Tools - multitools
First impressions of the Birzman Feexman Cicada multi tool are it's a lot easier to use than to pronounce.
It's a nice piece of kit, well made and even has a rubber sleeve to keep it pristine. Remove the sleeve and the first thing that strikes you is how compact and polished it is for a multi tool with 10 functions. One of those is a chain link tool.
The One23 MT-F8 8-in-1 Mini Tool is a decent companion when you're stranded by the roadside.
When it comes to selecting the right multi-tool there are many decisions to be factored in. Do you want to carry out repairs on the fly or have a mobile workshop?
The answer is generally the former. Roadside repairs will normally be enough to get you home and within the remit of most riders, perhaps with a bit of practice. That still leaves a decision on what multi-tool will do.
Refreshingly free of slick marketing and unnecessary machismo, the BBB Microfold XLL Folding Tool is a multi tool capable of tackling most roadside eventualities, without taking up half the saddlebag.
Its sturdy rubberised body is a nice touch, offering greater comfort when giving stubborn fasteners the heave-ho and saves weight in the bargain. However, extending this refinement to the chain tool would've elevated it from good to great.
Multi tools that are genuinely capable of fettling the entire fleet are as rare as rocking horse droppings. Cue the Tern Tool. Originally conceived for the brand's own range of bikes, it's comprehensive enough for road, tourer, mountain bike, tandem - the list goes on.
A neoprene carry sack serves two functions - most obviously protecting the rider from puncture wounds in a spill, but also giving additional comfort when using the tool.
At 193g the SKS TOM 18 function multi tool doesn't feel overly burdensome and the precision build gives it a definite edge over competitor models. However, riders of bikes with older bikes or cantilever hardware may bemoan a lack of 8/9 & 10mm ring spanners.
The Lezyne Stainless 20 multitool is a high-end choice with most of the features you're likely to need out on the road.
The range of tools is exactly the same as you get with the Lezyne CRV-20 that we've also tested recently (the list is down below). Alongside the usual Allen keys and both flathead and crosshead screwdrivers, you get a couple of open ended spanners (8mm and 10mm), a tyre lever and a Torx (T25) wrench (although I have nothing on any of my road bikes that requires one of those).
The Lezyne CRV 20 multitool has enough functions to get you out of most mechanical troubles you're likely to experience on the road and it's tough enough to last the distance too.
The Lezyne Carbon-10 multitool is seriously light yet it manages to pack in most of the key features you need to get home should you suffer a mechanical out on the road.
You know a multitool is going to be expensive when it arrives in its own shiny tin with its name on the top. Open up the tin and you find a sleek-looking object inside...
Those sideplates are structural carbon fibre rather than alloy with carbon over the top, and the bolts are titanium – this thing really is as light as it looks.
Axiom's Corker has a couple of functions that other multitools miss, adding to the usual collection of Allen keys and screwdrivers a bottle opener and a corkscrew. Cheers!
Commanding the best part of 13 quid, Cyclepro's Ultra Five in One multi-tool looks overpriced and on cursory inspection indistinguishable from loads of others leaving Taiwanese factories in their millions. That said, the build quality is generally better than I've come to expect and it's certainly small and light.