Topeak Alien Bike Multitool

Every multitool it’s ever been my pleasure to meet has featured a bottle opener. And the Alien is no exception, of course. Like some interplanetary greeting, this little ET wants to help you crack open a brewski after a hard day mending your bike by the trailside. 

And just like ET, this particular Alien was left on its own deep in the middle of a woodland where I stumbled upon it. Now, I’ve only ever found two things in woodland; low quality adult magazines of the ‘damp’ variety, and this Alien tool, and the latter is far, far more interesting (you can’t work it with one hand though).
It weighs in at a hefty 300g, which is about the same as a can of Diet Coke with a couple of slurps taken out. I guess this is why I happened to find it – if this thing is slung under your saddle on a gnarly downhill it’ll rattle around like a pensioner’s dentures and unless secured well, fall off.
That said, it packs a whole lot of useful tools into that 300g:
8, 9 and 10mm ring spanner
14 and 15 spoke adjuster
Knife and saw blade
Bottle opener (of course) and screwdriver
Chain tool (!)
8mm hex-head driver (which fits into a further spanner)
2, 3, 4, 5 & 6mm Hex keys
Cross-head screwdriver…
and as if that wasn’t enough, those clever Aliens have designed the whole thing to split in half and become a pair of tyre levers! Genius.
The build quality is great. It feels really solid and chunky, and the tools themselves aren’t made of cheese, which is a good thing. That said, as with most multi-tools, when you’re having to undo a really fiddly bolt in an awkward place, the sheer size of the thing can be a bit of a pain. Sometimes a simple spanner is the easiest tool for the job – but hey, who takes a whole roll of spanners out on the trail!
SUMMARY: If you bike and you want a full-featured, but uber-minimal tool kit that stashes under your saddle, the Alien (they do a series of them, I see) has got it all. I’ve been looking at my MTB and can’t see any job which I’d be able to do by the side of the trail that the Alien couldn’t help with. The only negative (if you could call it that) is that it weighs a lot. So, your choice would be to trade weight vs comprehensiveness. I’m giving it a 4 Hammers due to the crap carry-case. If it was better, I’d never have found this one to review!
Price: $40

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