Crankbrothers just added two new F-Series tools to their already comprehensive range. The new F11 has the same tool layout as the F10+ but as you can probably figure out, the new tool adds a new function into the mix.
Tubeless repair methods are a must-have trail-side tool these days and many of the best mountain biking multi-tools feature an integrated tire plugging apparatus of some sort This is exactly what Crankbrothers has added to create the F11 which packages a classic fold-out multi-tool with a tire plugging tool.
Design and build
The tool consists of a multi-tool that is magnetically held in a brushed metal slip housing which has a tubeless plug kit that's stored in a plastic slide-out compartment attached to the outside. The swiss-army style folding multi-tool features the staple functionality that is needed to keep you going out on the trail, featuring 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Hex keys, a T25 Torx tool, Phillips screwdriver, and a flat head screwdriver.
The tool also includes a tire plug tool and includes three sticky plug strips which are stored alongside a quick-link holder. The magnetic case features a bottle opener on the back and Crankbrothers says that it can be used as an extended handle for more leverage.
If you need more than the bare essentials then Crankbrothers has the bigger F16 which adds a chain tool, #0,1,2,3 spoke wrenches, and a valve core remover to the package for an extra $10 / £10.
All the sections of the tool slide together making it compact, measuring 70mm x 40mm x 25mm and noticeably smaller than the classic Crankbrothers M17. As you would expect from a tool that’s almost entirely made from metal it's not the lightest, weighing in at 138g.
The F11 feels high quality with its metal casing and magnet fastening to securely hold the tool in place, it's easy enough to pull out and satisfyingly slides back into the case. That is assuming you have the tool the right way around as the tool only fits one way which adds a little extra faff if you’re putting it away in a rush.
The tool is easy to use, with the bits smoothly folding out without being loose, rattly, or fiddly. The tools themselves are long enough to get into most bolt heads without a problem unless it specifically requires a long or compact to access. Crankbrothers says that the metal casing can be used as a handle to give extra leverage on the tool although this only works when you are using the 2mm to 4mm hex keys due to the way the tool only fits one way into the case.
The tubeless tool is a forked design with tubeless strips. There is a reamer to rough up the edges and the prongs are straight so it slides back out smoothly once the strip is inserted.
Crankbrothers know how to make a tool this can be seen in the function and finish of the F11. I'm a big fan of a tool that reduces the need for additional tools so having the tubeless repair and quick link storage assures I have what I need on the trail. It's on the heavier side though and the thicker dimension will put off those who like to just chuck a multi-tool in their pocket or saddlebag, rather than a hip-pack or backpack. If you are looking for something more lightweight, I would recommend the Canyon Fix 3-in-1 multi-tool.
Being priced at $49.99 / £49.99 feels a bit expensive compared to more basic tools, although it is competitively priced when compared to other multi-tools that include tubeless repair.
Tech specs: Crankbrothers F11 multi-tool
- Price: $49.99 / £49.99
- Tools: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Hex keys, T25 Torx tool, Phillips screwdriver, flat head screwdriver, quick-link storage, bottle opener, tubeless repair tool
- Size: 70mm x 40mm x 25mm
- Weight: 138g