is synonymous with epic riding and its Wayside multi-tool was created to provide a more useful range of tools to handle difficult trailside repairs in situations where it may not be possible to phone your mom for a rescue, or walk out of the back country before darkness or foul weather sets in. The Wayside has 19 functions, is only 18 millimeters thick, 85 millimeters long, and it weighs 200 grams. Its designers took care to eliminate any sharp or uncomfortable surfaces so the tool will not puncture or abrade flesh, spare tubes, or water bladders. Standout features include a chain-holding hook, five removable bondhus Allen wrenches, a locking knife blade, and a removable segment of its chain tool that triples as an ergonomically shaped spoke wrench, a brake pad spreader and a Presta valve tool. Construction and finish is top notch and the Wayside's MSRP is $35 USD.
Wrench Report Functions:
• Five Individual Hex Keys with ball ends in 2, 2.5, 3, 4, and 5mm sizes - 8 and 6mm folding.
• Knife Blade: Locking, with both flat and serrated edges.
• Chain Tool: 7–11 speed compatible
• Chain Assembly Hook
• Disc Brake Pad Spreader
• 8mm Hex With hollow core that will accept hex keys to provide leverage
• Torx Keys: T25 and T30 sizes
• Spoke Wrenches: on the removable chain-tool handle (0, 1 and 2 sizes)
• Presta Valve Core Tool
• Flat-Head Screwdriver
• Weight: 200g / 0.44lbs
• MSRP: $35 USD
• Contact: Blackburn
I assemble and disassemble a lot of bicycles each year as part of the review process, which provides ample opportunity to put tools to task. Typically, most folding tools can cover the major stuff, but somewhere in the assembly process, they inevitably fall short in some huge way. I judge a good multi-tool by how often I have to dig into my Park toolbox to cover for its shortcomings.
In this respect, the Blackburn Wayside proved to be one of handier multi's that I have come across. The full-sized Allen wrenches made brake caliper adjustments much less of a pain. (It can be tough trying to make subtle alignment tweaks when you are banging a folding tool against the frame tubes.) The ball ends made short work of setting up the cockpit - especially the stem and handlebar clamps - while the folding, eight-millimeter Allen has enough reach to access recessed crank bolts. And, the tool's stiff aluminum chassis is tough enough to stand on in order to loosen stubborn pedals.
Most folding tools feature poor excuses for spoke wrenches - like rectangular slots along the edge of a blade. The Wayside's chain tool, however, has a fin with three popular nipple keys cast into it, as well as a wrench for removing Presta valve cores, The fin fits the hand and fingers like a pro spoke key and does a bang-up job of truing rims. The fin itself is wedge shaped for spreading disc brake pads. Sweet!
I used the tool's chain breaker to shorten two chains and found that the fin, which was so handy to true wheels and convert my tires to tubeless, did not provide adequate leverage to counter the torque needed to break the rivets in SRAM and Shimano's 11-speed chains. I could barely manage to keep the fin from twisting. On a lighter note, the chain hook was a thoughtful addition. It was super handy to have the working ends of the chain dangling free while I was working on the links.
After assembling a pair of trailbikes, the only moment where the Blackburn Wayside left me completely hanging was when I needed to shorten a brake hose. The knife blade was sharp enough to cut the line, but there was no chance to remove the hoses from the levers without an eight-millimeter open-end wrench. That would be my big suggestion for a future addition.
|At 200 grams, Blackburn's Wayside tool is not going to find its way into most casual rider's pockets or packs, but it makes a lot of sense for anyone who puts in long miles deep in the back country, where basic survival skills and a good set of tools are a necessity, not a convenience. The Wayfarer proved to be one of the most useful and well thought-out folders that I have come across and, based upon its utility, I'd gladly toss one into my hydration pack before rolling out for a big ride. - RC|