The Silca HX-Two Travel Essentials Kit is a very high-quality set of tools fit for any home mechanic, with all the necessary hex and Torx tools for carrying out most minor, and some major, mechanicals on a road bike. Provided you can get past the big price, it's a jolly nice bit of kit.
Silca makes some of the finest tools you can buy, but many of its products do come with quite a price tag, and at £75 these are no different. There are certainly more affordable tool kits available, although it's a fair bit cheaper than the wood-encased HX-One Home and Travel Tool Kit that Dave reviewed on road.cc a couple of years ago.
What you're getting is an assortment of tools made from S2 tool steel, manufactured using a nine-stage heat treatment process, and coated with a high-friction chrome and rubberised polymer to provide hardwearing and durable tools.
You get all the more useful hex sizes (1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10mm) and Torx wrenches (T7, T8, T9, T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, T30) which is adequate for carrying out a full service on any road bike these days. There are clearly sizes that are much more commonly used, but to be honest the full range of Torx sizes is a bit overkill – T25 seems to be the most common in my experience. They are there if you need them, though.
Durability is impressive. I've been testing them for a good while now, using them as my everyday tools (I do a lot of tinkering, setting up test bikes and changing parts frequently) and the tools are showing no signs of distress or wear. There's no hint of them rounding or deforming, as can happen with cheaper tools. Even now they still look brand new.
Using them is a very nice experience too – if you can describe using tools in such a manner. The polymer coating ensures they feel tactile between the fingers and makes the more fiddly jobs a little easier, plus they stay grippy when your fingers are covered in grease. No slippage occurred. The generous lengths combined with the ball ends also help with those harder-to-access bolts.
The tools fit snugly in the plastic holder, with no risk of them falling out if you accidentally drop the whole thing. It also minimises the potential for losing the smaller tools. As a set, it's compact enough to go in your travel bag when going to events, though they obviously can't beat a multi-tool for maximum portability if space is at a premium.
It's undeniably a lovely bit of kit and works very well, and the tools should last a bloody long time, but the asking price is on the steep side. That said, others make it look better value: Park Tool's P-Handle Hex Wrench Set PH-1.2 has the same rrp, for eight tools.
If you're fettling your bike regularly and you want the best tools and have deep pockets, this certainly fits the bill.
High-quality and very durable tools but pricey
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Silca HX-Two Travel Essentials Kit
Size tested: One Size
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?
Silca says, "HX-TWO is the travel version of our top-selling HX-ONE Home Essential Kit. This set features individual hex and Torx® wrenches carefully produced from our exclusive 9 step heat treated S2 tool steel. These tools feature a high grip polymer coating over top of our own high-engagement satin chrome. These finishes keep the tools from slipping in either the fastener or your fingers during use. The kit stores in a custom molded tool holder that not only helps keep you organized, but it also makes the set the ideal size for stowing away in a tool box or your gear bag for those weekend riding trips and races.
"The wrenches in HX-TWO have been meticulously chosen by our product team after extensive qualitative and quantative feedback from our inner-circle of pro mechanics, bike fitters, and frame builders. The hex keys in the set, which include 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.5, 2, and 1.5mm, and Torx® keys include: T30, T27, T25, T20, T15, T10, T9, T8 and T7."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Silca lists these features:
High Strength S2 steel tools
Precise tool interface dimensions
Polymer coating for superior grip
Laser etched size indication
Compact tool holder
Hex Wrenches: 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10mm
Torx® Wrenches: T7, T8, T9, T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, T30
The quality of construction is really high.
Using high-quality tools makes fettling the bike a much nicer experience.
No signs of deforming or rounding in several months of extensive testing.
Individually the tools are a nice weight and feel good in the hand, but the set is quite chunky – though still portable enough for chucking in a kit bag for travelling to events.
Very comfortable to use, the length makes working on the bike easier than grappling with a tiny multi-tool.
It's expensive yes, but compares well with Park Tool's hex (not Torx) set. You are getting a very high-quality product here that has the performance and durability to back up the price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Work extremely well whether at home or on the road at events.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Nice to use, very durable, all the sizes you need.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's cheaper than the posh wooden box set from Silca we tested two years ago... and the same price as Park Tool's PH-1.2 hex set (which doesn't include Torx wrenches).
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 overall score
You're getting a very high-quality set of durable and hardwearing tools. Yes it's quite an investment, but there's no reason why the tools won't last a lifetime.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-0cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.