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First Impressions: Crankbrothers M20 & M13 Multi Tools

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First Impressions: Crankbrothers M20 & M13 Multi Instruments

The previous dependable Crankbrothers M17 is among the most iconic instruments in mountain biking’s current historical past. When it emerged together with the remainder of the M collection effectively over a decade in the past, many people had been nonetheless centered on instruments on the far ends of the function-spectrum. On one finish, there was the Topeak Alien collection, which had been the clown automobiles of multi instruments. The bits simply stored coming, one after the opposite, out of an impossibly compact machine. Then, on the opposite finish was the Park AWS-9. It’s received a bunch of allen wrenches. They usually fold up. That’s it.

Neither device was nice. The Topeak Alien, which remains to be made and nonetheless has a loyal following, makes compromises in its usability by being so full but so compact. The device’s kind issue is vast, however not lengthy, making it arduous to grip and exert leverage. The Park AWS-10 is a good factor to maintain within the kitchen junk drawer, however you’ll want no less than three different instruments in case you’re going to deliver it on a journey. Loads of manufacturers rushed to fill within the center, however there was simply one thing particular in regards to the Crankbrothers M17. Sure, they might have made it extra compact by folding the bits over one another, however that wouldn’t offer you something to carry on to. Positive, they might have built-in some detachable tire levers on both facet of the device physique, however they’d in all probability kinda suck, and also you’d in all probability lose them anyway. Nope, Crankbrothers put collectively simply the instruments that made sense within the folding steel device kind and did it in a approach that’s comfy and purposeful to truly use. Since then, they’ve provide you with some fancier, techier instruments, however none have seen the type of mileage the M17s of the world have. So, when it was time for Crankbrothers to but once more attempt to reinvent the wheel with a brand new multitool … they didn’t.

No, they only took what we cherished in regards to the M17 and made it higher. They usually took what we didn’t like about it, and made that higher too. The Crankbrothers M20 and M13 are the Laguna Seashore, California-based model’s latest instruments. The first distinction is that the M20 provides the chain breaker and all of the instruments built-in into it. Right here’s the way it breaks down:

Photograph Credit score: Crankbrothers

M20

  •  8/9/10/11/12-speed-compatible chain device
  • #0, #1 & #2 spoke wrench
  • Valve core wrench
  • Rotor straightener
  • 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 8mm hex wrench
  • #1 & #2 Phillips, #1 flat screwdrivers
  • T-10 & T-25 torx
  • Tire plug device
  • Tire plug storage
  • Grasp hyperlink storage
  • 203 grams
  • 89mm in size
  • $40

M13

  • 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 8mm hex wrench
  • #1 & #2 Phillips, #1 flat screwdrivers
  • T-10 & T-25 torx
  • Tire plug device
  • Tire plug storage
  • Grasp hyperlink storage
  • 164 grams
  • 89mm in size
  • $26


Each instruments develop on the fundamentals with a couple of fashionable additions, however some aren’t very more likely to be wanted whereas out on the path. There’s a T10 as a result of some brakes (principally SRAM) use a T10 for the bleed port. There’s a valve core device as a result of a few of us don’t have a standalone valve core device. There’s a rotor straightener as a result of a few of us don’t have thumbs.

However one addition is extraordinarily helpful. The tubeless plug insertion device has deserved a house on our multi instruments for years. And Crankbrothers designed an particularly good one. The “fork” that captures the plug isn’t pinched off on the finish like most are. You’ll be able to lay a conventional plug in it with out feeling such as you’re forcing dental floss between a pair molars. And while you insert it within the tire and take away the device, you possibly can just about assure it received’t pull the plug again out with it. Positive, these conventional, tighter-fit plug instruments will in all probability let the plug go in case you’re fortunate sufficient to have a sufficiently small puncture, however when have you ever ever felt fortunate when getting a puncture? If the opening is simply too large for one Crankbrothers plug to fill, no worries, It’ll keep within the tire and gradual the unfold so you possibly can shove one other one in. It’s why many people have simply been utilizing allen wrenches to pressure in our plugs. Now, we don’t must. That one little device carries ahead the legacy of straightforward pragmatic design that made us love the M collection a lot.

This isn’t the obvious function of the M13 and M20, although. That will be the large black field clipped to the device that homes the plugs themselves, in addition to a grasp hyperlink. “A” for effort on this one, however it’s not as effectively thought-out because the precise insertion device. The field clips on and off with ease, however when it’s on, it makes folding the bits out of the device into a careless mess. At any time when you’ll want to fold out a wrench, likelihood is you’ll simply find yourself pulling the field off and, I don’t know, placing it in your pocket, I suppose? Or in your pack after which perhaps remembering to place it again on the device? For a function that you just hopefully received’t be utilizing all that usually, the plug storage makes utilizing nearly each different a part of the device a bit much less handy. And it comes full of simply 5 plugs, with barely sufficient room for 5 extra, particularly in case you’ve additionally received the grasp hyperlinks in there. An answer for grasp hyperlinks is a good concept as a result of, on the Crankbrothers M20, all you want could be proper there within the device, chain-breaker and all. However you’ll in all probability want a pump or CO2 inflator in case you’re plugging a tire anyway, so why undergo the difficulty of integrating it right into a multi-tool? After my first journey, I went again to storing plugs subsequent to my CO2 chuck and ditched the black field.

Crankbrothers plug storage

Photograph Credit score: Crankbrothers

The excellent news is, in case you do resolve to ditch it, the M13 and M20 instruments are easy, purposeful jewels that may really feel like dwelling to anybody who’s used earlier M instruments from Crankbrothers. The aluminum knurled physique is industrial however comfy, and the bits are lengthy sufficient to slot in tight areas like attain changes or the ever-elusive decrease caliper bolt. Even the 8-millimeter bit is slightly longer, making it simpler to succeed in pedals by way of thick carbon cranks made thicker by plastic safety caps, or to increase deep sufficient by way of a crank’s one-key-release mechanism to get good buy and truly take away a crank arm, offered you possibly can MacGuyver sufficient leverage.

And the chain device itself received some delicate however welcomed usability enhancements. It’s a bit bigger, providing you with extra to carry on to. That features when really breaking a series, or when utilizing one of many different instruments it integrates just like the spoke wrench. Sure, it nonetheless flops out when the bits are folded down, which is partly why the M17s got here with particular rubber bands, however I assure you’ll by no means discover it when it’s saved in your pack or pocket. Actually, the one function I want Crankbrothers had provide you with was a approach to preserve the threaded “axles” on every finish of the device from rotating. If you wish to cosy them up, you’ll want two instruments. Some form of splined or flat-oval interface on one finish of the axle would have made this apply simpler, but it surely’s a minor nitpick. Each the Crankbrothers M20 and M13 are as glossy and compact as a device will be. However they’re not too compact. They strike that steadiness that Crankbrothers nailed years in the past, however enhance upon it in delicate but important methods.

I’ve solely had these instruments for slightly over every week, and the true take a look at will come after a 12 months or extra of use. And the Crankbrothers M20 will get it. That is now my go-to multi-tool.

You may get the small print from Crankbrothers at crankbrothers.com/collections/m-series

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