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Hi. I am trying to decide on what multi-tool to purchase. I am very new to biking... I just don't know enough about working on them to know what I need though. I don't care about the brand name, etc. I simply want something that fits my particular situation as best as possible. A few months ago I purchased a 2010 Trek 6700. Here's a link to the parts/specs on it if that helps...

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/mountain_hardtail/6_series/6700disc/

I think this bike has a SRAM chain that doesn't require a chain tool? I could be wrong though. I would consult my LBS, but they are not very helpful. In fact the day I made my purchase they tried to rush me out the door without a basic fitting. Problem is they are the only Trek dealer that is fairly close to me. From reading it appears that the most popular multi-tools are from Topeak, Park Tool, Crank Brothers, and SKS Germany. Considering my particular bike, and the parts I have on it, what multi-tool do you think would be best for me? I've seen a lot of recommendations for various Topeak models. Thanks you very much for the help! Ones I have considered...

1. Topeak Hexus 16-Function Bicycle Tool
http://www.topeak.com/products/Tools/Hexus16blackW_O_Bag

2. Topeak Alien 2
http://www.topeak.com/products/Tools/ALiEN_II

3. Topeak Alien DX
http://www.topeak.com/products/Tools/ALiEN_DX

4. Topeak Mini 20 Pro
http://www.topeak.com/products/Tools/mini20pro_black

5. Crank Brother Multi 19
http://www.crankbrothers.com/tools_multi19.php

6. Park Tool MTB-3 Rescue Tool
http://www.parktool.com/products/detail.asp?cat=11&item=MTB-3

7. Park Tool I-Beam Mini Fold-Up with Chain Tool
http://www.parktool.com/products/detail.asp?cat=11&item=IB-3#

8. SKS Travel Toolbox 18
http://www.sks-germany.com/sks.php?l=en&a=product&i=7000

9. SKS TOM 18
http://www.sks-germany.com/sks.php?l=en&a=product&i=10016

10. Bontrager Rollbar 18
http://bontrager.com/model/08369

The Rollbar collection of mini-tools is revamped, too, with three models (8, 12, 18) to suit the task at hand. The top-end Rollbar 18 includes all the usual suspects plus other handy bits like a disc brake pad spreader, chain tool and a built-in tyre lever, plus storage for a spare chain link and pin.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I have the Hexus and I think it's a pretty great tool. I like that it includes tire levers.

SRAM chains usually come with a removable link. If it's clean and adequately lubricated, it can be opened or reassembled without a tool. However, when you replace it, you're likely to have to remove one or more links from the new chain. You'll still need a tool for that. You'll also need it to remove damaged links if you really bugger them up on the trail. It's not a bad idea to keep a spare power link with whatever tools you take riding to reclose a damaged chain if it comes up.
 

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I'm just posting what my gear is. Because I was thinking about getting a multitool but decided against it. Because well... half of the stuff on them I'll never use.
My gear:
small adjustable wrench. This 6" wrench... damn I paid that price for only 3 in store! Ohh this works as a pedal wrench/spoke tool/leverage for tiny Allen wrenchs in a jiffy.
99c store Allen wrench set. My bike only uses 2 different size wrenches, so the rest I leave at home
My keychain full of "rewards cards" that work as tire levers.
Mini Philips head screw driver using the wrench for leverage like a socket wrench.
The little wrench included in the BB7 set because the inbound pad adjuster is so damn stiff.
And Parktool's mini chain breaker.

I also carry a spare chain and spare tube.
Everything minus the spare chain(because I really don't want to take it out of the box) fits in my little tool bag with room for a light snack. I've never really liked multitools except for Swiss army knives(which I keep on me btw). They just don't feel natural in hand to me.
 

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Last, not lost.
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As a newb, I purchased the Crank Bros 17. 2 less screwdrivers than the 19. Nice size, and solid. I did use the chainbreak on it to shorten my chain, tough, but manageable (prob not a frequent action). If I lose it, I'll buy another.
 

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It's not a bad idea to keep a spare power link with whatever tools you take riding to reclose a damaged chain if it comes up.
+1 that. Whatever you get, make sure it has a chain tool and learn how to use it. You may never break a chain out in the woods, but it happens.
 

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It all depends on what you want. Everyone seems to have their own preferences as far as multi-tools go. My set up is a basic multi-tool (Park IB-1), a mini chain tool (Park CT-5), and tire levers. I opted for these instead of a bigger multi-tool.

You will need a chain tool eventually. You will have to shorten your chain when you buy a new one, and you'll probably need one if you snap your chain on a ride, even if you have spare Power Links. I prefer the CT-5 to integrated chain tools.
 

