Brooks England MT21 Multitool  £49.99

7/10

Nicely made and extremely refined multi tool, though pricey and best suited to contemporary mountain or touring bikes

Weight 299g   Contact  www.extrauk.co.uk

by Shaun Audane   March 6, 2014  

Commanding the lion's share of £50, the Brooks M21 multi tool isn't cheap, won't tackle every emergency and at 290g, it's not something you'd want bouncing around in a jersey pocket. However, its sensible, rugged design and all steel construction suit it handsomely for back of beyond touring.

In common with tyre sections, manufacturers all appear to have their own unique interpretation of what constitutes a function, which is sometimes at odds with our own. Twenty-one bits might not enjoy the same wow factor as they did just a few seasons' back but let's take a look at what you get here.

For starters there are 7 Allen keys (2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm), catering for everything from balance screws, cleat mechanisms, seat binder and stem bolts through to square taper cranks.

Then come two Phillips screwdrivers, plus, a flat screwdriver and three Torx drivers, while the obligatory chain breaker (it fits 7, 8 and 9-speed chains) also hosts spoke wrenches, bottle opener and Brooks' specific saddle spanner. There's even a knife, precluding sale to younger riders but invaluable for camping and adventurous trail riding.

Compact multitools are great for general riding and minor contingencies, where you might just need to nip a mudguard stay or saddle cradle tight. But touring calls for more oomph, whether it's replacing weathered cleat fittings or a broken mech or overhauling an Aheadset.

Aside from the 8mm crank bolt spanner, all the bits of the Brooks MT-21 are 6.5cm long, so they have the reach to get to the job and the leverage offered by the 14cm body certainly helped when chomping through chains. That said, the length proved unwieldy in tight spaces such as installing bottle cage screws on smaller compact geometry framesets.

I was a little disappointed that there were no 8, 9 and 10mm spanners, necessitating more tools in the pack for mudguard bolts or some cantilever straddle wires and barrel adjusters. The spoke keys here are in last resort territory but would spare blushes were a proper, standalone unit unavailable.

Objectively, while I'm very fond of the M21 for its sheer Brooksness, it favours the latest generation of long haul, derailleur and disc equipped touring bikes. Those with an older fleet or hub transmissions with bolted axles may find something like Crank Brothers 17 coupled with model specific stuff a more suitable, cost-effective package.

Verdict

Nicely made and extremely refined multi tool, though pricey and best suited to contemporary mountain bikes or touring bikes.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Brooks England MT21 Multitool

Size tested: Black

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

"Over 700 members of the Brooks Community collaborated on the MT21, the multi-tool for travellers. This practical set includes a plentiful assortment of 21 tools including: 7 allen keys, 3 screwdrivers, 3 torx wrenches, '�4 spoke keys, a chain tool, a handy bottle opener, the Brooks Saddle spanner and a knife. Available with a leather cover in three colours".

Very refined and comprehensive tool well suited to touring.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

7 Allen Keys / Hex Wrenches: #2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8

 

3 Screwdrivers:

-Small Flat Head Screwdriver

-Phillips Screwdriver #2 (Medium Head)

-Phillips Screwdriver #1 (Small Head)

 

3 Torx Wrenches: T10, T20, T25

4 Spoke Wrenches: #0, 1, 2, 3

1 Chain Tool

1 Bottle Opener

1 Spanner for Brooks Saddles

1 Knife

 

Weight:

276g without Sleeve

296g with Leather Sleeve

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Overall, the M21 is an extremely comprehensive multi tool with suitable leverage for tackling stubborn fasteners and chains in the back of beyond. However, there are more suitable, cost effective options for those riders favouring older bikes or hub transmissions.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Refinement, decent tool length/quality.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Quite pricey.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Possibly.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? For touring on contemporary bikes, yes.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

6 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I think Brooks have missed a trick here, because many Brooks enthusiasts will be riding bikes that need tools not included on multitools like this one.

What they should have done is create a small leather pouch, filled with individual tools, a bit like the Mafac tool kit of yesteryear, with sufficient space to add any extra tool required.

Not really sure that carrying a multitool with a knife, in an urban area in a jersey pocket, is such a good idea either.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
6th March 2014 - 11:01

24 Likes
Dapper Giles's picture

posted by Dapper Giles [54 posts]
6th March 2014 - 12:24

19 Likes

Hard to tell. They neither show the dimensions nor the actual tools. No mention of a chain tool. The tools would have to be pretty ingenious to justify that £145 price tag.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
6th March 2014 - 23:44

21 Likes

Looks much nicer than my Decathlon bargain basement (£2.50) special... Hmme, the sort of thing you'd keep forever & probably look at by the fire when your legs no longer work, opening & closing it whilst pondering "ah, them were the days..." over and over again. I imagine there would be an old romance somehow tied up in there too, oh, and the day you had to use it inappropriately to open that tin of sardines in tomato sauce that saved your life way back in 2014....

Woah there, crikey, where am I going?!!... That's the Brooks 'magic' - how do they still do that? Bugger the expense, I think I'm going to buy one!

(and if it says "Made in China" I think I'll probably cry)

posted by caaad10 [122 posts]
7th March 2014 - 8:54

20 Likes

Actually, having had a 2nd look at the images, I don't like the way the leather sleeve looks a bit too big, it isn't snug enough, and that might really bug me over time......

posted by caaad10 [122 posts]
7th March 2014 - 9:01

20 Likes

Review says its made of steel. Is that stainless steel? My experience of multi-tools is that by the time I come to use them they are rusted up due to being in a saddlebag that gets sprayed with water for years.

On a side note, I heard if you buy this from Wiggle then instead of giving you a free bag of Haribo you get a bag of Werther's Original.

posted by earth [104 posts]
7th March 2014 - 18:50

23 Likes

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