In 2014, Brian Davis went to Kickstarter looking for support of his new creation, the replaceable steel Fix It Sticks. Heck, I was one of those 1,522 backers and continue to use the original set I bought to this day. However, since the sticks lacked a chain breaker and were no lighter or more compact than a typical multi-tool, I generally kept the sticks stationed at my work bench or in my car for quick adjustments pre-ride. They are fantastic, fit well in your hands and are fully functional with great leverage.
Brian is at it again, only this time he has added a chain breaker and tire lever to his new Fix It Sticks Mountain Kit and is looking to go head to head with other multi-tools. In addition to the Mountain Kit, there is also a Commuter Kit available, which replaces the chain breaker tool with a 15 mm axle nut wrench.
How does it work?
I am a fan of the replaceable Fix It Sticks, although heavier than the non-replaceable aluminum version. The replaceable version obviously allows you to interchange a wider variety of bits. It uses standard ¼ inch bits so if you happen to lose your 4 mm hex, simply head on over to your hardware store and pick up a replacement. As I mentioned earlier, the sticks’ simplicity and functionality is unmatched. The bits are held in place via magnet and I have had no issues with bits becoming stuck in the bolt I was working on and removing themselves from the stick. The sticks are constructed from a high quality steel and capable of withstanding up to 40 NM of torque. Even after almost 4 years of use, I have had no oxidation issues with my original replaceable Fix It Sticks.
The two plastic tire lever “tips” are magnetized and fit snugly on the end of each stick, similar to the bits. I’ve used them a few times just to see how well they work and they seem to work like any other tire lever out there. I wouldn’t necessarily say I have high standards for levers – as long as they work when I need them. These seem like they are perfectly capable of doing exactly that.
At first glance, the chain breaker does not look like much and that’s because it’s intended to be used in conjunction with both Fix It Sticks. Once the sticks are in place, the tool fits comfortably in the hand and offers ample leverage. Take note, this breaker may not work with 12-speed chains though.
I will continue to use the Fix It Sticks in the workshop or keep a set in the car for emergencies, but I just can’t see this as my go to trailside kit. With the Mountain Kit weighing in 222 grams and costing $56, that’s both heavy and expensive, not to forgo mentioning it’s kind of on the bulky side for what’s included. Sure, the leverage lacks on most multi-tools but generally speaking, they are going to work perfectly fine for getting you and your bike back to the car safely.