Blackburn Wayside Multi-Tool - Review

May 4, 2016
by Richard Cunningham  
Blackburn Wayside Multi-tool 2016

Blackburn Wayside Multi-tool 2016
Blackburn Wayside Multi-tool 2016

Blackburn Wayside tool


Blackburn 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.


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


Blackburn Wayside Multi-tool 2016


Wrench Report

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.

Blackburn Wayside Multi-tool 2016
Half of the chain breaker becomes a handy Presta valve remover...
Blackburn Wayside Multi-tool 2016
...And, also doubles as a spoke wrench and brake-pad spreader.


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!

Blackburn Wayside Multi-tool 2016
The stubby eight-millimeter Allen is hollow. It doubles as a breaker bar for full-length keys.
Blackburn Wayside Multi-tool 2016
Bondhus Allen keys are so much better than folding types for cockpit adjustments.


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.
Blackburn Wayside Multi-tool 2016
The Wayside's chain hook can save a lot of frustration if you need to repair a chain or remove a split master link.



Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesAt 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





100 Comments

  • + 123
 First thing I'm doing when I get home tonight is make a chain hook out of old spoke. Can't believe I never thought or knew about the idea what a simple genius thing
  • + 20
 Oh yeah that is like bike shop tricks 101! glad you finally get to be a part of it!
  • + 4
 Another method is using thin cable ties to hold the chain close together Smile
  • + 1
 Yea man we used to call that one the shark!
  • + 20
 Those cheap metal coat hangers work as well. The remainder can be used if you ever need to poke somethin'
  • + 11
 "chain assembly hook" now I finally know what to call my bent spoke doo-hickey
  • + 1
 @Joebohobo: I cut a coat hanger into a chain hook to keep in my pack yesterday, just before this review went online. I used cable ties in the past and those work well too...
  • + 1
 I learned that trick building my very first mountain bike. Thanks Joe!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ33HOy6thE
  • + 1
 @ryan83: "poke somethin'"?

Whatever could you be referring to?
(Snicker)
  • + 2
 @unclethunder: I always took the chain off the chainring to get some slack. I guess I was just too dumb to bend a spoke
  • + 1
 have it for over 10 year's so...Wink
  • + 2
 @wolf-amongst-lambs: lmao no way man! what ever gets the job done, you're not dumb!
  • + 2
 @wolf-amongst-lambs:
So did I. Just means I won't have to hold both ends of the chain and a chain tool at the same time. . Or now iv got the hook I won't even have to do that anymore
  • + 10
 Wow, this looks like it incorporates all of the stuff I usually carry in one package, and more (basically anything I could ever need). Could also actually save me some weight, since I carry a standalone chainbreaker and spoke wrench. Any tips for any other multitools with this many tools?
  • + 5
 You just said this one have everything you could ever need but still ask for recommendatios of other multitools...
  • + 2
 Topeak Alien is also good, but this looks better.
  • + 8
 @passwordpinkbike: Maybe some others could be lighter/cheaper or have some super smart features this one doesn't.
  • + 5
 crank bros m19 is similar
  • + 5
 @htyler7: I like the M19, only 175 grams, chain break works fine.
To me one purpose of a multitool is to keep all the tools together. I think all those loose wrenches on the Blackburn will eventually fall to the wayside.
  • + 1
 Park Tool Rescue multi tool MTB-3.2, but it is 60g heavier. I'm still deciding which one to get myself.
  • + 1
 @kryten: I tried the Park tool a couple years ago, Its nice but it was too big and heavy for me its more of a car tool. I do like their little I-beam for short rides and tuning.
  • + 5
 I always carry the Park Tool mini CT-5 Chain tool. It is tiny, weight is negligible and it works just as well as any full-sized chain tool.... even better IMO. I've never found a folding chain tool on a mutli that I've liked or works well.
  • + 2
 I use the Topeak super chain tool. Even smaller has a built in chain keeper thing and works very well. I too have never been happy with built in multi tool chain tools. No I use the specialized swat mini tool and zip tie a master link and I can handle most problems I'll have on tbe trail.
  • + 5
 Looks good! I like how multi functional the chain breaker is!

I'm guessing the chain assembly hook is for people with a front derailleur or chain guide? I run a n/w ring with no guide and simply take my chain off towards the outside.

