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Tools

Cyclo 8pc ball-ended Allen key set

Allen keys may not be the most exciting things in the world, but for the home bike fettler they’re essential. Almost everything on a modern bike is held together with Allen bolts, so you’re stuck without something to spin them. While a pocket multi-tool is fine out on the trails, for protracted wrenching in the workshop (or whatever room of your house doubles as a workshop), something a little more substantial makes life a lot easier.

This set of keys from Cyclo has a number of valuable features. First, they’re all long which means plenty of heft if you put the short end in the bolt and plenty of range if you use the long. Second, the long ends feature that marvel of tool technology, the ball end. The cunningly-shaped heads mean that you can approach your chosen bolt from a slight angle should there be something else slightly in the way as is so often the case.

Sizes supplied are 2,2.5,3,4,5,6,8 and 10mm which covers everything from brake reach adjusters to that big hollow bolt that holds your freehub body on. All the keys are supplied in a handy plastic cyclindrical holder which means you can see at a glance which ones people have ‘borrowed’. The short end of the keys can also be slid into the middle of the holder, allowing it to form a torque-enhancing T handle – neat touch.

Verdict: While it’s entirely possible to get Allen keys that’ll last for, to all intents and purposes, ever, it’s also entirely possible to spend remarkable amounts of money on them. These Cyclo ones haven’t let us down yet and the price is entirely respectable.

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