No matter what type of cycling you’re into, you should have a good bike multi tool in your back pocket whenever you go out.
Multi tools are essential kit for on the trail adjustments, from mending chains and fixing derailleurs, to getting that saddle just right. Seasoned cyclists know that the perfect multi tool can last a lifetime, and make the difference between making it home on 2 wheels, or waiting in the rain, like a tool, on someone with 4 wheels to pick you up.
But, the necessity of owning a multi tool that covers all your needs should be an informed choice. Fortunately, I’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Read on to see my picks for 8 of the best bike multi tools available to riders today.
Quick Review | Lezyne Stainless-20 Multi Tool 2015
Perhaps the greatest thing about the Lezyne Stainless-20 Multi Tool is that if you lose it in the grass you’ll have no issue finding it again thanks to its shiny exterior. Perhaps. It’s also light, functional and durable to a fault. As well as every mini tool you could hope to have on something so small, it comes with a tough stainless steel chain breaker, and bottle-opener.
The Lezyne has been built with a mix of precision cut stainless steel and aluminium sidings which keeps the weight down, and it can be easily used with winter gloves on. It’s also corrosion resistant meaning it should last for a long time. It also comes with a disc brake expander, 3 spoke wrenches, a 60mm serrated blade, screwdrivers, and of course, 7 Allen keys for adjustments.
The Lezyne will help you solve most of your roadside issues with little or no fuss.
Quick Review | Crank Brothers Multi Mini Tool 19
The Crank Brothers Mini 19 tool looks and feels reassuringly solid and weighty when held in the hand. It also looks like serious business which will give you confidence if you’re trying to fix a problem on your bike halfway down a mountain. The ‘19’ in the name stands for the number of tools the Mini comes with, and there is literally a tool for every occasion; 7 hex wrenches, 4 spoke wrenches, screwdrivers, a universal chain tool, and an 8mm and 10mm ordinary everyday wrench as well.
There’s not much you can’t do with this tool. From fixing disc brakes to sorting errant spokes, the Mini is more than capable. Notable accessories include a lifetime warranty, and a rather cool stainless steel effect carry case as well.
Quick Review | Topeak Alien II Multi Tool
The ALIEN II is one of the most versatile and comprehensive multi tools available on the market. Some people are wary of 2 part tools, but this one will only come apart when you want it too. Among its 26 beautifully effective and strong tools are a pedal wrench, 8,9, and 10 mm box wrenches, screwdrivers, spoke wrenches, knife, the ever essential bottle opener, and of course a full set of Allen keys.
The chain tool is made from cast Cromoly steel, and the other tools from hardened steel. The casing is made from engineer grade plastic so it won’t break apart under the heaviest abuse. There are cheaper multi tools available, but none are as durable or robust.
At 290g it is the heaviest multi on our list, but it also one of the best. It’s a beast.
Quick Review | Topeak Hexus II Multi Tool
Weight: 167 g
It feels almost cruel placing this bargain price multi directly under the ALIEN II, but for the budget minded, price conscious rider, the Hexus II is still a good option. With 16 tools vs its older brothers 26, it is still more than enough…tool…for most riders. The Hexus II is a great multi tool, and by that we don’t mean a great multi for £10.89, but just a great multi tool. All 16 tools are made from hardened steel and the shell is built from quality composite plastic, which helps keep the weight down.
It has all you would expect from a decent multi; several Allen keys, spoke wrenches, and a steel wire chain hook that will fit with all single and multi-speed bike chains.
While this tool may not have everything, it won’t leave you stranded on the side of a forest trail.
Quick Review | The Nutter Cycle Multi Tool
An unusual entry, especially as the leather case makes it look like something your Grandad would own. The tool itself comes across as something from the 1980’s, and yet The Nutter is a beautifully designed and versatile piece of kit for the rider who wants something that little bit different. But for the price it had better be good – fortunately it is.
It has all the tools you could wish for. It differs from most multis in that it’s really an old school multi into which you mount a selection of different bits that are handily stored in the leather carry pouch. The tool comes with a selection of Allen heads and screwdriver extensions, and the tool itself is also a 15mm ring spanner that is comfortingly strong and robust.
That said despite the excellent design, there are lots of small bit heads that are easy to misplace or lose by the roadside, and may be fiddly when changing heads with cold and wet fingers in the winter.
The Nutter is a good piece of kit for those are careful with their tools.
Quick Review | Leatherman Mako Ti Bike Tool
It’s a Leatherman, so you know straight away it’s going to last. It’s also made from titanium so it’s strong, practical, and extremely light at a measly 42g, and comes with a 25 year warranty. For that weight saving you lose some functionality, but the Mako Ti is still a highly effective multi tool.
It looks a bit like an old school bike spanner, but still has room for 9 tools, including Allen heads, screwdrivers and 8, 9, 10, 15, and 16 mm box wrenches, and the ubiquitous spoke wrenches as well.
If you’re serious about having minimum weight when you ride, but still want a serious tool in your back pocket, then this is the tool for you.
Quick Review | Stique Cycling Multilever ML123
You have to love a British designed and built multi tool that started out life as Kick Starter project.
Innovative, functional, and ‘hard as nails,’ as Stique themselves describe it. The shape is unconventional but practical. It comes in 3 parts, has space for 2 £1 coins, (not included), and a thermometer. The shell is made from metal-replacement plastic which means it is robust, and will take some punishment.
Think of the Stique as tire levers with some tools attached, and you’re kind of there with this one. In fact the only thing it doesn’t include is a chain hook which is disappointing, but hardly a deal breaker. It comes with 4 and 5mm Allen bits, Philips no.2 screwdriver, Torx T25 wrench, and a bottle opener.
The very best of British in 3 parts.
Quick Review | Pedros ICM Multi Tool
At 235g the ICM is another heavyweight contender in the bike multi tool world, but, as you would expect from Pedros, that extra weight is worth it.
The tool fits comfortably in the hand thanks to its ergonomic design, so there is no awkward grip when fiddling with your bike. The ICM is also larger than most standard multis’ as well thanks to the integrated tyre levers. The tool itself is made of hardened steel, and is anti-corrosive, so the ICM should last you a long time, and also be able to handle any problems the trail can throw at you.
It comes with 17 tools, including 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm Allen keys, a Mavic M7 spoke wrench and a 3.2 and 3.5mm spoke wrench, chain tool, a bottle opener, flat-blade and screwdrivers, and a T25 Torx, and a lifetime warranty.
The ICM is a big hitter for a multi tool, and one that won’t disappoint.
Getting the Right Multi Tool
So there you have it, a veritable smorgasbord of 8 of the best high quality bike multi tools currently available. Like choosing a bike though, choosing the right multi tool is about finding one that speaks to you, and that you feel suits you best. If you’re really lucky, then you might never need to use one, but if you do you want something with you know you can rely on- you could do a lot worse than pick one of these 8.
Good luck on the trail and just remember – don’t set off riding with your multi tool on the kitchen counter.