There is no shortage of multi-tools on the market, so what has prompted Daniel Varney to come up with another one? His company, Altum Designs, makes the very bold claim that this is “the last bicycle multi-tool you will ever need”, so let’s see whether it has all the gadgets we need to keep us on the move.
So, what can it do? Well, there are two tyre levers, numerous spoke keys, hex bits and a cross-head screwdriver bit. This little lot allows you to sort out your tyres, wheels, most of your bike’s bolts and your gear mechs. The only notable omission is a chain tool. We couldn’t try out the tyre levers in anger as they are just pre-production samples, not injection moulded as per the finished product.
An immediate difference with this tool, the Altum Modual MTS, is that nothing is folded away. Multi-tools from the likes of Park Tools and Crank Brothers are bike-specific equivalents of the Swiss Army knife, whereas the Altum Modual MTS is a large slab of metal with no moving parts. It is magnetic, and this is how all of the extra bits attach to it. Everything clips on with a very positive feel, and won’t come off unless you give a definite pull.
There is a knack to releasing the hex bits and screwdriver bit, but this extremely easy once you’ve tried it a few times. The main metal block has no sharp edges and should be unlikely to catch on anything in your back pocket.
Altum Designs has also been working on a tool pouch, the Altum MTR, which slips into a jersey pocket or clips onto the saddle. It holds the MTS of course, but also has space for other essentials. It’s made from the durable Cordura, and features a magnetic work surface to prevent components disappearing into the grass or down a drain.
It’s currently only available to pre-order on Kickstarter, at £19 (early bird price) for the MTS and £35 for the MTS / MTR combo.