There are those items that, as a cyclist, aren’t really going to make your life better. They aren’t going to make you faster, won’t increase your enjoyment on the bike or help you lose weight. So caring about them suggests that maybe one has too much time on his hands.
Objective correlative: My mom used to get worked up about spatulas.
So, with that admission, I now submit my all-time favorite multi tool, the Lezyne SV 10. Is this the perfect multi tool for everyone? I doubt it, but it does have a few features that make it noteworthy. The reason it’s on my radar I’ve encountered a few stems and other components with Torx fittings recently and there are precious few multi tools that can handle this task. That alone makes this thing a win, but … you may not need those; before I go any further, let’s go through the compliment of tools this thing contains.
So this $45.99 little dooey has 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm Allen keys; the 2 is L-shaped. There’s a Philips-head screwdriver and T25 and T30 Torx bits, plus a chain breaker than can handle 9-, 10- or 11-speed chains. It’s virtually every tool I’ve ever needed on the road.
Notice how this thing is bright and shiny, like it was made by a jeweler and it’s simply waiting to have a bunch of rhinestones encrusted upon it so it can be sold to the world’s only paprazzi-evading cyclist? Well I didn’t take that shot when the thing was new, out of the box. I shot it this morning, following months in either a saddle bag or my jersey pocket. No amount of sweat or road spray has caused the least bit of corrosion on those stainless steel bits. The issue here isn’t that I’m some effete, fair-weather rider who can’t deal with some rust. It’s that I’ve encountered tools that were so impossibly neglected that they had rusted to the point that I once found myself trying to grind rust off a 4mm Allen key on the sidewalk because I couldn’t fit the damn thing in a seat binder.
We can all agree there are better ways to spend your time, can’t we?
With a weight of only 100 grams (exactly—I swear—thanks, in part, to CNC-manchined aluminum for everything that isn’t a tool) and a construction so slim that it didn’t really affect pocket capacity, the SV 10 has become a regular part of my riding. And because I’m in the process of reviewing a number of bikes, I’ve had a more than typical need for a multi tool. Multi tools ought to be like insurance, there only in case you absolutely need them, but if you do, they need to do the job right, and right away. Lezyne makes a few other versions of this tool, with either more or fewer bits, but more and more components are coming with Torx fittings, so these tools, I expect, will become more and more necessary.
Being prepared is a kind of win. Just ask the Boy Scouts.