Product Test: Fix It Sticks
A rider in Appleton, Wisconsin, who managed to mangle his front derailleur while riding on his indoor trainer, started Fix It Sticks. Rather than reaching for a multi-tool to fix the issue, he reached right for his trusty three-way wrench. He thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have the torque of a three-way wrench in a multi-tool?” It was there that the idea for Fix It Sticks was born.
Fix It Sticks are CNC’d aluminum sticks that fit together to make a T-handle-style wrench. Each stick is fitted with stainless steel bits on each end, meaning every pair of Fix It Sticks comes with four tools, all of which are chosen by the rider who orders them. Our Fix It Sticks came outfitted with a 5- and 6-millimeter wrench on one stick and a flathead screwdriver and T25 on the other. They sell for $30 through selected retailers or directly though their website.
Field test results:
If you’re thinking your multi-tool can do way more than Fix It Sticks can, you’re right. But, you’ve completely missed the point. Fix It Sticks are all about simplicity and riding with the bare minimum necessary to address the most common trailside mechanical issues. Since Fix It Sticks are completely customizable, you can pick any bit combination for the four slots on the tool to match your specific bike’s needs. We selected a T25 Torx wrench, a 5- and 6-millimeter Allen wrench, and a flathead screwdriver. This is a fairly spartan setup for most riders. However, we’ve found that the T25 can be very effectively used as a 4-millimeter Allen in a pinch, and most Phillips-head bolts on a bike also have a slot for a flathead. This immediately takes the number of tools effectively from four to six. If you’re still in need of more tools, you can custom-order more sticks one at a time until you’re packed like a Boy Scout. Bottom line: there’s not much you can’t repair mid-ride that can be handled by any other multi-tool. However, since we refuse to tempt fate by riding without a chain-breaker, and the Fix It Sticks can’t meet this need, we’ve paired them with Specialized’s new SWAT top-cap-mounted chain tool for the ultimate setup.
Multi-tools are flat-out difficult to use for many reasons. Many of them include tools that will rarely be needed on a ride. Others provide tools that nobody needs, like magnifying glasses, bottle openers and chain-pin pilot breakers (if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, you don’t need it.) Fix It Sticks take the bulky and uncomfortable-to-use multi-tool and make it a shop-level tool. They’re comfortable, easy to use and well-constructed, with an elegant, simple design.