Crankbrothers F15 Multi-Tool - Review

Jul 11, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
Crankbrothers F15 multi-tool


The F15 is the most feature-packed option in Crankbrothers' F-series tool lineup, with, you guessed it, 15 functions (16 if you count the built-in bottle opener). One side of the magnetic case holds a tool with ten bits on it, and the other holds a chain breaker that can be flipped over to double as a spoke wrench.

The tool has 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm hex keys, a T25 Torx bit, along with Phillips and flathead screwdriver bits; basically, all of the most common bolt sizes found on a modern mountain bike. The chain tool is 8 thru 12-speed compatible, and the spoke wrench has slots for four different spoke sizes. The F15 weighs 163 grams, and retails for $42.99 USD.
Crankbrothers F15 Multi-Tool
• Magnetized carrying case
• 8-12 speed compatible chain tool
• Spoke wrenches: #0, 1, 2, 3
• Hex wrenches: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm
• Flat head, Phillips head screwdrivers
• T-25 Torx
• Bottle opener
• Weight: 163 grams
• Price: $42.99 USD
• 5-year warranty
www.crankbrothers.com


Crankbrothers f15 tool review
Crankbrothers f15 tool review
A magnet in the center of the case holds the chain tool and the multi-tool in place.

Performance

When I was a kid I used to love Zippo lighters. No, I wasn't a chain-smoking 12-year-old – my affinity came from the way the metal case felt in my hand, and how satisfying it was to open and close the lighter's cover. The F15 has a similar feel – there's something about it that just feels right, and more than one rider handed it back to me with the question, “Who makes that?” after I loaned it out for a trailside repair. The F15 isn't overly bulky, but it's also not so small that it's frustrating to use. The multi-tool and the chainbreaker slide smoothly into the aluminum case, with a distinct 'click' when the magnet secures them into place.

I've spent a fair number of days in the bike park this season, and for those lift-served laps I usually took just the hex key portion of the tool with me and tucked it into a jersey or shorts pocket, leaving the case and the chain tool behind. That way it took up a little less room, but I could still make adjustments to the bike as necessary. Crankbrothers also sell that tool by itself – they call it the F10, and it retails for $29.99, but I'd say it's worth it to scrounge up the extra $13 to get the chain tool/spoke wrench and metal case.


Crankbrothers f15 tool review
The spoke wrench works well in a pinch, and is easier to operate than many of the other designs out there.
Crankbrothers f15 tool review
Once a bit is selected, the tool can be slid back into the case for more leverage.


The multi-tool by itself is handy, but the ability to use the F15's case for extra leverage is a nice feature to have, especially for installing and removing pedals. There are plenty of tools out there that include an 8mm bit, but in many instances it's basically useless due to the minuscule amount of leverage. Not so with the F15, and I was able perform tasks like swapping out pedals and even removing a crankarm without much effort. Of course, a full size Allen key is still a better choice for regular home or shop use, but for quick fixes on the road or on the trail the F15 performs very well. All of the bits, including the spoke wrench, fit snugly, and adjusting everything from stem bolts to B-tension screws has been hassle-free. The same goes for the chain tool - it's simple to use, and it'll push out a pin in a matter of seconds without any trouble.

I did run into one small issue after about three weeks of regular use – one of the bolts that holds the tool together began to work its way loose. There was blue Loctite on it, but apparently not quite enough. I added a few more drops before threading it back in, and it's remained secure ever since. Crankbrothers do back the F15 with a 5-year warranty, which is an extremely reasonable amount of time.


Crankbrothers f15 tool review
The chain tool is compatible with 8,9,10,11, and 12-speed chains.
Crankbrothers f15 tool review
While the 8mm bit is virtually useless on many multi-tools, the F15's case helps generate enough leverage to perform tasks like removing pedals.



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe F15 is an elegant and effective multi-tool, capable of saving the day in a wide range of situations. Just be careful when you loan it out to a riding buddy – after using it they may not want to give it back.  Mike Kazimer






