Crankbrothers recently released a new addition to their tool collection. For the past few years, they have followed a similar form of folding multi tools – two side bars with tools that neatly fold into a compact piece. The new Y tools break that form to create an interesting take on portable shop-quality tools. We took a look at the y16 which is the more versatile of the two models.
Cranbrothers took an interesting approach and created a frame to house the two y tools. The two tools stack on top of each other and are held in the frame (and to each other) with magnets. This creates a nice "click" when the tools are placed into position within the frame. The empty spaces around the y tools are filled with a co2 inflator, a chain tool, or a little storage container that holds additional bits that are used in one of the y tools 1/4" drivers. Very cool, indeed.
The y tools are especially nice to work with. If you've ever struggled with a folding tool on the trail, you'll appreciate the function of a y tool. It's not too small to work with, nor is it too big. They're a nice portable size.
The co2 is a very nice refined piece that uses threaded co2's. We only had to use this a couple of times, but so far it did what it was supposed to do - fill the tire.
The chain tool is probably the highlight of this piece. It uses both y tools as handles and levers to operate the breaker. We thought this was a clever way to combine the tools. Both the co2 and the chain tool snap into the frame very securely.
The bits stored in the compartment include additional sizes of hex wrenches not found on the y tools themselves, a phillips and flathead screwdrivers, and two torx wrenches. They're held inside the storage loosely with a bit of foam to dampen them from rattling around. Note that the 1/4" diver that these bits work with in the y tool is also magnetized so they won't fall out when in use.
While this is a great tool to put into the pack for longer rides and training, this is not a tool that we would race with. It does an excellent job of consolidating all of your tools into one place, and while the weight of the sum of its parts are within reason (260g for the y16), it is on the heavy side. Sifting through the bits isn't something we'd want to do in a rushed race situation either. But this tool functions beautifully and has found its place in our packs during all day trail rides or in our gear bags when traveling to races - it's much easier to work with than a folding tool.
y16 : 260g
hex 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8
- phillips + flat screwdriver
- spoke wrench #0, #1
- torx t-10, t-25
- 1/4" driver
- chain breaker
- co2 inflator (fits presta / schrader)
- lifetime warranty