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The Lindarets Terske Travel 6/8/16mm Hex Tool For Cinch Cranksets is a clever way to get heavy torque onto large hex fasteners without being being huge – it uses your 12mm through-axle as its handle. It's an artisan-grade chunk of design for remote-trail fettling, though not cheap given its niche useage. Also, if you get too enthusiastic you could end up fixing your crank but bending your axle...
Every now and then a genuinely innovative tool comes along that makes you slap your forehead and ask, 'why didn't I think of that?'. This thing wins that prize, as well as the one for Possibly The Longest Tool Name In Cycling, by using an existing part of your bike as its lever to save both space and weight.
Lindarets is a US design firm, and often partners with bigger brands like Wolf Tooth - if you ride a Goat Link, for instance, that's a Lindarets design. As with all Lindarets stuff the quality is top-notch. This is beautifully machined from stainless steel, and finished with laser-etched graphics.
Most multitools have 6mm and 8mm hex bolts covered, but the challenge comes when you need to apply serious welly – short tool bodies or soft metals can fail you – or need something larger still. If you have a crankset that takes a 16mm hex (such as the non-drive side bolt and self-extraction caps on RaceFace and Easton Cinch cranks) your ride is over.
Now that's a pretty niche use case, and I'd imagine the Venn diagram of people who ride such cranks and have middle-of-nowhere issues is pretty darn small. But it's clearly not so small it doesn't exist.
For the vast majority of cyclists the interesting bits here are the 6 and 8mm hexes for pedals or cranks, and possibly saddle rail clamps / through axles themselves, and the opportunity to get borderline medieval levels of torque. Being so compact it will disappear into the smallest space in a framebag or seatpack, ready to save the day when needed.
But there's then the concern that you might be left with a tight fastener but a bent axle. Lindarets recommends checking the thickness of your axle walls is at least 3mm, and only using your hands – you shouldn't use a foot and really crank on it, for instance. Relatively high torques are safely do-able without risk to your axle; I tested this on fasteners done up to 40Nm, loosening and tightening them without issue.
One drawback is that you obviously can't install both your own axles with it, as you need one to tighten the other.
This is a clever and easy-to-pack tool that could, in very limited circumstances, save the day. The only things it really offers over a decent multi-tool, however, are a 16mm hex key and some easy leverage. You can get the first and most of the second for less cash with a regular hex key such as this £12 one from Facom, though at 370g and 154mm long, it'll hardly go unnoticed.
Alternatively, the Race Face Hex Adaptor Tool slots onto an 8mm key to make it 16mm, is very small and light and costs £6.95.
If you're planning a huge tour, an overseas trip or just don't like going unprepared for anything and everything – and you ride 12mm through-axles – this could be a ride-saver.
Clever and easily-stashed way of carrying a 16mm hex key almost unnoticeably – so long as you have 12mm axles
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lindarets Terske Travel 6/8/16mm Hex Tool For Cinch Cranksets
Size tested: 6/8/16mm
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?
Lindarets says: "Every once in a while we find ourselves on the trail or away from home needing a tool that's really, really hard to fake. Say, for example, the 16mm hex key needed for the non-drive side fixing bolt and self-extraction caps on RaceFace and Easton Cinch cranks. And that's precisely what this is for.
"It works with a 12mm thru-axle (not included) and fixes a problem that doesn't come about often but can ruin your day if it does.
"We added deep 6mm and 8mm hexes to the tool to easily tighten external-bearing cranks. Those are common pedal hex sizes too, which makes reassembling a bike in a foreign hotel that much easier than with a pocket-sized tool (pedals should be tightened to 36-40Nm)."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Precision machined from SAE 420 stainless steel
Reassuringly dense and 36g light
For use with 12mm thru-axles with a 3mm minimum wall thickness
40Nm max torque.
How much is that? It's as if you were hanging 25lb of stuff from the handle, 110mm from the centre of the tool (roughly the middle of your hand at the end of a rear thru-axle). Any more and you're going to want a beefier handle.
Some fittings, especially 16mm self-extracting lockrings, are awfully shallow. Take care to ensure full engagement and avoid stripping.
Use only with 12mm thru-axles with a 3mm (1/8in) or thicker wall (6mm max thru hole).
Common sense is your friend: super-light parts don't like to be used as handles, but those with a 3mm wall (3-3.5mm is common) will give you a good margin of safety when the maximum torque value is observed.
This is a hand tool: Don't use a cheater bar, hammer, foot, rock or anything else that isn't your hand to apply force.
If you overdo it and bend your axle, don't put it back in your bike! One, it could get stuck. Two, it could be weakened and fail somewhere down the road. You don't want that and we don't either.
Wear eye protection. Seriously. You only get two and they're awfully hard to fix. You should have specs on while riding anyway.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Precise, solid and bombproof – so long as your 12mm axle is tough enough.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The design. Genius.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price is quite high.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's more than twice the price of a regular 16mm hex key, though around 10 times lighter and considerably smaller too. However, the official Race Face adaptor (8mm to 16mm) is smaller even than the Lindarets and under £7, which makes this look expensive.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is beautifully engineered and perfectly designed, so the price feels fair in that sense – it's a lot to spend on a very niche tool, though, and you need the right bike spec to make it useful. Overall though, it's still very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Sonder Camino Gravelaxe My best bike is: Nah bro that's it
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, general fitness riding, mtb, G-R-A-V-E-L
Living in the Highlands, Mike is constantly finding innovative and usually cold/wet ways to accelerate the degradation of cycling kit. At his happiest in a warm workshop holding an anodised tool of high repute, Mike's been taking bikes apart and (mostly) putting them back together for forty years. With a day job in global IT (he's not completely sure what that means either) and having run a boutique cycle service business on the side for a decade, bikes are his escape into the practical and life-changing for his customers.