November 21, 2013
Very nearly the holy grail of multitools
Like many of the smaller bicycle-related objects that litter my kitchen, pockets and bags, a good multi-tool is unobtrusive enough to be carried around at all times without becoming an irritation. This neat package from Birzman fits the bill; pack it, a pump and a spare tube and you are sorted for most trail emergencies.
In fact, I reckon I could pretty much carry out a basic service on a bike with this – with can opener and knife on board as well as the usual assortment of spoke keys (including splined Mavic), screwdrivers, hex keys (including the lesser-seen 2 and 3mm, and a T15) it’s an ideal bit of adventure (or, god forbid, ‘enduro’) kit, doing pretty much every bike-related job a much larger Leatherman or similar would do, apart from pliers.
The tools are chrome vanadium for toughness, are CNC machined rather than extruded and have so far been absolutely rock solid, with no problems with rounding or rattling occurring. The (large enough to be usable) chain splitter and body are stainless steel. There are a few rust spots on the blade, presumably thanks to water trapped inside the plastic shield – it’s probably designed to just be left in place during shipping but I found it useful to keep the knife, which is serrated and sharp enough to pass the chorizo test, from interacting with knuckles while using other tools with predictably bloody consequences.
It’s not quite perfect – the disc adjuster is a bit of an oddity (the knife or tyre lever are more than suitable for doing the same job) and the tyre lever is too short to provide enough leverage be truly useful in most situations that you’d actually need it – but it’s relegated my previous favourite (Lezyne’s Stainless 12) to second place.
I’m still none the wiser as to what ‘E-Version’ means, though…
Overall: Very nearly the holy grail of multitools – just needs pliers to earn true MacGyver status.