Bit Driver Multi-Tools for Bikepacking and Bike Touring

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While many bikepackers are satisfied with a folding multi-tool for trailside wrenching, and others just blow off weight concerns and carry a full set of L-hex wrenches, some prefer the utility of a bit driver multi-tool. Here’s a comprehensive list of some of the better ones out there…

In the past, especially on bigger trips, I’ve carried full set of L-shaped Allen keys wrapped in a tool roll. However, over the last few years companies and individuals have released several new bit driver multi-tools that are interestingly engineered, offer a broad range of utilities, and are lighter and more compact than a set of L-hex wrenches. Here are a few we’ve tried. As with other Low Down gear lists, we’ll add to it over time, and if you have other bit driver multi-tools you like, make sure to leave us a comment.

Mineral Mini Bar, Bike Tool
Mineral Mini Bar, Bike Tool
Mineral Mini Bar, Bike Tool
Mineral Mini Bar, Bike Tool
Mineral Mini Bar, Bike Tool
Mineral Mini Bar, Bike Tool
Mineral Mini Bar, Bike Tool

Mineral Mini Bar Multi-tool

The Mini Bar is one of three tools offered by Mineral Designs, a two-man shop founded by Justin Dodd and Mike Manzione. The Mini Bar is a compact, L-shaped, TIG-welded steel tool with removable bits. All three ends of the L-handle accept standard 1/4-inch bits, each end also has a neodymium magnet to hold bits in place, making them hard to drop and lose, one of the pitfalls of many bit driver tools. The Mini Bar’s plastic handle houses another eight magnets that hold in place six bits of your choice, as well as the L-handle itself.

The Mini Bar is approximately 3.8″ long x 1.3″ wide x 0.5” thick (97 x 33.5 x 12.7mm). The L-handle is made from TIG-welded steel with a durable electroless nickel finish. Aside from a great name, the tool comes with 10 standard 1/4″ bits (carrier holds 6): 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm, Torx T25, Phillips, and flathead screwdriver.

The main advantages that the Mini Bar has over a typical folding multi-tool are in its leverage and ease of use. The L-handle is versatile and can be used in multiple positions, making assembly and adjustments pleasant compared to a fiddly folding tool. Put simply, the Mineral Mini Bar feels good and solid in hand and is highly usable compared to most multi-tools we’ve tested in the field. It’s certainly one of our favorites, and it came along on our trip to Georgia last summer. If there’s one strike against it, it’s that the shell feels a bit plasticky, but it works and has held up well, so no real complaints there.

  • Size (L x H x W) 96.8mm x 12.7mm x 33.5mm (3.8 x 0.5 x 1.3″)
  • Weight 112g (4oz)
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • MSRP $34.99
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link
Blackburn Switch Multi-tool Review
Blackburn Switch Multi-tool Review
Blackburn Switch Multi-tool Review
Blackburn Switch Multi-tool Review
Blackburn Switch Multi-tool Review

Blackburn Switch Multi-Tool

With just four double-sided bits and a wrench, the Blackburn Switch Multi-tool might seem overly simplistic on first glance. But there’s a lot of practical utility built into this little gadget. The Switch is clearly an ultra-minimal tool kit that abandons several key functions, such as a chain-breaker, an 8mm Allen hex, and a couple other bits typically found on most folding multi-tools. But what it does have is a core set of tools that work really well. It has only of eight functions—five hex bits (2.5/3/4/5/6), two Torx bits (T25/T30), and a flathead screwdriver.

In use, the Switch allows its two-sided bits to fit into the handle end of the wrench for use like a screwdriver, or alternatively in the socket end. You can also do both and it becomes a T-handle bit driver. Another thing that sets the Switch apart is that it features ball-end hex bits, which is always handy for hard to reach bolts. Note there have been reports of the switch stripping bolts doe to the ball-end tolerances, but I haven’t had that problem. There is also now a Big Switch, which has standard hex ends on most of the bits. Read our full review here.

