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First Ride: Crankbrothers Cigar Tool Plug Kit, New M13/M20 Multitools

Carrying tools on your bike is becoming more and more popular these days, as riders look to ditch or minimize the traditional riding pack. And with the prevalence of tubeless set-ups, having the right gear to be able to fix a puncture can easily be the difference between finishing your ride or hiking back out to the trailhead. Crankbrothers has recently introduced a couple of new multitools with integrated tubeless repair kits, and today they are unveiling a small and practical solution for carrying a tubeless repair kit and a CO2 cartridge on your bike. Read on to find out more!

Crankbrothers Cigar Tool Plug Kit Highlights

  • Tire plug tool 
  • Tire plugs (5) 
  • CO2 head 
  • Storage case 
  • Mounting bracket 
  • 5-year warranty 
  • Weight: 55g 
  • MSRP: $29.99 USD

Crankbrothers M20 Multitool Highlights

  • Chain Tool: 8/9/10/11/12 speed compatible
  • Hex Wrenches: #2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8
  • Length: 89mm
  • Open Wrench: 8mm
  • Screw Drivers: Phillips #1 & #2, flat #1
  • Specialty Tools: Tire plug tool, tire plugs, valve core removal tool, rotor straightener
  • Spoke Wrench: #0, 1, 2
  • Torx: T-10, T-25
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Weight: 203g 
  • MSRP: $39.99 USD

Crankbrothers M13 Multitool Highlights

  • Hex Wrenches: #2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8
  • Length: 89mm
  • Screw Drivers: Phillips #1 & #2, flat #1
  • Specialty Tools: Tire plug tool, tire plugs
  • Torx: T-10, T-25
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Weight: 164g
  • MSRP: $25.99 USD

Initial Impressions

Fixing a flat tubeless tire usually means patching up a hole of some kind, and most of the time, that can be done by plugging the hole with a tubeless “worm” or plug. To use these “worms”, you need a small, fork-like tool to push it through the hole. The new M13 and M20 multitools have just such a tool incorporated alongside the traditional hex keys and other tools, and they have a clip-on container for storing the worms. The tool has a pronged end that holds the plug when you push it through the tire, and there is a roughed up part on the shaft of the tool that serves to ream the hole before inserting the plug to help it stick better. The all-new Cigar Plug tool cleverly integrates the tire plug tool in the cap of the canister which also contains a CO2 inflator head and the aforementioned worms – the CO2 cartridge itself screws into the cap where it also doubles as a handle for operating the tire plug tool. Two different takes to provide essentially the same solution, albeit you’ll need to carry a CO2 canister somewhere else if you opt for the multitool approach.

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The Cigar Plug tool is a pretty simple but well-made affair. An aluminum canister and cap designed to carry the tire plugs, the CO2 cartridge and the CO2 inflator head. Throw it in your bumbag or mount it to the frame using the included frame carrier.

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The M13 and M20 tools are evolutions of some of the classic Crankbrothers multitools. The addition of tubeless repair capabilities pretty much ensures that you’ll have anything you need to fix your bike on the trail, particularly if you opt for the heavier M20 version. Aside from the normal selection of hex keys and screwdrivers, you also get a chain tool, spoke wrenches and even a rotor truing tool, alongside the tubeless repair kit and tire plug tool. There’s even a specific space for a spare chain quick-link in the tubeless plug holder sleeve. The design is compact and the finish is great. The M13 pares down the tool selection in exchange for 50 grams less weight or so.

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On The Trail

The Cigar Plug tool is small and compact, which makes it a good choice to throw in your riding pack if you happen to run one of the smaller variety (small backpack or bumbag for the ultimate enduro experience). Mounting it to the frame makes even more sense, that way you’ll be sure to never be without it. The rubber band that holds the tool in the carrier is fairly sturdy, and we’ve not had any issues with it coming loose while riding – even with a relatively heavy 25 gram CO2 cartridge attached. We’ve only had it for a short while, but we’ve made sure to hit some really rocky trails with it and it has never moved nor rattled around on us.

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The new multitools function as well as the previous generation, and the addition of the relevant tubeless repair tools was a good idea in our opinion – once again, it provides a streamlined way of making sure you have the essentials needed to fix any issues that may arise with your bike out on the trail. Of course, if you opt for the multitool approach here, you’ll still need a pump or a CO2 cartridge, but you can carry on of those on your bike and have the multitool in your pocket – once again eliminating the need for the pack.

What’s The Bottom Line?

There are more and more solutions for carrying tools on your bike or on your person. More and more bike manufacturers are incorporating storage space directly in their frames, and there are multiple solutions for attaching tools to your bike in various places (stems, cranks, bottle cages, the end of the handlebars etc). The Crankbrothers approach is less invasive, the company opting instead to evolve their line of tools with clever tubeless repair solutions that can be carried in your pocket, on your bike, in a riding pack or in the aforementioned frame storage compartments. The tools are of high quality and with a minimal amount of planning ahead, you should be able to configure a solution that meets your storage needs while making sure you’ll never have to walk your bike back to the trailhead for lack of tools again.

More information at: www.crankbrothers.com.


View specs, compare products, and rate Crankbrothers tools in the Vital MTB Product Guide.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 47 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord

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