Refreshingly free of slick marketing and unnecessary machismo, the BBB Microfold XLL Folding Tool is a multi tool capable of tackling most roadside eventualities, without taking up half the saddlebag.
Its sturdy rubberised body is a nice touch, offering greater comfort when giving stubborn fasteners the heave-ho and saves weight in the bargain. However, extending this refinement to the chain tool would've elevated it from good to great.
Many of the 'pocket toolbox' genres can feel as if you're literally lugging the workshop around but this tips the scales at a modest 128g and slips unobtrusively into all but the most bijoux of wedge packs. Strangely reminiscent of two mating animals, secreted beneath the dominant chain tool and composite tyre levers sits a thin wrench sporting 3.2,3.3,3.5, 8, 9 &10mm cut outs. This lacks the outright convenience of ring spanners but sorts out wayward cantilevers, brake pads, mudguard bolts and similar accessories well enough. Sliding the top sections off reveals an equally comprehensive second deck.
Here you'll find the usual suspects; 2, 2.5, 3, 4,5 and 6mm Allen keys complete with a magnetic 8mm converter cap for crank bolts, Phillips, flat and torx drivers too. All bits are made from super tough, heat- treated chrome vanadium steel, topped off in a classy nickel-plated finish Ours became the default weapon of choice for impromptu fettling, engaging snugly with corresponding fasteners, while resisting surprising amounts of lateral force - cranks being a case in point.
Superior ergonomics mean the chain splitter is much nicer to use than the penknife variety, making short work of 7,8, 9 and even singlespeed types. For all these virtues, personally I'd still be inclined to carry a standalone model, accompanied by ball ended Allen wrenches on tour, or when bedding in new drivetrain components.
Compact, well made multi-tool that will cope with most roadside eventualities
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Make and model: BBB Microfold XLL Folding Tool
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
BBB are laughably low key about things but in essence we have a modestly priced, yet nicely made 20 function multi-tool for most road/trailside applications.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
*High-end micro folding tool in a flat lightweight design.
*Rubber coated aluminum case that protects the tool and prevents scratches on other bike parts.
*20 functions includes:
*Hex keys: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm.
*PH1 and PH2 Philips screwdrivers.
*Chain rivet tool.
*Box wrench 8, 9 and 10mm.
*Spoke wrench 3.2, 3.3 and 3.5.
Generally nice to use.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Generally speaking the Microfold XXL performs without fuss or fanfare. Tool length and rigidity generally tackle most jobs expidently enough, although old fashioned quill stems with deeply recessed allen bolts called its bluff.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Cofort and tool quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Escapee 8mm crank bolt cap.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Quite possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)