Multi tool or seperate bits of kit?

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  • Multi tool or seperate bits of kit?
  • Premier Icon andybrad

    Ok folks, im in the market for a chain breaker at the moment. However it seems that for the price of a good quality one i can get a decent multi tool as well. Considering my current set of allen keys has just exploded im wondering if you pack a multi tool or take separate (heavier but better quality) tools with you.

    Also if you were to take a multi tool what would you recommend?



    not normally a fan of Crank Bros stuff but I have a multitool that’s around 10 years old and has sorted my bike out on the trail several times. The chain breaker on it is just as good as a separate Park Tool one.


    I bought quite an expensive chain breaker a while back and after using it twice the pin broke under no stress at all,I use my crank brothers multitool for everything I can now as it’s so strong and durable.


    Another aged CB multitool user, one of there few bits of kit (actually maybe only) I’ll recommend.

    Premier Icon martymac

    i use a small multi tool for allen keys screwdriver but carry a separate spoke key and chain tool.
    none of the multi tools i have tried are as good as a proper chain tool.
    (ive only tried a few though . .)

    Premier Icon momo

    Topeak Alien multi-tool in my pack for when out riding, seperate tools in the tool box for when working in the garage. Although I only have a cheapo halfords chain tool (have had it since I worked there 13 years ago) only really gets used for shortening chains now as I always use a quick link to join them.

    Premier Icon mattjg

    multitool if it’s for taking with you on rides, mine is a 10 year old Topeak Alien, best chain tool I have ever used, I use it at home too.

    Premier Icon vondally

    still on a kool tool with additional bits when I ride.

    use it for splitting cjhains at home

    Premier Icon jam bo

    another vote for crank brothers multi-tools. seems like the only thing they can make well.

    Premier Icon deadkenny

    I used to have a separate large breaker and various tools, but trying to save space for my smaller backpack and have less rattling around I got a Topeak multi tool. Think it’s the Hexus. Has mini chain breaker that works well and most the main tools you need, including a T25 (which SRAM are a fan of on some of their stuff). Also has tyre levers snapped into the sides which is neat.

    Decent quality tools in my opinion, if small, though I did round off X0 pad pins, but I’ve done that with good quality heavy separates too. Soft alloy pins that get stuck with mud and whatever vs hard steel tool. I’ve given up on those pins now and going with good old split pins (though this means having some kind of pliers also, but there are good mini ones about).

    Have used the chain splitter a number of times and found it easier than the separate one I had. Plus I’ve managed to use it to successfully push a removed pin back in.

    The compact multi tools can be a bit awkward adjusting stuff like seat clamp bolts as the bulk of the tool often knocks against the seat post when rotating. Depends on the clamp bolt arrangement. Likewise with a few other fiddly areas.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    only took splitting of 2 chains by the trail to totally snap my multitool chain breaker. Think it was a specialized one?

    Now carry a real chain breaker and a multitool (Topeak one which also has a breaker). Doesn’t really take up all that much room in the bottom of a backpack pocket.

    Premier Icon andybrad

    any thoughts on the multi tools from on-one? they are pretty cheap. Or bite th bullet and get something fancy?


    how much you looking to spend on a chain breaker? I’ve had a chain breaker for 20yrs that is essentially the same as the ones you can get off ebay for about £5, its perfectly fine and functional.

    I’ve an alien tool which has a very good chainbreaker on it, but not one i’d like to use all the time – the tool itself is bulky and you wind it in with an allenkey, so is a bit awkward to use. Perfectly fine for the odd occation you may need it on the trail, but much better to use a proper chain breaker at home.

    In fact now I tend to use the quicklink pliers to snap off the quick/power link when removing the chain rather than the chain breaker. The only time I use the chain breaker is when I replace the chain and need to remove links to shorten it. Though the SRAM 10spd Powerlinks are advertised as being 1 time use only, the reality is you can reuse them many times when removing with the quick link pliers.

    On the trail – Topeak Hexus
    At home – Park

    Premier Icon mattjg

    I quite like the look of that Spesh SWAT chain tool that hides in the top cap, though I have a suspicion it only breaks not joins (on the principle you put in a quick link). Also need 1 for each bike of course.


    another vote for Topeak Alien. I’ve had mine 13 years now and it’s still in excellent condition, and been involved in many a repair (bodge job). Separate tools at home..

    Premier Icon mattjg

    only downside of my old Alien is it has no Torx drivers on it.

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    Topeak Hummer, now called the Hexus I think.
    Chain tool works great, tyre levers, torx for rotor bolts etc included.
    I have plenty of normal tools, but bike builds I normally end up using the Topeak.
    I lost my torx bit once, & called Topeak, who sent me one for free.

    Premier Icon accu

    as chain breaker I really recommend the park tool CT-6.2..
    small and very reliable,not the cheapest but its the only one I have,
    together with a few sram powerlinks it was two times very helpful on my alptrips last year..

    Premier Icon Trekster

    Proper tools in tool box(car me h by trade/factory maint now)
    Small Specialised tool without chain tool
    Large Topeak Alien with chain breaker which has done loads of chains. Trick is to keep everything square in the tool, thumb over the chain/tool pin. Technique developed over many years and a few broken cheapo tools 😉
    Still got an old Cool Tool in the box 😆
    Cool Tool


    If your bike is in good condition and well maintained you should get away with a minimal multi-tool. IME you only need it for emergencies which occur rarely.

    However the tiny chain breakers are a PITA so powerlinks are worth their weight in gold

    Premier Icon Northwind

    My Hexus’s chain tool is one of the better ones I’ve used, better than most workshop tools tbh. Never found any reason to carry separete tools, if you’re guiding or otherwise expecting to work on other people’s bikes it can make sense mind, or if your bike is weird in some way.

    Premier Icon Simon

    Another vote for the Nexus. Had mine years and split many chains with it, great bit of kit. If I lost it I’d buy another without hesitation.


    Topeak Alien never let me down yet. I use Alien out on trails and have separate tools for garage use. I carry spare pins and quick links and give the pins to stranded riders to keep quick links for myself 😉

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