We test mountain bike multi-tools. Light enough to put in your pack and carry all day, useful enough to fix a multitude of sins if your bike breaks
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, and the best mountain bike multi-tool will give you everything you need in a portable package.
Consider a multi-tool akin to the Swiss Army Knife of mountain biking, where a sturdy metal body is packed with folding practicality. In recent years, designers have got impressively creative with multi-tool design, making options that fit in almost every nook and crevice found on a modern mountain bike. Which means you can hide most emergency tools and spares in and around the bike, so less to carry on your body and less to remember on every ride as it’s already mounted on your bike.
1. Topeak Mini Pro 20
Best all-in-one multi-tool
Weight: 153g | Tools: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10mm Hex keys, T25 Torx, flat and Phillips screwdrivers, chain tool, spoke wrenches, chain hook, bottle opener, chain pin tool | Rating: 10/10
Reasons to buy: Packed with tools. 90º bend hex key is useful for awkward areas.
Reasons to avoid: Chunky, so difficult to get a lot of torque (for, say, pedals). Tyre lever is not very effective.
With its chrome finish, this tool has real bling factor, and should stay that way protected by its own neoprene pouch. The tools are all quite stubby, but there are plenty of them, including a neat chain breaker, which sports four spoke keys, a chain hook and a 3mm Hex.
All the Allen sizes needed for repairs and adjustments are included, even a 10mm for crank bolts and L-shaped 2mm for adjusting the reach on your brake levers. The only redundant tool is the tyre lever – it’s too short and sharp, and wouldn’t want it anywhere near carbon rim.
That’s our only criticism though, because the Mini Pro 20 is a great tool and easily the best on test.
Best compact tool for on-board bike storage
Weight: 75g | Tools: 2/2.5/3/4/5/6/8mm Allen, T25, flat screwdriver, cassette lockring tool | Rating: 8/10
Reasons to buy: Always there when you need it. Easy to access. All the most regularly used tools included.
Reasons to avoid: Not designed to do heavy duty, high-torque jobs.
If you hate having tools rattling around your pocket (or pack) or exposed to the elements, ruining the aesthetics of your bike, then you’ll love the covert OneUp EDC Lite tool. It fits inside the steerer tube of your fork, but doesn’t need any special fixings to install – simply hammer your star nut deeper into the steerer and then use the supplied cradle to hold the tool.
Always to hand, the range of tools are perfect for the quick adjustments that become annoyingly faffy if you have to delve inside your pack. And if you want a more comprehensive system, OneUp also has the more sophisticated EDC (see below)…
Do-it-all multitool including chain and tubeless repair elements
Weight: 205g | Tools: Chain tool, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm hex, Phillips, flathead, three spoke keys, T10 and T25 torx | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Compact design, plenty of features, great range of tools, includes chainlink and tubeless repair elements
Reasons to avoid: On the heavy side
The Crankbrothers Multi M20 has 20 individual tools (listed above) but also a small clip-on treasure chest, which if you flip open includes several sticky rubber tyre plugs. Included in this little treasure chest are also two indents for a chainlink, which is another one of the current trail tool must-haves. If you don’t run tubeless you can easily ditch the tyre plugs for some glueless patches or a compact puncture repair kit.
Over the years I’ve tested many Crankbrothers tools and the M-series are some of the company’s best. They’re based on an old-school Allen-key block, so are easy to use and the quality is top notch. If you run tubeless, the Crank Brothers Multi M20 is a worthy addition to your arsenal and if you don’t, I still recommend it because it has everything you need for most tweaks and repairs.
Great little tool that stashes in the steerer tube
Weight: 141g | Tools: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6mm hex, T25, Spoke key: 0, 1, 2, 3 with valve core tool | Rating: 8/10
Reasons to buy: Compact, on-bike storage design, easy to install
Reasons to avoid: A little tight at first, heavier than some alternatives
The Granite Stash consists of a mini multi-tool and aluminium holder that you fit into the fork steerer. If you’ve seen the One Up EDC you’ll know this design isn’t new, in fact One Up’s new EDC Lite is almost identical to the Stash but comes with a nine-bit multi-tool for around £45. The Stash is a little bit more costly and twice the weight, but it does have five more tools, although they’re all spoke keys.
