Fix It Sticks Multi-tool Review
Fix It Sticks Multi-tool Review
By Simon Whiten
Review of the Fix It Sticks range of multi-tools – the original Fix It Sticks, the Fix It Sticks Replaceable Edition and the T-Way Wrench.
The original Fix It Sticks were very well received and, buoyed by that success, the US company then launched the Fix It Sticks Replaceable Edition and the T-Way Wrench. Over the last few months, we have had a good chance to put all three through their paces…
The Original Fix It Sticks
The original Fix It Sticks consist of two separate, anodised orange, aluminium rods. They look good in orange and feel featherweight in your hands at just 52g.
There are four tool bits permanently fixed into the ends of those rods. We received 4mm, 5mm and 6mm allen key bits, and a 5mm wide flathead scewdriver on our sample.
Due to their lightweight they are easily carried together with your pump and spare tubes on training rides. I used elastic bands to hold everything together in my jersey pocket, and again, due to their light weight, you really do not notice them; until you need them that is and then you notice how great they are. At such a time as you need them, the two rods combine by simply slotting one into the other, to form a user friendly T-handle tool. So simple but so effective
The Original version has been in pretty much constant use since they arrived and I rarely rode without them. The only thing which would have made them better perhaps is to have a Philips head as opposed to a flat head screw driver but when you order one, you will get to spec whatever combination you want.
In use they work superbly and have proved tough enough to be a regular feature in the workshop (until the T-bar wrench turned up that is, but more of that later). The only thing you can notice now is some discoloration to the bits (which may be due to constant exposure to sweat) and a bit of wear and tear; one of the slots has suffered some slight damage around its edge due to misuse but it’s cosmetic and doesn’t affect operation. They are certainly tough and made to last.
One well known South London rider commented recently on Twitter that, in a tool designed for emergencies out on the road, he’d want a chain tool, but as I have only ever used a chain tool, out on the road once in over 25 years of cycling, I don’t see that as an issue. Of course I was glad I had a chain tool on me at that time but it’s so rarely needed. Still using the Fix It Sticks means you forego that luxury.
All in all they are a great multi-tool, especially for the new breed of mountain pass climbing, weight obsessed, road sportive brigade.
The Fix It Sticks Replaceable Edition
The Fix It Sticks Replaceable Edition is the same as the original in terms of functionality and size, but is both more durable and heavier due to using 4140 CroMoly steel in place of the anodised aluminium construction of the Original. The big draw of this model is that, via the clever use of magnets holding the bits in place within the rods, you can swap the individual bits around depending on your specific needs at any given time.
The Replaceable edition is definitely a lot more practical and is also noticeably heavier at 134g, if that matters to you, which it might if you are off for a week in the Dolomites; here in Tooting it’s not such a big deal. The extra functionality offered by the switchable bits meant that I chose to take this version with me on a recent training camp as it replaces the usual collection of loose allen keys and screw drivers you’d take away with you.
The replaceable edition comes in a nice little recycled inner tube pouch which was useful at keeping things together and tidy when placed in the back pocket of my jersey.
Opting for the replaceable edition over the original will depend on two factors: how bothered are you about weight and how much versatility you require from your on-the-road toolkit.
Fix It Sticks T-Way Wrench
With the T-Way wrench the idea is that you supplement whichever one of the above Fix It Sticks you own, as whilst there’s no doubt that the Original and Replaceable Fix It Sticks are handy items and as such were spending more and more time being abused in bike-workshop type situations, you’ll become a bit tired of the having to fit them together all the time. Out on the road it makes sense; in regular use in the workshop it doesn’t. You need something specifically designed for workshop jobs and that’s the Fix It Sticks T-Way wrench.
Instead of being made-up by slotting two rods together, the Fix It Sticks T-Way is a fixed T-wrench. It still has the replaceable bits of the Replaceable version detailed above but there are now only three ends of course but you can only use one at a time so that makes no odds.
In use you can generate more than enough leverage with it for any job and a little swivel ring on the main shaft of the ‘T’ provides a means of turning the tool quickly once you’ve got a bolt loose and just want to get it out. This long shaft makes getting at hard to reach bolts in the recesses of your frame fairly straightforward as well. It’s good.
Like all of the Fix It Sticks, the T-Way is of high quality construction and is designed to last, so as an investment to add to your bike tool box it’s hard to fault. With it you can ditch all those loose Allen keys…
I can only recommend Fix It Sticks 100%. The quality is excellent, they are easy to use and surprisingly versatile.
RRP is from $29.99 in the US and from around £20.00 in the UK. There’s a wide range of colours, bit combinations and versions available, including a super cool titanium version ($99.99).
Fix It Sticks USA
Fix It Sticks UK
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