83 Comments

  • + 57
 The only Crank Brothers product that has not failed me.
  • + 45
 Own 5 multi tools, the crank brothers one is the only to rust.
  • + 16
 Bashing CB is fun, but the new highline dropper is working pretty sweet for me
  • + 5
 @cogsci: mine too
  • + 2
 @cogsci: mines over 20 years old and still better than most, no torx on it though
  • - 4
flag madmon (Jul 11, 2017 at 11:01) (Below Threshold)
 I want to buy one so I can see how long it takes to self destruct.
  • + 6
 @VtVolk: Yes, I have been running the Highline for 7 months now...had a 9point8 that needed maintenance and bought the Highline...9point8 is back in the box as my backup...hope I never need it. By the way, I have had thise tool for 3 months and it also is top quality. Crankbrothers stepping it up.
  • + 1
 The Mallet DH pedal is other Crank brother's product that works
  • + 1
 I second that, mine went rusty after about a month. @cogsci:
  • + 3
 A Crank Brother Multitool is the best MTB investment I have been made for the last 10 years. Remnant is crap.
  • + 2
 @cogsci: Mine too, but Lezyne multi tools also rust.
  • + 1
 @femto505: for me they snapped
  • + 1
 @nicklb: you should probably send it in, then. They redesigned their spindle and eliminated the stress risers that could potentially cause breakage, as in your case.
  • + 23
 if only they sold a water bottle cage that this tool could clip on to #gofullenduro
  • + 1
 Syncros does.
  • + 3
 @crankbrothers please do this!!!
  • + 2
 Specialized does
  • + 1
 @seraph: I have the syncros one, cant recommend it enough! much better value than many other options out there.

however the chain tool it comes with is rusting, I think i need to coat it in Q20 or silicone spray... I dont want to end up on the trail with a broken chain tool, or worse, have an incomplete set!
  • + 1
 I feel the need to fab up a little under the saddle multi tool holder now! But seriously what's the internal width of this tool
  • + 9
 I bought the Topeak 18+ mini tool from Chain reaction a few years ago for around $31.50 CDN. It comes with a little neoprene case and is excellent, it also has the 10mm allan key that I need for my DH axle. I found that the little neoprene case has not worn out or shown any signs of wear over the last three years, it's nice to throw in a shirt pocket and it doesn't beat the crap out of everything in your backpack if you put it in there. no signs of rust either.
  • + 11
 Present value is probably closer to $31.58 CDN. Please be careful with your significant figures when you use words such as "around".
  • + 12
 @Loche: What is this a first year finance class?
  • + 3
 They are great little tools. But mine is rusting a little. This is Scotland: so pretty much everything rusts.
  • + 10
 +1 FOR CRANKBROTHERS MULTITOOLS
  • + 6
 Reading the outrage against the price here, I have to wonder, have people on here ever tried to buy some high quality tools that aren't mtb specific?? If it's decent quality, and there's a 5 year warranty to back it up, then it's a pretty fair price imho.
Buy a good tool once, or buy a cheap tool twice, thrice...
  • + 6
 insert meme: can't tell if you were homeschooled or on bath salts........

I am on amazon and see "Crank Brothers
Crank Brothers F-15 Tool"

don't know why I was neg propped for saving dudes some $
  • + 7
 I would probably buy it. But I havent lost my multi 19 yet. I think the thing is approaching 4th grade in human years.
  • + 1
 My original Alien tool is about to graduate high school.
  • + 6
 Does it come with a keyboard duster? that's all I need when I shred the internet.
  • + 3
 how to offset the 50$ price.
Put one in your pocket when you go riding.
When your buddy gives you that wounded puppy face cause he has a malfunction and no tools.
Charge him five bucksSmile
Should be paid off in a couple of years.
  • + 5
 But by the time you pay it off, you'll also have no friends left...
  • + 5
 @Compasteedee: fine then you dont get to rent my tool and you get to walk .
  • + 6
 It should have a dental scaler too for all these dentists I keep hearing bikes are being made for
  • + 4
 sharing is caring so here's a fun hack.... my current CB tool making use of my Norco Range's front derailleur mount: www.pinkbike.com/photo/14931446
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer Did you test the bottle opener? Some tools are a pain in the ass for bottles.
  • + 13
 Of course. It works, and the magnet inside the case is actually strong enough that it keeps the cap from dropping onto the floor.
  • + 7
 @mikekazimer: Wow, that is actually genius.
  • + 1
 @micah356: I am still waiting for IPA specific bottle mount to make use of all those bottle openers that come with every second tool from a bike company that tries to be cool.
  • + 5
 so....where does this mount on my bike?
  • + 5
 Well the steerer tube, BB, and front wheel are already spoken for. Maybe make a slot under the saddle to slide it in to. I'm being only partially sarcastic.
  • + 5
 @nyhc00: seriously though, why is that not already at thing?
  • + 1
 @NickB01: if someone steals the idea you heard it here first.
  • + 3
 Will the star tool reach the Al sram derailer main bolt that always comes loose(11 speed)?
  • + 2
 their old m17 or whatever its called does. by the look of the pics, this tool appears to be the same or longer length
  • + 4
 Yes, it'll definitely reach that bolt.
  • + 2
 Lol I thought mine was the only one. Would blue loctite work to fix it?
  • + 1
 @ibishreddin: Definitely not the only one. Pretty much every derailleur from srams X1 11speed and up does it. Can't count the number of times a customer comes in for a tune and that being the cause for their shifting problems. Blue loctite helps a lot. We'd run a ziptie through it at races as a just in case.
  • + 1
 @ibishreddin: Yes, be extra careful to avoid getting loctite into the rotating springy thing surrounding that bolt
  • + 1
 Anyone confirm sram fixed this by redesign w/a washer so it doesnt bind there?
  • + 2
 @treymotleyDH: not a bad idea. Wonder if I could Moto wire it somehow instead
  • + 1
 @jrocksdh: I don't know if thats why they did it but there's been less of that issue with the new ones
  • + 1
 Ive been battling this on my X0 stuff too, on 2 different bikes.
  • + 0
 Seriously this is rediculously overpriced. I got a Topeak 20 pro multi tool for 20 bucks. It has everything including all the spoke truing devices and a good chain breaker. I got nothing against this multi tool itself but only the price
  • + 0
 I was bought a cool-tool [(digitalhippie.net/mountain-biking/cool-tool-the-multipurpose-bicycle-repair-tool) just incase you are too young] Wink the day I got my first mtb many years ago*. Other tools have come and gone but its the only one I need and still carry. I wont be buying a crank brothers f15........


