By Gloria Liu
This powerful, portable multi-tool will save your butt on the trail more than a few times
My sister gave me my first multi-tool for Christmas six years ago. It was a Topeak Alien II with 26 functions including a bottle opener and pocketknife. Even after I'd come into possession of other multi-tools, the Alien II remained my trusty companion. I carried it everywhere, because chances were, it had the tool I needed.
But it was still a multi-tool, and multi-tools have their limitations. They can be clumsy to hold and maneuver in tight spaces. And if you really need to muscle something, you're probably SOL.
Enter the Crankbrothers y16: proper Y tools and more, in a portable package. A plastic carrying case holds two 6150 chromoly steel Y tools back-to-back, snugged together magnetically. One has the bits you'll need most often: 4mm, 5mm, and 6mm hex wrenches. The other has an 8mm hex, a T10 torx driver, and a socket to hold the six other zinc-plated tool heads that live in the carrying case, including Phillips- and flat-head screwdrivers. There's also a CO2 inflator and a chain tool.
The Crankbrothers Y16 has the bits you'll need most often: 4mm, 5mm, and 6mm hex wrenches, an 8mm hex, a T10 torx driver, and a socket to hold the six other zinc-plated tool heads, including flathead and phillips head screwdrivers.
The y16 is a little too big to carry in a jersey pocket or seat bag, but it fits well in a hydration pack, and its compact size and breadth of functionality mean I still use it more than any other multi-tool. It's become my home toolkit for the basic but frequent fiddling I do to set up test bikes; but I can also toss it in my bag for races or when I'm traveling. It's saved my butt, and those of a couple of my riding companions, several times on the trail and on the road.
Get Yours Today!