A decent multi-tool is a cyclist's best friend. We've waded through the faffy and frustrating to pick the best multi-tools that'll help you with that unexpected trailside calamity. As we all know, there's nothing worse than being caught out with a loosened bolt with nothing to put it back in its place.
The best multi-tools we've tested
Need to know: multi-tools
Not every multi-tool is built to be the same. Some are built to be very lightweight and carry only a few tools and as such, won't help you in every situation so they're best for shorter, close to home rides. On the other hand, you can get bigger tools that work as mini-workshops but they weigh more and won't slip into your pocket as easy or you might need a hydration pack to carry them, not ideal if you like to ride without.
While most multi-tools share the same caged design some brands have created mini ratchet tools that offer loads of functions at a light weight. They're also fun to use. However, it's easier to lose parts of the ratchet kits to the trailside foliage abyss and they're a little more faff than conventional tools.
The perfect multi-tool for you will have all of the tools you need regularly (a chain tool being a must-have in my books), it'll be user friendly and something you're happy carrying around all of the time. While most of the tools on the market are massively capable, they're still not a replacement for workshop quality tools for when repairs get more serious or a bolt needs a bit more torque.
Topeak's Hexus X updates an already award-winning format to store more tools and secure twin tyre levers. Its extended range – in a reasonably small and light package – makes the Hexus X extremely versatile and, at £23, it's seriously good value.
Blackburn's Wayside 19 is a comprehensive multitool with a difference, namely that it packs five proper L-shaped, ball-ended individual Allen keys into a durable body, making usually hard to reach bolts easy to get to. It's durable and packed with features and it's quickly become my go-to-multitool.
Featuring nearly every tool you’ll need, Topeak's Ratchet Rocket Lite DX+ is a very versatile portable workshop. Its tiny size means you can stash it in a pocket and (so long as you also have a pump) be well prepared for any calamity. It's even good as an entry-level tool kit for home use, or as an in-car emergency option when packing as light as possible.
The Crankbrothers F15 LE is a minimalist and sleek multitool that’s capable enough for your everyday trailside repairs. Although this is the limited edition version in orange (there are also silver and green), it’s functionally exactly the same as the original F15.
The Fabric 16 tool, has, funnily enough, sixteen tools to choose from. Mostly quite common, and with a few more niche choices. It hits the middle ground in the number of options, and is svelte and works well as a get you home tool.
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