One of the cornerstones of mountain biking is self-sufficiency; specifically the ability to get out of a fix and carry out emergency repairs on the trail. To make repairs and adjustments you’ll need a trail tool. Most of based around old-fashioned Allen key clusters, improved by the addition of screwdrivers, Torx keys, spoke wrenches and, ideally, a chain tool.

Pro Bike Tool

Best for minimalists

Price: $27.99

Sleek and stealthy, the pancake-flat Pro Bike Tool can happily sit unnoticed in a short or jersey pocket while riding. It's the perfect companion for those short blasts where you're never far from civilisation. Yet it's also packed with useful tools, including the all-important Torx T25, numerous Allen keys upto 8mm, various spoke keys and a chain tool – impressive considering its diminutive size.

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Crankbrothers M19

Best for the paranoid

Price: $34.99

This compehensive multi-tool from Crankbrothers has served us well over the years. Packed with tools, it's a truly portable workshop that fits in your back pocket. Highlights include both Torx T10 and T25, open 8 and 10mm wrenches, three different screwdrivers and a chain tool. The knurled alloy body helps improve grip and the whole thing is built to last.

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Topeak Alien 2

Looks weird, works great

Price: $44.95

The freaky looking Topeak Alien 2 splits into two halves to make a versatile tool that's packed with features. The split design is really useful for getting into awkward areas, and unlike most multi-tools, there's a useful selection of wrenches, including 8, 10 and 15mm. The Allen keys go all the way upto 10mm, and the chain tool comes with a chain link holder to make joining a broken chain a whole lot easier. There are also integrated tyre levers, a knife and essential bottle opener.

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Topeak SmartGuage D2

Must for set-up geeks

Price: $32.95

While not a multi-tool, the Topeak SmartGuage D2 pressure guage is an essential tool for any serious mountain biker and does have a dual purpose. To ensure your bike handles consistently, you should check your tyre pressures before every ride, as even one or two psi can make a difference. The Topeak gives you accurate measurements every time, and with a sensor that goes up to 250psi, and a SmartHead that works with both Presta and Shrader valves, you can also use it to accurately check your suspension fork and shock pressures.

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RockShox Digital High Pressure shock pump

For perfect suspension

Price: $76

A quality shock pump is another must-have tool for every mountain biker, and to ensure accurate set-up every time, we'd recommend RockShox's digital option. The display will read up to 300psi, so suitable for most forks and shocks, and it's easy to see. There's a large chuck that can reach awkward valves, and the batteries are easily replaced and a bleeder valve to accurately expel air.

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Although modern mountain bikers are incredibly reliable, trail-side mechanicals can strike at any time. Whether it's a simple loose bolt or something more serious, like a broken chain, a good multi-tool will get you back on the move. If you like to ride light, and rarely travel far from your car, home or help, the minimal Pro Bike Tool will fix most common problems. For peace of mind, and more serious back-up, we'd go for the Topeak Alien 2. It's two-part design is packed with tools as well as useful field features such as tyre levers and a knife. And to make sure your bike is ready to roll, every ride, the Topeak SmartGuage is a must-have tool.