The Cyclo 20 Function Multi-tool is well equipped for most bikes and scenarios, right down to composite tyre levers and glueless patches. If price is your bottom line, £1 per function is hard to fault. That said, while long tools are brilliant for torque and leverage, they can also prove cumbersome in confined spaces.
- Pros: Comprehensive, good value and generally nice to use
- Cons: Long tool bits both friend and foe
Unusually, the frame is made from a sturdy grey composite, with two 'plug in' tyre levers. These press-fit very securely, so are unlikely to disappear into the depths of a bag. Behind these, you'll find a useful steel wire chain hook and 2mm Allen bolts, which hold the tool bits in place.
The bits themselves are made from heat treated steel, with an attractive nickel-plated finish.
Allen keys consist of 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm. The 8mm is a 'cap' that affixes snugly to the 5mm.
There are four Torx bits – T10, T15, T25 and T30 – which are increasingly popular fasteners beyond disc brakes, and the obligatory Phillips screwdriver.
The chain tool is another interesting piece of kit. Supposedly compatible with 11-speed, it also incorporates a chain hook.
The curious looking 15mm wrench is for pedals, and there are no fewer than four spoke keys: 3.23, 3.3, 3.45, 3.96mm.
Beneath sits a resin platform hosting a couple of glueless patches.
Overall, this is a very comfortable and generally pleasant tool for general tweaking. The generous tool length is a mixed blessing, though: great for speedy tightening of crank, pedals, stem, seatpost, SQR hitch bolts and similarly high-stress or weathered fasteners, but it can also limit access in confined spaces – for example, when tightening bottle cages on a small, compact geometry frame.
On the plus side, the combination of Torx bits and decent length makes for easier liberation of cleat hardware, which can often get overlooked and seize/round off. The Torx splines bite into soft/rounded 4mm Allen bolts, providing sufficient purchase for extraction (without resorting to penetrant sprays or drilling).
The tool's broad profile and sculpted edges fit very nicely in the palms. This is also welcome when breaking and rejoining chains. The threaded pin is a slightly sloppy fit, but isn't a major problem with 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11-speed 3/32in chains. In a pinch it split and rejoined a stainless steel 1/8in track offering, but it felt under strain with this heavier duty type, so we are talking emergencies only.
Chain tools tend to be the weak spots, though I have several still going strong, nine years on (save for a busted chain splitter).
To my surprise, the 15mm open spanner will do the business, should you need to tackle a track nut or pedal.
Spoke keys of this genre are similarly pragmatic – they'll get you back on the road/trail, though I'd never describe them as pleasant to use.
Length is generally your friend, but shorter bits can come into their own in some contexts, such as nipping a twin-bolt post cradle snug. The tool, and often my knuckles, catching the post made this a slower process than using smaller L-shaped bits, such as those found on the Blackburn Grid 13.
The composite parts and tool bits feel dependable and have withstood quite a bit of force. I've only needed to tighten them twice during a month or so of testing, and I've used them pretty much daily. There's no hint of light freckling or similar corrosion, although the multi-tool hasn't been left in a soggy seat pack for long periods.
The Cyclo offers a lot of functions for the money and seems sturdy, although the Newton 20 function tool, which Dave reviewed back in 2008, is cheaper and all steel, which may fare better in the long term. The Topeak Hexus X gets you one more function for an extra couple of quid, though it might be easier to lose individual tools which could be deeply frustrating.
Overall, I'd say the Cyclo 20 Function Multi-tool is a decent staple. Just bear in mind that it could be a bit cumbersome in confined spaces – a consideration if your fleet includes smaller, compact geometry framesets.
Comprehensive and reasonably priced tool but its size is a mixed blessing
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Cyclo 20 Function Multi-Tool
Size tested: 20 function
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's a competitively priced, seemingly well-made pocket workshop for most situations, although its size can make it a little cumbersome in some contexts.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Composite frame, nickel plated, heat treated steel bits
The 20 functions are as follows:
Hex Keys – 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm - 7
Spoke Keys – 3.23, 3.3, 3.45, 3.96mm - 4, 11 total
Torx Keys – T10, T15, T25, T30 - 4, 15 total
Chain Breaker, Chain hook – 2, 17 total
Pedal Spanner 18 total
Philips Screwdriver 19 total
Puncture repair kit (self seal patches + tyre levers) 20 total
The tools are hardened and nickel plated.
Plastics and tooling feel reassuringly solid.
Does most jobs very capably.
Thus far (used daily) it seems generally solid and dependable. Nickel plating hasn't succumbed to corrosion either, although ours hasn't been left in soggy seat packs for long periods.
What I'd expect from the "pocket workshop" genre.
Generally pleasant to use.
In line with similar designs.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the Cyclo 20 has been a pleasant surprise. Although some functions (spoke keys, most notably) are a little agricultural and inconvenient to use, in a jam they will do the job. It's comfortable to hold and use, even for extended periods. Longer tool bits make light work of arthritic fasteners (such as cleat hardware). Removing pedals and tightening old school crank bolts are also much easier. That said, Blackburn's Grid 13 bits had more bite when tackling slightly rounded/chewed bolts.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comprehensive and generally pleasant to use.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Minor point, but some functions (tyre levers and spoke keys) felt like an afterthought.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Price is competitive but so is the market. For example, the Newton 20-function multi-tool boasts all-steel construction. This may fare better than a composite body in the longer term. That said, other models, such as the Silca Italian Army Knife Venti, are twice the Cyclo's ticket price. https://road.cc/content/review/253327-silca-italian-army-knife-venti-mul...
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
It's a competent tool, with contemporary functions, and is generally pleasant to use. Pricing is competitive with similar designs too, although there are cheaper.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb 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)