Even if you never travel outside of your own neighborhood, you still need to carry a few things with you on every bike ride: a spare inner tube, a tire pump or CO2 inflator, and a small multi-tool. I have five bikes and because they each have different requirements I carry a different multi-tool for each bike. Earlier this year I started carrying a Topeak Hexus II Multi-tool on one of my mountain bikes and have had the opportunity to use this tool on several occasions.
The Topeak Hexus II Multi-tool has 16 well designed tools (all made of hardened steel) and it fits into an easy-to-hold composite body. The Hexus II includes the following tools: Allen Wrenches (2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm), two spoke wrenches (15 and 14g), two high quality plastic tire levers, steel wire chain hook, chain tool, T25 Torx bit, and both a Philips and flat head screwdriver. Unlike the other Topeak multi-tools I own, this one does not come with a Neoprene storage bag (not a major issue for me).
I have used all the tools on this product and have been extremely satisfied with them. The tire levers are better than you will find on most other multi-tools and the T25 Torx bit will easily adjust mechanical disc brakes. The chain tool is easy to use and even if you don’t know how to use one it you should have a chain tool with you in case your chain breaks on the trail—hopefully a more experienced cyclist will come by and be able to fix your chain (it only takes a minute or two). According to Topeak, the chain tool on the Hexus II “is compatible with all single speed and most multi-speed chains, including 10 speed hollow pin chains.” However, it is not compatible with 11 speed chains.
The only problem with Topeak tools is deciding which one to carry. If you are scared of making hardly only adjustments to your bike then I’d carry the Topeak Mini 9 Pro Multi-tool—it has all the Allen wrenches you will need for most modern road bikes (2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 mm), along with two tire levers. If you want to to be able to overhaul your bike while on the trails I’d suggest the Topeak Alien II—it has 26 tools, including eight Allen wrenches, box wrenches (two each of 8/9/10mm), a T25 Torx wrench (for disc brake rotor bolts), Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers, spoke wrenches (14/15g), two tire levers, mini pedal wrench, stainless steel knife, bottle opener, a cast Cromoly steel chain tool and a steel wire chain hook. The Topeak Hexus II falls in-between the Mini-9 and the Alien II, and is probably the best tool for most cyclists. However, if you have a mountain bike with hydraulic disc brakes I’d suggest the Topeak Mini 18+ instead since it has a handle that also functions as a pad spreader for disc brakes (I’ll review this tool in a few weeks).
The Topeak Hexus II Multi-tool retails for around $27 and is available at any well-stocked bike shop. This product comes with a 2-year warranty (see Topeak’s Website for complete details). You can find this tool for a lower price on Amazon.com, but do yourself a favor and support your local bike shop.