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As another noob but a handy kinda guy I agree with UEDan. Figure out what Allen wrenches you need, probably 2 to 4 different sizes. Get a small adjustable wrench, small Vise Grips along with a screw driver or Leather man tool and tire levers. All this plus a tire pressure gauge and CO2 tire filler fit in a wide mouth water bottle I carry on the frame so I don't have to worry as much about my tools getting wet and rusty. In a seat bag I carry a tube, patch kit, CO2 bottles, chain tool and old wash cloth i use as a hand rag.

Multi tools tend to be more of a pain then there worth.
 

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All fat, all the time.
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I have a 7 year old version of the park rescue tool. It handles *most* trailside repairs & has the chain tool & tire levers built in. I like it.
In fact, every park tool I've ever bought has performed well & their customer service is top notch too.
 

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Muddydogs said:
As another noob but a handy kinda guy I agree with UEDan. Figure out what Allen wrenches you need, probably 2 to 4 different sizes. Get a small adjustable wrench, small Vise Grips along with a screw driver or Leather man tool and tire levers. All this plus a tire pressure gauge and CO2 tire filler fit in a wide mouth water bottle I carry on the frame so I don't have to worry as much about my tools getting wet and rusty. In a seat bag I carry a tube, patch kit, CO2 bottles, chain tool and old wash cloth i use as a hand rag.

Multi tools tend to be more of a pain then there worth.
I don't know. It's pretty handy to have your Allen wrenches and screwdrivers contained in one compact unit. I have a hard enough time keeping track of things.

I'm not sure why you'd need vise grips on the trail. I rarely ever use vise grips at home for bike work. A Leatherman tool, which is a multi-tool, isn't really critical unless you foresee needing a knife or pliers. An adjustable wrench also seems a bit unnecessary.
 

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I'm with s0ckeyeus, with the exception that instead of the Ibeam tool, I carry the Park AWS-10 allen set (I also have an AWS-9 somewhere in case I feel like I need screwdrivers instead of the small allens). I find the Ibeam a little short in some spots, so I like the longer wrenches of the AWS-10. And I pair it with the CT-5 chain tool because most integrated chain tools are hard to use.
 

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s0ckeyeus said:
I don't know. It's pretty handy to have your Allen wrenches and screwdrivers contained in one compact unit. I have a hard enough time keeping track of things.

I'm not sure why you'd need vise grips on the trail. I rarely ever use vise grips at home for bike work. A Leatherman tool, which is a multi-tool, isn't really critical unless you foresee needing a knife or pliers. An adjustable wrench also seems a bit unnecessary.
Well I need a wrench to take off my wheels so its there for that. The Vise Grips are small and handy so I carry them. I have an old bike and sometimes things don't turn as they should. As for the Leatherman I have a smaller one and thats my screw drivers. And yes a knife is mandatory carry for me, well at least 2 knives anyway.

To each his own, I put my tool kit together out of my tool box so cost was very little.
 

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Muddydogs said:
Well I need a wrench to take off my wheels so its there for that. The Vise Grips are small and handy so I carry them. I have an old bike and sometimes things don't turn as they should. As for the Leatherman I have a smaller one and thats my screw drivers. And yes a knife is mandatory carry for me, well at least 2 knives anyway.

To each his own, I put my tool kit together out of my tool box so cost was very little.
A wrench makes sense if you don't have quick release. I won't try to convince you not to bring Leathermans. I know a few people who won't go anywhere without one, and they'll defend their Leatherman toting ways to the death (and they'll rub it in your face every time you use one).

Personally, I have a Victorinox SwissTool Spirit S. I don't carry it often, but I love it.
 

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UEDan said:
My keychain full of "rewards cards" that work as tire levers.
Where do you shop that gives away such beefy reward cards?

As for tools, if you carry a camelback, the biggest most well equipped tool is still small and light in the overall scheme of things. And they are way smaller, lighter and more convenient than assembling a bunch of household items that do a half a$$ed job, like reward card tire levers :)
So, get the best tool. I'm not familiar with them all, but the Topeak Alien has always been one of the best, and probably still is. I've probably had mine for 15 years now.
 

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toolz

I have an old Topeak Alien. I've had it 7,8 years. Use it all the time. HaHa.Maybe once on the trail to fix chain. I use it all the time though.Easier than dragging out the tool box.
 

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I put this together a few months ago. Though it doesn't directly answer your question about which multi tool to purchase, it does give you an idea of what kind of stuff I carry for my trail riding.

My bottom line is I am often very far from civilization and never want to have to walk my bike out. If I can at least get the bike rolling under power, that's still better then walking.

Good luck with your research and in the end, if you can find a friend who can show you how to do some basic things on your bike, you'll be in good shape.
 

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