Most multi-tools follow a simple formula yet it’s surprising how often they aren’t quite right. Whether they are missing something, awkward to use or poorly put together. Once you find a good one it becomes an important companion on every ride. The Merida 20-in-1 multi-tool has become just that on my rides.
Merida hasn’t tried to be too daring with the design. While ratchet or other configurations can provide a better experience there is still a lot to be said for a basic ‘pen knife style’ body. The tool measures 2.9in by 2.1in and the slim 0.6in thickness means it’s easily slipped into a pocket and gives a reasonable balance between pocketability and tool leverage. An all-metal construction feels pleasingly durable and the black aluminum bumpers house a decent selection of electroplated chrome vanadium steel tools.
As you may have guessed there are 20 tools at your disposal from the standard 2/2.5/3/4/5/6/8/10mm hex keys, cross and flat-head screwdrivers to the less used but welcome T10/T25 Torx keys. There is also a metal tire lever, a tool to push back disk brake pads, spoke keys (Mavic M7/Shimano 4.6, 14 and 15G) and a small ruler for suspension sag measurements. In fact, the only tools that I would consider missing is a chain breaker (which is featured on Merida’s 24-in-1 tool) and the usually ever-present bottle opener.
I have carried this tool with me on a lot of rides now and despite frequent soakings and occasionally being left wet in bags overnight there are no signs of corrosion. In fact other than a little bit of the black finish polishing off from bumpers it still looks brand new. The hinges did loosen once but were simply nipped tight again with a 4mm hex. Less rigid tools can feel like it’s a fight to the death with seized bolts but there is little in the way of flex if a bolt was reluctant to turn.
I appreciate that the 5mm hex key is on the opposite side from most of the other hex tools so you can switch between two hex keys quickly, this comes in very handy for adjusting stems for example where there is often a mix of 5mm and 4mm bolts. I wouldn’t use the metal tire lever unless I really had to as they can damage rims and the pad spacing tool is a little short to effectively get into a caliper to space pads enough. The tire lever and pad spacer both feature bumper-stops to prevent them from over-rotating when in use.
The tool comes with a protective neoprene sleeve. I found this surprisingly handy as I was able to slip a couple of other trailside essentials in with the tool that would otherwise get lost in pockets. I could easily slide in a slim plastic tire lever, a tire boot and a box of self-adhesive patches alongside the multi-tool.
Merida’s 20-in-1 multi-tool may not be revolutionary but it’s a simple and durable tool that should see you back on the move after most trailside mechanicals.
Tech spec: Merida 20-in-1 multi-tool
- Price: £24.99
- Tools: 2/2.5/3/4/5/6/8/10 mm Allen keys, cross and flat-head screwdrivers, T10/T25 Torx keys, tire lever, a tool to push back disk brake pads, spoke keys (Mavic M7/Shimano 4.6, 14 and 15G), valve adaptor and a small ruler for sag measurements
- Size: 7.4cm x 5.2cm x 1.4cm
- Material: Aluminum and electroplated chrome vanadium steel