Review – Topeak Alien multi tool

This may seem like  an outdated item to review, but as I’ve had this tool for over 12 years, I think it worthy of posting my thoughts and experience so far. And, there are still a lot of them out there. The Alien has been surpassed by the Alien 3, and indeed, Topeak now offer a wide range of mini tools and multi tools for cyclists. For now, lets go with the Alien.

The Alien is 2-part a multi tool that snaps together and comes apart easily to reveal its hidden tools. There are 22 tools all up including tyre levers and a pedal spanner (more on that later).  In one half there are: 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 mm allen keys (hex wrenches), a No 1. phillips screwdriver, a pedal wrench, 8 and 10 mm box spanners and a tyre lever. The other half has: 2.5 and 8 mmallen keys (hex wrenches); 8, 9, and 10 mm box spanners; 14 and 15 gauge spoke wrenches; a combo flat bladed screwdriver and bottle opener; a chain tool; another tire lever and a serrated knife. The whole thing fits into a handy carry case that comes with it and permanently lives in the seat post bag on my bike along with the spare tube and patch kit. I’ve no idea of the weight, but if I had to guess I’d say bugger all.

I’ve used every tool on here with the exception of the pedal spanner. This just doesn’t look like it would cut it on the road. I had a go at removing a pedal on one of my bikes in my workshop and it was too difficult to get enough leverage. Also, I prefer my tyre levers to the ones that come with the Alien. The ones on the Alien work fine, it’s just a me thing. The main thing missing is a pair of pliers. Include a pair of pliers Topeak and it would be gold!

So, the verdict? I’d recommend this tool to commuters, mountain bikers and anyone doing multi day trips on a well maintained bike. It’s great for maintenance or tweaking whilst out and about, but if you are thinking of taking it on a big trip where you may find yourself a long way from help, you would do well to add a pedal spanner as well as your other specialised tools for bigger jobs.

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