Tern Tool  £35.99

8/10

One of the best-designed and comprehensive multi tools I've used in ages

Weight 160g   Contact  www.ternbicycles.com

by Shaun Audane   December 19, 2012  

Tern Tool 1

Multi tools that are genuinely capable of fettling the entire fleet are as rare as rocking horse droppings. Cue the Tern Tool. Originally conceived for the brand's own range of bikes, it's comprehensive enough for road, tourer, mountain bike, tandem - the list goes on.

A neoprene carry sack serves two functions - most obviously protecting the rider from puncture wounds in a spill, but also giving additional comfort when using the tool.

Let's get the price out of the way early on, as you might well be baulking. It's at the absolute upper limit of what I'd pay for a multi tool, but it's good enough that I would pay it.

Measuring 75x40/10mm, its slimline double decker profile lacks obvious machismo, but quality of construction is excellent.

The frame this looks resin but is in fact coated steel for rigidity. A beefy chain tool chomps through 7/8/9 speeds for breakfast and track types for lunch while two nickel plated wrenches stow away beneath the base, connecting securely via two stubby Allen keys.

Focusing on the bed of Allen keys, Tern has optimised space by tapering the larger 4, 6, torx and Philips functions so flat, 2, 2.5 and 3mm sections shelter inside. This doesn't present much of a compromise either, since those sorts of fixings belong to brake pivots and similarly low stress applications.

Bottom line - they all fit snugly and even stubborn stem/seat bolts submit without much fuss , due to the leverage the tough frame provides.

So then, to those sensibly configured wrenches - these fit inside two corresponding cut outs and needed cajoling free with an engineer's mallet to begin with. Both wrenches are designed to be flipped and refitted.

A well-machined 15mm end made short work of stubborn track nuts - pedals too, although it's too beefy for adjusting hub cones. Likewise the 10mm sibling is perfectly situated for administering TLC to old school cantilever/centre pull hardware. The eight glue-less patches and sculpted tyre lever are novel get out of jail cards but not ones I'd be comfortable using too regularly since the latter's steel.

Verdict

One of the best-designed and comprehensive multi tools I've used in ages.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Tern Tool

Size tested: n/a

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?

"The Tern Tool is your bike buddy whose job is to ensure you stay on your bike riding and not on stuck on the roadside with a problem. Specially designed to service your Tern bicycle, the Tern Tool features 20 integrated tools, including a 15 mm crescent wrench for tightening axle nuts and pedals and a 6 mm wrench for adjusting joint levers on Tern bikes. The included neoprene cover can be slipped onto the body handle for a more comfortable grip. The tool folds into a flat, compact size and can be easily slipped into pant pockets or a ride jersey". True to its blurb.

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

15 mm crescent wrench for axle nuts and pedals

Patented StuckNut™ design securely locks wrenches in place

20 integrated tools

Neoprene tool cozy

Includes tire patch kit

Dimensions: 90 – 54 – 28 mm (3.5' x 2.1' x 1.1')

Weight: 175 g (11 oz)

Nickle plated high tensile tooling.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Performs most tasks exceptionally well.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Tool materials seem very rugged and should last a very long time with basic care.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10

Offers surprising amounts of torque wihout digging painfully into the palms, or feeling remotely whippy.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Good value in the sense it is very well made but pretty much my limit for a pocket tool nonetheless.

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

The tern is a very unique design which could prove that one tool can fettle an entire fleet. Obviously there's an element of compromise-some might bemoan a disc brake pad spreader but nothing I couldn't live with.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Unusual and very well designed.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 38  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,

 

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Or buy a Topeak Hexus and a dogbone spanner, I guess. Spend the change on cake.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [423 posts]
19th December 2012 - 9:13

51 Likes

Would love one of these however... they are not available from the UK distributor according to Evans.
Email from Evans 21st November

"Dear Ben,

I contacted tern to try and acquire the 15 piece Allen key set for you, unfortunately the item is not yet available from the uk distributors and therefore I was unable to source the item for you.

My apologies

Sam
Evans Cycles Cardiff"

Maybe this has changed and is now available?

posted by bigbluebike [16 posts]
20th December 2012 - 11:11

50 Likes

Anyone know where I can get one of these in UK. Googlewhack minus one.

posted by robert_obrien [118 posts]
2nd January 2013 - 14:51

53 Likes

Hi John and Robert,

The Tern Tools are shipping from the factory and should available through Evans from early Feb.

I have reminded them that they need to update the website t show this item.

It is a really great tool....

Any questions let me know.

Mark.Bickerton@ternbicycles.com

Mark Bickerton
UK for Tern Bicycles, Biologic

Mark Bickerton's picture

posted by Mark Bickerton [12 posts]
4th January 2013 - 11:37

46 Likes

Good news the Tern Tool has arrived in the UK….available to order online now, and in the Evans stores in a week or so.

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/tern/tool-ec043673

Mark Bickerton
UK for Tern Bicycles, Biologic

Mark Bickerton's picture

posted by Mark Bickerton [12 posts]
27th February 2013 - 13:21

53 Likes

This really does feel like a quality item. I hope I never have to use 80% of the things on it.

posted by robert_obrien [118 posts]
7th March 2013 - 10:51

51 Likes

A small correction to the review...
'So then, to those sensibly configured wrenches - these fit inside two corresponding cut outs and needed cajoling free with an engineer's mallet to begin with.'

Not if you follow the instructions. The 2 spanners are easily released by pressing on the 5 and 8mmm Allen keys which protrude from the opposite side of the tool.

posted by robert_obrien [118 posts]
8th March 2013 - 15:40

61 Likes

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