*August 1995
  • - 1
 As I sit here drinking a qt of King Cobra Special Malt...I cant help but wonder what kind of tool...is going complain about the weight of this tool. ...163 grams?? I cant carry that kind of extra weight around. Cant they make it in carbon? f*ck it, Im done with this sport.. 475 out!
  • + 2
 FOURTY TWO EFFEN BUCKS?
FOR a multi tool?
it better open beers upon request and roll spliffs non stop
  • + 0
 Am I the only one who bought a generic mtb multi tool from Asda 10 years ago which still works as well as it did then, and has all the tools this has, and it only cost me £15?...
  • + 2
 Woh yeah, this important for me.
  • + 2
 Why do these never have a knife on them??
  • + 4
 Because '' Man slashes wrists after CB dropper fails. . . . again'' is not an ideal headline. P.S, their new dropper looks pretty good and I seriously want it to be.
  • + 2
 The Lezyne Rap 15 tool weighs less and includes a CO2 dispenser.
  • + 2
 Cool tool! Take my money!
  • + 1
 Bottle opener works great. I got mine on sale for $27.
Great article, thanks for tip on using case! I didn't think of that.
  • - 1
 I want shimano to make a multi-tool

That way when someone goes "f*ck my crank brothers tool broke" I can be all like really? I have had this shimano one for like 6 seasons now... Lol
  • + 1
 You guys are worse than old BMX riders LOL !!!
  • - 1
 Really just isn't any point for anybody to make multitools anymore after the OneUp EDC system. Problem's been solved, move on.
  • + 20
 I hope somebody will keep making multitools that don't require me to cut into my steerer tube, thanks, but no, thanks.
  • + 9
 I just don't want to spend the almost 100 dollars after everything is said and done. To buy the tap and everything else I much prefer the Specialized SWAT EMT tool, 35 bucks for everything.
  • + 2
 @FuzzyL: also fits inside their bottle cage mount pump
  • + 1
 Do people not use their spokes as a bottle opener anymore?
  • + 1
 now if I was on drugs...
  • + 0
 One up beats all of them!
  • + 0
 Magnets like mechanical watches.
  • - 2
 $42.99 for a multi tool? I'll pass.
  • + 3
 28 on amazon
  • + 2
 @jarrod801: Read the label closely - it's a Crunkbros
  • + 2
 Bikes are 10k theses days... honestly, @42.99 it's one of the cheapest things in the bike shop .... Heck, a shifter cable, with housing and caps is nearly 40$.
  • + 1
 @cmcrawfo: just cause you"re stupid enough to buy 10k bikes does not mean I have to pay everything over priced in the shop you tool
  • + 0
 @cmcrawfo:

My shop wouldn't charge you 40 bucks for housing and cable. Well also give ferrals for free.

You need a new shop!! Lol
  • + 3
 @2bigwheels: @Mollow: You guys are missing the point. that 40 dollars for a mulit tool that functions well is not outlandish. This tool will likely last you longer than your bike will. My last multitool lasted me nearly 10 years, until I lost it.
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