Being able to carry out a bit of home maintenance can save you a small fortune in labour charges. A selection like the X-Tools Bike Tool Kit allows you to cover most things that might crop up from a small service to a bit of general tweaking.
There are a lot of tool kits like this available, various brand names and levels of finish but the tools are all basically the same. They're good quality though and will serve the home mechanic well over plenty of years.
The thing is to choose a kit which has the right tools and X-Tools have obviously put a lot of thought here as all the basics are included.
It's Shimano orientated as the majority of bikes out there are running one of the Japanese groupsets especially at the lower price points and on kids' bikes. If you're running Campagnolo for instance you'll need to get yourself a separate bottom bracket tool (although the Shimano one can be bodged to fit Ultra/Power Torque cups with a bit of angle) and cassette tool.
For working on the gears you have everything you need to remove all the parts and fit them back on again: crank extractor, chain whip and the like. A welcome addition is a chain bolt tool; it's not often you see one of those. All the tools are solid and don't flex when you put plenty of force through them plus the fit tolerances are tight too. The handle shapes are ergonomic and textured for good grip.
The chain tool can often be a weakness in some kits but this one feels to be sturdy and also has a spare chain pin stored inside the body.
Apart from the specialist tools you also get the general offerings like Allen keys, screwdrivers and impressively a Torx key seeing as a lot of manufacturers are moving over to these bolts for stem and handlebar fixings. One criticism is that the Allen keys are a little on the short side but it's a minor quibble.
For your wheels you get a couple of cone spanners, spoke key and large tyre levers that work well and fit in the hand nicely.
On the whole it's a decent kit and the only tool you'd really need to add is a decent set of cable cutters. The rrp is about on par with most kits but if you shop around you'll get a much better deal than the suggested £59.99, as low as £34.99 with a bit of Google-Fu.
The quality is good and the fact it all fits in a small plastic moulded case means it's just as useful to chuck in the car for an event as it is at home in the garage.
Entry level tools that provide solid and easy maintenance for the home mechanic; shop around for the best price
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: X-Tools Bike Tool Kit
Size tested: 18 tools
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The X-Tools kit covers the majority of what the home mechanic needs to service their bike with decent tools.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
This kit is idea for the home mechanic or a race weekends away, the all in 1 kit gets you rolling again. The tools are all kept safe in a durable plastic box with protective internal foam separating the two halves.
X-Tools Bike Tool Kit - 18 Piece Features:
*Workshop Tyre Levers
*Shimano Compatible External BB Spanner
*Pedal Spanner 15mm Box Wrench with 14/15mm socket end
*Shimano Style Hollow Tech 2 Tensioning Tool, features unique twist top for extra grip
*Ball Ended Allen Keys (2, 2.5, 4, 5, 6)
*Flat Bladed Screwdriver
*Philips Head Screwdriver
*2 double ended Cone Spanners (13, 14, 15, 16mm)
*Chainring Bolt Tool
*Puncture Repair Kit
*Spoke Key 3.2, 3.3, 3.5
*Splined BB Tool
*Torx L Wrench
*Chain breaker Tool, with replacement pin
Shop around for the best deals.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a great entry level kit.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The solid tools.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Short Allen keys.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
The X-Tool kit is well thought out and comes with most of the tools a beginner or advanced home mechanic will need. Add a set of cable cutters and you've got most servicing jobs covered. The overall score reflects the rrp, get it at a discount and things move up a mark.
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Kinesis T2 My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.