  • Size 65 x 105 x 15mm (2.5 x 4.1 x 0.5″)
  • Weight 99g (3.5oz)
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • MSRP $19.99
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link
  • Buy at Your LBS or Amazon / JensonUSA
Fix It sticks Mountain Set
Fix It sticks Mountain Set
Fix It sticks Mountain Set
Fix It sticks Mountain Set

Fix It Sticks Mountain Set

The Fix It Sticks Mountain Set is about as simple as it gets. Honestly, it’s not really a bit driver, it’s just two parts and a really nice case. The two double-sided drivers each have two fixed bits that can’t be removed, so there are four functions in total: 4, 5, and 6mm hex, and a T25. That said, it’s simplicity is what makes this tool quite nice. This set of bits is arguably the most used, so the Mountain Set is a handy add-on to keep in your top tube bag for the bulk of quick fixes and adjustments. Since we’ve had it, it’s been a staple for trail rides and we brought it along on a recent bikepacking trip to Pisgah National Forest. Our only complaint would be the tolerance with which the two drivers fit together. It’s a little loose, and it might benefit from a tighter fit, or perhaps magnets employed on a future iteration. That said, it’s highly usable and is one of our favorites.

  • Size 125 x 35 x 20mm (5.0 x 1.5 x 1.0″)
  • Weight 77g (2.7oz)
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • MSRP $29.99
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link
  • Buy at Your LBS or JensonUSA
Fix It Sticks Mountain Kit
Fix It Sticks Mountain Kit
Fix It Sticks Mountain Kit
Fix It Sticks Mountain Kit
Fix It Sticks Mountain Kit

Fix It Sticks Mountain Kit

The Fix It Sticks Mountain Kit picks up where the Mountain Set (above) left off, offering a much more well-rounded and complete set of tools based around the same clever double-sided drivers. This time the bits are removable, held securely in place with magnets within the drivers, and includes 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6mm hex, T25 and Phillips #2. Tire lever heads can be used the same way the bits are, including being held in place with magnets, making for a sturdy connection when changing flats. The chain breaker is also designed to work with the bit drivers, which creates a great interface that is easy to get enough torque on. The stationary side of the chain breaker (bike side) doesn’t have a lot of tool to grab on, so a magnetized connection would have been cool to see here as well. The breaker should work well with most chains out there, not including Campagnolo 11-speed chains. Both drivers, and included bits fit snugly within a plastic bracket, and then everything lives within a simple carrying case with mesh pockets. It’s a clever little kit, and definitely a step up from the Fix It Sticks Mountain Set, which we also have had great success with using out on the trail. NOTE: Fix It Sticks just released the Blend, which is a combination of the two in a nice case.

  • Size 140 x 80 x 30mm (5.5 x 3.3 x 1.3″)
  • Weight 251g (8.9oz)
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • MSRP $56
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link
  • Buy at Your LBS or Amazon
All In Multitool, Crankset hollow tube multi-tool
All In Multitool, Crankset hollow tube multi-tool
All In Multitool, Crankset hollow tube multi-tool
All In Multitool, Crankset hollow tube multi-tool
All In Multitool, Crankset hollow tube multi-tool

All In Multi Tool

Inspired by tricks and hacks from old bike touring veterans, there is a growing class of tools designed to be stashed within the unused nooks and crannies on a bicycle. The All In Multitool is one of them. It slides into the hollow tube of a crankset and stays in place via a powerful magnet. While it’s lacking a lot of necessary functions to be considered a full-on multi-tool, it’s a really handy bit driver, and it holds a spare set of quicklinks. Aside from its solid in-hand feel, the major draw of the All In Multitool is how easy it is to access. The tool simply slides in and out of the crank tube and can be retrieved or stowed faster than any tool we’ve tried. The biggest issue with this tool is its cost, however. One hundred bucks is a lot to pay for what amounts to a set of Allen keys. But, if money’s no object and you like the idea of a solid and comfortable bit driver that’s stashed in the ideal location, you’ll likely appreciate the All In Multitool. Read our full review here.

Silca T-Ratchet Torque Bike Tool
Silca T-Ratchet Torque Bike Tool
Silca T-Ratchet Torque Bike Tool
Silca T-Ratchet Torque Bike Tool
Silca T-Ratchet Torque Bike Tool
Silca T-Ratchet Torque Bike Tool
Silca T-Ratchet Torque Bike Tool
Silca T-Ratchet Torque Bike Tool
Silca T-ratchet

Silca T-Ratchet

The Silca T-Ratchet + Ti-Torque is certainly one of the most versatile and complete bit driver tools listed here. It’s also one of the most refined, precise mini tools we’ve seen. Upon first inspection, it was obvious that Silca spared no expense when it came to designing this tool set. From its trademark SILCA waxed canvas carrying case, complete with magnetic closure buttons, to an extremely well-made ratcheting handle that can be rearranged in several configurations with high-power magnets, the T-Ratchet is very high quality, to say the least.

