TOPEAK TUBI 18 AND MINI PT30
The right tools for the job
Since the early ’90s, Topeak has created innovative solutions for the cycling community. Whether you find yourself training for an upcoming race or you are just meeting up with your buddies for a day out on the trails, Topeak has always stepped up to help make the most of any ride. Today, we take a look at Topeak’s latest offerings, the Tubi 18 and Mini PT30.
Tubi 18 tech features: The Tubi 18 is a new member of the Tubi tool series from Topeak. The main feature of this series is a 2-in-1 reamer/plug insertion tool for tubeless tire repair. For $10 more than the Tubi 11, the Tubi 18 comes with seven additional functions that are worth every extra penny. Although both have the reamer/plug, the Tubi 18 has a handy compartment where tire repair plugs can be stored inside away from water and debris.
The Tubi 18 also comes with 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm and 6mm Allen wrenches, and T10/T25 Torx. Along with the mentioned tubeless tool, there is also a lockable knife blade and detachable air-stop tool. Notable with the air-stop tool is how it can conveniently be stored in the 6mm Allen. This unique air stop is designed to go inside of the tire to prevent pressure loss before a tire plug is able to be properly installed. More on functionality coming up in our test results.
Mini PT30 tech features: The Mini PT30 is also a new product, but this option comes from Topeak’s Mini tool series. As you may have guessed, the 30 represents the number of functions the tool performs. Included in this series are tools that have a large number of functions packed into a convenient item for the rider to carry. For $15 more than the PT30s, there is also the ALiEN X with four additional functions. Although both are useful, we will explain later why we prefer the PT30 over the bulkier ALiEN X.
The Mini PT 30 comes with 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 6mm, 8mm and 10mm Allen wrenches. There are also T10, T15, and T25 Torx. Unlike the Tubi 18, the PT30 has 14g, 15g, Mavic M7, and Shimano 4.5 spoke wrenches. On top of that, there is also a chain tool, master link tool, #2 Philips, flat-head screwdriver, serrated knife/saw, disc brake spacer and the same 2-in-1 reamer/plug insertion tool seen on the other tool in this review.
Field test results: Right out of the box, both the Tubi 18 and PT30 can easily be put to use on a loose part, packed away in a trail kit or placed in a jersey pocket. The sizing is relatively the same between the two; however, the Tubi 18 is a bit slimmer and longer, making it easier to take out. This is partly due to the smooth back of the tire plug storage. Worth a mention is that the Tubi 18 has slightly longer Allen keys, making it great for tough-to-reach derailleur limit screws. We like that everything to install a tire plug is all in one spot on the 18 as well. The air stop is a smart function on the 18 that the PT30 does not have. Keep in mind the air stop might be tough to get to if a tire is losing air quickly and the tool is packed away. Of course, if anything were to go wrong with your chain or spokes, you would need some additional tool functions not seen on the Tubi 18.
The PT30 on the other hand can easily tackle tubeless, chain, or spoke repairs to get you back home. Since there is no storage for tire plugs on the PT30, we found ourselves storing repair plugs in a plastic baggie—a bit annoying, but it gets the job done. Overall, both are great tools that function well when problems arise and are built to withstand the elements. Between the two, we would spend the extra $5 and sacrifice a little more space to accommodate the Mini PT30. The added 12 functions could be the key to getting back on the bike (or back home) and enjoying the trail ahead.
Tubi 18 Hits
• Lightweight and slim design
• Easy to pack or keep in a pocket
• The blade is perfect for cutting excess tire plugs
• Air stop is a great idea if time allows for this to be done before losing too much pressure
• No chain breaker or spoke wrenches
4 out of 5 stars
Mini PT30 Hits
• Spoke wrench for all options you might encounter
• Loads of functions for a very slim design
• The chain tool is easy to use and access
• No storage for tire plugs
4.5 stars out of 5
Price: $44.95, Tubi 18; $49.95, Mini PT30