Keeping yourself protected from whatever the road throws at you is an easy task when you have the right tools. You don’t want to get stranded roadside with a minor mechanical problem, so having a bike multi-tool handy should be able to get you moving again.
Below, you’ll find a selection of the best bike multi-tools as tested by the 220 team and our friends at BikeRadar. Each multi-tool has a different arrangement of tools included, so it’s important to make the decision depending on the problems you think you’re likely to come across.
The Tradesman multi-tool from Blackburn features a carefully-selected assessment of important tools for roadside maintenance. It has 18 tools in total that’re fastened around either end of the body and a rubber band is included to keep the tool from loosening in your saddle or top tube bag.
There are six different sized L-shaped and straight Allen keys, and two Torx keys, as well as a flat-head screwdriver, a disc-brake pad separator and a chain tool. BikeRadar found the Blackburn Tradesman to be an impressively versatile multi-tool, thanks to its wide range of equipment and various Allen key sizes.
Blackburn Wayside 19
There are 19 tools in this multi-tool from Blackburn. A chain tool, a valve core remover, a 50mm serrated blade and three spoke wrenches are included, as well as a range of Torx keys, L-shaped hex keys and a screwdriver. The ball-ended hex keys are removable, which BikeRadar found allows unbeatable access to the bolts. A great all-rounder for keeping on top of your bike maintenance.
Topeak Hexus X
In an attempt to cover cyclists with everything they’d need to maintain their bike, the Topeak Hexus X has 21 of the most commonly needed tools. Held together in a neatly compact package, the multi-tool is a conveniently-sized tool.
Spoke wrenches, two screwdrivers, a Presta core tool and a variety of hex and Torx keys are packed into this. BikeRadar found that the overall quality is excellent, especially for the price.
Topeak Mini 20 Pro
The Mini 20 Pro is a 20-function multi-tool that is compact and useful enough to take on any bike ride. There are two screwdrivers, two Torx keys and a range of steel hex keys from 2mm to 10mm.
For chain maintenance, the Topeak multi-tool has a chain tool that works with all chains except those from Campagnolo.
A nifty feature for the Crankbrothers F15 is the magnetised steel sleeve that the multi-tool can slot into. The sleeve adds a chain tool, spoke keys and bottle opener, leaving them detachable when you only need the essentials. BikeRadar found that the case doubles as a handy extender bar that allows you to up the leverage.
The M13 multi-tool from Crankbrothers can keep you sorted with a selection of screwdrivers, Allen keys and Torx keys. A stand-out feature is the tire plug tool with five tire plugs – a rare addition in many bike multi-tools. It features the most common Allen key sizes between 2mm and 8mm, with a separate dedicated bit for the 8mm one.
Crankbrothers tools are praised for their durability and the M13 comes with a lifetime warranty. It also comes with a case that snaps onto the sidebars of the tool.
Lezyne makes possibly the best-looking multi-tools on the market. The polished metal finish of the SV range gives them a feeling of real quality. As the name suggests, you get 11 tools on the SV11: seven different hex wrenches, two torx tools, one flat-head screwdriver and a chain-breaker.
On our bike, the only thing we couldn’t adjust with the SV11 was the Phillips-head limiter screws on our derailleurs, although these shouldn’t be something you need to adjust mid-ride anyway.
The chain-breaker is a neat little design and works well enough for any vital repairs to be carried out on the fly. The SV11 is compact and light too (just 100g) and folds up neatly to slide into a jersey pocket without snagging.
Xlab Tri Tool Kit
Xlab’s offering is a compact bit of kit with 10 tools in a nicely presented, easily storable package. There are seven hex wrenches, a flat-head screwdriver, one torx wrench and a tire lever. There’s also a silicone band which is ostensibly to protect the kit, but in practice is more useful at keeping the tire lever in place with the rest of the set.
It tends to slip off on its own otherwise, which can be a little irritating. We can’t knock the range of tools on offer, but the lone tire lever is, on its own, of little use for those tough-to-budget tires, and the fact that it’s metal will put some off from using it with carbon rims. In any case, we’d still carry our own set of tire levers on a ride, rendering Xlab’s lever rather pointless.
Park Tool IB-3C
Park’s IB-3C is a curious tool, packed with features for a good price, but some are just a bit too fiddly. It has eight Allen wrenches, a star wrench, flat-bed screwdriver, chain tool and tire lever with two integrated spoke wrenches.
It’s enough to sort out pretty much any issue you might have with the bike, but in use we found the chain tool too awkward to be practical.
The tire lever has an attachment to connect it to the chain tool so you can get more leverage, but the fit isn’t quite good enough so it slips off with any slight change in orientation.
Not ideal for the intricate job of repairing a broken chain. The IB-3C’s also a little heavy and bulky at 180g – good for a saddle pack, but not ideal for a jersey pocket.