I like having a tool on my bike because I test a lot of gear and I’m constantly tweaking it, so I have reached for the Stash numerous times during my rides. It’s a neat and tidy design but One Up’s EDC Lite is cheaper and lighter, so if you’re looking for a hidden mini-multi that’d be the one I’d recommend.
The best compact on-board multitool gets an upgrade
Weight: 126g | Tools: T25 torx, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm Hex, tyre lever, chain breaker and room for more | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Always there when you need it. Easy to access. All the most regularly used tools included. Great use of wasted space.
Reasons to avoid: Not designed to do heavy duty, high-torque jobs.
Like the EDC Lite, the full-fat EDC uses the fork steerer as storage, but in this case there are more tools packed into the full length of the steerer tube. The EDC tool storage is modular, which means you can mix and match depending on how much space you have or personal preference.
In the upper part of the EDC there’s a multi tool, a tyre lever and a chain breaker but threaded on the bottom is another small storage chamber, which is big enough to take OneUP’s Plug and Pliers kit; essential a set of mini chain link pliers and a motorbike-style, tubeless repair kit. Alternatively, you can remove this entirely and thread in a single 20g CO2 cartridge. A great storage solution.
Another hidden steerer solution
Weight: 213g | Tools: 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm Allen keys and a T25 Torx | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Quick to remove. Useful range of tools. Split link holder at the base is a nice extra.
Reasons to avoid: More expensive than the OneUp. Missing a few hex tool sizes. Tool can get jammed inside the cradle. Swing door can foul on certain stems.
This SWAT solution weighs a bit more than a separate multi tool and chain breaker, and there are also less tools than its closest alternative; One Up Components’ EDC Lite system.
The price is pretty steep compared to its rival, but Specialized’s solution is easy to fit, removes quickly and also has space for a spare chain quick link in the base of the steerer. It has a major advantage over its rival in terms of ease of fitment; the whole assembly tightens on itself (and three different screws are included) to fit steerers from 165 – 225mm long.
Durable and nifty
Weight: 255g | Tools: 2, 2.5, 3,4, 5, 6 mm hex, T-25, and P2 Bits, Two Tyre Levers, Chain Breaker | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Innovative T-handle style tool. Good for actually generating decent torque.
Reasons to avoid: Can be difficult to access awkward areas. Heavier than a multi-tool.
Fix It holds the bits in a barrel magnetically and the best thing is sticks can’t waggle loose at the pivot points like practically every flip-open multi tool we’ve ever owned has over time. Just about the only complaint then is the whole package comes up a little heavy and expensive compared to a folding tool.
Protected from the elements
Weight: 235g | Tools: 8mm socket, T-15, T-25, 8 & 10mm box wrench, four spoke keys, chain tool, chain hook, two tyre levers, P2, glueless patch kit, disc brake spacer, mini hammer | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Good range of tools – a mini, portable tool kit. Box keeps everything clean, dry and together.
Reasons to avoid: You’ll need a back pack or hip pack to carry it.
Aside from a lack of claimed seatpost compatibility (because everyone runs dropper posts these days), this is a neat bit of kit just to sling in your pack that will resist rusting and getting gunked up with crud way more than a ‘standard’ multi-tool.
The multi-tool that splits into two, with plenty of tools
Weight: 204g | Tools: 1.5-L / 2-L / 2.5 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 8 mm Allen wrenches, 10 hex socket T10 / T15 / T20 / T25 Torx® wrenches, T30 Torx® socket 14G / 15G / Mavic M7 / Shimano® 4.5mm spoke wrenches, CrMo steel chain tool*, chain hook, CrMo steel master link pliers, Super hard anodized tire lever, #2 Phillips sockets, serrated knife / saw, Presta valve core tool, engineering grade polymer disc spacer | Rating: 8/10
Reasons to buy: Huge range of tools, including knife, tyre levers and disc spacers.
Reasons to avoid: Can be uncomfortable to use
The split design allows more leverage on stubborn bolts, and also means you can tighten things like main pivots with opposing Allen heads. One drawback of having two halves is that the interlocking plastic edges are a bit square and sharp, so they can press into palms when torquing hard.
Topeak’s Alien has been around so long, it’s hard to remember when it wasn’t kicking about at the bottom of a friend’s, or your own, riding pack. This new X version is also a chunk of money for a multi-tool, but the well-made X answers almost every trailside fix you’ll encounter out riding, and considering original Aliens are still going strong after 20 years, I’d expect this Topeak Alien X to last a good while too.
