Packing so much functionality into so small a package has to result in some corner-cutting, right? Well, not so far as I've been able to tell. Given the slim, lightweight nature of the Fabric Sixteen Tool, this is remarkably capable and nothing's broken, so far.
I certainly had my doubts about that chain tool, when I examined the Sixteen. I've had a couple of cheap ones break or bend the first time I've tried to use them for the task for which they are designed, and an all-aluminium one sounded like a recipe for trouble; but I set to, pushing rivets in and out of odd lengths of chain I had lying around the workshop and had no trouble at all. The body of the tool itself is big enough to put the required twisting force onto the rivet pusher. The chain tool attachment can be screwed right off, at which point it also serves as a surprisingly competent nipple wrench, with two gauges plus a Mavic spoke key. How's that for tidy design?
On the main body of the tool you find Allen keys in 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm; the last of these being a separate bit that fits over the 5mm tool. It would be very easy to lose that. There's also a cross-head screwdriver (a small flat might have been more versatile) and a T25 Torx. All the tools mount on two pivot pins, one at each end, sandwiched between two aluminium side arms. The matt peened finish is very sleek.
Modern bikes generally do not require a lot of high torque on the fastenings. These well-fitting tools didn't feel inclined to slip or break during the kind of nipping-up operations you might use it to perform. The 5mm Allen was long enough to reach into the deeply recessed mounting bolt used on some SRAM rear mechs; but if you have an aero fork with very deeply mounted brakes, you may not be able to reach in. I tried the 8mm Allen to remove a non-driveside pedal and managed to get enough leverage to get it off, though I felt I might be at the limits of the tool's strength.
Beware some chainsets come with T30 chainring bolts and if you have one of these, you may want to add a compatible Torx tool to this set. Otherwise, this is a very lightweight and slim tool that does all those minor on-the-road jobs – and a couple of more serious ones.
Very neat and compact, and seems strong enough for most tweaks you could reasonably ask it to perform
road.cc test report
Make and model: Fabric Sixteen Tool
Size tested: W: 46mm x L:71mm
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?
Fabric says: "Comprehensive but compact, the Sixteen tool does not come with a weight penalty or demand excessive space in a seatpack or jersey pocket. Fabric's signature emphasis on elegant simplicity means even such a wide-ranging solution is still easily stowed."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Hex key (mm): 2|2.5|3|4|5|6|8
Spoke gauge: 13|14|15|16
Phillips head: 2
Tool bits: CNC machined
Really tidy and good looking design and manufacture.
Excellent really, up to and including getting a well-fastened pedal off. The chain tool works, it had all the tools I needed for my bike and it's a lightweight piece.
For the skinny lines, surprisingly tolerant of being leaned on, though I wouldn't use it for heavy workshop jobs.
Amazing for the functionality squeezed in.
No sharp edges to dig in.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very compact, lightweight but capable tool that did everything I asked of it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Sleek looks and design, good quality and lightweight.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
That 8mm removable but would be easy to lose.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
I'm no engineer but this looks well made and well finished. The tools seem tough enough for all the common roadside tweaks and the low weight and compact design are remarkable.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking