Best Multi-Tool for Cycling?

Let’s take a look at a few great options!

Best Multi-Tools for Cycling?

More times than not, the simple pleasure of a bike ride can do wonders for us.  Whether it be for the exercise, adrenaline rush, or the draw of just being outside, riding a bike is almost always an awesome experience (operative word there being *almost). If you ride bikes, chances are you have experienced some sort of mechanical at some point… Tire puncture, loose bolt, squeaky drivetrain, wonky flux capacitor… You get the picture.  These either annoy the heck out of us cyclists, or they stop us dead in our tracks.  So, the question is, do you have the tools and know how to get back to enjoying your two wheeled adventure?  Let’s start with the first part of that question.  What are you packing in your saddle bag in the way of tools?  Do you know what you need?  Since none of us wants to roll around with a full-on tool chest in your pack, let’s talk multi tools made for cycling.  Whether it be for riding road, gravel, mountain, or commuting, here are a few multi tools we recommend and some tips to help you avoid being stuck on the side of the road or trail.


“…do a thorough inspection of your entire bike so you know what you’re working with.”

Know what you need!

Not all bikes were created the same.  They have different bolts, nuts, screws, and so on, so the first thing we recommend is that you do a thorough inspection of your entire bike so you know what you’re working with.  Chances are that the one thing that breaks will be the one tool you don’t have with you to fix it.  Also, most bikes will need metric tools, but you should make sure that you’re not dealing with anything in the imperial world (it sure would be nice if the US, Liberia, and Myanmar would join the rest of the world and use the metric system!).  Once you have a good list of the bolts, screws, and fittings you’re working with, it’s time to choose the right tool for you.  For my bike, I know I need a 3,4,5, and 6mm hex wrench and a T25 torx bit, but my bike is pretty straight forward and simple.  I do know that I will need a 2mm hex if I want to adjust / trim the front derailleur, but that seldom needs to be done, so I generally don’t take a 2mm hex with me (this is where I kick myself for jinxing my next ride).  Your bike also has a chain, and like a lot of people these days, you might be setup tubeless – these are two more things you’ll need to take into consideration when deciding on the right multi tool, because like bikes, these items are also not all created equal.  Finally, know the angles you’re working with and the spaces you’ll need to make your tool fit into in order to access all of these wonderfully integrated and hidden screws (read: beautiful, but complete pains in the arse…).  This is one more thing you’ll need to keep in mind as sometimes, some tools can be too long or too short for your particular needs… again, been there at the most inopportune times!  One final note, be sure to get familiar with whatever tool you decide on, and a little practice with it will help you feel much more confident when you actually need to use it.

Multi Tools-11

There are a bunch of multi-tools to choose from, but here are three different options we really like a lot!

Crankbrothers M19 Multi-tool
Crankbrothers M20
Silca Italian Army Knife Venti
Silca Italian Army Knife Venti
Pebble Tool by PNW
Multi Tools-19
Multi Tools-20

The Crankbrothers M20

This beast has pretty much everything, including the proverbial kitchen sink! You’ve got all the different hex wrench options: a chain tool, an open wrench, multiple screwdrivers, a tire plug tool, tire plugs, a valve core removal tool, a disc brake rotor straightener, spoke wrenches, and multiple Torx wrenches. No joke, you can almost start a bike service business with the M20, and if I had to be honest, I have grabbed this a few times while working on bikes at the Lab because someone else was using the fancy schmancy shop tool I needed at the moment. Given everything bolted to the M20, $39.99 is a pretty reasonable price… especially when you add up what it would cost to get each of these tools individually. So, why doesn’t everyone just stop the search here and pick up one of these for all of their cycling needs? Well, first off, and like my mom always told me, variety is the spice of life, so take a look at all the options before tying the knot. Secondly, this monster is built like a pro linebacker… powerful but big! They are 89mm in length (3.5 inches for you imperial holdouts), and weigh in at a whopping 203g (just shy of a half-pound). If you’re new to the cycling world, weight counts and weight weenies are a real thing, and lighter bikes come at a premium. So, we do our best to save weight when and where we can. Aside from the size penalty, the Crankbrothers M20 is a fantastic option that comes in some pretty cool colors, and it’s a quality tool that will last for many, many years.

