With multi tools rapidly becoming pocket workshops, it’s nice to find Wheels MFG’s amusingly monikered gimp has all the essentials without feeling over-burdened. However, close to micro-tool dimensions means there’s insufficient leverage for tackling really stubborn fasteners.
Measuring 60mm and weighing a feathery 120g thanks to a machined aluminium body there’s the usual suspects- 2,3,4,5 and 6mm Allen keys, flat and Phillips head screwdrivers along with the obligatory Torx wrench coming in very handy for disc rotors and Campagnolo Record brake pads. Riding pillion is a unique CNC machined “Universal” emergency gear hanger designed to resurrect the ride following a spill and a bent/broken replaceable hanger. However, I’d still recommend taking a bone fide’ spare for your frame, as this isn’t compatible with recessed dropouts.
Some will lament the omission of a 8mm key for tightening crank arms but in practice I was able to use the adaptor from another popular brand simply by positioning it over the 6mm key. Achieving sufficient torque on a loose crank is a slow process given the limited length but push come to shove it’d get you or a riding companion out of a jam.
Thick plated Chrome vanadium components are very hardwearing and less prone to corrosion than cheaper models but ours became very sloppy after only a couple of uses so it pays to keep a separate 4mm key handy. Bijou dimensions means it’s unobtrusive in a jersey pocket or minimalist seat-pack. Look elsewhere if you need a tool capable of everything bar making the tea but the Gimp’s just the ticket for quick road and trailside tune-ups.
Nicely designed, pleasant to Use micro tool
road.cc test report
Make and model: Wheels MFG Gimp multi-tool
Size tested: standard
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?
Lightweight pocket tool with the expected array of functions and a unique get-you- home emergency gear hanger.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
CNC machined alloy body Crome Vanadium components including 2,3,4,5,6mm Allen keys, flat and philips screwdrivers, torx wrench. CNC machined Universal gear hanger.
120g but feels reassuringly solid.
Pleasant to use given the size
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Generally speaking it's very competent for most general road and trail-side tune ups and good quality materials mean it should last a good while with basic care. However, it lacks leverage for more stubborn jobs and some will miss an 8mm key/adaptor.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tactile shape and good standards of manufacture.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Our test model required more regular tightening to prevent tools loosening.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, for quick tune-ups
About the tester
Age: 35 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,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)