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Verdict: 
Good all-in-one-box bike fettling solution for home or event use
Weight: 
5,000g
PRO Bike Gear Toolbox XL
7 10

The PRO Toolbox XL crams a lot of tools into a pretty compact package. As such it's a good option for anyone short on space, or who wants to carry a full toolkit around. All the tools are decent quality and you can cope with most jobs without any additions.

If you've been fettling bikes a long time you've probably got a wall full of tools, and depending on how OCD you are you may have also drawn round them so you can remember where everything goes, and see what's missing. But if you were starting from scratch, or you wanted a fairly portable toolkit for any reason, then this Toolbox XL might be just the ticket.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

What do you get? Well, hex keys and torx keys and spoke keys and a chain tool and such, of course. But along with the specific bike tools there are more generic items – a mallet, a tape measure, a file, an adjustable spanner and a pair of long-nosed pliers – that you don't always get in everything-in-one-box sets. And above the standard fettling tools there's plenty of stuff for more specific jobs: crank and bottom bracket tools, a disc brake pad alignment tool, a quick link remover, cone spanners... even a fairly workable bearing press is included.

Pro Bike Gear Toolbox XL - tools 3.jpg

Pro Bike Gear Toolbox XL - tools 3.jpg

All the tools work, and are of decent quality. If you've already got masses of tools then there are certainly items in the kit that you'll likely have a better version of elsewhere. The crank remover is basic, and the cable cutters aren't the best I've tried, for example. But there's nothing that won't do the job it's designed for, and as such this is a good basis for a home workshop if you're starting from scratch. Similarly, if you want to have tools out and about and you don't want to decant everything from your shed every time (you always forget the one thing you need, anyway) then it's a really useful second set.

> Read the road.cc Beginner's Guide to Bike Tools

All the tools sit within specific holes in the moulded plastic box. Some are a tight enough fit that sometimes you need to use another tool to prise them out, and some aren't a tight enough fit at all, meaning they tend to fall out when you're closing the box. It won't shut unless everything's snug; the trick is to close both sides together, like you're slamming a big book, rather than trying to fold one side on top of the other.

Pro Bike Gear Toolbox XL - box.jpg

Pro Bike Gear Toolbox XL - box.jpg

I've used this as a home toolkit for general bike fiddling, and as a portable toolkit to take to events, and for both it's more than adequate. It's rare you'll find a job that the tools in the box won't do without any outside help, and it's rare you find yourself moaning at the quality of the tools either. Okay, £300 isn't loose change, but you are getting a lot of kit for your money here, and if you're planning to do a lot of work on your bike (or other people's) then it's a pretty good investment.

Verdict

Good all-in-one-box bike fettling solution for home or event use

road.cc test report

Make and model: PRO Bike Gear Toolbox XL

Size tested: XL

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?

Madison says: "Extra large high quality tool kit designed with the home mechanic in mind"

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

Madison lists:

Tools include; pliers, brake piston lever, adjustable wrench, file, quick link remover, disc brake alignment tool, crank remover, cartridge BB remover

Chain tool, cable cutter, cassette removal set, pedal spanner, tyre levers, chainring nut tool, disc truing tool

HollowTech II BB remover, crank cap installation tool

Hammer, flat & PH2 screw drivers, allen key set, torx keys, spoke keys in 3.6/3.75/4.0/4.4, tape measure, BB press, BB remover, Cone wrench 13/14/15/16, cone wrench 17/18/24/28

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

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

Really well, a full kit that can handle most jobs.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Decent quality tools, easy to carry case.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Getting some tools in and out is fiddly, some tools are okay rather than great.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Maybe if I just wanted everything in an easily portable kit.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

This is a good quality kit with all of the tools of at least workable quality and most a lot better. As the basis for a home workshop it's pretty good.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

19 comments

Avatar
srchar [654 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Can't help but think you'd be better off with a Halfords Advanced Professional socket set for a quarter of the price of this, then add specialist tools as you need them.

Avatar
dave atkinson [6317 posts] 1 month ago
8 likes

srchar wrote:

Can't help but think you'd be better off with a Halfords Advanced Professional socket set for a quarter of the price of this, then add specialist tools as you need them.

the fact that you don't have to add specialist tools as you need them, and that everything's in one handy case, is kind of the entire point here

Avatar
srchar [654 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
dave atkinson wrote:

the fact that you don't have to add specialist tools as you need them, and that everything's in one handy case, is kind of the entire point here

And that's what I don't get - having it all in one box wouldn't, for me, make up for having sub-par cable cutters and a merely "workable" press in a £300 tool kit. It seems to be another case where slapping "cycling" on something suddenly doubles the price.

Avatar
armb [128 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
srchar wrote:

Can't help but think you'd be better off with a Halfords Advanced Professional socket set for a quarter of the price of this, then add specialist tools as you need them.

I can't remember the last time I used my socket set on my bike, and wouldn't put one on the short list of tools to start off with to work on bikes. (I wouldn't buy this kit just for the three bike specific tools I don't already have, but that's a different issue. Obviously it's aimed at someone who does want a complete set all at once. I might buy something like it for my son when he stops relying on me to work on his bike, for example.)

