Specialized EMT Pro MTB Review
Cons: Limited functions, expensive
Our Analysis and Test Results
Specialized is one of the biggest brands in the cycling industry. It seems like they make just about everything to do with all types of cycling, tools included. The EMT Pro MTB is the most fully featured of the several models in their multi-tool range. This lightweight and compact tool has all of the basics to get you out of a bind on the trail, with no extraneous functions to weigh you down or get in your way. While it has fewer features than most of the other tools in this test, the EMT Pro quickly became a favorite for its excellent ergonomics, lightweight, compact size, and usefulness.
With 13 functions, the EMT Pro MTB is relatively feature packed for its weight. It has all of the common hex key sizes, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8, a Torx 25, a #2 Phillips head, a chain breaker, disc pad spreader, two sizes of spoke wrenches, plus a bottle opener. For simple adjustments and basic repairs in the field, this is about all you need.
Of course, there are other tools in this review that have more functions than the EMT Pro MTB. Every model, except for the Lezyne V10, has more tools and features than the EMT Pro. How important these features are is up to you and your needs. Have you ever used a spoke wrench on the trail, how about a Torx 10 or a 2.5mm hex? If the answer is no, then you will probably be quite pleased with the tools and functions of the EMT Pro.
The EMT Pro MTB is one of the best in this test in the ergonomics department. The forged aluminum side plates are contoured not only to save weight but to enhance the feel of this tool in hand. Specialized has done a great job of making this one of the most comfortable to hold. While it is one of the smallest sized models in the test, it is still almost 3 inches in length, which makes it nearly as wide as the palm for a confident grip.
The tools themselves are just a little shorter than those on the larger models like the Blackburn Tradesman or the Crankbrothers M19, but they are generally long enough to reach all the bolts you may need to access. The 8mm Allen key is unusually stubby, but on most bikes, the only 8mm you generally need to touch while out on a ride is on your pedal and can easily be reached with a short length key. The chain tool has a good design that doesn't need to be removed for use, though it is small and smooth, making it a little more challenging to hold onto than some of the competition.
Portability is one of the EMT Pro MTB's strongest suits. At only 106g, it is one of the lightest models in this test, 12g heavier than the Ninja 16+. It weighs in 2g lighter than the OneUp EDC, but the EMT Pro offers far more in the versatility department as it can easily be switched between bikes and be stored in more places than your steerer tube. The heaviest models in our test, such as the Blackburn Tradesman, the Lezyne RAP-21 CO2, and the Crankbrothers M19, have more functions but weigh roughly 70g more.
The EMT Pro MTB isn't just lightweight; it's also very compact. It is 2-7/8" long, 1-11/16" wide, and 1/2" thick. It's one of the smallest models we tested. The only tools smaller are the Lezyne V10 and Ninja 16+. All of these tools take up almost no space in your pack or saddle bag, but testers found that they preferred the size of the EMT Pro MTB over the Lezyne V10 due to its better ergonomics.
Ease of Use
The EMT Pro MTB is incredibly user-friendly. It has no storage case or cover, and it's contained as a single unit. Simply pull it out of your pocket or pack, and it's ready to go. The tools are easy to fold out, plus they are even labeled so you'll be sure to deploy the right one of the task at hand.
Should you ever need to use the 8mm hex key, you'll need to remove the #2 Phillips head bit from it. Keeping track of it is probably one of the biggest challenges associated with using the EMT Pro MTB. Besides that, the tool is self-contained, and there are no pieces to misplace. It is one of the highest-scoring models in this metric, right up there with the Blackburn Tradesman, and Crankbrothers M19.
Specialized has done a great job of creating an impressively lightweight tool that is still very durable. The EMT Pro MTB has an all metal construction consisting of aluminum side plates and forged steel bits. The steel bits are chrome plated for durability and rust resistance.
Our biggest concern regarding durability is misplacing the Phillips head bit should you remove it from the 8mm hex key. Beyond that, the EMT Pro MTB is solid as a rock and looks ready to handle numerous years of use. It scores right up there with the other all-metal tools in this test.
At a retail price of $45, the EMT Pro MTB is one of the most expensive models in this test. Since it is one of our highest scoring models, we feel that it is good value if you're looking for a small, lightweight, and durable multi-tool that has just the essentials. If you put weight and size at a premium, then we think this is a great option for you.
The EMT Pro MTB is a lightweight multi-tool that has you covered with the essential tools for most of your adjustments and simple fixes in the field. It's so light and compact that you'll barely even notice that you're carrying it. It may not be as feature packed as some of the competition, but it weighs between 50 and 70g less than most of them. If you're weight conscious but want a tool that won't leave you hanging on the trail, check out the EMT Pro MTB.
Other Versions and Accessories
Specialized makes a full line of multi-tools for both road and mountain bike applications.
The EMT MTB ($30) is similar to the model tested but has 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Allen keys, a T25, a #1 Phillips head screwdriver, and a chain breaker, weighing in at 144g.
The SWAT MTB tool ($40) integrates into their SWAT water bottle mount and features 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Allen keys, a T25, and a flathead screwdriver.
The SWAT Conceal Carry MTB ($85) is similar to the OneUp EDC and stores inside of your bike's steerer tube. It has 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Allen keys, a T25, a chain breaker, and storage for a quick link.
They also make an EMT 6 ($20) with six basic tools, an EMT 9 ($26) with nine basic tools, and an EMT 12 ($32) with roughly the same tools as the EMT Pro MTB (tested), minus the disc pad spreader.
— Jeremy Benson