The tool set includes Silca’s own custom hardened steel, high-engagement ratchet with a breakaway handle that can be moved to one side to center the driver as a T-handle, or to the other side to create more of an L-handle configuration. It also includes a 6cm standard bit extender and the 10cm titanium and aluminum Ti-Torque extender. The Torque extender is made with a precision titanium spring and features three separate scales for measuring torque in real-time (from 2-8Nm). Check out this video for more about how it works. As far as bits, the kit includes H2, H2.5, H3, H4, H5, H6, T10, T20, T25 and Phillips H2, all of which store in individual sleeves within the 120mm x 70mm x 30mm carrying case.

The Silca T-Ratchet is a joy to use. Its breakaway handle is convenient, and the ability to easily switch from a T-handle to an L is useful, as is its potential to house three bits at once. One thing that really stands out is how powerful the magnets within the ratchet ends and extenders are. They lock the bits in place better than most of the other tools listed here. All in all, Silca nailed it with an incredibly high quality and user-friendly bit driver. It’s not cheap, but our guess is that it will last a long while.

  • Size 120 x 75 x 30mm (4.7 x 3 x 1″)
  • Weight 226g (8oz)
  • Place of Manufacture TBD
  • MSRP $99
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link
  • Buy at Your LBS or Amazon
Spurcycle Tool, Titanium bike tool
Spurcycle Tool, Titanium bike tool
Spurcycle Tool, Titanium bike tool
Spurcycle Tool, Titanium bike tool
Spurcycle Tool, Titanium bike tool
Spurcycle Tool, Titanium bike tool
Spurcycle Tool, Titanium bike tool
Spurcycle Tool, Titanium bike tool

Spurcycle Tool (Titanium)

Speaking of precision and quality, Spurcycle, best known for its award-winning bell, once again delivered top notch design and engineering with its first mini-tool, simply named Tool. The Spurcycle Tool is the second lightest option listed here, bested only by the Fix It Sticks Mountain Set, which has just four functioning bits. The Tool is made up of a sliding bit driver on a 95mm rod, both machined of Grade 5 titanium in Richmond, California. The level of precision machining is what makes this tool special. The bar fits satisfyingly snugly into the sliding driver, giving is a solid feel and allowing it to be use as an L-handle, T-handle, or anything in between. Each end of the bar has a beveled groove where an open-ended lock washer keeps the bit driver from sliding off.

The Spurcycle Tool’s bit driver also features a nice snug tolerance, as well as a magnet to hold one of 10 chromed S2 steel bits (2mm, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, T10, T25, and Philips 2) that are stored in a rubberized sleeve, which is probably the most lackluster part of the Tool. Both the Tool and bit set fit neatly housed in a compact and elegantly stitched X-Pac pouch with a blue interior liner and a nice woven label with the Spurcycle logotype.

With a $70 price tag, many will shy away from the Spurcycle Tool in favor of something with a few more functions. But, all in all, it’s an impressive little gadget that’s incredibly lightweight, small, and well-made in the USA. It’s also one that’s been in our pockets over the last several months more than any tool listed here.

  • Size 110 x 40 x 15mm (4.5 x 1.5 x 0.7″)
  • Weight 92g (3.2oz)
  • Place of Manufacture USA
  • MSRP $69
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link
Industry Nine Matchstix
Industry Nine Matchstix
Industry Nine Matchstix
Industry Nine Matchstix Review, Axle multi-tool
Industry Nine Matchstix Review, Axle multi-tool
Industry Nine Matchstix, Thru-axle Multitool

Industry Nine Matchstix

In order to maximize packing space and make more space for valuable items – such as snacks! – bikepackers have been using the hollow nooks and crannies of tubes to stuff their cables and spare spokes into for decades. Similarly, the Industry Nine Matchstix Multi-tool stores a slew of tools within a 15mm thru-axle: a bit driver tool with five Allen keys, a chainbreaker, a 2.32mm spoke tool, a valve core removal tool, and a spare set of quick chainlinks. This allows riders to have essential tools on hand without having to think about packing and repacking them, losing them, or whether or not they are going to impede on snack space.