And what are the 2 different sizes of Torx screws for? The only Torx I've ever had on any of my bikes were the disc bolts, and those were all the same Torx size.

Also like how it has an 8mm allen key. I always have to bring both my multi tool and a loose 8mm key if I go touring on my track bike.
  • + 0
 The chain assembly hook is for anyone without an 11sp sram derailleur, to keep the tension off the chain when you're joining it. Some chainring bolts use the T30 torx. Not sure what else.
  • + 2
 T30 is for chainring bolts.
  • + 4
 @AgrAde: 10 speed SRAM does the same
  • + 3
 A handful of bar clamps for brakes are torx now. My Shimanos are, I'm sure there are others out as well.
  • + 2
 @Kenfire24:
As well as everything on the reverb minus the rail clamp bolts.
  • + 3
 @Kenfire24: Yup, SRAM has been Torx for bar clamps at least since Guide, & it's a funky stepped bolt you can't replace. There's a smaller Torx size used for bleed screws, too. I carry one of the little 2 sided L-wrenches that Avid used to provide with their brakes for those sizes, as it has both.

There's stems on the market that use Torx, too. Gravity Gap, for one, & I know it's getting fairly common on road bikes for more hardware to be Torx.
  • + 1
 @AgrAde: 10speed x9 and xo do the trick too

Sorry-it has been mentioned
  • + 1
 @groghunter: That's right the bleed screws. I knew there was another little one that I just couldn't place.
  • + 1
 @Kenfire24: I actually used it the other day on a new bike I built. the bleed plug on guide levers seems to have a "false tight" position, as I had them tight to feel after shortening the hoses, but noticed later while at work that the plug was weeping a small amount of fluid. Having the tool needed to tighten that saved my ride that day.
  • + 4
 I have allways loved Blackburn Multi-Tools, they have good inovations. I remember she one whith the mini shock pump. Great! But whith this one, I don't know. i do not have the best experience with multi-tools whith detachable parts. It's kind of fiddly.
  • - 26
flag David1po (May 4, 2016 at 6:28) (Below Threshold)
 I understand english is a second language but i would want someone to call me out if I was typing in Spanish.

Either way it's with never whith unless you maybe traveled back to the late 1800s I believe.

Just a tid bit of info for ya mate Smile
  • + 23
 @David1po: Then I will call you out, since the correct use of the subjunctive would require you to write "If I were typing in Spanish."
  • - 5
flag David1po (May 4, 2016 at 7:32) (Below Threshold)
 @santoman: fair enough Smile any time you can help someone out for future good I say go for it.
  • - 9
flag David1po (May 4, 2016 at 7:38) (Below Threshold)
 @santoman: this is only correct when the subjunctive isn't reality correct? However I can speak Spanish and have the ability to do so in the future. Thus doesn't this remain as 'was' and not 'were'?
  • + 2
 @David1po: estás utilizando el subjuntivo para referirte a una acción hipotética "si estuviese escribiendo en español..." . El que puedas en efecto escribir en la lengua de Cervantes es encomiable, pero no tiene ningún efecto sobre el carácter hipotético de tu frase.
  • - 5
flag David1po (May 4, 2016 at 10:39) (Below Threshold)
 @santoman: but again it's not hypothetical if it can be reality. This is subjunctive hypothetical if I could not speak Spanish. Your argument is based upon this in English and also in your Spanish version to test me. I'm fairly certain I am correct on this.

