Multi tools for mountain biking
Multi tools for mountain biking
Sometimes the best bike tool in the world is the one you have with you. I’m talking, of course, about a compact multitool. When you’re sitting trailside with a mechanical problem, having one will usually be your best chance at riding home instead of walking.
Generally the discipline of riding you take part in will help you narrow down what tool is best for you. To make things simple today, we’ll be talking about tools that are good for mountain biking.
Here we have three tools ranging from 13 to 50 dollars. They all have metric allen keys, various bits, spoke wrenches, and a chain breaker. So why the huge disparity in price? Let’s take a closer look.
Our $13 budget multi tool is made by EyezOff. That’s a fitting name for the ugliest multi tool in the world. One feature it does have over the other two is a set of built in tire levers, but I’m not sure how useful they are. Most mountain bike tires come off without levers, and for the ones that don’t, would you use these blunt metal levers on your rim? To me these are dead weight, except for the one that doubles as a handle for the chain breaker.
Another thing I’m not crazy about is that the 8 millimeter allen key is a detachable bit. This means you need to remove it to access the 6 mill. In other words, it’s gonna get lost.
The chain tool has plenty of leverage thanks to the tire lever, and it does work smoothly. If you go too far it’ll push the pin all the way out though. It also won’t work for 11 speed chains, but that’s pretty normal at this price. Despite these shortcomings the EyezOff is solid and ergonomically. At 13 bucks, we can overlook its imperfections and safely say it’s sufficient for a casual rider or a beginner. If it gets lost you won’t be too bummed out.
Next we have a fairly expensive tool made by Lezyne. At $50, the Lezyne Stainless 20 seems hard to justify, but let’s take a closer look at what an extra $37 gets you.
First off, this thing looks freaking awesome. The tools are stainless steel, the handle is high grade aluminum, and everything has an nice bright finish. For such a big tool it weighs close to nothing too at 160 grams. Not that I’m a weight weenie, but with all the camera equipment I carry things are starting to add up. For the sake of comparison, the much smaller EyezOff weighs way more, at 210 grams.
As you might imagine, the chain tool is 11 speed compatible. In my test it worked smoothly and easily for a few different chains. The allen key set is very complete, and there’s even a built in 8 mill that won’t get lost. Here we even have a disc brake wedge, and two wrenches for 8 and 10 millimeter bolts. Everything moves smoothly including the knife which is a rarity on bike multi tools. It looks like you could use this blade for a trailside appendectomy. Although knives are useful for a number of things, this one scares the crap out of me. It’s attached to the tool like it’s another allen key, waiting to slice your finger off.
So, despite the scary knife our Lezyne Stainless 20 is super light, very well equipped, and sweet looking. Worth $50? I think so, considering it has all the tools shown here in high grade steel, but keep in mind that it’s not very compact, and has a lot of stuff you may not need.
Let’s take a look at the tried and true Crankbrothers Multi 17, which is 20 bucks. Crankbrothers makes a few other versions of this, as well some new multi tools that have mixed reviews, but there are very few multi tools out there with as good a track record as this one here. As you can see it’s more compact than the Lezyne, and actually it weighs the same 160 grams. It does have a built in 8 mill, as well as a T-25 for disc brakes. The chain breaker is not listed as 11 speed compatible, but I was able to make it work in a pinch. While it’s not as refined as the Lezyne, the steel is high quality, and the parts operate smoothly. If you don’t need a scary knife or an 11 speed chain tool, you could have two of these bad boys for the cost of one Lezyne Stainless 20.
I choose these three tools as examples for our discussion, not necessarily as recommendations. I wanted to give beginners a critical look at a few different tools just as a sort of crash course. Chances are, a multi tool may be your first and only bike tool until you build up a collection. Based on our discussion today, I’d say the sweet spot for most riders would be something like the Crankbrothers.
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Dose the crank brothers work for a 3by 6
I have the m17.. but I may return it and get the m19.. it has a nice case that will keep it from getting dirt in it and a couple extra tools for $5 more.
swat are the best
Hi Seth, I need help, I bought a new bike 2 days ago but me being stupid I changed the gears whilst standing still and now it is stuck on first gear, what do I do?
