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Review: Mineral Designs Mini Bar serves up solid multi-tool performance

mineral designs mini bar bicycle multi tool review
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The more mini-tools I test, the more particular I become. And when I find one I really like, it tends to stay in my pack for a long, long time. The latest such gem is the Mineral Designs Mini Bar, which launched via Kickstarter in 2016 and went on sale in 2017. The tool uses a welded steel handle with three magnetic sockets for standard 1/4″ hex bits, which are held at the ready inside a plastic case with magnetic slots. Below, photos and our short video review!

mineral designs mini bar bicycle multi tool review mineral designs mini bar bicycle multi tool review

The case not only keeps the bits secure, it also holds the tool tightly to it when not in use. The result is a package that’s compact yet carries six bits…enough to take along just about anything your bike is likely to use.

mineral designs mini bar might be the best bicycle multi tool

The kit comes with 10 bits: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm, Torx T25, Phillips, and Flat Screwdriver. Pick the six that your bike needs.

Tired of words? Here’s a video review!

Actual weight with six bits loaded is 113g, which can vary by up to ~8g depending on what you pack it with.

Much like another of my favorite tools, the design is easy to use in tight spots, but also gives you leverage for higher torque tasks like removing pedals or threading (or unthreading) stealth thru axles. The short side means you’re not twisting the arm in an awkward direction when trying to loosen a tight pedal. It’s also a bit quicker to start using, which gives the Mini Bar an edge.

Retail is $34.99 making this not just a great tool, but also a great deal.

MineralBikes.com

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18 Comments
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Snark Attack
Snark Attack
4 years ago

Maybe not quite as versatile, but the Park rescue wrench is like $11 and you can’t lose the bits, which would be my primary concern with this tool.

John
John
4 years ago
Reply to  Snark Attack

I’ve got one and it really does feel great in the hand

I haven’t lost any bits yet despite using it for over a year, they are pretty secure in the bit holder.

Eric Daume
4 years ago

I don’t want any tool without a chain breaker. Master links don’t always work (like when a link breaks and you have to drive out the old link

Mark
Mark
4 years ago
Reply to  Eric Daume

Funny you should mention that. The same Kickstarter campaign also had a bar end plug with a chain breaker- http://www.mineralbikes.com/shop/barstow-system

I got both, but haven’t yet added them to my kit. The mini bar has been useful in the garage doing regular repairs, but mostly because it was conveniently within reach with the proper bits.

Jon MacKinnon
4 years ago
Reply to  Eric Daume

If you check out the Mineral Bikes website (or the related links below the article) you’ll see that they also have a product which replaces your bar plugs, and contains a chain breaker.

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
4 years ago
Reply to  Eric Daume

Is this really an issue? I used to have the same belief but after multiple 10,000 mile seasons (several thousand miles of which on mtb) using KMC x 11 sl chains and Shimano SLX chains with kmc master links I have never broken a chain nor seen a broken chain and I ride with some big track sprinters who can put out close to 2,000 watts on a good day.

Derek
Derek
4 years ago

I snapped the inner link of a tandem timing chain 2000 miles into a cross-country trip. Master link was useless. It definitely can be an issue.

Jeff J.
Jeff J.
4 years ago

Clean, simple, good in tight spots, and able to personalize so I’m only carrying the bits I need. Very nice. If they’ve got the corrosion under control (the #1 killer of all tools) them I’m 100% on board.

Jörg Löhken
4 years ago

Isn’t carrying this and the FixIt Sticks a bit redundant?

mudrock
mudrock
4 years ago

I don’t see him carrying both. I’m sticking with fixit sticks: same weight (replaceable bit model), longer for better grip, cheaper.

B@se
B@se
4 years ago

right… looks alot like a nockoff from the Swisstool bitset. swisstool bitset 7611160301208

works great, have one with me for the last 18 years now.

bill
bill
4 years ago

you can smoke your weed out of it!

Mike A
Mike A
4 years ago
Reply to  bill

Haha! Glad I’m not the only one thinking that.

comrad
comrad
4 years ago

Topeak Ratchet > this

Bill63
Bill63
4 years ago

I have one of these, along with their bar plug chain tool. The multi tool is easy to use, light weight, with no sharp edges that can dig in to the other things in my saddle bag. The chain tool works fine, and has a clever little holder for a spare chain link.

jwmushman
jwmushman
4 years ago

I have one and really like it. The whole package is small and comfortable to hold. It fits in my pocket or nicely in my camelback. The tool handle is sized well and works great for a bunch of situations. I like it so much I use it when I’m working in my garage on my bikes or motorcycles. It also works great for Ikea furniture.

The bar end with the chain breaker and link holder works great too. It’s been a while since I’ve broken a chain but it’s cheap insurance and I like that the extra link stays with my bike as opposed to in my camelback which is used for lots of other things other than biking.

Bow Wow
Bow Wow
4 years ago

Spurcycle Tool. Pricier, similar tools and Titanium!

Ridezon
Ridezon
4 years ago

I was just looking around at all these different tools and see that fix it sticks has a couple of “AR” specific gun kits. I know this is their right and not all feel the way I do, but f*ck them, I see that sh*t and WILL NOT BUY FROM THEM.

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