No bigger than a matchbox, the GT All-Terra Multi Tool is well thought out, genuinely pleasant to use, and caters for most common mechanical scenarios.
Fourteen functions include 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm Allen keys, a chain breaker with integral bottle opener, and spoke spanners. Then, of course, we have the obligatory Philips head and Torx drivers, which are beginning to creep into other components, not just disc brake rotors.
Neatly sculpted 6061 aluminium side plates emblazoned with the GT logo fit nicely in the hand and provide surprising amounts of leverage, compensating for stubby tool bits. These are made from durable heat-treated chrome vanadium steel. Satin effect nickel plating combines aesthetic allure with corrosion resistance, although ours succumbed to the orange taint having been left in a tool bottle following two successive wet rides.
Chain tools seem particularly vulnerable to fatigue – I have a draw full of otherwise functional pocket workshops with sheared drive pins and collapsed spreader slots. The All-Terra's appears accurately machined, with reassuringly little slop, chomping through 8, 9 and 10-speed derailleur fare pretty cleanly. In a pinch it'll split and re-join bog standard 1/8 track types too.
Several weeks' relentless use has seen those bijoux bits taking stubborn fasteners and borderline brute force in their stride. Overall length means there's sufficient oomph for higher stressed stuff – old school quill stems and square taper crank bolts being prime examples.
The Torx bit even liberated a set of dog-eared and, ahem, borderline seized cleat screws. It's agile in confined spaces too, say when nipping bottle cages tight. Not surprisingly, intensive use takes its toll and after 10 days, the tool bed had turned decidedly flaccid – easily fixed with a standalone 2mm key but worth keeping in check.
Bottom line, the All-Terra is a worthy design, favouring pared-to-the-essentials road, cyclo-cross and mountain bikes. The multi-tool market is very crowded, though, and there are better equipped models for touring or longer distance commuting vying for your cash.
Worthy staple for contemporary bikes, but not markedly better than a host of similar designs
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road.cc test report
Make and model: GT All-Terra Multi tool
Size tested: 14 function multi tool, black
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?
Solid and reliable multi-tool that will tackle most common jobs with ease and is nice to use.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
14 function multi tool
Spoke Key Mavic 14/15/16g
Colours: Black or Red
Accurately machined and generally well made.
What I've come to expect from this genre, though nickel plating tarnished surprisingly quickly and tool bits required periodic tightening. Nothing occasional oily rag wipe-overs and tweaks from a standalone 2mm Allen key don't fix.
Aluminium side plates sit nicely in the hand and offer surprising amounts of torque, which is really useful when tackling chains, stem, crank bolts and so on.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall the All-Terra is a decent enough pocket tool with well machined, solid bits that do their respective jobs very well. Electroplating succumbed to taint faster than I was expecting and it's not markedly better than a few suspiciously similar designs I've used bearing different logos.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Sturdy, attractive and, thus far, very reliable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nickel plated finish more prone to corrosion that I had expected – not a deal breaker though.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Worth a look
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)