Commanding the best part of 13 quid, Cyclepro's Ultra Five in One multi-tool looks overpriced and on cursory inspection indistinguishable from loads of others leaving Taiwanese factories in their millions. That said, the build quality is generally better than I've come to expect and it's certainly small and light.
You get 4, 5, 6 and 8mm Allen keys coupled with a Phillips screwdriver in a neoprene sleeve. It's undeniably Spartan but covers the usual suspects - mudguard, carrier and bottle mounts, rear mech hanger bolts, adjuster screws, Ahead/stems, seatposts, saddle cradles and so on, but it's too short to be used for brake levers and crank arms. Just to return to price for a moment you can get a 15 functions for the same money in the shape of the Lifeline multi tool, but not having used one I can't say how good those 15 functions are, but paying two quid more brings 10 function tools from the likes of Crank Bothers and Topeak in to range. Of course if you want something small less very often costs more.
Unlike soft, chemically dipped multitools, this is made from 6015-grade electroplated chrome vanadium, chosen for its rigidity and fatigue resistance. Although the joints were slightly arthritic - easily cured with a drop of wet lube – the tools never so much as flexed, let alone rounded when subjected to stubborn stem bolts, and the rounded aluminium side-panels fit comfortably in the palms when you apply pressure. Suspicious of modern decorative platings, I left this outside for three nights running and can report a distinct absence of orange taint.
The small body means you don't get a high amount of leverage here but, on the plus side, that means it's much harder to strip delicate threads and the stubby 4mm Allen key snuck perfectly into the gap between seatstay and chainstay bridge, nipping tight an errant mudguard bolt.
Well made and surprisingly pleasant to use, but pricey for a tool with so few functions
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Make and model: Cyclepro Ultra 5 in 1 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?
Raleigh aren't very forthcoming in their description but in essence we've a minimalist, five-function multi-tool that slips unnoticed into jersey pockets for rudimentary roadside tune-ups.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
4, 5, 6 and 8mm Allen keys, Phillips head screwdriver. Aluminium side-plates, chromium-plated chrome vanadium tool bits.
Better than I had initially expected.
Pricey for what it is.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's basic but has proven surprisingly versatile and pleasant to use.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good tool quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The pricing seems high.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? On balance, probably not
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Quite possibly, if they wanted something small, basic but very dependable
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
I'd score it a 7 in terms of performance and tool quality but value for money/specification are firmly in 6 territory.
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)