The telehex bike tool is a unique, compact bike tool that replaces a full set of allen wrenches. It was launched as a kickstarter back in 2015, and deliveries of the item happened in 2016.
The original campaign touted the fact that the tool was only 38 g, but the main reason I was interested was that it was extremely compact. For those people who have a minimalist seat pack on their ultralight bikes, I could see that this would be a big plus.
The tool as a series of concentric hexagonal sleeves, and when you insert it into any allen head bolt, after a bit of wriggling back and forth, you find that it has automatically extended the correct size hex sleeve so that you can turn the bolt.
However, unfortunately after a while, my telehex broke, with one of the sleeves coming loose. It was still usable, but I had to take some care in not losing the outermost sleeve.
More recently, telehex started selling a second generation version of the tool. I was told that the materials were slightly different, and that the tolerances had been tightened up so that this would improve both the performance and the durability of the tool. My copy of the new version is black, whereas the older kickstarter model is red.
It’s too early for me to judge whether the newer model is more durable. However, I can note that the design has been tweaked. There are two obvious changes. One is that two of the edges of the casing have been rounded off a bit. This is an improvement as I found the edges of the red one were a bit hard on the hands when really torquing a bolt. The second change is that the key ring aperture is now smoothly integrated into the handle.
The packaging for the retain version looks like this.
I will note that it doesn’t work as well if the allen screw that you are working on is corroded, or it there is dirt in the hole where you insert the tool. However, if you have a bike where the bolts are clean and in good condition, it does work as advertised; a bit like magic, really.
You can buy the retail version here.
Full disclosure: Telehex sent me the second generation key for review.