You can get a set of Topeak tire levers pro-grade ‘magic’ chain link pliers for about $50, or you can buy this cunning double-duty clip-together two-piece Power Lever X puzzle that’ll work in the workshop but still fit in your bike pack. I’ve been spending a bit of time with it to find out whether it’s worth including in your best mountain bike toolkit, and whether it, along with the best bikepacking multi-tools, will be sufficient enough to get you out of a bind even in the most remote areas. Read on for the answers.
Design and aesthetics
Topeak’s Power Lever X is a clever and modular gadget that performs two very important functions. It’s made up of two tire levers which, when clipped together, form a pair of master link pliers. If that’s not nifty enough, it also has storage for a couple of extras that are really useful.
The Power Lever X uses a steel bar tang with chain hooks, and pivot stubs also made from steel. A tough, textured plastic overlay adds comfort as well as the link guides and the hooked tips for the tire lever ends.
Within the handle there’s storage for two magic links / quick links, and a steel chain-joining hook, designed to hold the chain in place so you can focus on squeezing the links into place without sending it flying.
The Power Lever X pliers clip together neatly in a mirrored double deck, so you need to pull them apart and work out which peg goes into which hole to make them work as pliers. Squeezing the links together for removal needs a different configuration when pulling them into place to fit, so it can be a puzzle at first. Once you’ve got it though, they’re super simple, smooth and easy to use, especially as the hook takes the tension out of the chain as you remove and refit the link.
The steel core does make them relatively heavy for packing, but the long, stiff levers made short work of any tire and rim combo I tried them on, and they’ve become my default workshop levers when they’re not tucked into my ride pack.
Not light and quite bulky, but that’s what gives these tire levers their welcome toughness and stiffness. Once you’ve worked out the assembly arrangement, the chain pliers work really well, too.
Tech Specs: Topeak Power Lever X
- Price: $TBC / £14.99
- Weight: 45g