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Knog’s twenty- function multi tool crams a phenomenal amount of useful stuff into a very confined space and is just the thing for best bikes loving to travel light. Good quality steel won’t chew delicate fasteners but it wouldn’t be my first resort for group rides and for all their charms offer limited leverage when tackling stubborn fasteners…assuming the crank bolt adaptor hasn’t vanished down the sofa.
Despite measuring a mere (47x47x20mm) it tips the scales at a jersey pocket stretching 192g and for these reasons belongs in the seat pack. Finished in a rich anodised blue, the hinged design opens in a way that reminded me of the puzzle in the Hell-raiser films, revealing the usual suspects (2-8mm Allen keys, torx wrench, flat and Phillips screwdrivers) which sit in their own channelled bed of medical grade silicone-simply pressing the logo on the reverse prises them out ready for action. The magnetised base consists of a chain splitter; 15mm pedal/ track nut wrench coupled with smaller 8,10,13mm sizes for mudguard eyebolts, rack, cable anchor bolts and other fiddly fasteners. There’s even a bottle opener for the post ride tipple.
These are made from forged chrome vanadium for durability and corrosion resistance and seem very hardy. Accurately machined, they’ve failed to slip or round off fixings even under provocation and aside from being every bit the executive toy, the chain tool and spoke keys could make the difference between riding and the long walk home. Access to awkward areas such as around the front mech and bottle cage mounts is easier than the pocket workshop variety but pieces measuring two and a half centimetres long make for very slow progress- especially crank bolts so not the ideal race companion either and the extensions pieces are too readily lost by the roads or trailside. I'd score this particular battle of form versus function a draw, but there is no doubt that usability suffers to some degree in the interests of aesthetics.
Chic, charming emergency tool for those favouring minimalism over leverage
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Make and model: Knog 20 function multi 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?
Knog's twenty function multi tool is for those riders who appreciate nice looking quirky gizmos. As an emergency tool for those who like to travel light it fits the bill nicely but it's small size limits efficiency.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Anodized, hardened Aluminium top plate, chrome vandium tools (including 2-8mm allen wrenches, 8,10,13, 15,mm wrenches, chain tool, flat, phillips and torx drivers, bottle opener,spoke keys and magnetised base.
Can be fiddly but should spare you the long walk home.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Despite bijous dimensions, the Knog is quite nice to use and more accessible than some of the really macho multi-tools-e.g roadside front mech tweaking. Good quality materials mean they shouldn'r round off, or damage fastners at the crucial point, although you'd be there until Christmas trying to tighten a loose 8mm crank bolt. However, all of this misses the point. For group rides and/or more everyday fettling, the larger type tools are more practical but those loving pretty design and minimalism won't be disappointed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Lovely design, detailing and solid construction.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing when when judged as a bit of designery kit - pure function is not what these are about. Oh and it is expensive
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they were looking for a super stylish, compact tool.
Age: 36 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)