At road.cc 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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The Merida 20 IN 1 Multi Tool is, as the name suggests, a 20-function design, and features everything you might realistically need for a roadside fix. It's comfortable to use and a good size for pockets, while still managing to exert decent torque through its solid build – though it does lack a chain breaker.
The side-plates are anodised aluminium, while the tooling is electroplated chrome vanadium steel. The ruler along the side-plates is officially for measuring suspension sag, although it comes in handy for things like saddle height too.
There's a comprehensive range of Allen keys (2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10mm), the common T10 and T25 Torx keys and a Phillips head screwdriver. You also get spoke keys (Mavic M7/Shimano 4.6, 14 and 15G), a tyre lever, a brake pad spreader and – unusually – a valve adaptor for making Presta valves compatible with Schrader pumps, and vice versa.
Dimensions are a palm/seat pack-friendly 7.4 x 5.2cm. At 145g it feels solid, built to last, yet not overly hefty. A protective neoprene sleeve completes the package, although it will get soggy and accelerate any corrosion if you don't dry it out.
It's always a fight between stubby portability and long-reaching access, but the 20 IN 1 hits a good balance. It can fit into pretty tight spots thanks to its relatively small size, but it's still big enough to put a fair bit of oomph behind. I used it to shift some weathered-in stem and seatpost bolts, and even wind in pedals and crank bolts.
Though the 8mm is stubbier than I'd like, the side plates' matt finish offers decent grip – even loosening an old-fashioned square taper crank bolt didn't require Herculean effort.
I don't like steel tyre levers – it's easy to damage rims with them. However, this one will shift a wire bead, so it certainly works.
I've only needed to snug the tool back up once during the test period, and there's no sign of wear. I deliberately left ours in damp coastal air for several days too – there's no hint of tarnish yet.
Its rrp of £24.99 equates to a little over £1 per bit, which is very reasonable given the build quality and design. However, the Passport C-D-W Fold-Up multi tool arguably outdoes the Merida for the same price. An obvious homage to Topeak's £40 Alien II, the C-D-W features a chain tool, 8, 9, 10mm ring spanners, resin tyre levers and even a knife.
The Cyclo 20 Function multi tool is cheaper still at £19.99 and features a chain tool, resin tyre levers, 15mm pedal spanner and T30 Torx, but it's bigger and heavier. Topeak's Hexus X also represents excellent value, though the design runs the risk of lost bits.
The Merida 20 IN 1 is well made, compact and easy to use. It's not the lightest, cleverest or prettiest gadget around, but it's fairly comprehensive and proves a solid, dependable tool.
Compact yet practical tool – if you can live without a chain breaker
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Merida 20-in-1 Multitool
Size tested: 7.4 x 5.2cm
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?
Merida says "A lightweight 20-in-1 multi-tool that's small enough to take wherever you go.
"The MERIDA MINI TOOL 20 IN 1 weighs just 125 g and fits easily in a pocket or pack. Made from precise and durable aluminium, the 20 IN 1 tool has 2/2.5/3/4/5/6/8/10 mm Allen keys, cross and flat-head screwdrivers, T10/T25 Torx keys, tyre levers, a tool to push back disk brake pads and a small ruler for sag measurements. It comes supplied with a neoprene sleeve."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
LENGTH 7.4 cm
WIDTH 5.2 cm
WEIGHT 135 g
MATERIAL CR-V & Alloy
Seems sturdy throughout, the satin electroplated finish seems very resistant to taint and corrosion, too.
A decent balance between size/reach and torque in most contexts, although it can't reach deeply-recessed fasteners.
Solidly made and well finished, so no reason to think it won't last.
Generally pleasant to use, bearing in mind multi-tools are designed for quick road/trailside tune-ups.
It's well made and generally well designed. A little over £1 per tool is pretty good, but you can get cheaper from Cyclo and Topeak.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's pretty good for a compact design. I've managed to wind 8mm crank bolts and pedals snug without too much effort.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good finish, useful valve adaptor, sensible tooling choices.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The steel tyre lever.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Prices generally range from £20-£40, with only a handful either side, so it's at the lower end of the market – especially for given its 20-tool count.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's well built and a nice size for portable usefulness, but lacks a chain breaker and – beyond the valve adaptor – does little to stand out from the crowd. It's good, and a solid 7.
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, mtb,
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)