5 MTB Tools that Live in your Bike

5 MTB Tools that Live in your Bike

Welcome to Grand Junction Colorado, home of
the Lunch Loops trail system. You’ll find quite a few riders spending
their lunch breaks here, as any one of these loops takes just a few minutes. Because the trailhead is always within reach,
you don’t need a lot of gear to ride the lunch loops. On the other hand, some rides require a lot
of gear, which of course comes at the expense of comfort. But there’s a sweet spot around two hours,
where you only need a bottle of water and a few tools to get by. And that’s what we’ll be talking about
today: products that keep the essentials on your bike so you don’t need to worry about
them or sacrifice any comfort. First, let’s have a look at my two hour
ride setup. Like most setups, mine starts at the water
bottle, but then on the other side is my crankbrothers clic pump. This pump has an inflation hose hidden inside,
which keeps stress off the valve stem when you’re really giving it hell. There’s actually some space inside the handle
of this pump, where I keep a valve core—wrapped in tissue paper to prevent rattling. Here we have an inner tube, strapped to my
frame with self stick hook and loop. A lot of people try to correct me and call
this velcro, but velcro is just one of many brands that make hook and loop. I digress. Up here at the fork is where things get interesting. This is my Industry Nine Matchstix multitool. The Matchstix is a thru axle, which means
installing it is easy. If you’re replacing a Maxle you’ll only
net an extra 25 grams by installing the Matchstix, which is impressive, as the matchstick comes
with a chain tool, a spoke wrench, a valve core wrench, quick link storage, and whatever
selection of hex and torx bits you need. A few videos ago I was kinda hard on this
tool for being pricey, but for its capabilities the matchstix is the lightest lowest impact
integrated tool, period. So there’s definitely a market willing to
pay $145 for this. I wish I could say the same for the all in
multi tool, which fits in hollow bottom brackets and costs $110. At that price, it doesn’t even have a chain
tool, spoke wrenches, or valve core wrenches. This thing is barebones. With that said, it’s still impressive. Although it doesn’t fit all cranksets, it
fits most, and it does so magnetically which makes it surprisingly secure. Once you have the tool in your hand it’s
very easy to change bits, and it even turns sideways to give you leverage—maybe the
most leverage. But while the All in Multitool is stealthy,
secure, high quality, and attractive, it lags behind the competition in terms of capability. Speaking of a tool that’s low on capability,
I’m now installing the Topeak Ninja which is actually designed for road bikes. Why is it called the ninja? Although it’s just a bottle cage with a
micro multi tool in it, the Ninja costs only $33—and as you would expect from topeak,
it’s nice. The bottle cage is very good, the compartment
is slick, and for some riders the Ninja will be an inexpensive way to never leave their
tool behind—this, coming from a guy who would definitely leave his tool at home if
it wasn’t attached to him. Although the Ninja has the same capabilities
as the all in multi tool, it costs less than a third and comes with a good bottle cage. For that, I can give it some latitude. In terms of value, I think this next tool
may be the winner. This is the Synchros Matchbox Tailor Cage,
which costs $80. It’s a bottle cage, which reveals a slide
out tool kit. It features a chain tool, spoke wrenches,
and all the allen keys you need including an 8 mil. It even comes with a tiny pump that telescopes
to give you more air volume. Although the pump doesn’t have a strain
relief hose, I would give it a chance for it’s compact size. You could also swap it out if you really wanted
to. But one of the best things about the Tailor
is how stout the bottle cage is. It’s way overkill, which is perfect for
mountain biking! My only complaint is that the actual tool
feels kinda chintzy, but I think it would still get you back on the trail. While the Synchros Matchbox Tailor Cage won’t
win any marketing awards for its name, it gives you the most bang for your buck, period. And now the crown jewel of this segment, the
One Up Components EDC. This thing is seriously well made, and at
$60 the price seems too good to be true. That’s because the EDC is modular. You either spend $60 on a pump that it fits
inside of, or $60 on a kit that lets you install it in your steerer tube. So it’s more like $120 which puts it up
there with the most premium tools, but premium it is. In its pump configuration you’ll carry this
large, but not ridiculously large pump. It has tons of volume and can even hold a
20g CO2 inside with the tool. Ditch the CO2, and you get this storage compartment
which is probably large enough for a tubeless patch kit or an entire valve stem. If you want to install the EDC in your steerer
tube you’ll need the top cap and tap kit. The tap kit comes with everything you need
to remove your star nut, and actually cut threads into your steerer. Once you’ve threaded your steerer, you can
secure your headset bearings using the top cap and a cassette tool. The EDC then slides in and stays put. With a chain tool, a tire lever, CO2 storage,
and quick link storage, the EDC is well equipped, but it doesn’t end there. The multi tool lets you combine these two
wrenches to make one 8mm, which you’ll probably need to step on if you’re doing pedals. But that little piece serves another purpose:
quick link removal—you might want to watch this instructional video. I’m glad I figured this out in my garage
instead of, I don’t don’t know, the desert? So now that we’ve looked at some tools,
I want to show you a hack to extend your ride time. Filtering water bottles let you re-up from
any water source—even sketchy ones. But after searching my local REI and even
Amazon, I was unable to find one that fits a bike bottle cage. To be clear, I mean that the bottle would
need this indentation which keeps it from popping out. This one looked like it would work, but it’s
too wide and the indentation doesn’t line up. Life straw sells these filtering caps, which
I was sure would work. They didn’t. But ironically, this Life Straw bottle had
just the right top, for $45. Nevertheless, the cap fits a 26oz bike bottle,
and might just extend your ride with a carefully planned route. I’m going to see if I can ride all day with
with this once my wrist heals. So now that I have in front of me all the
major integrated tools, you’re probably wondering if my setup has changed. And it has. On my trail bike, I’m now running the Synchros
Matchbox with my custom lifestraw bottle. I love the compact pump and the robust bottle
cage. I also love how everything disconnects from
the bike into a mini toolkit. You probably thought I’d choose the EDC,
but I’m actually planning to use that on a special bike this summer. I did use the EDC tool strap for my inner
tube. You can really crank down on it. As for my single speed hardtail, aka the Murder
Machine, it’s getting the matchstix. I use it at parks, jumps, and quick loops
where I don’t need to bring anything. Since the matchstix has virtually zero impact
on a bike, it’s the perfect tool that I can never accidentally forget. It makes me think that the Matchstix could
be the perfect companion to a downhill bike, or a dirt jumper. Anyway I hope you guys enjoyed this mashup
of integrated tools. There were some others that I didn’t include,
like the ritchey barkeepers, and a few proprietary tools from specialized that won’t work on
my bikes. Integrated tool storage is an exciting category
that I want to see grow. As a very forgetful person, it’s nice to
know the essentials will always be with me.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. My mistake on the Specialized. Apparently you can just buy their bottle cage and use MOST of the stuff. If I do a follow up I’ll include these products.

