Autonomous Motion

Park Tool MT-1


Solid state bike tool

I’m sure most roadside bicycle repair multi-tools do their job, but for me the MT-1 is the coolest. Not only does it do the job better than most, its design is so simple, it’s so small and lightweight, so ingenious that it has to qualify as a cool tool.

Park’s MT-1 is made out of nickel-plated investment-cast steel, weighs next to nothing, has no moving parts, and yet has all the functions one needs for most emergency bicycle repairs, from adjusting derailleurs to tightening crank bolts. Because the shafts are so short and the lever longer, the MT-1 provides superior torque to tools such as the previously reviewed Crank Brothers Multi-19, or a standard folding hex, such as Park’s AWS-9. Unlike folding tools such as the Multi-19 or AWS-9, the MT-1 has no retaining bolt that can come loose over time. And because the thin MT-1 has such a low profile, it can fit in tight places, including small saddlebags.

It also offers 8-, 9- and 10mm socket wrenches, which are commonly used on rack and fender hardware, as well as older brake bolts. Overall, the MT-1 is simpler and more usable than the Crank Brothers tool. Though it does have fewer functions, I find the ones the MT-1 does have are all I need for road riding that doesn’t involve a long-distance expedition — and they work better. Perhaps the only thing wrong with it is that it isn’t blaze orange; I forgot mine in the grass the other day after a quick tune-up, which I might not have done if it had been painted an obnoxiously bright hue.

-- Andrew Wilson 08/5/09