Quality tools in a sturdy, foam-filled case makes this a desirable option for the keen amateur mechanic, but it could have a few more MTB-specific tools.
Inside Topeak’s sturdy briefcase is a well-organised selection of tools held securely by dual-density foam and it’s right up there with the best tool kits on the market. There are 18 individual tools included and only the cassette brush could be considered filler. Separating the two sides of the case is a foam sleeve that also doubles as a clean workspace, or kneeling pad, when you’re prepping your bike in the field.
As it’s increasingly important not to overtighten bolts, it’s great to see Topeak includes a torque wrench in the Prepbox. It’s pretty basic compared to a ratchet model, but it works well. There’s also a full set of long-handle Allen and Torx keys as well as dual ended flat head and Phillips screwdrivers that plug into a separate handle. The chain checker can be used to hold two cut ends together while joining, but there are no split link pliers. We liked the fact that the chain tool comes with a spare driver pin stored in the handle.
BB and cassette tools fit into a sturdy 1/2in drive breaker bar, while the latter can be used on RockShox air caps.
Finally, the cable cutters are pressed steel, rather than forged, but they work fine, include a crimping tool for end caps and a really neat recessed pin on the handle that can be used like a pick to open up freshly cut cable housing.
The Topeak Prepbox features a stack of really useful tools, the quality is good and there are some neat extras that show its designers have really thought about what’s useful to the roving mechanic. Its only weakness is that it’s not particularly focused on modern mountain bikes, and lacks quite a few items compared to the similarly priced Birzman Studio Tool Box.