When tire punctures can be sorted out with a plug it’s nice to lose as little pressure as possible in the process. Topeak has included a temporary plug with their Tubi 18 multi-tool to stop the leak while a rider prepares a permanent plug. The temporary plug is held in the tool’s 6mm hex key magnetically, so it can be inserted until the little gummy-worm takes its place. For riders who often roll solo, with no extra hands to help stop a leak, this little innovation can help maintain pressure and keep the bead seated.
The Tubi 18 also has a little glovebox that holds about three tire plugs, keeping them clean and fresh for the next puncture. There’s a threaded tool-stop inside that can be attached to the plug applicator to limit how far it goes into the tire.
As the plugs run out, I have been replacing them with a thicker and gummier variety designed for car tires. The fatter automotive version can block far larger holes, and they’re easily found at your local auto parts retailer. They also cost less than the bike-specific plugs and can be cut into halves or thirds to make the package last even longer.
Alongside all of that puncture-plugging goodness the Tubi 18 has a small lock-blade knife that’s just long enough for cutting zip ties or excess tire plug material. Of course, it includes the usual 2-6mm hex keys, T25 and T10 Torx wrenches, and a #2 Phillips driver in a 123g package.
Overall, the forged aluminum body and chromed steel tools feel sturdy and made to last. I have been using this multi-tool for some time now, and all of the tools remain tight in the handle, functioning smoothly. If you need a folder that covers most of the bases and fits in a pocket, this one is well worth considering.