The Matchstix thru-axle tool comes in two sizes — 15x100mm and Boost 15x110mm — for both RockShox and Fox forks, and 15x150mm for the RockShox Bluto. Each comes with six optional stainless steel bits: 6mm, 4mm, 3mm, 2.5mm, 2mm, and T25. The slide-out bit sleeve can accommodate four bits. The 3mm operates the chainbreaker, so that one’s a required carry. The other three bits are rider’s choice, and a 5mm bit is permanently integrated into the handle.

In practice, the Matchstix has a few little idiosyncrasies, such as its inability to fit an Eagle Powerlock Link and the fact that it’s not ideal for hard-to-reach bolts. It’s also not cheap. You could essentially buy several good multi-tools for the $145 price of the Matchstix. But, then again, space is a precious commodity for bikepackers. And, considering it’s made in the USA, you can feel pretty good about investing in a small engineering masterpiece that clearly required a lot of thought and work to produce. Read our full review here.

Topeak Ratchet Rocket tOrque
Topeak Ratchet Rocket tOrque
Topeak Ratchet Rocket tOrque
Topeak Ratchet Rocket tOrque

Topeak Ratchet Rocket DX and NTX

Both the Ratchet Rocket DX and NTX are based around a neat little ratchet driver – along side T10, T15, and T25 torx bits as well as 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm allen bits and a #2 Phillips bit. The NTX model includes three preset torque bits, all compatible with the ratchet driver, delivering 4, 5, and 6 Nm respectively, that snap together snuggly and fit inside the simple carrying case with everything else. When some extra leverage is needed, there is also a magnetic bit holder, all compatible with the driver and various bit options. The bit holder can also be used to help imitate a T-handle style tool when not using the ratcheting side of the tool. For good measure Topeak also includes two plastic tire levers and a spot to carry a small tube patch kit. The folding carrying case is simple, but keeps things organized and secures with a simple velcro closure.

Sometimes the simplest job can prove super frustrating when space is limited or the position is hard to see, but the ratcheting driver means once the bit finds its home, you can simply wrench away with very limited effort. It can speed simple chores up along the trail, and Miles found the Ratchet Rocket LITE NTX to offer everything he needed during his recent post-flight motel room bike build.

Topeak’s driver really packs an audible punch that lets everyone around you know you mean business. Just don’t let them see the size of the tool you’re using. The only issue is that the elastic in the carrying case that holds the bits is a tad loose, so you really have to ensure they are pushed all the way down or they have the potential of slipping out. There are also quite a few little interchangeable pieces, so losing something isn’t very hard, Miles has already misplaced the smallest hex key bit somewhere between Portland and Hood River – first one to find it wins it.

  • Size 120 x 70 x 25mm (5 x 3 x 1″)
  • Weight 221g (NTX) / 158g (DX)
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • MSRP $89 (NTX) / $35 (DX)
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link
  • Buy at Your LBS or Amazon: NTX / DX
Topeak Ratchet Rocket Bit-driver multi-tool
Topeak Ratchet Rocket Bit-driver multi-tool
Topeak Ratchet Rocket Bit-driver multi-tool
Topeak Ratchet Rocket Bit-driver multi-tool
Topeak Ratchet Rocket Bit-driver multi-tool
Topeak Ratchet Rocket
Topeak Ratchet Rocket Bit-driver multi-tool

Topeak Ratchet Rocket

While we haven’t put this tool to the test yet, it’s been mentioned in passing, so we thought it’s worth including. The Ratchet Rocket is designed to make adjustments and repairs with speed. The tool contains a reversible ratchet driver—the same one used on the DX and NTX—in a compact, water-resistant case that can be mounted on the bike with an included QR clamp water bottle boss mount or band clamp mount. It has 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6 mm bits, a chainbreaker, and two metal tire levers, that according to Topeak are designed for “for emergency use only,” although we’re a little unclear what that means. The chain tool is compatible with single and multi-speed chains up to 12-speed, NOT including Campy-11 speed hollow pin chains.