I once ordered a 200bucks headphone on amazon and they sent me the 500 dollar model that looks similar to the 200 one😂
how is this guy like 45 but sounds like a 14 year old with acne
I’d pay $200 for a super legit version for my enduro bike or adventure bike.
13$…. this is fifty dollars, now let’s talk about what the extra 37$ is worth?
i was in the need of a new chain breaker and allen keys and a multi tool just purchased the crank brothers one great video keep it up
whats the difference between an eleven speed chain and the others
Yeah I’ve got the Crankbrothers✌
I never worry about any crasy tools when riding park, because if any thing happends u just roll down the rest of the hill to the bike shop thats at the bike park
Seth channel is sooo informative
they are great but don’t get plastics ones because they just bend and break when you try to Titan stuff up
Do a video about the difference of 11spd chains compared to the others!
How can I get you guys sticker
The Topeak Alien Ii 26 is probably the best multi tool you can for any bike
why not crankbrothers m5?
Thanks for the recommendation I went with the Crankbrothers multi tool and got a good deal on ebay
I have a $29 BBB multitool, and it has everything u need, and has never failed on me once.
I really liked the lezine (might have spelled that right) but i need one that can be taken to school and the knife would mean a quick expelment.
Try topeak mini tools they are on par with any is this video.
Seth! Please help me ! If it safe to buy the shimano chain with chain link from Lazada?
Yo should try or review the topeak mini 20 pro+, works really nice and have everything you need: Allen, torx, chain braker, spoke wrenches, tire lever, screwdriver, chainhook, a pin braker and it’s Made of Chrome Steel in a really compact tool.
My crankbrothers tool rusted out😢
That Lezyne Stainless 20 in Australia is $150!
just got mine, and i bought the topeak mini 20 pro. for me i chose topeak. though slightly heavier than lezyne its compact. plastic tire lever and the wire chain hook thingy is a plus. but its not stainless. hehehe
Can’t find the m17 for $20 anywhere. Can You help?
honestly… i find multi tools to be ridiculous to use. i have a love/hate relationship with them. the crank bros. seems to work the best for the price… still a pain in the ass to use though. but i guess there a necessary evil. i don’t really want to ride with 30lbs of tools.
I personally use the Park Tool IB-3. works well and gets the job done for me
I use btwin multitool
Wrap the knife in cardboard
Which one do you carry Seth
At last, your soul is saved.
Don’t know about the other tools but one thing I love about the CB tool is the valve core remover at the end of the chain breaker (where the number 2 is).
It’s called the Eye’z Off because it’s so ugly you want to take your eyes off it.
But if you’re a road biker and a mountain biker too which is the best in a compromise or none of these that you have shown us where
I’m using the crankbrothers and that is amazing
Still have my bulky but great macgyver. Although the crank bros looks like a nice replacement.
Just watched this video after buying a Crankbrothers 19 in 1, and completely agree. Nothing had the same functionality at that price. The 19 just has one extra torx head, and I think another phillips or flat head. They were listed at the same price but the 19 in 1 I had to pay an extra $4 in shipping, but I considered it worth it for that extra Torx size.
I have a, "Topeak Alien", it’s pretty old now, but it’s freaking crazy. I got it for a present I think, and I was like, "is there anything this freaking thing can’t do!?". It literally had like double the bike specific tools I had in my whole house at the time, and my dad was a machinist (who also bicycled quite frequently). I don’t know if it’s impressive by today’s standards, but I was thoroughly impressed when I got it.
What do you think about having the tools all separate (smaller versions obviously) such as on a key ring. I find that many of the cheaper multitools are just annoying to use and was looking into getting all the needed tools put on a key ring, also I hate having the allens attached to everything else.
1:02 Got that problem in reverse, still got my adapter but I lost my multitool. Sad but true.
what’s a disc brake wedge?
You won’t pin this
Dude I just got my f15 in the mail today it is beautiful…too bad I broke my clavicle yesterday!
I have the m17
Nice job dude, amazing reviews!
Zip tie the knife blade out of the way until you need it
Hey the perfect video! I’ve been scouting out multi tools lately. Thanks Seth!