Topeak’s stealth series tool is all about carrying tools in clever and integrated ways on the bike. In this review, we’ll be specifically looking at the Topeak BB Hide ‘n Tool which is a compact tool that slides inside hollow bottom brackets. The BB Hide ‘n Tool retails for $69.95 and features the Topeak Nano 7 multi-tool and a steel chain breaker. The chain tool is compatible with 8-13 speed chains and can be used in conjunction with the multi-tool for additional leverage. Topeak lists the compatible cranks as: SRAM DUB, Shimano GRX / Deore XT / SLX, FSA hollow cranks and others that satisfy the 124mm length requirement and 19-25mm internal diameter. Topeak has also integrated a simple ring pull knob to make it easy to install and remove the tool from the bike.
The Topeak BB Hide ‘n Tool is a compact stealth tool that combines a chain breaker and multi-tool that slides into your bottom bracket.
|Rating||8.7 / 10|
|Measured Weight (in g)||92|
|Likes||+ Clever design|
+ Multiple functions in compact form factor
+ Secure mounting with simple rubber ring
|Dislikes||– Premium price|
– Very difficult to open multi-tool
|Where to Buy||Topeak|
The Topeak BB Hide ‘n Tool comes in a compact cardboard box with black and yellow graphics that match Topeak’s logo. Illustrations and specs are printed right on it along with a Stealth Series tag along the front. Inside the box you’ll find:
- BB Hide ‘n Tool w/ 20-25mm inner diameter rubber ring installed
- 19-20mm inner diameter rubber ring
- Hex + Shimano Hollowtech crank arm dust caps
- Instruction manual
It’s impressive with how much functionality Topeak was able to squeeze into such a compact tool. The dust caps are optional rubber pieces that prevent dirt or water from getting into the driver-side crank opening.
There are quite a few restrictions on the compatibility of the Topeak BB Hide ‘n Tool. Topeak currently lists it as specifically compatible with SRAM XX1 / X01 Eagle DUB cranks, Shimano GRX / Deore XT / SLX cranks and FSA Hollow cranks as well as others. The main limitation is that you need a minimum of 124 mm insertion depth and an internal diameter of at least 19mm. Installing the tool is as simple as sliding it into the hollow BB opening and then adjusting the tension on the rubber ring until the tool fits snuggly. Rotating the knob clockwise squeezes the rubber ring to provide a wider diameter while counter-clockwise reduces the tension for a more narrow diameter. Topeak also included rubber dust caps specifically for Hex and Shimano Hollowtech crank arms to prevent dust or dirt from getting into the tool.
FIT & FINISH
As the name implies, the Topeak BB Hide ‘n Tool is a hidden bottom bracket tool that slides into open bottom brackets. It is constructed from a combination of aluminum, engineering grade polymer and steel with a pivoting chain breaker at the end. It’s essentially a black tube with the multi-tool sitting inside slot cut into the front section and a pivoting end that has the chain breaker. Branding is limited to a Topeak logo on the end cap and Topeak printed in white along the inner body. Once the tool is installed on the bike you only see the outer Topeak logo which can easily blend with the crank for a clean installation.
The chain breaker has a compact design that’s compatible with 8-13 speed chains. It’s used in combination with the multitool by attaching the 4mm allen key in the multi tool onto the chain breaker pin. Grooves inside the chain breaker allow you to position the chain and hold it in place as you push the pin out of a link. There is an included steel wire chain hook which is a simple C shaped piece of metal that ensures the chain does not go flying once a chain pin is removed. What’s great about the design of the BB Hide ‘n Tool is that the body of the tool itself acts like a long handle that makes it easy to hold.
Topeak utilizes their Nano 7 multi-tool which is one of the smallest multi-tools we’ve encountered, it’s a fraction of the size of the Topeak Mini PT30. Despite the diminutive size, the multi-tool has 7 functions that should cover most basic repairs. There is a T25 Torx wrench and a flat head screwdriver for tackling a variety of repairs. An additional five allen wrenches complete the functions and include: 2 / 3 / 5 / 8 mm where the 8mm allen wrench is a combination of the 5mm and flat head screwdriver together. It’s a very clever detail and allows the Nano 7 to have a small form factor without giving up functionality.
ON THE ROAD
With it’s stealthy design, it’s easy to forget you have the Topeak BB Hide ‘n Tool installed on your bike. Only the small Topeak logo is visible from the outside which blends into black cranksets. The tool itself is easy to remove and install from the bike by pulling on the pull knob. Even with the simple rubber ring design, the tool installs securely and does not rattle even over rough terrain. Although we didn’t run into a need to use the chain breaker on the road we did test it at home and found it to be easy to use. The long length of the tool and combination of the multi-tool provide plenty of leverage. The biggest issue we had was with the Nano 7 multi-tool is so small we struggled to get it open. Even after loosening the side bolts we often had to use a small tool to pry open the multi-tool. We suspect this will improve over time, but we’d recommend carrying a larger multi-tool with more functionality for peace of mind.
Overall, we found the Topeak BB Hide ‘n Tool to be a clever and well designed tool. With it’s stealthy engineering, the tool slides into the unused space inside a hollow bottom bracket and combines a chain breaker and mult-tool into the compact form factor. The BB Hide ‘n Tool is easy to install on compatible crank setups and has an easy to use rubber ring that holds it securely in place. An exterior ring pull ensures the tool blends into the bike when not used but can still be easily removed from the bike without the need for any tools. With it’s compact size, the tool is perfect for riders looking to shed weight from jersey pockets or ride without saddlebags. The main downsides of the tool is that it’s fairly expensive and we found it difficult to open up the Nano 7 multitool without using another small object to pry it open. That said, if you’re looking for a stealthy way to store tools on your bike the Topeak BB Hide ‘n Tool is a cool option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Topeak. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.