Birzman Toolbag and Tools - 13 Piece  £134.99

7/10

Great quality tools and a good starting point for a home workshop, but you might be better off cherry picking the bits you need

Weight 2753g   Contact  www.birzman.com

by Dave Atkinson   August 10, 2011  

We've tested a few Birzman tools over the last few months and generally we've found them to be excellent quality. If you've got into bike fettling and you're looking to set yourself up at home then this 13-piece kit would be a good starting point; all the tools are good quality and you've got most of the bases covered from the off.

Birzman actually market this kit as a travel kit, the kind of thing you can take with you in the boot of the car to a race or Sportive. You get a ratchet set with Shimano, SRAM and Campag cassette lockring tools, a Shimano standard BB tool and 8mm and 10mm allen keys. On top of that there's a full set of ball-ended Allen keys, cable cutters, a mini chain tool, tyre levers, a chain tool, flathead and Phillips screwdrivers and a set of disc brake pad spacers.

There's a few basic things you'll need to add: a chain whip to use with the lockring tools is a must, and these days you'll more than likely need an external BB tool, of which Birzman make a selection. Pliers and a mallet would be handy as well, and some spanners if you've got any old-school nuts and bolts to fiddle with, but the kit you get is a good starting point. If you want to take your fettling further, you can complement the kit with matching cone spanners and so on; Birzman make the full range of bike tools.

The highlight of the kit is the 7pc ratchet set which we've tested on its own and combines great performance with reassuring solidity. I was a bit wary of the cable cutters to begin with as they're a straight blade design rather than curved, and I had flashbacks to the bad old days of chomping my way through a frayed cable with a pair of pliers. I needn't have worried though, a clean snip every time.

The hex keys are also excellent, although some of the sizes offered (7mm and 4.5mm) are a bit bewildering. Still, rather too many than too few, and the pivoting holder makes it easy to get the one you need. The chain tool isn't a top-end affair in Birzman's range but it does a grand job, and the screwdrivers are, well, screwdrivers. but with nice green highlights.

On a slight negative the tyre levers are a bit ordinary and too wide for my liking but they do an okay job; I didn't have much cause to use the disc brake measuring tools during testing.

At £134.99 you're paying about a tenner for the bag, by our back-of-a-fag-packet calculations. And that's a bit of a sticking point because the bag's the worst bit, really. It doesn't much feel like it's been designed to fit these tools in; okay they fit, but it's not ideal. The chain tool gets lost in the neoprene sleeves, the zipped compartment for the ratchet tools is a bit fiddly.

I'd have no qualms about owning and buying any of these tools, with the possible exception of the tyre levers (I've used better) and the disc tools (I don't need them). If it was my money, I'd probably pick and choose the bits i really needed. But if this kit fits the bill for you, and you could do with a bag to store them in, then I wouldn't have a problem recommending this kit.

Verdict

Excellent quality tools and a good starting point for a home workshop, but you might be better off cherry picking the bits you need

road.cc test report

Make and model: Birzman Toolbag and Tools - 13 Piece

Size tested: Black/Lime

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

Contains:

1. Flathead Screwdriver 6.5

2. Crosshead Screwdriver #2

3. Cable cutter

4. 7PCS 1/2" Ratchet Wrench Set

5. Long Arm Ball Point Hex Key Set

6. Mini Chain Rivet Extractor

7. Tire Lever 3PCS

8. CLAM (DISC BRAKE GAP MEASURER)

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Not cheap, but they're good tools. The bag's not great though and you could buy all the tools separately for less than the RRP

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

Excellently

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The quality of the tools

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

the bag's pretty ordinary

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? I'd probably get the tools separately

Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd recommend the tools

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

Excellent basis for a home workshop setup

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 190cm  Weight: 98kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

2 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Blatant promotion but, I have written an article on the best tools to buy to set up a workshop at home: http://www.headsetpress.co.uk/features/tool-story-part-2/

Cheers!

posted by steviebike [30 posts]
11th August 2011 - 10:15

10 Likes

Nice article, Stevie. Wouldn't think you could make cycling tools look nice, eh?

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
11th August 2011 - 12:07

9 Likes

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