The latest Topeak Alien X evolution adds new features to prove principle of a split-in-two package with a huge range of tools for modern bikes.
Folding up in a chunky cube-like shape the Topeak Alien X comes inside a tough fabric pouch. It’s a bit bulky and weighs considerably more than more minimal multi-tools, but it’s hard to see how Topeak could pack so many solutions into a more streamlined package.
Thirty-four tools in total include multiple hex and Torx heads, spoke keys, valve core removers, pad splitters, a sharp blade and even two separate 2mm hex options for reaching into both tight or deep recesses. The standout addition though, are effective quick link pliers – a tool I’ve wished I had on multiple occasions in the middle of nowhere, especially considering how commonly a chain gets damaged.
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. £55 for 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.