of-jail-free card, it’s svelte too.

Buy now from Neos for £25

8. Brooks MT21: The best multitool for backcountry expeditions

Buy now from Brooks for £50

What they say: Over 700 members of the Brooks Community collaborated on the MT21, the multitool for travellers.

What we say: Just a beautiful looking thing. Made of chunky steel this feels like it would last a lifetime, while serving you diligently in almost every mid-ride emergency, with no fewer than 21 tools inside.

Included are seven Allen keys (2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm), which will help with everything from tightening your cleat bolts to removing pedals.

There are also three screwdrivers, two Phillips cross-heads and one flat-head, three Torx keys, a chain breaker that fits 7, 8 and 9-speed chains, plus a spanner specifically designed for Brooks saddles. Unusually, it also includes an exceedingly sharp 2-inch pen knife, four spoke keys, and a bottle opener, all of which arrive encased in a handsome leather sleeve.

A nice product for campers or backcountry types who don’t mind the sizable 295g weight, we love the quality feel and distinguished looks.

Buy now from Brooks for £50

9. Silca Italian Army Knife Tredici: The best-looking multitool

What they say: A very Silca take on the traditional multitool. We’ve addressed the things that frustrate us with conventional multitools while keeping the traditional layout.

What we say: A light aluminium casing, stainless steel tools, and a couple of nice design features, and zero funny business. A classic in both looks and function.

Silca’s Italian Army Knife Tredici provides 13 tools in total; 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Allen keys, T10, T20, and T25 Torx keys, plus cross and flat-head screwdrivers. Paired with a disc brake pad retractor, it’s a combo that’ll take care of almost any mechanical you’re likely to encounter.

Yet despite the spread on offer, the whole lot still comes in a package that not only looks elegant but is also decently ergonomic to work with.

The tools are deployed easily and are long and sturdy enough to endure a decent amount of torque without ever feeling like they’re at risk of rounding-off. We especially appreciated the flat lever for prising apart disc brake pads, along with the magnetic storage for a chain split-link.

An impressive offering which delivers on just about every score, including price, size, looks, and versatility.

Buy now from Wiggle for £35