Birzman's Travel Tool Box is good quality but lack some of the MTB-specific pieces found in the more expensive Studio kit.
Birzman’s Travel Tool box is a new addition to the brand’s range that’s much more affordable than the larger Studio Tool Box that scored 10/10, previously won our group test and features in our rundown of the best tool kits on the market.
For £270 it’s packing 20 tools (rather than 37) in a similar top-quality PE hard plastic box with blow-moulded pallets to securely organise and protect individual items. The weight and size of Birzman’s box makes it really practical to take out biking, and the tools stay put even if you chuck the box in the back of the car or van, which can’t be said for all rivals.
Individual items themselves are excellent quality too (as we’ve come to expect from Birzman), including crisp cutters and tight-fitting long Torx keys and ball-ended allen keys. These allen keys go down to 1.5mm too, which is a pretty common size on modern rigs often missing from home tool kits.
There’s also a huge professional quality ‘butterfly’ chain tool with a smooth thread pitch, tons of leverage and removable link pins (a spare is included too in case it gets bent in use). Both this chain tool and the chain whip work on narrower 11 and 12-speed chains, which is essential these days. A humble 8/10mm wrench fits 8mm brake hose fittings, and considering brake bleeding is a fairly common task for a rider to attempt out on the road or on holiday, it’s actually pretty handy.
It’s inevitable some tools have to be omitted compared to the considerably more expensive Studio Box, but it does feel like the selection here loses a disproportionate number of mtb-specific tools. There are no specialist disc brake tools (no pad separator, disc truing tool or clever disc brake gap indicator for perfect caliper alignment that are found in Birzman’s bigger box). The Studio kit also has a saw tool guide for cutting handlebars and fork steerers, along with a star fangled nut installer and dead blow hammer. Another item missing is quick link pliers; a well-used tool considering most MTBs with 1x drivetrains use these joining links.
As mountain bikers, we’d rather see some of these pieces than the universal crank puller, Shimano cartridge BB tool or old-school pedal wrench, when 99% of mtb pedals use either 6 or 8mm allen keys. The cassette tool also has a central aligning spike, which means you’ll need another one if you want to tune air volume spacers on a RockShox fork.
We love Birzman tools, but this smaller Travel Tool Box kit doesn’t feel that comprehensive or versatile for a modern mountain biker, with many tools that won’t see regular (or any) use. Especially considering it’s the best part of £300. Even factoring in the other tool kits I recently tested, nothing comes close to beating Birzman’s £450 Studio kit. Considering it’s available for under £350 if you search online, I’d recommend trying to make the stretch as it remains the best complete portable tool kit on the market for mountain bikers.