The Silca Italian Army Knife Venti

You had us at Silca. When we think about quality products, Silca undoubtedly is one of the first brands that jump to mind, and their Italian Army Knife Venti definitely does not miss the mark here with its forged and plated steel tools. Much like the M20, it too has a lot to offer with its chain breaker, storage for a chain master link, 2mm to 8mm hex tools, four Torx wrenches, Phillips screwdrivers, box wrench, flare nut wrench, open end wrench disc brake pad spreader, valve core remover, and spoke wrenches. It also weighs about 21% less than the M20, but at $55, it’s a bit more expensive. The only thing that we truly wish it had was some sort of tubeless plug system, but it’s not a deal breaker by any means. Other than that, this is a fine piece of craftsmanship that could potentially last you for the rest of your life if you don’t lose the darn thing (speaking from a place of experience)!

The Pebble Tool by PNW Components

The Pebble came out in late 2022, and we immediately fell in love with this little gem! To quote PNW, “It’s no bigger than your favorite fun-sized piece of Halloween candy, with all the bits to bail you out of your most common biking mishaps without the added weight of feeling like you packed half a toolbox in your shorts.” This goes back to the bit I mentioned above about knowing what you need for your bike. Personally, I don’t need 60% of the items on your typical multi-tool for most of my riding, so when I first saw the Pebble, my eyes lit up! Oh, and what is this?! It has an integrated Dynaplug system, which is absolutely my favorite tubeless tire plug and the best option on the market! For all of you weight weenies out there, it weighs a measly 51g, which is 75% less than the M20, and 68% lighter than the Silca. In addition to the Dynaplug, it has a T25 Torx, and 3-6mm hex wrenches. Simple, light, and effective. So, what is the downside, you ask? Well, for the third time, not all bikes are built the same, so if you have a specific tool need that is not on this minimalist design, you could be up a river without a paddle someday if this was the only tool you had with you. Also, the tools are a little on the short side, so make sure they will be a good match for your bike. The one glaring omission for me would be the lack of a chain tool. Again, I’m going to jinx myself one more time (knocks on wood), but I have not broken a chain while on a ride since the summer of 2007, so I like my odds if I don’t always have one with me. However, I toss a small chain tool in my bag when jumping on a bike and heading off-grid. There are some options out there, like the Park Tool Mini Chain Tool, that work great, which is why I keep this exact tool around. The Pebble is a fantastic multi-tool if it checks most (if not all) of your boxes.

So, which one is best for you?

Well, it’s tough to go wrong with just about all of them, but there are for sure some things to take into consideration here.  Depending on what kind of riding you like to do, your budget, tire setup, if you’re a prepper or minimalist, or what you simply think is the coolest looking tool (there’s always the cool factor), you could make a case for any one of these multi tools.  If I was going on a long ride in the middle of nowhere or on a bike packing adventure, I’m most certainly going to grab the Crankbrothers M20 or Silca Italian Army Knife Venti over the Pebble so I can have a better chance of pulling a MacGyver to get myself out of a jam (for those too young to know what I’m talking about, let IMBD be your friend and start binge watching immediately!). For pretty much all of my local rides and races, the Pebble will be with me at all times. Heck, if you can swing it, get a Pebble and either the M20 or Silca so you can choose your weapon based on your ride plans.  At the end of the day, just make sure you have something as you don’t want to tempt fate by riding alone without the essentials. And for the moochers out there, it’s a lot cheaper in the long run to just spring for the tool as opposed to constantly buying beer and/or coffee for your cycling friends as a means of saying thank you for bumming their tools!

Thanks for reading, and as always, hit us up with any questions you might have…  Happy riding from all of us here at the Dialed Cycling Lab!

Best Multi-Tools