Commanding the best part of 13 quid, Cyclepro's Ultra Five in One multi-tool looks overpriced and on cursory inspection indistinguishable from loads of others leaving Taiwanese factories in their millions. That said, the build quality is generally better than I've come to expect and it's certainly small and light.
Specialist bike-tool manufacturer Birzman is relatively new on the UK scene, but their product range is impressive, from hefty spanner sets for the workshop to little minitools for emergency side-of-the-road repairs. And it's the latter type we're testing here: the simplest of the minitools, with just five basic functions - three allen keys (4, 5, 6mm), a torx tool (t25) and a cross-head screwdriver.
Beware of thieving magpies, because the Birzman Feexman Stainless is one shiny multi-tool.
Multi-tools tend to fall into one of two categories, either the Chinese puzzle type, where the whole thing is folded in on itself and you need a black-belt in origami to extract the half-inch micro-drive mouse flange extractor or the flat variety where everything is laid out like spots on a plaice. This is in the latter camp, with all 17 functions clearly set out for your admiration.
Crank Brothers M10 is equipped to address most roadside fettling without the weight or encumbrance of chain-tool, spoke keys or wrenches. It's a delight to use and offers plenty of torque for those more awkward fixings. Complete with the same CNC machined, gold anodised aluminium sidebars and lifetime warranty, on many levels there's little to dislike, although a longer 8mm Allen key would've been more appropriate rather than simply scaling down the one on the M17.
Crank Bros M17 doesn't just look cool, it's a really nice tool to use.
This offering from Shimanos spin off accessory brand PRO is certainly a great looking piece of kit, very slim and nicely finished. It also has just about everything you could need when out on the road tool wise except a chain tool and a couple of tyre levers.
For £14.99 you get 2,3,4,5 and 6mm Allen keys and a Phillips screwdriver. It also features a 2 inch measuring rule laser etched into the side of the tool body. What this is exactly for I dont know, my best guess would be to quantify the effects of your saddle on a cold day whilst on a nature break?
Knog’s twenty- function multi tool crams a phenomenal amount of useful stuff into a very confined space and is just the thing for best bikes loving to travel light. Good quality steel won’t chew delicate fasteners but it wouldn’t be my first resort for group rides and for all their charms offer limited leverage when tackling stubborn fasteners…assuming the crank bolt adaptor hasn’t vanished down the sofa.