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If you want to carry your tools on your bike rather than your back or handlebar then the Topeak Gravel Gear Bag with Repair Kit really is a neat solution. It holds the kit you need for the majority of repairs and there's space to add a couple of extras.
Gravel riding can bring extra needs to your tool kit compared with road riding. The terrain is more punishing, so you are likely to need a set of tools more often, and that same terrain means your tools are going to bounce around a lot. This Topeak kit deals with all that well.
In the package you get the Gear Bag, a Tubi 11 multi-tool (£31.99), Power Lever X (£13.99), AirBooster CO2 inflator head (£26.99) and tubeless tyre repair plugs (£6.49). There's also space for two CO2 cartridges and a 700 x 40mm inner tube.
There is also a small mesh pouch which I used for a pack of repair patches, and there's room to stash a few other small items in the bag, it you don't mind them rattling around.
This cool little device is based around a couple of tyre levers, and they are easy to use. Their stiff construction can make them a little tricky to get under and pop a tight tyre bead off the rim initially, but once you've got it started it flows around smoothly.
It doesn't stop there, though. A hole on one of the levers is designed to tighten or remove a tubeless or inner tube Presta valve, and if you add the levers together they become a quick-link chain tool.
In one direction they'll separate a quick link, and if you switch them around they'll force it together.
It works really well. I'm often swapping chainsets on my bike while testing, so I have different length chains for various chainring sizes. Sometimes the quick link pops off without issue, other times, especially in winter, it can be a real pain in the arse.
This tool has been a real time saver, the action smooth, and with the levers pushed onto the location pins they are very secure.
You also get a chain hook stored in the back of the lever, and there is room for a spare quick link too.
Oddly, given the name, the Tubi 11 has 12 functions including 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 and 6mm hex keys, a T25 Torx key, a hardened steel tyre lever, and a stainless-steel reamer to insert the tubeless repair plugs included in the kit.
It's a solid piece of kit with enough weight to make it sturdy when in use but not overly heavy when it's on the bike.
When new the tools can be quite tight to flip out, but with a bit of use that soon changes. The S2 hardened steel bits are going to be durable and Topeak seems to have kept quite tight tolerances here when it comes to how well they fit into various bolt heads.
The tyre lever will get you out of trouble, though I'm always a bit wary about using metal to remove tyres.
The AirBooster head is CNC machined out of aluminium alloy and will work with both Presta and Schrader valves.
It's twin ended, which allows you to store a cartridge in it without piercing it.
Inflation is controlled by pressing the head up against the valve, so you do have a degree of flexibility rather than just dumping all the air in at once. It's a clever and secure design.
What you don't get in the kit are any spare CO2 canisters or, more importantly, the sleeve to stop your hands freezing to the canister as it discharges.
The bag itself is made from 1,000 denier nylon and works impressively in the wet. With some heavy rain early in the month my local trails have become sloppy, chucking up lots of spray. With the bag attached to the frame of my gravel bike it's seen plenty of spray and rain, but the tools inside remain clean, thanks in part to the sealed zip.
The bag is designed to fit to the rear of your top tube and the straps are long, which means the top two will cope with a top tube diameter of 38mm to 170mm in diameter and will fit a seat tube of 38mm to 52mm.
One thing I'd like to see is some Velcro tabs added to the back of the bag to keep the excess straps from flapping about when used on smaller frame tubes. My Merlin Malt G2X has quite a slender top tube so there is a lot of strap left over once tightened. I could trim them, but I need the length should I need to swap it onto another bike with a chunky carbon fibre frame.
The 1,000 denier material is very tough and durable, and I don't see any issues with it getting scuffed or damaged any time soon. The zip also runs smoothly and is easy to use when you're wearing gloves.
The bag has a capacity of 0.6L and measures 233 x 90 x 43mm. Depending on your frame size this will still allow you to use another frame bag at the front to carry any spares or other kit you may need.
The kit is priced at £99.99 which gives you a saving of around £18.50 over buying it all individually, and the Topeak tools all look and feel to be of very good quality, and user friendly.
Not many brands sell fully loaded bike packs like this, so it's tricky to compare like for like on cost.
For example, Lezyne's Port-a-Shop toolkit costs £100 and has more tools than the Topeak, being a miniature workshop, but obviously the bag will not attach to the bike frame.
I have reviewed a lot of Topeak's tools over the years and I have always found them to be reliable and durable. This kit doesn't seem any different, especially the robustness of the bag, and while you could possibly build up a similar kit using a tool roll or standard frame bag for less, I think the selection of tools you get here is good for the money. For some it might be overkill, but if you often find yourself miles from anywhere, it'll pay for itself over time.
Well-made, robust frame bag with a good selection of useful tools
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak Gravel Gear Bag with repair kit
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?
Topeak says, "A complete tubeless tire repair / CO2 inflation kit for road and touring enthusiasts packed into a sleek, under top tube mounted organizer case. Internal organizer keeps gear neatly and securely in place. Includes Tubi 11, Power Lever X, 3 pcs of 3.5mm x 5cm tire repair plugs, and AirBooster CO2 inflator with enough room to carry two 16g CO2 cartridges and a spare tube up to 700 x 40c."
It's a well made set that contains reliable and durable tools.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
CAPACITY: 0.6 L
COMPARTMENTS: One main, internal organizer
SEAT TUBE DIAMETER: Fits ø28 - ø60 mm
TOP TUBE DIAMETER: Fits ø28 - ø70 mm
MATERIAL: 1000D Nylon
SIZE: 23.3 x 9 x 4.3 cm / 9.2 x 3.5 x 1.7in
COMPATIBILITY: Up to 700 x 40c inner tubes
ADDED FEATURES: Waterproof zipper
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It has the majority of tools I would be likely to need for my gravel trips.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tools are well made.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Straps are very long with nowhere to retain the excess.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Something like the large option of the Lezyne Port-a-Shop is also £99.99. It does have more/different tools in it, though.
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
The quality of the tools is very good, and piece by piece none of it is overpriced. You then also get a tough bag that fits neatly to the frame and stops your tools rattling around. Overall, I think it's a very good package.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!