  • Size 110 x 55 x 30mm (4.3 x 2.3 x 1.3″)
  • Weight 209g (7.4oz)
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • MSRP $39
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link
  • Buy at Your LBS or Amazon
Full Windsor Bike Tool, Nutter
Full Windsor Bike Tool, Nutter
Full Windsor Bike Tool, Nutter
Full Windsor Bike Tool, Nutter
Full Windsor Bike Tool, Nutter
Full Windsor Bike Tool, Nutter
Full Windsor Bike Tool, Nutter

Full Windsor Nutter

The Full Windsor Nutter bike tool is significantly different than most of the other tools listed here. For one, it features a hefty, hardened stainless steel tool body with a nylon lever affixed to one end and a 15mm box-end wrench on the other. It also has a spoke key, a bottle opener, and a bit socket on it’s side. The socket also contains an inlaid magnet to keep allen bits in place. The Nutter comes with 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm hex tool bits, Philips and flathead screwdriver bits, a T25 Torx bit, and a magnetic tool bit extender. All this is wrapped in a pretty nice pouch. Ours is made from a recycled inner tube, but it also comes in burnt brown or jet black leather.

We’ve only tinkered with the Nutter and we haven’t brought it along on any big trips yet, but it seems like a good (and very solid) option for someone traveling with a Rohloff and in need of a 15mm wrench. The stainless steel tool is undoubtedly beefy, so we’re not skeptical of it’s durability. Our only initial complaint would be that the bit driver is a little tricky to use in tight situations since it’s part of such a large tool. That said, it would be easy enough to bring along another minimal driver if that’s a concern.

  • Size 170 x 50 x 30mm (6.5 x 2 x 1.3″)
  • Weight 228g (8.1oz)
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • MSRP $59.95
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link
  • Buy at Your LBS or Amazon
Lezyne T-Drive Multi-tool
Lezyne T-Drive Multi-tool
Lezyne T-Drive Multi-tool
Lezyne T-Drive Multi-tool
Lezyne T-Drive Multi-tool
Lezyne T-Drive Multi-tool

Lezyne T-Drive

Lezyne makes three versions of the T-Drive. And in all honesty, this isn’t the one that we expected. While it has a nicely machined aluminum construction with removable handle, it’s a little big for bikepacking. The one we were interested in is called Storage Drive which stores the bits inside the handle. However, this is the one they sent us to include in this roundup, so here’s a quick look. The T-Drive features a sliding t-shaped handle that breaks apart via a threaded end on the long slider. The larger driver features an integrated magnet to hold bits in place. The T-Drive includes a soft shell carrying case with storage cutouts and extra pocket. Bits include 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Allen bits, Torx T10, T25, and T30, and Flat Head and Phillips-Head screwdrivers. While it’s a nice tool, and works fairly well, the full kit is a little big compared to others. Also worth noting, the driver end, being aluminum, is slightly bulky, so it makes getting to bolts like the seat post clamp a little tricky.

  • Size 120 x 60 x 30mm (4.7 x 2.4 x 1.3″)
  • Weight 134g (4.7oz)
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • MSRP $34.99
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link
  • Buy at Your LBS or Amazon

Wrap Up

In closing, there’s something to be said about a really nice bit-driver tool. As long as you can keep up with the bits while out riding, they offer a versatile solution to on the road wrenching. As far as picking favorites, there are a lot of good options here. Ultimately, on my last two bigger trips I did pick which ones to bring. In the Republic of Georgia, I brought the Mineral Bar Tool, which I love. More recently, as I planned my return to tackle Armenia, when deciding what multi-tool to bring along, I was slightly torn between the Spurcycle and SILCA. In the end, I grabbed the SILCA kit, removed the Ti-torque extension and added in the tool/driver from the Spurcycle tool. Most folks won’t have that luxury, but I don’t think you could go wrong with any of those three tools, as well as several others listed here. I’ll add that I’ve often reached for the All-In Multitool, and the Fix It Sticks are great as well.

NOTE: we included links to buy many of these items from online retailers, if they perk your interest. As always, we’d much prefer that you support your local bike shop and buy from them instead. However, until our new member supported model becomes viable, we will continue to include such affiliate links to help us pay the bills. And, as always, if you have experience with a good bit-driver multi-tool that we didn’t include, please leave it in the comments below.

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