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.


Get the Seth’s Bike Hacks Face Stickers!
Free Shipping


  1. Shadow Pokemander on June 27, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    Dose the crank brothers work for a 3by 6

  2. Brian Michael on June 27, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    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.

  3. VNIMAL on June 27, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    swat are the best

  4. Josh Norris on June 27, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    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?

  5. rev headz on June 27, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    I once ordered a 200bucks headphone on amazon and they sent me the 500 dollar model that looks similar to the 200 one😂

  6. BadmanPictures on June 27, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    how is this guy like 45 but sounds like a 14 year old with acne

  7. Kermit on June 27, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    I’d pay $200 for a super legit version for my enduro bike or adventure bike.

  8. Jadon Mckenzie vlogs on June 27, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    13$…. this is fifty dollars, now let’s talk about what the extra 37$ is worth?

  9. Christian Capone on June 27, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    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

  10. Martin Tcholakov on June 27, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    whats the difference between an eleven speed chain and the others

  11. Paul Herrmann on June 27, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Yeah I’ve got the Crankbrothers✌

  12. Enduro & trials NSW on June 27, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    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

  13. dhanjith lal on June 27, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Seth channel is sooo informative

  14. Cameron Dawson on June 27, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    they are great but don’t get plastics ones because they just bend and break when you try to Titan stuff up

  15. Servius on June 27, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    Do a video about the difference of 11spd chains compared to the others!

  16. Elias Rivera on June 27, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    How can I get you guys sticker

  17. Mountain Rider on June 27, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    The Topeak Alien Ii 26 is probably the best multi tool you can for any bike

  18. LilLee420 on June 27, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    why not crankbrothers m5?

  19. Rob Reeves on June 27, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation I went with the Crankbrothers multi tool and got a good deal on ebay

  20. Ramon Nelissen on June 27, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    I have a $29 BBB multitool, and it has everything u need, and has never failed on me once.

  21. Macboi on June 27, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    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.

  22. Clobber 66 on June 27, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Try topeak mini tools they are on par with any is this video.

  23. Jeremy Boneo on June 27, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Seth! Please help me ! If it safe to buy the shimano chain with chain link from Lazada?

  24. ODIN ARAUJO on June 27, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    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.

  25. Dylan Willick on June 27, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    My crankbrothers tool rusted out😢

  26. Zero on June 27, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    That Lezyne Stainless 20 in Australia is $150!

  27. Urban Trail on June 27, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    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

  28. Juan Gomez on June 27, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    Can’t find the m17 for $20 anywhere. Can You help?

  29. Pistanbroke on June 27, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    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.

  30. MTUS Aqua on June 27, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    I personally use the Park Tool IB-3. works well and gets the job done for me

  31. viren gorvadia on June 27, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    I use btwin multitool

  32. morgan gregory on June 27, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Wrap the knife in cardboard

  33. Elias Mason on June 27, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Which one do you carry Seth

  34. Jose Rene Ducharme on June 27, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    At last, your soul is saved.

  35. Sean Chandler on June 27, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    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).

  36. Cloud's Bike Hacks on June 27, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    It’s called the Eye’z Off because it’s so ugly you want to take your eyes off it.

  37. leslie rhodes on June 27, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    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

  38. Random Long Leg Cat on June 27, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    I’m using the crankbrothers and that is amazing

  39. the undead1 on June 27, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Still have my bulky but great macgyver. Although the crank bros looks like a nice replacement.

  40. CBJ-R on June 27, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    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.

  41. Clayton Horvat on June 27, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    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.

  42. Shattucknick on June 27, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    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.

  43. Philipp B. on June 27, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    1:02 Got that problem in reverse, still got my adapter but I lost my multitool. Sad but true.

  44. florenzo advincula on June 27, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    what’s a disc brake wedge?

  45. Jaime B on June 27, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    You won’t pin this

  46. PolishLeprechaun78 on June 27, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    Dude I just got my f15 in the mail today it is beautiful…too bad I broke my clavicle yesterday!

  47. Jeff Newman on June 27, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    I have the m17

  48. Marco Ortega on June 27, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    Nice job dude, amazing reviews!

  49. Luis Rojas on June 27, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Zip tie the knife blade out of the way until you need it

  50. G M on June 27, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Hey the perfect video! I’ve been scouting out multi tools lately. Thanks Seth!