We’ve all got one, and our backpacks wouldn’t be complete without them. Even on short trail rides, you should at least have one in your pocket. We’re talking multi-tools, and boy is the market home to a lot of them. From the ultra lightweight emergency tools right through to lugging half your shed with you, there’s something for every eventuality. We’ve taken a closer look at M-Tools collection from Crankbrothers.

Ab sofort mit mehr Farbe – Crankbrothers M-Tools.
As of now, get your hands on some more colour – Crankbrothers’ M-Tools.

With a long history behind them, the long-running favourites from Crankbrothers, the M19, M17 and M10, are now available with heaps more colour as red, black, orange and green make their mark on the collection. Fans of the M5 still have to make do with grey and gold.

As the name suggests, this M-Tool series takes the eponymous number of tools into its name. The biggest difference between the M19/M17 and the smaller M10 has to be the absence of the chain tool, as well as the spoke and open wrenches that join it. This means that the rest of the tools are essentially longer, and it’s easier to reach awkward screws. The chain-tool on the M19/M17 is 8 and 10 speed compatible – so for the ever more common 11 speed drivetrains, it doesn’t offer much. The much more frequently needed Torx T10 unfortunately only comes on the biggest model, the M19.

Die langen Werkzeuge am M10 können an unzugänglichen Stellen recht praktisch sein. Wir vermissen hier allerdings einen Torx T10. Die schwarze Lackierung der Verschlussschrauben wird vermutlich nicht lange so neu aussehen ...
The longer tools on the M10 make awkward screws easier to reach, but we do bemoan the lack of a Torx T10. The black paint job on the screws probably won’t stay intact for long…
Hier im Vergleich zu den kürzeren Armen am M19. Der Kettennietdrücker bietet zusätzlich zwei Maulschlüssel und diverse Speichennippelschlüssel, weist aber stärkeres Spiel im Gewinde auf und ist nur 8–10-fach kompatibel.
Direct comparison of the tool lengths. The chain-tool offers two extra open wrenches and a variety of spoke wrenches, but there appears to be a lot of play in the threads and it’s only 8 and 10 speed compatible.

Are we trying to say that other companies have succeeded in creating more considered and pragmatic multi-tool combinations? Despite being solid and stable, the manufacturing isn’t the finest, even with its tidy new colours. The tools press into one another, particularly with the M10 and the chain-tool shows significant play in the threads. The ribbed edge of the side has been integrated into the mould and not post-milled, and the black finish on the end screws looks as through a cat has had a go at it in just a short time. But Crankbrothers do offer other collections with a much higher quality of manufacturing and finishings – but these things cost.

Die stabile Aluminiumhülle für das M19 bzw. das M17 ist gegen Aufpreis erhältlich und bewahrt die Tools gegen Verhaken im Rucksack bzw. dem Jersey oder der Hosentasche.
The stable aluminum sheath for the M19 and M17 can be purchased separately and protects your backpack, jersey or pockets from potentially snagging on the multi-tool.

Priced incredibly well for Crankbrothers, the M-Series offers very reasonable value for money. Comfy to hold, narrow but not too small, the weight is perfectly in order. Alongside the lifetime guarantee against material and manufacturing defects, the rather average impression actually turns into something pretty position.

Price: 34 € (M19), 28 € (M17), 20 € (M10)
Weight, according to manufacturer: 168 g (M19/M17), 124 g (M10)

More information at crankbrothers.com.

Words: Andreas Maschke Pictures: Sebastian Hermann

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