Whether you ride an aerodynamic carbon fiber road bike or a durable steel gravel bike, storage comes at a premium. Finding space for repair tools, tire inflators, spare tubes or food can be difficult without overstuffing pockets or bags. Topeak’s solution to this is their new NINJA MASTER+ series of bottle cages and accessories which allow you to mount gear directly to your bottle cage. In this review we’ll be looking at the Ninja Master+ Toolbox T16 which is their weatherproof T16 multi-tool box. With a retail price of $59.95 the Toolbox T16 offers a 16 function multi-tool with a custom waterproof case that attaches directly to Ninja Master+ bottle cages. The Ninja Master+ series is an improvement over the previous Ninja Master series and offers a stronger bolt attachment design.
The Topeak Ninja Master+ Toolbox T16 offers a stealthy and simple way to carry a bike multi-tool directly onto your bottle cage.
|Measured Weight (in g)||136 (tool case + multi-tool) / 12 (bottle cage mount) / 14 (frame mount)|
|Likes||+ Clever design|
+ Custom fit weatherproof tool box fits tool perfectly
+ Compact multi-tool provides a wide range of functionality
|Dislikes||– Premium price|
– Easy to get finger caught in latch while closing toolbox
|Where to Buy (US)||Topeak|
The Topeak Ninja Master+ Toolbox T16 comes packaged in a simple compact white and yellow cardboard box. Specs are printed directly onto the box with sleek Topeak logos on the sides. Inside the box you’ll find:
- T16 multi-tool inside plastic case
- Ninja Master+ attachment mount + bolt
- Two water bottle cage mount bolts (for frame mount)
- Plastic frame mount
- Two zip ties (for frame mount)
- Instruction manual
Note there are no additional tools included for the installation as you can directly use the T16 multi-tool.
As a part of the updated Ninja Master+ series of accessories, the Toolbox T16 takes advantage of the rotatable bolted mounting design. Unlike the original Ninja Master products which used a button to detach the accessories, the Ninja Master+ has a more secure bolted design that retains the 90 degree rotatability for quick access. For the Toolbox T16 that means you can’t remove the actual toolbox without a tool, but can still rotate it to access it from either side of the bike. There are two mounting options with the Toolbox T16, it can be attached to a compatible Ninja Master+ water bottle cage such as the Topeak Ninja Master+ Cage SK or directly to the frame.
Attaching the Toolbox T16 to bottle cages requires swapping out the open bracket that comes with the bottle cages with the provided threaded bracket. Using the T16 multi-tool and provided hardware the Toolbox T16 can be attached to the bracket, and then the bracket can be attached to your water bottle cage. Alternatively you can attach the Toolbox T16 directly to the frame using the provided plastic adapter. Topeak provides the two water bottle cage bolts to attach the bracket to the two water bottle cage holes as well as two zip ties to mount the toolbox anywhere on your bike frame. We found the direct water bottle cage mounting to be the cleanest option but required a larger frame as the toolbox requires space below the water bottle cage.
FIT & FINISH
As a part of the Ninja Master+ series, the Toolbox T16 has a custom waterproof plastic case to store the multi-tool. It’s a matte finish that is sized to perfectly fit the T16 multi-tool in only one direction. The exterior of the case has the Ninja Master+ attachment directly cast on to it and allows for the 90 degree rotation for easy access. A spring loaded latch secures the lid on the case and prevents any water or dirt intrusion. We do recommend being careful when opening or closing the latch though as the spring is very stiff and snaps into place.
Moving on to the tool itself, the T16 is an 18 function multi-tool that’s only currently available as a part of the Ninja Master+ accessories. Unlike the larger Topeak Mini PT30 multi-tool which is available as a tool-only or Ninja Master+ Toolbox accessory, the T16 is not currently available as a tool-only option. Topeak has incorporated some clever tricks to reduce the size of the multi-tool while still providing a wide variety of functionality. There are 7 hex keys: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 mm. Realizing the short lengths of the hex keys can be an issue with more stubborn bolts, Topeak has integrated an L-type hex key function into the multi-tool. A removable L shaped 2.5 / 4 / 6 mm (i.e. the 6mm key slides on/off of the L key) can be attached into a 4mm cutout at the cutout of the 8mm hex key. It’s a smart idea that provides significantly more leverage and better access bolts without increasing the size of the multi-tool.
There are an additional 3 Torx bits: T10, T15 and T25 which should cover most repairs or adjustments on road and mountain bikes. The Topeak Ninja Master+ Toolbox T16 also has a Phillips #2, flat blade and 14 / 15G spoke tools. There is also a chain tool at the narrow end of the multi-tool that can be combined with the L-type hex bit to remove or install chains. Finally there is a metal chain hook on the side which can be used to hold chains together as you remove or install links. For most cyclists, the T16 multi-tool should be sufficient for quick roadside repairs or adjustments.
Overall we found the Topeak Ninja Master+ Toolbox T16 to be a compact and clever multi-tool. The waterproof plastic case attaches seamlessly to Ninja Master+ water bottle cages and even rotates 90 degrees for quick access on either side of the bike. With it’s clever Ninja Master+ bolted on design the Toolbox T16 tucks below water bottle cages for convenient access and storage. Although we found the spring hinged door on the case to be too strong, it’s easy to get a finger stuck underneath, it’s perfectly sized for the multi-tool. The T16 multi-tool itself is a very compact multi-tool with some smart features such as an L-shaped hex for extra leverage. While the Topeak Ninja Master+ Toolbox T16 commands a premium price, it’s multi-functional design is perfect for cyclists looking for minimalist ways to carry tools.
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.