The Timbuk2 ICOE (in case of emergency) tool isn’t designed to be the world’s greatest multi-tool. No, as the name implies, it’s designed to be a simple, helpful gadget to help you fix a flat or make minor adjustments to your bike on the road. And to that end, I think the ICOE is pretty cool. Let’s take a look at some of the features.
First and foremost, it’s got a 15mm box wrench for axle nuts. While it’s not long enough to provide superior torque, unless you’ve got arms like pipe-cleaners it’ll probably get the job done. The box wrench also serves as the loop for the nylon strap, which Timbuk2 intends for you to attach to your bag’s exterior. Personally, I prefer to keep it inside the bag, making the strap kind of unnecessary. On the other hand, having a small Velcro strap can sometimes come in handy, so I keep it in the bag, too.
At the other end of the tool is a tire lever. A metal tire lever can be a blessing and a curse, as we’ve all fought with difficult tire beads that can snap plastic levers. On the other hand, a metal lever can damage your tube and even your rim, so inexperienced mechanics should use extra caution.
On the backside of the tool is a bottle opener (for a different kind of emergency). This is probably extraneous if you have a Timbuk2 backpack, because it likely has a built in bottle opener, but maybe you and a friend want to pop bottles simultaneously along the roadside… Or something… Moving on…
Finally, the most unique aspect of this tool is the magnetic tool attachment and storage compartment. It comes with 4 and 5 mm steel hex wrench bits. And they work well enough for minor repairs, though the shape of the tool does somewhat limit their ability to reach certain parts of the bike. The storage compartment lid is held in place magnetically, too, and it is possible cause it to fling open by whipping the tool back and forth. But even if you do lose a bit, they are fairly cheap and easy to replace at your local hardware store.
The ICOE retails for $35. Check out www.timbuk2.com