Topeak Toolstick 11

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Blessed are those who have their own well-stocked mechanic’s bay, for their bicycle repairs shall be almost frustration free. For the rest of us, a small tool box and a great multi-tool like the Topeak Toolstick 11 can go a long way.

Topeak Toolstick 11

Recently released, the new tool costs a paltry $14. But with it in your shop apron, you can come close to putting together a bike without using anything else. Even though it has only four tools — 3/4/5mm hex wrenches and a #2 Phillips screwdriver — they’re the ones you need for most mountain or road bike assembly and maintenance. And since it’s only the size of a really fat pencil, the Topeak Toolstick 11 can fit in your cargo shorts on rides.

The rubber cushioned, hardened steel tool shaft is comfy but solid in your hand. Articulating tool heads on both ends swivel, which makes getting to hard to reach bolts easier. Small, handy and inexpensive, the Topeak Toolstick 11 is a great addition to any toolbox.

—Stephen Krcmar is a former bike mechanic who lives in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.