The Topeak Alien II had better be good, because it’s 10.21 ounces of steel to hang on the bike. But, with even more tools than the original Topeak Alien multi-tool, this compact toolkit could be the key to riding home instead of pushing the bike. It’s a little extra weight, but well spent.
The Topeak Alien II contains enough tools for major problems and minor adjustments. Two spoke wrenches will true the wheels (if you’re careful — some say a spoke wrench should not be in the hands of amateurs). Tire levers make fixing your own flats possible, although to do that, you’ll need to add a patch kit to the gear. Altogether you’ll have 26 important tools to choose from and be well prepared for solving your own problems, including fixing broken chains (the last reason I walked the bike home, so I need one of these myself). There’s even a storage compartment to hold two extra chain pins. Here as well, you’ll need to provide the pins yourself.
One big advantage of the Topeak Alien II is the compact storage. The kit locks together in one nearly solid chunk when folded, but the halves slip easily apart for better access to bits and blades. Folded and locked together, the toolkit slips into a tough nylon fabric storage bag. The bag includes a belt clip, but the kit is small enough — only 3.4 by 1.7 by 1.6 inches — that it fits into a cargo pouch below the bike seat with plenty of room to spare.
See the Wenger EvoGrip for a lightweight multi-tool with tools less focused on bike problems.
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