Avatar
srchar [654 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

True - the sockets themselves don't come out very often, but the other stuff you get - good quality hex/torx/screwdriver bits, a decent handle for your BB tool, spanners for your pedals etc - and when you get bored of spannering your bike, it's big enough to use on other stuff.  I just balk at £300 for such a limited set of tools.

Avatar
macrophotofly [283 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

The inclusion of BB tools and a bearing press certainly lifts it above the average all-in-one Bike tool kit, however I would like to see these kits include T- / P-Handle Hex tools and a Torque Wrench (even just a basic one with just a 4Nm, 5Nm, and 6Nm setting).

The price of this kit is on the money compared to similar Topeak and Park Tools kits but I would rather buy one of the £50 kits that has only the basic tools (e.g.https://www.evanscycles.com/fwe-home-mechanic-23-piece-tool-kit-EV180496)  and then use the change to buy  a Torque wrench, T-Handle Hex tools and potentially later a bearing press if you really need one.

Avatar
dave atkinson [6317 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

srchar wrote:

dave atkinson wrote:

the fact that you don't have to add specialist tools as you need them, and that everything's in one handy case, is kind of the entire point here

And that's what I don't get - having it all in one box wouldn't, for me, make up for having sub-par cable cutters and a merely "workable" press in a £300 tool kit. It seems to be another case where slapping "cycling" on something suddenly doubles the price.

they're not sub par, they're just not the best i've used. and if you don't have a bearing press, then having a workable one is better than not having one. and "slapping 'cycling' on"? really? this is a specific cycling toolkit with some generic tools, not the other way round.

if having it all in one box wouldn't work for you, then simple: don't buy it. the fact that it doesn't suit your use case doesn't make it a bad product.

Avatar
dave atkinson [6317 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

macrophotofly wrote:

The inclusion of BB tools and a bearing press certainly lifts it above the average all-in-one Bike tool kit, however I would like to see these kits include T- / P-Handle Hex tools and a Torque Wrench (even just a basic one with just a 4Nm, 5Nm, and 6Nm setting).

The price of this kit is on the money compared to similar Topeak and Park Tools kits but I would rather buy one of the £50 kits that has only the basic tools (e.g.https://www.evanscycles.com/fwe-home-mechanic-23-piece-tool-kit-EV180496)  and then use the change to buy  a Torque wrench, T-Handle Hex tools and potentially later a bearing press if you really need one.

yeah, a torque wrench would certainly be a useful addition here

Avatar
earth [363 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

It may sound odd but I think someone like Park or Silca should make an empty or semi-empty molded tool box that you can complete by buying their tools peace meal.  That way you end up with a convenient box that everything fits into nice and snug, the tools you end up with are quality and you don't have a massive initial outlay.

Not to mention it would make a great Christmas present that you can keep adding to each year without having to do any decision making or shopping.

Avatar
PeterPeterPeter [2 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Earth you need to go into marketing, that is an awesome idea. A collectors tool box that kept you coming back for the tools that fit inside.

Avatar
Mungecrundle [866 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
earth wrote:

It may sound odd but I think someone like Park or Silca should make an empty or semi-empty molded tool box that you can complete by buying their tools peace meal.  That way you end up with a convenient box that everything fits into nice and snug, the tools you end up with are quality and you don't have a massive initial outlay.

Not to mention it would make a great Christmas present that you can keep adding to each year without having to do any decision making or shopping.

That really is a cracking idea. It would fulfill my OCD desire to have all the quality tools I need correctly stored and sorted, enable none too subtle suggestions for what to buy me for Christmas and would also pander to my financial impecunity as an up front cost.

Avatar
srchar [654 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
dave atkinson wrote:

and "slapping 'cycling' on"? really?

Yes, really. It's terrible value.

Avatar
dottigirl [799 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

My first cycling-specific tools were a £25 kit from Lidl, back in 2013:

https://twitter.com/_dottigirl_/status/350743779084488704

I've used every tool in that box, and while they weren't the best quality, I learnt what matters, and what I needed. I still use some of them, but I have better quality versions of the most crucial tools. The box is long gone though - I have a couple of cheap plastic toolboxes to stash them in. 

£300 is a chunk. However, if I lost every tool I had tomorrow, I'd look at buying this, if it worked out cheaper than buying it all individually. 

The thing is, who is this aimed at? Not many people would start from scratch. For newbies, even keen ones, I'd say £200 would be the upper spend. 

 

Avatar
Woldsman [180 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
dottigirl wrote:

... The thing is, who is this aimed at? Not many people would start from scratch. For newbies, even keen ones, I'd say £200 would be the upper spend. 

Indeed.  As much as I like the order and portablity that this sort of tool case offers I can't help wondering the same.  Somebody must buy these things, but - price tag aside - they are limited in two keys ways:

Includes tools I know I won't use

Doesn't include tools I would use

I'm not aware of any off-the-peg toolkit that includes JIS screwdrivers, for instance.  What I've done - which is hardly revolutionary, I know - is to buy the biggest toolbox I could conceivably carry when full and set about filling it over time with tools I'll actually use. 

