Bike Repair Tool Kit: A Review of the Topeak Alien II Multi-Tool
8 min read
By 
cycle buddy_admin
Published 
January 19, 2022

Bike Repair Tool Kit: A Review of the Topeak Alien II Multi-Tool

8 min read
By 
cycle buddy_admin
Published 
January 19, 2022

The Topeak is the first brand that proudly claims the first two-piece mini tool in the market. That's why we're putting the focus on this product and how it is the best bike tool kit for any road cyclist, mountain biker, or common bike commuter.

We're going to nitpick on each tool category and give you some of its available specs, its functions, and in what repair scenarios you can use the tools.

The Spoke Wrench

This tool has more maintenance than repair as its function. The only probable instance wherein you will use the spoke wrench for repair is if you're riding heavy trails with steep drops. Nevertheless, a spoke wrench is an important tool to ensure your wheel's overall health is kept in good condition.

Topeak Specs

  • 1 x 14g
  • 1 x 15g

Function

  • Adjusting rim spokes by tightening or loosening the spoke nipple.
  • Evening out the spoke tension.
  • Installing new rim spokes.

Uses

Wobbly wheels - When your wheel suddenly feels like it's veering slightly in a direction you didn't intend to go, and you realize you're turning your handlebars a little more than you should. You may have noticed this after you jumped off a considerably high curb or terrain, or perhaps you dipped abruptly on a shallow ditch. Pullover and tighten those spokes to your wheels aligned.

T25 Torx Wrench

The T25 Torx wrench is useful in adjusting screws on the brake system and the bike's cockpit. It's a companion tool when you're going to realign your handlebars or disc brake system.

Topeak Specs

  • 0.173 inches
  • 4.43mm

Function

  • Cockpit adjustments
  • Brake rotors

Uses

Disc brake system problem - When your mechanical rotors are misaligned, you'll need to true them. In order to do so, you'll have to use the T25 Torx wrench to tighten and loosen the screws on the rotors so you can realign them.

Stem and handlebar realignment  - the T25 can also be used for adjusting screws on your handlebar and the stem it is attached to. Depending on the model, the T25 can be a useful tool if you want to do some handlebar truing.

Allen Keys

Your bike is assembled by different components that are held together with screws. This is especially true for bikes with intricate details such as full-suspension enduros or downhill bikes. And when screws play a role in keeping your bike a cohesive unit then, Allen keys are tools you must add to your repair kit in order to make sure your bike stays in one piece.

Topeak Specs

  • L-bend 2mm Allen keys 
  • Straight Allen keys with sizes from 2.5mm up 10mm

Functions:

  • 3mm and 4mm - These Allen key diameters are used for those SRAM types of derailleurs.
  • 5mm - used for adjusting your bike's cockpit screws. It's useful for making adjustments to your bike's headsets and stems. It can also be used as a companion tool for adjusting derailleurs.
  • 6mm and 10mm - This tool piece is two-in-one, and it can be adjusted from a 6 millimeter down to a 10 millimeter. The piece is meant to serve as a tool for adjusting screws that have wider openings on some mountain bike models. The 10mm can also be used to adjust your bike's SRAM cranks.
  • 8mm - This Allen key size can also serve as a tool to adjust crank screws and with a slightly narrower screw opening. It can also be used as a tool to assist you in adjusting any bike frame linkages as well as removing and reinstalling pedals.
  • L-bend 2.0 - This Allen key size serves a role in adjusting tiny screws of your rear derailleur as well as your brakes. If you have a caliper-type such as the XT V from Shimano, this 2 millimeter will help make some adjustments. Apart from derailleurs and brakes, the L-bend 2.0 can also be used as a helpful tool to hold wheel spokes as you tighten them.

Uses

Drivetrain problems - If your shifting speed isn't as efficient as it should be and your chain produces a bit more sounds than it's supposed to, you can use Allen keys to align or even repair your bike's drivetrain system to ensure a smooth and silent transition from speed to the next.

Brake system problems - If your clamp brakes are rubbing on your tire's sidewall, that could mean eventual wear on your tire that can cause a flat. Readjust your clamps with the right Allen key tool. You can also adjust any problems with the brake levers.

Crankset noises - A squeaking noise on your bottom bracket can be a symptom that leads to a bigger problem. Your non-drive crank arm can become loose, and this will drastically affect your pedaling. Make sure to treat the symptom by readjusting your crank screws.

Chain Tools

A chain tool is specialized bicycle repair equipment that's designed to do repair and maintenance functions to your bike's chain link. If it's broken or needs to be shortened, lengthened, or tightened, the chain tool can help.

Topeak Specs

  • The chain tool includes a chain breaker pin tool and chain clip.
  • A chain pin remover is combined with the Phillips screwdriver and bottle opener.

Functions

  • Linking and unlinking chain links.

Uses

Broken chain problems  - A broken chain is a severe bike issue that always happens in the middle of pedaling your bike. If your chain snaps, you'll have to do a quick roadside repair by unliking your chain, removing the chain pin and the damaged chain link fence, then connecting the useful chainlinks together.

