You may look at the Topeak Allen Bitkit 9 and think, well, that's just a row of 1/4in hexes stuck in a bit of plastic. And you'd be right. However, they're strong, well-formed and very useful hexes stuck in a strong, well-formed and very useful bit of plastic, so get yourself a cup of tea and I'll tell you all about it.
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OK, your tea is still too hot and I've basically finished, but there you go. These 30mm bits fit any 1/4in drive and cover the common (and some tiny not-so-common) sizes found on bikes.
Well-cut from S2 hardened steel (cheap, cheesy steel bits are a false economy), they show no sign of mangling either themselves or the colossal array of furry test bolts we have here at road.cc.
I like the knurled section on the smallest sizes – it's a big help with oily fingers, or for spinning bolts in by hand before attaching a ratchet – and the colour-coding on the frequently-used 4mm, 5mm and 6mm bits is a boon.
It's good to have 8mm and 10mm bits for axles, cranks and the like too, as 10mm hexes are rare in typical key sets.
The holder is that slightly flexible, slightly slippery plastic that feels like it won't fail even if you hit it with a meteorite (don't), and it holds bits firmly while leaving them easy to pull. Yes, I'm earnestly discussing a 7.5cm block of plastic with nine holes in it. Be quiet and drink your tea.
> Beginner's guide to bike tools - get all the vital gear for basic bike maintenance
It's hard to compare this directly for price as, obviously, you need some other tool – such as Topeak's own Ratchet Stick or Ratchet Rocket Lite DX+ – in order to use them.
Taken alone they seem expensive against decent-quality sets such as the RS PRO Driver Bit 8 Pieces (£3.37), but such options are basic and lack some very useful features and sizes.
The Bosch Screwdriver Bit Set 32 Piece (£11.98) is pretty comprehensive, though, and like the £11.99 Dewalt Screwdriver Bit Set, it includes colour-coded hex, Torx and screwdriver bits alongside a useful magnetic extension. On the downside, their case size and weight is far less suited to on-bike use.
Ultimately, the Topeak Allen Bitkit 9 is a well-made and very useful set that's focused pretty handily on bicycle use. It's small enough to slip in a pocket or pouch, and is very easy to use – but it's expensive.
Well-formed, hard tool bits for any 1/4in tool – but expensive
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Make and model: Topeak Allen Bitkit 9
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?
Topeak says this is: "A complete nine-piece Allen bit set for road and mountain bike repair and maintenance. Designed to work with all Topeak ratchets and torque wrenches as well as other brand ratchets and bit drivers."
It's uncanny, but I feel exactly the same.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
7.6 x 3 x 1 cm / 3' x 1.2' x 0.4'
67 g / 2.36 oz
S2 hardened steel
Engineering grade polymer
1.5 / 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 8 / 10 mm Allen bits
Ratchet Rocket series, D-Torq Wrenches, Nano TorqBar series, Torq Stick, Ratchet Stick, Omni Tool Card, 1/4' hex bit drivers
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for value:
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Holder is secure but not nightmarishly fiddly.
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?
This is very expensive against decent-quality sets such as the RS PRO Driver Bit 8 Pieces (£3.37), but such options are basic and lack some very cycle-useful features and sizes. The Bosch Screwdriver Bit Set 32 Piece (£11.98) is pretty comprehensive, though, and like the £11.99 Dewalt Screwdriver Bit Set, it includes colour-coded hex, Torx and screwdriver bits alongside a useful magnetic extension.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Age: 48 Height: 183cm Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,
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