I want to have a place to keep the nick nacks (Allen bolts, quick links and other odds and sods) and all the other stuff in one  portable container.  I don't have a peg board in my garage - in part because I'm fearful of the garage being broken in to - so I like the idea of being able to keep all of my tools - including the DAG2.2 rear mech hanger alignment tool - in one place.  My bike tool box lives in the house.  

My less than Pro solution for storing the bigger kit (I keep it in the sleeves of the mother-in-law's towelling dressing robe that I saved from a tip run) is hidden under the neat lift-out compartment of the toolbox I got from a local tool shop.  Maybe the people who buy the PRO Bike Gear Toolbox XL will keep it as a handy spare set of tools in the boot of their jazzy car or something.  Fair enough, I suppose. 

 

 

Avatar
zero_trooper [9 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I have a Stanley FatMax tool bag, which I aquired at a charity shop. Tatty, but very usable. 

Being a believer in 'buying the best I can afford' I have slowly built up the contents and barring theft, most of my tools will last a/my lifetime.

Like Woldsman above, I have a selection of 'nick nacks', housed in one of those cheap, plastic multi-compartment units, which easily fits inside the tool bag.

£300 in one go? I just couldn't justify it.

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet [1434 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Seems grossly overpriced to me unless you were literally a mobile bike mechanic.

I got a £30 Halfords one, added a hollowtech spanner, cable cutter and that was that as I've got loads of car tools anyway. Then again I've put headsets in with a mallet and pieces of wood so don't listen to me!

Avatar
notfastenough [3727 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:
earth wrote:

It may sound odd but I think someone like Park or Silca should make an empty or semi-empty molded tool box that you can complete by buying their tools peace meal.  That way you end up with a convenient box that everything fits into nice and snug, the tools you end up with are quality and you don't have a massive initial outlay.

Not to mention it would make a great Christmas present that you can keep adding to each year without having to do any decision making or shopping.

That really is a cracking idea. It would fulfill my OCD desire to have all the quality tools I need correctly stored and sorted, enable none too subtle suggestions for what to buy me for Christmas and would also pander to my financial impecunity as an up front cost.

That is indeed a cracking idea, although I would add that the foam mouldings should be individual too, so that you can buy a new mould when a new or revised tool is released and slot it in next to the others. In fact, take it a step further, Earth:

- Design, or merely source in bulk, a universal toolbox

- Design foam mouldings for common tools for all the big manufacturers, and engage a moulder in the far east to churn them out

- Classify each moulding to foster a system where customers understand, for example, how many class 1 moulds will fit on one layer of the box, or that a class 1 is twice the width of a class 3.  Note the manufacturer-agnostic approach

- Create a youtube channel with short (~3 min) videos showing how to use each tool, potentially with an alliance partnership with one of the big manufacturers 

Avatar
armb [128 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
notfastenough wrote:

That is indeed a cracking idea, although I would add that the foam mouldings should be individual too, so that you can buy a new mould when a new or revised tool is released and slot it in next to the others. In fact, take it a step further, Earth:

 

- Design, or merely source in bulk, a universal toolbox

- Design foam mouldings for common tools for all the big manufacturers, and engage a moulder in the far east to churn them out

If it's going to be foam, you could just cut it to fit yourself. I am now wondering about 3D printing a plastic thing like this to hold some of the varied tools I already have neatly though.

(I don't have a 3D printer yet, and certainly won't be getting one just for this. But if I do, this can go on the list of things to do with it.)

Avatar
earth [363 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
notfastenough wrote:
Mungecrundle wrote:
earth wrote:

It may sound odd but I think someone like Park or Silca should make an empty or semi-empty molded tool box that you can complete by buying their tools peace meal.  That way you end up with a convenient box that everything fits into nice and snug, the tools you end up with are quality and you don't have a massive initial outlay.

Not to mention it would make a great Christmas present that you can keep adding to each year without having to do any decision making or shopping.

That really is a cracking idea. It would fulfill my OCD desire to have all the quality tools I need correctly stored and sorted, enable none too subtle suggestions for what to buy me for Christmas and would also pander to my financial impecunity as an up front cost.

That is indeed a cracking idea, although I would add that the foam mouldings should be individual too, so that you can buy a new mould when a new or revised tool is released and slot it in next to the others. In fact, take it a step further, Earth:

- Design, or merely source in bulk, a universal toolbox

- Design foam mouldings for common tools for all the big manufacturers, and engage a moulder in the far east to churn them out

- Classify each moulding to foster a system where customers understand, for example, how many class 1 moulds will fit on one layer of the box, or that a class 1 is twice the width of a class 3.  Note the manufacturer-agnostic approach

- Create a youtube channel with short (~3 min) videos showing how to use each tool, potentially with an alliance partnership with one of the big manufacturers 

 

Do you feel like taking this to Dragons Den?