Bike Maintenance Tips: 6. Choosing a Multi Tool

There are many multitools to choose from, but how to choose the right one?

Firstly, what kind of cycling do you do and what kind of cyclist are you?  If you are a few miles on a path close to home every Saturday and Sunday you need a fairly basic one that will cost around a fiver and let you undertake basic adjustments.  If you are a dedicated cycle commuter or a long distance rider away for half days and more, you will need a tool with more functions that can tackle more involved jobs like repairing a chain, removing brake pads, tightening brake discs, it will also be made of a high quality tool steel.

Secondly, do you have nuts on the end of your bike wheel axles or quick release levers?  Often the front wheel is nuts and the rear a quick release.  If you have nuts holding your wheel(s) on you need a multitool with a 15mm spanner to enable you to remove the wheel to, for example, repair a puncture.  Please don’t buy one that doesn’t have this if you need it!

Thirdly, expect to have around 10 tools on a quality multitool.  Commonly - 3mm, 5mm, 6mm and 7mm allen keys, a star or Philips head and a slot or plain screwdriver.  Spoke keys and chain splitters are add ons.

Finally and most importantly make sure you can use the tool, many are very compact, others bulky but easier to use and that you understand what each tool does! Remember, righty tighty, lefty loosen!


Visit Dr Bike in person or come along to one of our free Basic Bike Maintenance classes for more of these handy tips.

Article by Dr Bike, Dave Seaman, from Dave's Bike Shed