  2. I'm a fan of my One Up EDC pump. I like that it's always on the bike so there's no thinking involved if I ride packless, and if I ride someone else's bike I can just bring the pump with me and be covered. The storage container fits a few zip ties, a brake pad, patch kit. If you go with the CO2 caniser, the end of the pump unscrews to be a CO2 inflator head.

  3. The Storage compartment on the EDC tool is roomy .. I can get a tubeless patch kit in there plus the EDC quicklink opener.

  4. Hey Seth have you tried puting the one up Edo in a standard seat post or maybe for a challenge the droper post

  5. The only reason you say hook and loop is because you want to sound smart. In any video that you’ve shown you buying it you buy Velcro so get over yourself

  6. Can you put a water bottle holder on the 2017 Diamondback Mission Pro? I'm at the point where it would be nice to have a simple water bottle for quick rides and not have to lug my Camelbak around. I went to my local bike shop with the same question and with just a small glance of the frame design from one of the "experts" working there he basically told me the frame geometry is incompatible with a water bottle and that was that.

  7. Soon my sandwhich is gona live in my bike, i would get the ninja sandwhich stocker, i would rather have a flat than an empty stomac😂🤣

  8. I ride street bike and bmx but wanna get mt bikes and ride trails and this is some great info. I've always used camel backs for water

  9. Awesome video.
    I'm using an e-road bike, to help me get back in shape. So your video was basically useless for me. But was actually fun to watch. Keep up the good work.

  10. Dear Seth. The hollow chamber in the back of the one up EDC you can get their MasterLink pliers and tire plug kit to go in that space works very well have actually saved several people on the trails with that love it thank you for Reviewing this tool

  11. Protip: Some forks are a tight fit for a 20g CO2. I could barely get the tool in-and-out with this configuration. I removed the label and used goo-gone and a scouring pad to remove all adhesive. This allowed for smooth in-and-out action on my 2018 Lyrik. Hope this helps someone using this tool.

  12. I agree with you on the proliferation of on bike tools! They're a great idea. The EDC tool could be absolutely genius, and already is very smart idea. I think if like Topeak, or Park Tools teamed up with EDC, to make the tool portion better, it would become standard issue on every bike.

  13. Great video! All I would suggest is time stamp the product. Matchbox has a ridiculous name to remember. Maybe you should email them a suggest there team to work on that. How are you going to refer a product if you can't remember the name!

  14. Can we acknowledge that Seth said at 5:04 that the compartment was large enough for a patch kit, and then they made a patch kit for the compartment?

  15. If you contact LifeStraw, they will make some products for biking. Had the pleasure to test some of their stuff.

  16. Can you do a video on a bike trailer hauling a Snap On cabinet? I want to know if it would be suitable for bike park days.

  17. I definitely wouldn't drink straight from a river, lake, etc even with a filtered bottle of water unless it's an absolute survival situation. You're supposed to boil it first

  18. I too walk & hike as much as I ride trails. I find so many bike tools, pumps 'other bike bits' etc., that others have lost. So, walk, hike or ride? I use a small back come rucksack and small screw lock carabiners to ensure zips cannot open & I then lose my stuff. Most common finds are 'your' combination tools & pumps. I now have several!

  19. I know this is a little weird but I live in the desert and I’ve had times where my bottle leaked completely somehow or I just didn’t have enough, so now I fill my tires with urine just as a last resort. It’s just peace of mind really so I know I won’t ever have to die of dehydration

  20. Thank you for taking the effort.
    If you need all these tools for 2hr ride, maybe the bike you are riding is not compatible with the stresses exerted on it?
    Either the technology is not ripe or you are intentionally trying to break it so that you can savor the moment of fixing it.

  21. I think i´ll just use a small backpack with a large ziplock baggie or a small plastic tupperware container for all my tools and save a hundred dollars

  22. Very nice video review. I instantly added it to my favourites. Will definitely try some of these if I can get my hands on the tools.

    Thank you for your time and effort.

  23. Talks about dork discs, calls Velcro hook and loop. 😂 I would probably slap that midget for saying that. Turd.

  24. Omg i live there in grand junction! It was so cool seeing my hometown trails on your video! Thats for the great content man.

  25. My preference is to have original products if nothing else is better eg Kleenex, Windex, Velcro… Maybe they cost a little more but I don't dink-around trying to save pennies 😎

  26. As for threading head tube yourself you have aluminium frame, not steel one, correct? It looks really good, because I am short on space, but also I have steel bike :-).

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