Knife

Almost any repair endeavor requires something that needs to be sliced, cut, or pushed out. So far, most of the tools included in the Topeak Alien II are all specific to a certain component. A touch of a tool such as a knife broadens the capacity of the Topeak multitool. A knife has plenty of uses within and outside of any bike repair and is a smart addition for any multitool.

Topeak Specs

Function

  • For carving, whittling down, cutting, and extracting materials.

Uses

Removing lodged tire debris - A punctured tire is not completely fixed if you haven't removed any lodged material on your tire's exterior. A knife would be useful in this case. It serves as a tool to pull the sharp debris out of your tire, so you don't have to injure yourself in the process.

Cutting tire stitches - In cases wherein you have to stitch up a slashed tire to protect your inner tube, you'll need something to cut the thread you're going to use to stitch the tire slash together. A knife can be used for this function.

Bolt Wrenches

Bolt wrenches are useful on mountain bikes or even classic road and commuter bikes. These bike builds have no quick-release feature on the wheel axle, so you'll need a bolt wrench.

Topeak Specs

  • 1 x 8mm
  • 1 x 10mm

Functions

  • Tightening and loosening bolts on wheel axles that are connected to the bike's fork and chainstay.

Uses

Wheel removal and reinstallation - If you have a flat tire and want to easily work on changing the tubes, you can use the bolt wrenches to loosen the axle bolts and detach the entire wheel off your bike's frame. You'll be able to true the spokes, change the tubes, or patch the tires easily this way. Alternatively, this tool will help you remove your wheels so you can replace them entirely.

Pedal Wrench

This wrench type is another one of Topeak Alien's specialized bike tools. Its main purpose is to help you adjust, remove, and install pedals. It has four options that work well for any kind of pedal bolt design and may also be used as an alternative to your bolt wrench.

Topeak Specs

  • Sizes on the pedal wrench tool have 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, and 15mm.

Uses

Lost, damaged, or loose bike pedals  - The pedal wrench is the primary tool for use in making sure your pedals are held in place in between the crank lever and the pedal itself. It also makes sure that the pedal spins the way it's supposed to.

Screwdrivers

The screwdriver set included in the Topeak Alien II bike tool kits provides more functionality, especially for bike models with a positive and negative screw pattern that an Allen key can't handle. In a way, screwdrivers deal with almost the same components as the Allen key.

Topeak Specs

  • 1 x Flat screwdriver attached to the bottle opener
  • 1 x #2 Phillips screwdriver (separate tool)

Function

  • Adjusting screws on some components of the bike not designed with a hex opening.

Uses

Adjusting derailleur limits - Derailleurs have what is called the "limit screws" that serve as a stopper to make sure that the gear transition of the chains goes as smoothly as possible and prevents the chain from hitting the wheel spokes or the frame.

Brake pad issues - Some brake pads use flathead or Phillips screws instead of hex screws. In order to adjust, remove, and replace worn-out or misaligned brake pads, you'll need screwdrivers to loosen the screws.

Tire Levers

This tool is one of the most commonly used in your bike mechanic kit because a flat or damaged tire is a common occurrence when you're always riding a bike. The wheel, after all, is the part of your bike that always comes in contact with the ground. Tire levers are important in making sure you're changing flats as quickly as you can.

Topeak Specs

  • With built-in valve deflator
  • Made of strong plastic material

Function

  • Detaching and assisting in the reinstallation of exterior tires and inner tubes from the rim

Uses

Tire repair or replacement - The tire linings are secured tightly on the sides of your rims. It would be hard to wobble the tire off using just your bare hands. A tire lever would be useful in this case. Just insert it on the inner part of your rim and drag the lever around, it will pull out the lining of your tire and will come off as soon as you complete the rotation. Similarly, you can also use the lever to place the tires firmly back on the rim.

Punctured Inner tube extraction -  To fix a punctured inner tube, you'll have to take it out of the tire, and to do that, you'll need to remove the tire from the rim and pull out the flat inner tube. Tire levers can assist.

Bottle Opener

Last but certainly the most important tool is the bottle opener. This tool reminds you to celebrate your roadside or trail repair successes. So grab a cold bottle at the nearest minimart and use the "church key."

Pros and Cons of Topeak Alien II Bike Repair Tool Kit

Pros:

  • The number of essential tools included in this toolkit is plenty enough to give your swiss knife a run for its money. Good thing they're not serving the same market.
  • The multitool includes a pretty slick nylon casing where you can put it on so you don't have to carry it around in your pocket while you're riding.

Cons:

  • Because it's portable, you don't get that much torque from the tools, most notably the pedal wrench.
  • As always, the weakness of anything that's all-in-one is it can't do one thing exceptionally well. But it does its function just enough for impromptu field repairs.

A Pocket Bike Repair Shop

Topeak Alien II Multi Tool leaves you wanting nothing more in terms of bike tools. Even the tools you won't frequently use are included. Bringing a Topeak Alien II feels like bringing your own bike repair shop on the road with you, minus the repair stand. It gives you the security and confidence to tackle the challenges on the road or trail because you know you'll have every tool you need to fix your bike. 

Now that you know all the essential tools you can purchase, all you really need is the repair and maintenance skills and knowledge, and you'll be all set for adventure up ahead.

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