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Verdict: 
Entry level tools that provide solid and easy maintenance for the home mechanic; shop around for the best price
Weight: 
2,500g

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.

Verdict

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

*Chain Whip

*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

*Crank Extractor

*Cassette Tool

*Splined BB Tool

*Torx L Wrench

*Chain breaker Tool, with replacement pin

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

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.

Overall rating: 7/10

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.

18 comments

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Gus T [317 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

I've had one for the last 5 years & it's stood me in good stead apart from the tyre levers which snapped. This seems to be a weakness in the kit & I can't get matching replacements  102
otherwise a good kit.

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Hutch0806 [6 posts] 4 years ago
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Good review, useful as I'm in the market for such a kit. One puzzler, 8/10 on everything with only one 7/10, yet 7/10 overall?? Missing something?

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dave atkinson [6319 posts] 4 years ago
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Hutch0806 wrote:

Good review, useful as I'm in the market for such a kit. One puzzler, 8/10 on everything with only one 7/10, yet 7/10 overall?? Missing something?

you missed this:

Quote:

The overall score is not just an average of the other scores. It reflects both a product's function and value

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Gkam84 [9105 posts] 4 years ago
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very generic kit, goes by many different names, not just X tools. I've see at least 6 different versions, Yellow, Blue, Red, Black, Orange and Pink....

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joemmo [1164 posts] 4 years ago
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Beware the splined BB spanner. It's quite crudely stamped out of metal plate and the edges are sharp enough to chew into an alloy BB cup. Needs a going over with a needle file to smooth it out.

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vonhelmet [844 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

very generic kit, goes by many different names, not just X tools. I've see at least 6 different versions, Yellow, Blue, Red, Black, Orange and Pink....

Looks quite similar to one of Planet X's Jobsworth kits.

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badkneestom [135 posts] 4 years ago
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For this rebranded kit for $34

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james123 [14 posts] 4 years ago
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I had the bigger, more expensive X TOOLS kit and found almost every part of it to be of poor quality (some parts even broke on first use - and not due to neglect or misuse). Personally, I'd avoid.

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Flying Scot [973 posts] 4 years ago
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Those spanners look a bit nasty.

A set for putting things together.....rather than taking them apart!

Planet X do an identical one in red for 30 quid if it's what you want.

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LarryDavidJr [358 posts] 4 years ago
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Though I can't say anything about these exact tools, I've found (through experience!) that anything which may require a fair bit of leverage, like BB tools or crank extractors, you are much better off getting a 'fitting only' tool to use your own spanners on, rather than one already on a handle, as the handles rubber grips soon wear away, and you can't get any sort of convenient sized pipe over it for extra leverage. Plus the crank extractor I had with a built in handle, soon snapped off, making the tool itself useless.

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srchar [654 posts] 4 years ago
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Cheap, nasty tools are a false economy.

If you care enough about DIY to buy a tool, buy a decent one.

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KiwiMike [1307 posts] 4 years ago
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I'd put this in the 'back of the car' category of kits, as a cheap & cheerful get-you-out-of-trouble solution.

But for prolonged home workshop use?

Cheap
Long-lasting
Close tolerances, not likely to damage components

Pick any two  1

There's a reason Par£ and P€dro'$ cost what they do.

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bashthebox [752 posts] 4 years ago
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I've got the Planet-X 'Jobsworth' branded one, and it's ok - Have put together a whole bike with it, and changed various parts on others. It's a good starter kit, but I reckon if you're doing more that just regular maintenance you need something a bit better.
Better than bodging a job with none of the right tools though.

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Leodis [424 posts] 4 years ago
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£ 38.28 in Rose

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AJ101 [277 posts] 4 years ago
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jacknorell [972 posts] 4 years ago
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Much less from eBay, this is very generic.

Park Tools 'advanced' set is £240, and yes, it probably is 10x as good as one of these cheap sets.

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KiwiMike [1307 posts] 4 years ago
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Here's a thought:

On any bike worth more than about £500-600, any given component you might work on with these tools is probably worth more than the whole kit. It would definitely be worth more than the individual tool.

That's not a ratio you should be pleased with, and it's certainly not one conducive to repeated, damage-free use over the years.

Particularly for high-torque applications, like BB's, cranks, cassette lock rings, and areas prone to corrosion/galvanic welding like hub cones or pedal axles.

One bodged use and you could be looking at serious cash to repair.

Whilst an experienced mechanic would know how far to push a cheap tool, the target market for a £35 set won't.

Caveat Emptor.

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simonofthepiemans [17 posts] 4 years ago
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I've built and maintained quite a few bikes up with this set of tools without damaging any components (mainly Ultegra kit). I think it's a bargain for the price and a great starter kit. You've got to start somewhere and this gives you that ability to learn about your bike. The tire levers aren't much cop but then who cares about them. As other posters have said there are better tools out there but I think you will accrue those as your skills and demands as a mechanic develop.