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Fabric Sixteen Tool



Very neat and compact, and seems strong enough for most tweaks you could reasonably ask it to perform

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.

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Packing so much functionality into so small a package has to result in some corner-cutting, right? Well, not so far as I've been able to tell. Given the slim, lightweight nature of the Fabric Sixteen Tool, this is remarkably capable and nothing's broken, so far.

I certainly had my doubts about that chain tool, when I examined the Sixteen. I've had a couple of cheap ones break or bend the first time I've tried to use them for the task for which they are designed, and an all-aluminium one sounded like a recipe for trouble; but I set to, pushing rivets in and out of odd lengths of chain I had lying around the workshop and had no trouble at all. The body of the tool itself is big enough to put the required twisting force onto the rivet pusher. The chain tool attachment can be screwed right off, at which point it also serves as a surprisingly competent nipple wrench, with two gauges plus a Mavic spoke key. How's that for tidy design?

> Find your nearest dealer here

On the main body of the tool you find Allen keys in 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm; the last of these being a separate bit that fits over the 5mm tool. It would be very easy to lose that. There's also a cross-head screwdriver (a small flat might have been more versatile) and a T25 Torx. All the tools mount on two pivot pins, one at each end, sandwiched between two aluminium side arms. The matt peened finish is very sleek.

Fabric Sixteen Tool 16 function multi-tool.jpg

Modern bikes generally do not require a lot of high torque on the fastenings. These well-fitting tools didn't feel inclined to slip or break during the kind of nipping-up operations you might use it to perform. The 5mm Allen was long enough to reach into the deeply recessed mounting bolt used on some SRAM rear mechs; but if you have an aero fork with very deeply mounted brakes, you may not be able to reach in. I tried the 8mm Allen to remove a non-driveside pedal and managed to get enough leverage to get it off, though I felt I might be at the limits of the tool's strength.

> Check out our guide to the best multi-tools

Beware some chainsets come with T30 chainring bolts and if you have one of these, you may want to add a compatible Torx tool to this set. Otherwise, this is a very lightweight and slim tool that does all those minor on-the-road jobs – and a couple of more serious ones.


Very neat and compact, and seems strong enough for most tweaks you could reasonably ask it to perform

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Make and model: Fabric Sixteen Tool

Size tested: W: 46mm x L:71mm

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?

Fabric says: "Comprehensive but compact, the Sixteen tool does not come with a weight penalty or demand excessive space in a seatpack or jersey pocket. Fabric's signature emphasis on elegant simplicity means even such a wide-ranging solution is still easily stowed."

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

Hex key (mm): 2|2.5|3|4|5|6|8

Spoke gauge: 13|14|15|16

Phillips head: 2

Torque: 25

Mavic spline

Bottle opener

Chain splitter

Width: 46mm

Length: 71mm

Tool bits: CNC machined

Body: aluminium

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Really tidy and good looking design and manufacture.

Rate the product for performance:

Excellent really, up to and including getting a well-fastened pedal off. The chain tool works, it had all the tools I needed for my bike and it's a lightweight piece.

Rate the product for durability:

For the skinny lines, surprisingly tolerant of being leaned on, though I wouldn't use it for heavy workshop jobs.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)

Amazing for the functionality squeezed in.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)

No sharp edges to dig in.

Rate the product for value:

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

Very compact, lightweight but capable tool that did everything I asked of it.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Sleek looks and design, good quality and lightweight.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

That 8mm removable but would be easy to lose.

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

I'm no engineer but this looks well made and well finished. The tools seem tough enough for all the common roadside tweaks and the low weight and compact design are remarkable.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 51  Height: 6'2  Weight: 73kg and rising

I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking

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