Cannondale's Mini Tool – 15 Function has a useful array of tools, including a chain breaker, for tackling most tasks, and it works well, if not noticeably better than many other designs out there for around the same price.
Tooling includes 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 6 and 8mm Allen keys, a Torx T25 driver, and Phillips and flat bladed screwdrivers for other small components.
Comprehensive, it's useful for tweaks on contemporary road, cyclo-cross and mountain bikes, although there are better options for long haul touring, especially machines with Rohloff or similar hub gears and/or old fashioned cantilever brakes.
At 188g, it feels reassuring solid. Side plates are nicely sculpted CNC machined aluminium with a hardy satin black anodised finish and stealthy laser-etched Cannondale logos. Tools are precision forged and drawn chrome vanadium steel. These are also painted black, which is generally hardwearing and seems very corrosion resistant but cultivates a lived-in patina faster than nickel plated counterparts.
Length strikes a good balance between leverage/efficiency and dexterity – I've managed to free some moderately corroded SPD cleats without recourse to freeing oil. An 8mm bit is always handy for roadside pedal fitment/removal and many of us still have a machine or two with old fashioned square taper cranks. Overall length compensates for the stubby bit – it doesn't feel like a blancmange under load either.
Chain tools are a definite boon, and while I've demolished a few drive pins over the years (victims of their own success – sheer convenience leading to over-use around the workshop!) most seem pretty good for occasional use. This one is no exception, the precision-machined pin splitting and rejoining 7, 8, 9 and 10-speed chains with remarkable finesse. In a pinch it has rescued middleweight 1/8in track types, but do so at your own risk...
On the subject of tight spots, it also incorporates spoke spanners. These aren't exactly pleasant to use but are considerably nicer than some, and a lifesaver should you need to replace a spoke and/or true wheels in the back of beyond.
Like other comprehensive designs, though, the bits turn sloppy with regular use, so check them periodically, and keep a standalone 3mm hex key in your kit on longer rides.
Solid and dependable multi tool that caters for most scenarios and contemporary builds
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Cannondale Mini Tool – 15 Function
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?
15-bit folding tool with a wide size range of hex, screwdriver and Torx head wrenches and chain tool.
Nicely engineered tool that is comprehensive without feeling overburdoned and is pleasant to use.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm hex, and Torx T25 tools. Phillips and flat head driver
Chain tool with spoke wrench handle
Forged and drawn chrome vanadium tools resist corrosion
Chain tool with handle that doubles as a spoke wrench
Lightweight aluminum anodized side plates with rounded edge design offers great hand feel
Sensibly sized bits fit precisely and tackle most tasks you're likely to face on road or trail.
Rugged feel, decent weight, just remember to nip the bits tight every so often with a standalone 3mm hex key.
Comfortable, even when tackling stubborn fasteners.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A classy, understated tool that tackles most tune-up tasks without fuss or fanfare. Nicely sculpted side plates mean it sits nicely in the palms and decent tooling means it doesn't flinch when tackling stubborn fasteners. Chain tools can be a weak spot but this one has chomped through the usual suspects very dependably. There are more comprehensive designs for those wanting a one-tool-does-all for their eclectic fleet but otherwise, the Canndondale covers most bases nicely.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good quality, nice to use.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given the design brief.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
A very worthy contender with some nice touches, though not markedly better than a wealth of similarly capable competition.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike 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, mountain biking
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)