I can read it well but writing is much slower, as I cannot conjugate still on the fly.
  • + 8
 @David1po: sorry for the reply in Spanish. To be honest, given that you said you could write in Spanish and that your username ends with "po" I assumed you had Chilean roots, my bad. Whether or not a situation can happen bears no weight when you hypothesize about it. For example, one could write "If Marcelo Gutierrez were to win a World Cup race, it would make me very happy". Unlikely perhaps, but not impossible. In your phrase "if I were writing in Spanish..." what I read is that you are not doing it at the moment (you were, indeed, writing in English) but I draw no conclusions regarding your knowledge of the said language. Now, it is late afternoon over here and tomorrow is a free day so, if you were so kind to excuse me, I am going to go get a beer. Cheers!!!
  • + 4
 They could have cut the 8mm open ended wrench into the pad spreader part of the chain tool. That's what my Crankbrothers M19 does. That said, I've never ever needed that on mine, especially out in the woods. This is only slightly heavier than my M19 but I may pick one up, having loose allen keys and a way to add even more leverage is a nice touch.
  • - 1
 you can put the 5mm hex into the 8mm as an extension. Not sure if they covered that. I have a poor memory. LOL!
  • + 1
 i carry a 4 and 5 mm inside my topeak pouch
  • + 3
 I just discovered that my M19 also has a slot for presta valve cores in the chainbreaker bit. That will come in handy when I unscrew a core by accident while removing a track pump.
  • + 4
 Suggestion here, almost every T25 on multi tools I've seen are not long enough to do up the pesky SRAM rear mech bolt that likes to come loose. Might be worth looking into in the future.
  • - 1
 SRAM has a bolt that comes loose? What , no
  • + 2
 And... speaking from experience, that is a bolt you really don't want to strip... Theres a set of things on a bike that are very expensive to fix with the wrong tools.
  • + 1
 Perhaps you should invest in a torque wrench? Or does it come loose anyway?
  • + 2
 If bolt is coming loose: Loctite blue?

My pivot bolt welded itself to the hanger. Then some neutral support mechanic tried to see if it was loose, didn't take the time to ensure the tool was fully seated, stripped it... a months later I bent the hanger.

Loctite isn't enough to protect pivot bolt - I think best solution is a single wrap of Teflon tape.

I'd never ever consider touching that bolt with anything but the best fitting tools. A stubby pocket tool is exactly how you ruin it.
  • + 1
 Oooooo, full length Allen keys that will actually let you fix your bike when the lighter tools with stubby Allen keys can't actually reach anything you need to tighten. Sacrificing a function in a trail side tool is one of those really stupid compromises to save weight. When you are looking at multi tools take your bike and check to make sure you can reach everything. In particular all of the obscured bolts in your handle bar controls if you are running match maker or the Shimano equivalent.
  • + 1
 I was sold until the chain breaker does work on 11 speed chains. My chain breaker on my Top Peak Allien II has seen some use. Seems like they could have just drilled a whole in the fin allowing one of the loose allen keys to slide in and give leverage. Also a bottle opener is handy to have.
  • + 5
 Anything with a square edge is a bottle opener!
  • + 1
 Rad, I like it. I just wish it was longer - longer allen keys, longer saw, longer lever for the 8mm. If you're making a chunky tool in order to make it nice to use, go the full monty. Don't think it will replace my topeak hexus 2 aka the best multi tool ever made.
  • + 1
 That would have meant making the entire tool way larger AND way heavier. At that point it's just a shop based multi-tool. Not something you'd want to carry with you unless you've got a full on camping set up going.

The ONLY thing I like on the Hexus 2 that this one doesn't have is the 2 tire levers... but I'd rather just toss legit levers in with the tool. It's got a rubber band around it you can stuff the tire levers into. Beyond that, the blackburn tool is better in every way.

Good luck finding longer allen keys on other tools... even the shorter ones that fold over are as long as they need to be. And the knife is a knife that can saw... it's not meant to chop down trees?

I'm holding one of these tools in my hand right now... the detachable keys are pretty much the exact same ones in my tool box at home....
  • + 4
 That's one bad ass multi-tool. I think a lot of people will be into getting this. I would but I just bought one last month.
  • + 3
 I have this tool it is great I should've read the manual because I had no idea it did half of those things
  • + 4
 Why do so few bike tools come with a tire lever??
  • - 1
 Because you should be able to mount and dismount 19 out of 20 tyres without one. Many people pinch their brand new tubes while trying to mount their tyre with levers. Tyre levers do come in handy 2 or 3 packs for during the rides though,
  • + 2
 @Mattin: Werd. I don't like using metal tire levers on my bike anyways. Just toss 2 or 3 plastic ones in your bag. Takes up very little space and weight. Or just do without.