10. Blackburn Wayside 19
Great combination of tools
Weight: 195g | Tools: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm Hex keys, T25 and T30 Torx, flat-head screwdriver, spoke keys, chain tool, chain hook, pad separator, Presta valve core tool, serrated knife | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Good range of tools with useful ball-ended hey keys. Knife is always handy
Reasons to avoid: Chain tool needs a bigger handle.
Attached to one side of the Blackburn Wayfarer is a set of ball-end Allen keys. These are perfect for working in confined spaces, and make adjusting brake lever-reach a doddle. The chain splitter features the important secondary position for loosening stiff links, but unfortunately the handle is too small, making it uncomfortable to use.
Also included on this part are the spoke keys, Presta valve core remover, and a handy disc splitter wedge. The serrated blade is super-sharp and there’s a decent-sized hook for holding the chain together. A great tool, but just misses out on the top spot due to the undersized chain splitter.
11. Pedros ICM
Multitool with tyre levers and spoke keys
Weight: 183g | Tools: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm Hex keys, T25 Torx, flat and Phillips screwdrivers, chain tool, bottle opener, two tyre levers, spoke wrenches | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Decent tyre levers. Proper spoke key. Good range of hex keys.
Reasons to avoid: Tyre levers don’t stay attached to the body very well.
Unfortunately, the tyre levers clipped to either edge of the ICM, spring off when trying to tighten anything with the Allen keys. That said, compared to the miniature levers elsewhere, they work and can actually get a tyre off without scuffing a rim.
Also slipped into the body of the tool is spoke key, which actually feels like a proper workshop item. There’s a third, Mavic-specific spoke key on a long arm but truing is a chore as you can’t turn it very far between the spokes without having to remove it.
All the Allen keys are a good length, so you can access those tight spots, and the chain splitter has the second gate for stiff links, but the short handle means we had to grip hard to break a chain.
What to look for in the best mountain bike multi-tools
Most mountain bike multi-tools are based around old-fashioned Allen key clusters, improved by the addition of screwdrivers, Torx keys and spoke wrenches. Ideally they will include 16-22 items, with the most essential being a chain splitter, so you can break and join the chain if it has snapped, or you have to untangle a busted mech. Most tool companies make this type of tool – we have these on test here too.
There are also many alternative options and we’ve reviewed those too. They range from a multi-plier (popularly known as a Leatherman or Gerber) to a fold-up chain tool. The former is perfect for those ugly jobs, like bending a mech hanger straight, and we’ve included the latter simply because most of the trail tools’ built-in miniature chain splitters are difficult to use.
Mountain bike multi-tools will be rattling around in your pack getting scuffed and wet, so some form of holder or case is handy.
These are great for straightening a buckled wheel, but if they’re too fat you won’t be able to get them between the spokes and it’ll make truing a laborious chore – the narrower this tool, the better.
A chain splitter is essential, but once you have joined a chain, the link will be stiff, so you need to work it loose. A second gate, or position on the bed of the tool, allows you to do this easily, but many of the tools in this test don’t have them. Also very few have replaceable pins, co once this is bent, the splitter is next to useless.
Short tools are compact, but a long tool offer greater leverage for stubborn bolts, and car reach into areas without the body of the tool fouling on the component or frame.
If these are included, they are usually tiny and won’t have enough leverage to release the bead. Our advice is to always carry a separate lever, like Topeak’s excellent Shuttle 1.2 lever.
This is a star-shaped tool, and the common size used on mountain bikes is a T25.Most disc rotors use this size, and SRAM also uses it for the derailleur mounting bolt and the brake lever clamps.
These can be long, short, L-bend and, in some cases, separate. the most important thing is you have all the sizes, including a 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 and 6mm. Some tools have an 8mm or 10mm, but it’s often too short to remove a pedal or tighten a crank – the two components the commonly require this size.
Many modern tools are designed to be hidden in and around the bike so that you don’t have to carry them on your body or remember to pack them on every ride – they’re always with you. Popular areas to store tools include the steerer tube, BB axle, bottle cage and handlebar. With a bit of thought it’s pretty easy to stash all the tools you’re likely to need somewhere on your bike.
Need something with more options for home use? Check out our tried and tested guide to the best home tool kits, and make sure you’re rolling right with best floor pump to ensure those tyres are at the right pressure.