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Topeak Alien X multi-tool review

The tool and feature-packed Alien has been in Topeak’s range for years but does this latest update actually bring it fully up to date?

Topeak Alien X
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Topeak’s Alien has a high theoretical feature count in a cunning two-piece format, but not all of those features are useable and there are neater, more functional tools for the money from Topeak and others

For

  • High-quality steel tools
  • Plenty of them
  • The knife is a useful touch

Against

  • Chain pliers are hard to use
  • Steel tire lever is a rim killer
  • Missing tubeless tools
  • Expensive
  • Bulky pouch

The Alien has been a flagship tool for Topeak for a long time with its distinctive clip-together two-piece nylon body housing a ton of tools. The new Alien gets a Roswell head logo, but there are still some modern essentials missing and some of the ones you get are hard to use.  

Design and performance

The two-piece plastic clamshell design makes the tools easy to unfold, adds leverage and also allows combinations of tools on each side such as the chain pin breaker and the 4mm that drives it. That should also include the two long multi hooked, flat 1.5mm and 2mm Allen key heads which hook together to theoretically make a set of pliers for squeezing split chain links. That’s really awkward to use in practice though and using the metal tire lever is asking for trouble on alloy rims, let alone carbon ones. While the anodized steel tool quality is excellent and the small covered knife/saw, pockets for a spare split link and unclippable pad spacer elevate it beyond basic multi-tools, it’s still lacking a tubeless repair stabber/fork which they include on other tools. The pouch doesn’t have a belt loop either and the pronounced seams make it bulkier than it needs to be.  

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Topeak Alien X

Topeak's Alien X tool has a two piece split design (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Topeak Alien X

One side has a selection of standard hex keys (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Topeak Alien X

The other side a wide range of additional tools including serrated knife and saw with cover, Presta valve tool and chain pin breaker (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Topeak Alien X

The case adds bulk with its chunky seams (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Verdict 

The Alien X has plenty of top-quality tools in an easy-access format, but not everything is actually practical to use and there are some useful bits missing considering the very high price, so we’d save $10 and get Topeak’s Mini PT30 tool instead.

Tech Specs: Topeak Alien X multi-tool 

  • Price: $64.95 / £54.99 
  • Weight: 203g (219g with pouch) 
  • Tools: 1.5-L, 2-L, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm Allen wrenches, 10mm Allen socket, T10, T15, T25 Torx® wrench , T30 Torx® socket, 14G, 15G, Mavic M7 and Shimano® 4.5mm spoke wrenches, chain tool, chain hook, power link pliers, tire lever #2 Phillips and flat head screwdrivers, serrated knife and saw with cover, Presta valve tool, spoke holder, disc pad spacer, chain pin breaker
  • Size: 7.8cm x 4.5cm x 4cm
Guy Kesteven

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect and Cyclingnews’ contributing tech editor. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He got an archaeology degree out of Exeter University, spent a few years digging about in medieval cattle markets, working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit he’s also coughed out a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too. We trust Guy's opinion and think you should, too.


Rides: Pace RC295, Cotic FlareMax, Specialized Chisel Ltd MTBs, Vielo V+1 gravel bike, Cannondale Supersix Evo Dura-Ace Di2 Disc road bike, Nicolai FS Enduro, Landescape custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg