Topeak Plug ’n Tool Mountain multi-tool review – tool and tubeless repair at your fingertips

There’s nothing worse than rummaging around in a seemingly bottomless bag for a tool, Topeak’s Plug ’n Tool Mountain aims to keep your most needed tools close to hand

Two parts of the Topeak Plug n Tool positioned next to each other
(Image: © Graham Cottingham)

Bike Perfect Verdict

Topeak has utilized an otherwise empty space to store a load of useful tools close to hand. Execution is a little fiddly though and not all handlebars/grips are compatibility.

Pros

  • +

    Utilizes unused space on the bike

  • +

    Tool length gives loads of leverage

  • +

    Good range of hex keys

  • +

    Reasonably lightweight

Cons

  • -

    Won’t fit non-round and thicker-walled handlebars

  • -

    Need grips with separate bar end plugs

  • -

    Hex bits are fiddly to get out of the tool

  • -

    Can rattle loose if not properly fitted

Why trust BikePerfect Our cycling experts have decades of testing experience. We\'ll always share our unbiased opinions on bikes and gear. Find out more about how we test.

Topeaks Plug ‘N Tool Mountain is part of Topeak’s recently expanded Stealth tool range and the kit hides a multi-tool and a tubeless repair kit inside either ends of your handlebars. Utilizing unused space on the bike is a great idea and keep the most commonly used tools out of your pockets and close to hand for when you need them.

The Plus ‘N Tool generally works well, although during testing I found a few unexpected issues that are out of Topeak's control but important to consider before choosing this tool.

Topeak Plug n Tool fitted into the end of a handlebar

Topeak's Plug 'n Tool fits neatly into the handlebar (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Design and specification

The multi-tool section is made from hardened steel while the tubeless tool is made from engineering grade polymer. The multi-tool side features 3, 4, 5, 6, and 10mm hex bits, a T25 Torx bit, and a  #2 Phillips bit stored in the handle by elastic bands. The tubeless side uses a fork-style plug insertion tool and includes three 3.5mm x 50mm tire plugs.

Both use a ring pull knob and expanding rubber ring to secure the tools within the handlebar. The tool requires 128mm of straight handlebar length (roughly the length of a standard grip) and a round internal diameter between 18mm and 21mm. Topeak provides two sizes of rubber bung with the tool to give a better fit across handlebar sizes. The tools aren’t left/right specific either so if you can fit the tool and tubeless repair on your preferred side.

Topeak Plug n Tool tubeless repair tool opened up to show the tool and plugs

On the tubeless repair side there is a fork style insert plug tool and three 3.5mm plugs (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

It’s worth noting that this tool is MTB handlebar specific, if you are looking for a gravel bike drop bar compatible version, then Topeak has the Plug ‘n Tool Roadie. There is also a Plug ’n Tool Mountain Pro version with the option of swapping out either the tool or tubeless repair tool for a chain tool.

The multi-tool with the tool bits installed weighs 79g and the tubeless kit adds another 24g, which is reasonably light considering the similarly equipped Crankbrothers F11 multi-tool is 138g.

Topeak Plug n Tool tubeless multi-tool with tool bits stored in the handle

Tool bits are stored in the handle with the bit holder doubling as a 10mm (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Performance

On the tool side, the articulated bit holder can either be used inline at a 90-degree bend helping give better access to bolts. It also means you can use the long body as a handle giving loads of leverage if you’re dealing with particularly stubborn bolts. The bit holder is magnetic so the tool bits don’t fall out when trying to access tricky bolts. The flat elastic bands used hold the tool bits in the tool's handle make removing and refitting the stored bits fiddly, particularly if you're wearing gloves or have cold or wet fingertips. Although the bits are somewhat sealed away inside the handlebars, a little moisture has found its way in leaving them with a tiny bit of surface corrosion.

The supplied tubeless noodles are decently meaty and will do a good job plugging most punctures you're likely to encounter when MTBing. Although the tubeless tool is easy to deploy, the noodles stored inside the capsule can be tricky to fish out.

Fitting and removing the tools from the handlebar is easy and tool-free and when fitted, assuming the tools are tightened properly, they are rattle-free. Removing the tool requires one revolution of the ring pull to release the rubber bung, although I found they needed to be tightened a little more than expected to ensure they don’t rattle themselves loose. 

Handlebar compatibility isn’t straightforward as not all bars have compatible inner diameters. I found several handlebars I had at my disposal weren’t compatible due to ovalized internal shapes, thick tube walls, or poor internal finishing which stopped me from fitting the tools. The tools also limit what grips you can use, if your MTB grips have removable bar plugs you won’t have an issue, but if you use a grip like the ODI Reflex you will also need to invest in some new grips. 

Topeak Plug n Tool being removed from the end of a handlebar

Hinged ring pull turns to loosen the tool before pulling it out from inside the handlebar (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Verdict

Stashing tools in the handlebar is super convenient, lightening pockets or eliminating rummaging in bags when you need to tighten or adjust something on the trail. The fact that they live inside your bars means you won’t be leaving home without the tool essentials. Tool-free fitment only further enhances this, although a little attention is required to ensure they are properly secured back in the handlebars.

While I’m not too fond of the fiddliness of the tool bit storage and occasionally the tool would rattle loose, the biggest issue with this tool is out of Topeak's control. Across the variety of handlebars I tried these with I was surprised at how many weren’t compatible. On top of that, the tool limits the grips to those with separate bar ends. 

If you have a bar and grip combo that is compatible it's a neat solution to stashing important tools away so you always have them.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
The Lowdown – Topeak Plug ’n Tool Mountain
AttributesNotesRating
PerformanceQuick to hand tools but tool bits are fiddly to use★★★
ToolsAll the basic tools you need★★★★
ConvenienceFit and forget storage inside the handlebars, assuming it fits★★★
Value for moneyReasonable price for the multi-tool/tubeless combo★★★★

Tech specs:  Topeak Plug ’n Tool Mountain 

  • Price: $69.95 / £54.99
  • Weight: multi-tool- 79g, tubeless kit - 24g
  • Colors: Black
  • Handlebar compatibility: 128mm of straight section, 18mm to 21mm inner diameter
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg