Like this site? Help us to make it better.

VEL 13 Function Inflator Tool



Overall the VEL is a solid, sturdy piece of kit with a great inflator head but the price is tough to justify

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The VEL 13 Function Inflator Tool has pretty much every tool you need for basic repairs out on the road, with the added bonus of an inflator head to work with threaded CO2 cartridges. Its solid construction and durable tools make it a sound investment, although it's up against some top competition in the pricing wars.

The VEL uses a design we've seen many times before – two cast body pieces joined together by bolts, carrying a range of short tools, 12 in the case of the VEL. It folds away compactly, making it ideal for a jersey pocket or saddle bag, and with a weight of 166g it's not exactly a heavyweight.

> Find your nearest dealer here

You get a range of hex keys – 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm – which should cover every bolt on your bike, and the hardened steel construction is certainly up to the job for stubborn bolts, although with their short stature they aren't the greatest for leverage on those that are properly seized.

Vel 13 Function Inflator Tool - unfolded.jpg

With more and more manufacturers starting to use Torx bolts, it's good to see VEL has included a couple of tools – T10 and T25 – the latter becoming an increasingly common size for stem bolts, on the likes of Fizik's range, for example.

Alongside these you also get two crosshead screwdrivers, including a small one for gear adjustment, and a flathead version.

> Check out our guide to the best multi tools here

So what's the 13th function? Well, the inflator head is a separate piece which uses a small adaptor to slide over the shortened 8mm hex key when not in use. It's not perfect as it's a little on the sloppy side and easy to lose, so something like a couple of dimples and raised location bumps on the opposing pieces would have been good.

That aside, the inflator head is actually very easy to use. You unscrew the 8mm adaptor piece from the bottom and use that thread to attach the CO2 cartridge, a small hollow pin breaking the seal to release the gas.

You then place it over the Presta valve (screw it on for Schrader) and once pushed fully home it will start to expel the CO2. Thanks to a small rubber grommet inside, the valve is held firm and no gas can escape.

> Check out our guide to the best pumps and CO2 inflators here

Releasing pressure on the head stops the gas so you can stop and check that the tyre is seated correctly before continuing. A 16g threaded cartridge will get a 23mm tyre up to about 120psi in a matter of seconds, and over a few attempts during testing not once have I had a failed discharge.

My biggest gripe with the VEL is its price. It seems quite expensive at £34.99 for such a simple design. The tools look pretty similar to those we see on other multi tools, so it's not like there is custom tooling to be made or anything. When you see the, okay, slightly-less-well-equipped BTwin 300 for £6.50, and add in its inflator head for another £8 including canister, you kind of wonder where your money is going.


Overall the VEL is a solid, sturdy piece of kit with a great inflator head but the price is tough to justify

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website test report

Make and model: VEL 13 Function Inflator Tool

Size tested: 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 8mm Hex Keys Flat head screwdriver Cross head screwdriver T10 / T25 Torx VEL Co2 inflator with micro adjust

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?

It covers pretty much all the tools you need for general rides except possibly a chain tool. A CO2 dispenser is a cool addition.

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

13 Function Inflator Tool


2,2.5,3,4,5,6 & 8mm Hex Keys

Flat head screwdriver

2 off Cross head screwdriver

T10 & T25 Torx

VEL Co2 inflator with micro adjust

Rate the product for quality of construction:

A pretty basic design but it's certainly strong enough to be up to the job.

Rate the product for performance:

A good tolerance between the tools and the fittings they're designed for. A little short for big leverage, though. Nice CO2 inflator head.

Rate the product for durability:

Tough as old boots design.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)

A lot lighter than expected.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)

Not the most comfortable to wrap your hands around.

Rate the product for value:

Quite pricey for such a primitive design, and I've seen very similar for a lot less. Addition of the CO2 head helps justify the cost but not completely.

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

For simple adjustments at the side of the road it is ideal.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The CO2 inflator head offers a secure fit to the valve.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Pricey for such a basic design.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? I'd probably shop around.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly

Use this box to explain your score

When you look at the recent test of the BTwin 300 multitool which has the same basic design as the VEL but only costs £6.50 (admittedly with fewer tools) you kind of wonder where VEL gets its price from. I like the inflator head and its easy, secure valve connection, but it's not enough to swing it. A strong, sturdy tool but just too expensive.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Mason Definition

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!

Latest Comments