Today I received my new toy - a very small multitool, designed specifically for bicycles. The name is as obvious as it gets: It's a miniature tool, with 6 functions. No surprise there. The tools are comprised of Allen keys in 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 mm sizes and a single Philips screwdriver, which I think is a #1, although I'm not sure.
It even comes with a small keyring; luckily, this isn't counted as a seperate tool/function, like some companies do...
For a fair test, I decided to try it out while assembling a new bicycle and while adjusting the gears on my own bike. Of course this tool can't replace a complete workshop or a proper Allen key with a T-handle, but for things like adjusting the seat, tightening a brake cable or loosening a gear cable, it's adequate. In my opinion, there's no doubt that it's been designed to be with the rider on the trips, for small repair/adjustments; due to the small size, it can be hard to get enough leverage on screws and bolts.
Luckily, they've adressed this issue in the production; instead of indents or specific angles where the tools "lock up", they're moving loosely on the pivot, making it possible to keep the rest of the tool at an angle - if you also unfold the tools on the other half, you actually get about 50-60% more handle, making it alot easier to loosen those tight bolts.
Sizewise, the name "Mini 6" really matches the tool. When I first saw it, I was kinda disappointed with the size - I knew it would be small, but not that small. Luckily, the tool has grown on me and the small size has its advantages, compared to full-size "real" tools.
Compared to a Squirt P4, you actually get just about the same handle length, when you unfold the unused tool side.
As you might be able to see on some of the pictures, the paint is unfortunately not that good - after using it on 2 bikes, for a total "action time" of about 10-15 minutes, the paint already started scratching off; that's real unfortunate, cause in my opinion a tool as this deserves some advertisement on it.
- Small and lightweight (4,8 cm/1,9" in length, 2,8 cm/1,1" wide and 1,8 cm/0,7" in height and only 58 grams/2,04 oz)
- Precise tools
- Tools can be used at all angles
- Paint scrapes off too easily
- Tools on one side loose after less than 6 hours of ownership
- A bit too short for proper leverage
Conclusion: If you're a casual bike-rider and want a small tool to keep in a bag on your bike, along with a spare tube, this is a good bet - if you're gonna use it for extended work, I'd recommend the Topeak Mini 6 Long; the tools are exactly the same, but total length is increased from 4,8 cm/1,9" to 6,6 cm/2,6". If you're a more serious rider, take a look at Topeak's site
; they've got a lot of great multitools for the bike-rider.