This particular tool... even if you own a tool you take with you... I'd get one just to leave in my car. You can damn near build an entire bike with this thing. Add in a couple other tools in a small bag, a shop pump and you've got a mobile work shop. The removable keys are rad.
  • + 2
 @onemanarmy: I saw this and thought "You mean I don't have to haul my bike toolbox around anymore?" Seriously just bought one and shoved it into my Specialized Comp Carbon SWAT hole. Might do a tire lever and a small tire patch or two... but I got everything I need now.
  • + 2
 Who cares about weight when it can fix broken stuff? That's the idea of a tool at the end of the day. Light tools tend to be guff too...
  • + 3
 $35USD soon becomes $60CDN , seen one in a shop was not impressed for the price , $45 sure but not $60
  • + 1
 When I bought mine a few years ago it was $12. Older version but still.
  • + 1
 I also paid like (at maximum) 10 $ for my random brand multitool in 2001 and it as solid as 15 years ago. 2016 prices are (apologies) sh..t, however what is the real problem that the quality is very often also shxt.
  • + 3
 Looks like a Whyte you're working on in the pics. A full review coming soon?
  • + 2
 I've had a Topeka tool with that chain hook for a few years now.... never realized what it was for.
  • + 1
 personally I prefer Birzman Multitool but is without the "chain assembly hook" which is really difficult to make from any old spoke from your wheel...lol
  • + 3
 6mm Allen Key?
  • + 1
 Used this for 10 yrs, and a bent spoke, Crank Brothers Multi 17. No problem.
  • + 2
 Yup, odd choice to leave out the 6mm given everything else they have in there. My Knolly uses a 6mm bolt in rear thru-axle, and I've occasionally come across pedals that are 6mm instead of 8mm. Suspension bolts aren't as big of a deal out on the trail but many are 6mm too.
  • + 1
 Oh wait, 6mm doesn't show up in the description but it is on the diagram. Not a removable key but one of the fixed tools next to the Torx bits.
  • + 2
 @nilswalk: It has a 6mm Allen on the folding end.
  • + 1
 Ah, missed that. Now interested......
  • + 2
 That chain hook is genius.
  • + 2
 Yeah seriously. I wish my tool had that and the brake spanner for those situations where you or someone accidentily pulls the brakes when the wheel isn't hooked up.
  • + 0
 Damn not 12 speed compatible, what am I supposed to use now... Wink in all seriousness though, this looks like a great tool, I may end up replacing my rusted one now
  • + 0
 The tools themselves are stainless? Or is this like the expensive yet worthless Lezyne tools that become useless hunks of rust after a couple months.
  • + 2
 Only thing its missing is a spot to store a spare quick link.
  • + 2
 I like it but may put it on the Blackburner for a bit! I'll get my coat
  • + 1
 If this tool could somehow be combined with a Proto, it would rule the world...
  • + 1
 The chain hook is a genius idea.
  • + 1
 damn that tool sounds nice. i need it.
  • + 1
 Nice tool. Cool to see a knife included. This usually gets overlooked.
  • + 1
 A brake rotor tweaking/straightening slot would be nice
  • + 2
 no bottle opener?
  • + 11
 Your spokes are the bottle opener
  • + 13
 if you can't figure out a way to open a bottle with all the shit on this tool and in your riding kit, you're fired from mountain biking!! You can probably just pry off the cap with the edge of the tool handle.
  • + 2
 @bkm303: front teeth!
  • + 0
 Cans > bottles
  • + 1
 @captaingrumpy: actually I was just thinking... it would look pretty boss if I could do it with my SPD cleat. As long as I could make it smooth. If I had to hop around and balance it wouldn't be cool.
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: yeah that was so sick. I wanna know how many takes they needed for that!
  • + 2
 @bkm303:

Seriously. I thought the same thing though at first. Thinking maybe the back of the knife could have one cut in but the way it rotates you cut your damn finger off. Just use the edge of the tool and pry it off. Super easy. Tested and approved.... LOL!

Or just leave one on your keys... most people toss their car keys in when they ride...
  • + 2
 @bkm303: Agreed, a man can create a fulcrum to open a beer bottle with just about anything. I last used the wooden end of a hatchet. Sac up peoples.
  • + 9
 @endlessblockades: "Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall be able to open basically any beer." - Archimedes
  • + 4
 @bkm303: I salute you with my index fulcrum!
  • + 1
 like it
  • - 2
 Proofread
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