Pedro's Rx Micro-20 Review
Cons: Expensive, finicky chain tool
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Since 1989, Pedro's has provided riders with quality tools and accessories, and today they are one of the biggest names in bike repair. It's only natural that we wanted to include one of their multi-tool offerings in our test. The Rx Micro-20 is a recent addition to their lineup and, with 20 functions, is their most versatile offering with a metal frame construction. Our testers found it incredibly easy to use and quickly grew to appreciate its thoughtful design. While we're hesitant about its durability and price, it remains one of the most well-rounded tools that we tested.
Packing an impressive 20 functions including a few unique and useful tools, the Rx Micro-20 will get you out of nearly any jam. Within its tire lever-flanked frame sit all of the common hex sizes with 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm wrenches and the two most commonly used Torx sizes, T25 and T30. This leaves only the rarely-used 2 and 10mm hexes, and T15 Torx wrenches to be desired. In addition to the wrenches, the Rx Micro-20 wields a 1-12 speed chain tool, 7 and 8mm box wrenches, 3.23, 3.3, and 3.45 spoke wrenches, a Shimano crank cap tool, and a Presta valve core tool. Quick-link storage is molded into each of the tire levers that fix to the tool's sides.
The Rx Micro-20 offers some of the most unique tools of the models we tested. It's the only tool we looked at that includes a Shimano crank cap tool, and only two other tools, the Park Tool I-Beam 3 and the Lezyne RAP-21 CO2, include box wrenches. Also, while a few other models we tried out, including the ToPeak Mini 20 Pro, provided tire levers, the Rx Micro-20 offered the most full-fledged simulation of a standalone lever. Some of the Rx Micro-20's tools are a bit niche and don't often come in handy in the field, but for bikes with the relevant components it could be a ride saver.
When we got our hands on the Rx Micro-20 it quickly became a favorite in the ergonomics department. The 3.5 x 2-inch body fits snug in your palm, and the tire levers fixed to its sides provide a smooth, even surface on which to apply pressure. During our workshop testing sessions, the Micro-20 provided leverage to loosen high-torque bolts, and, with wrenches on the longer side, it got us to bolts in hard-to-reach places. When it came time to break a chain, however, we were disappointed at the difficulty with which this model got the job done. With just a small flap-handle on the chain tool, it takes a lot of strength to hold the tool in place when punching a pin. It took us a few tries to get the first pin out, and when we re-tested on another chain, we found it just as difficult.
Without the chain-breaking issue, this would have been one of our highest rated tools in the ergonomics metric. Even so, we still think it offers some of the best ergonomics in the test for most operations.
Every tool in our test is portable, but some are a bit more cumbersome and awkward to carry along on a ride than others. Despite being one of the larger tools in our test, the Rx Micro-20 compared favorably with most of the field. Its 160-gram weight is average among tools that we looked at, but its smooth and compact design made it easier than most to stash in a jersey, bib, or shorts pocket. Unlike the RAP-21 CO2 the Micro-20 doesn't have any bulges or bumps that create pressure points when it's tucked away.
While the Micro-20 holds its own in this metric, it doesn't particularly stand out from the crowd. Riders who value a compact and easy-to-carry tool above all else might want to take a look at the Ninja 16+, which was the lightest and smallest tool in our test. Alternatively, riders looking avoid carrying a tool on their body might consider the Blackburn Switch Wrap which offers an on-bike tool kit as well as storage for a flat-repair kit.
Ease of Use
The Rx Micro-20's speed and simplicity impressed us more than anything else the tool had to offer. Each of its tools is held within the frame with no removable pieces other than the 8mm end cap that sits on the 6mm hex wrench. When attempting to find the tool you need quickly, wrench sizes and types are easily identifiable and simple to pull out. If you need to make a quick mid-ride adjustment or mid-race repair, the Rx Micro-20 will get you moving again as quickly and easily as any tool in our test.
A lack of labels on any of the Micro-20's tools kept us from giving a perfect score in the ease-of-use metric, but we still rated it alongside the top performers. The Specialized EMT Pro, and Fabric 16 in 1 have labels on each of their tools, ensuring that you will always grab the right one for the job. When time is vital, this feature can save you a lot of frustration and fumbling through tools.
Based on the Rx Micro-20's construction, we initially had minor concerns about its durability. The 6061 aluminum frame is solid and stiff, but the plastic tire levers that snap on to either side will likely wear and loosen with extended use. Additionally, during our rotor-removal test, we noticed that the T25 Torx wrench started to show some signs of wear. The T25 is a common wrench to fail, as we saw with the Park Tool I-Beam, and its splines will often start to twist over time. While the wear that we saw was minor and our rotor-removal test was taxing, few of our other models showed the same issue. With that said, Pedro's offers a lifetime warranty with this tool.
The Rx Micro-20 is one of the most costly tools we reviewed. Despite its lifetime warranty, our concerns about its durability mean that we're not convinced that it's the best value. We do believe that its unique tools make it an enticing option for riders looking to satisfy a specific need, but for general use, we would recommend that you take a look at some of the other models we tested.
Pedro's has created a well-rounded tool with enough functions to solve nearly any issue you might encounter in the field. It's easy to use, ergonomic, and surprisingly portable, given its size, and it comes with a lifetime warranty. We're concerned about its longevity and high price tag, but it offers tools that are tough to find in the multi-tool format. That reason alone is enough to warrant a look from many cyclists.
— Zach Wick