Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mineral Design Mini Bar Tool

Mineral Design's Mini Bar multi-tool
If you are a bike nerd like myself, you probably have a bunch of multi-tools. You know, those bundles of Allen wrenches, screw drivers, and what not all in one package. Most fold out each individual tool like a knife blade in a Swiss Army knife. There are some other types I've seen around as well. Each have their own pitfalls and most are not easy, comfortable, or fun to use, but this one I got in for review on is a different animal. You can read my review of it here.

I had already posted the review and was doing a test ride around my local test track when I had to stop to adjust my Avid BB-7 mechanical disc brake. If you have ever had a set of these, you know that the caliper can migrate on the concave and convex washers with time. I figured that was what had happened. Well, I busted out the Mineral Design Mini Bar and discovered something kind of neat.

To make the adjustment correctly you need a T-25 Torx and a 5mm Allen wrench. Generally with a multi-tool you have to refold and unfold the tool every time you want to switch tools. That seems to be a given with most do-it-all wrench kits.
Two tool bits at the same time? Nice!
But because the Mini Bar has three sockets where you can place bits, I can have both the T-25 and 5mm out and usable at the same time. I just have to flip the wrench around. Simple! Plus, with the strong, neodymium magnets holding the bits in place, I do not have to worry about the bits falling out when I am using one end or the other of the tool.

So, the adjustment went without a hitch, and was no more difficult than it would have been at the shop. The tool is really nice and compact too, so you can store it easily enough in a small bag, or throw it in your pocket if you are wrenching on bikes at home and doing test rides, etc. Maybe I'm an oddball in that way. I do that kind of thing a lot and am always wanting for a wrench. Your mileage may vary.

I may end up getting a few of these tools because they work so well and are easy to carry. There are not many multi-tools I can say that about. I was also thinking that since the bits seem to use the universal, Allen type base, you probably could find replacements, in case you did lose one or two bits, rather easily. But the bottom line for me is that this tool makes working on my bike out in the Styx easier and more effective. Leverage? Easy. Access to bolts and fittings? Much better than with most multi-tools. Ease of use? Top of its class.

133 grams of high functioning "fix it".
That's a neodymium magnet down there. It holds the tool bits quite securely.
Anyway, I use a lot of tools and this one impresses me. If you are curious, you can check out this and some other stuff at

NOTE: Mineral Design sent over the Mini Bar for test and review to at no charge for test and review. I was not bribed nor paid for this post and I strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.


Barturtle said...

Is it long enough to reach through the spokes to adjust the inner pad of Spyres? I have to carry a long allen key on all my bikes to deal with this one thing.

Guitar Ted said...

Barturtle- Yes. That's exactly how I turn the inner pad adjuster on my BB-7's with the T-25 Torx fitting. Reaching in through the spokes is easy with this tool.