In THE LAB, we present the latest products and put them through the wringer to see what they’re capable of. Some undergo long-term testing while we check out others just briefly. This time, we put the Wolf Tooth 8-Bit System to the test over the course of 3 months.
Ever had a breakdown on the trail or during a bikepacking trip and forgot to pack your tools? The Wolf Tooth 8-Bit System consists of 4 modules and was designed to solve most problems on the trail. According to Wolf Tooth, the compact system boasts more than 25 functions and weighs just 173 g. In theory, it should leave nothing to be desired, but is that the case in the real world?
Look and feel
The multi-tool system makes a high-quality impression. As you’d expect from Wolf Tooth, the finish feels excellent and very precise. There is no unnecessary play and the tolerances are minimal. If you ask us, the high-quality haptics alone will be enough to convince some riders to replace their cheap toolbox with this 8-Bit option. We also like the shape of it compared to most other multi-tools which are typically short and wide. This often has the disadvantage that you don’t have a lot of leverage when using the tool to fasten or loosen a bolt. Fortunately, that isn’t the case with the Wolf Tooth 8-Bit System – we even managed to loosen pedals! Thanks to its shape, the tool can be easily stowed in any internal frame storage compartments. Of course, you can just as easily carry it in any pocket or hip pack. To give you a better idea, the Wolf Tooth 8-Bit System is about the size of a small pump or a large granola bar.
The modular system
The system is available in two kits, 8-Bit Kit One and 8-Bit Kit Two. The chain tool, pliers and tire lever remain the same for both kits. In Kit One, you get the rim dent remover and, in Kit Two, you get the disc brake tool, but you must choose one or the other. Whatever kit you choose, the multi-tool has a length of 146 mm and is 20 mm wide. The individual parts of the tool are between 8 and 11 mm thick, resulting in a maximum combined thickness of 28 mm. They can be exchanged and combined however you like, allowing you to personalise the tool to suit your needs. Wolf Tooth sent us both Kit One and Kit Two, allowing us to test and check out all the available functions. You can find the complete list of functions on the manufacturer’s website.
The Wolf Tooth 8-Bit System in review
With the Wolf Tooth 8-Bit System, you can repair almost all the defects you might encounter while riding – if not more. The function of the pliers for opening and closing a chain lock already proved itself on the predecessor and it still performs excellently. Nothing new here. The pliers are held together by a bolt that can also be used as a chainring bolt if necessary, which we reckon is a brilliant idea! In contrast to the old model, the bolt now sits flush with the tool and it’s these little details that show how Wolf Tooth are always looking for ways to improve their products. You’ve got powerful magnets to hold the spare chain links and bits securely in place, staying put no matter how bumpy things get. However, the bits are quite fiddly to get out of the tool, so it’s best to remove your gloves when you do that and perhaps also practise a few times to get used to it. That said, actually using the multitool is great since it gives you a lot of leverage.
We also have nothing to complain about regarding the tubeless plugs. The tool includes everything you need to repair a puncture. However, it can take a while to gather all the items you need to repair a tubeless tire – in the worst case, the tire will have deflated completely by the time you get started plugging the hole, especially in the case of gravel tires. For instances like that, it makes sense to carry an additional tubeless repair kit like the Dynaplug Racer. A small CO2 cartridge or hand pump is another must on a gravel bike – because once your tire is deflated, even the best multi-tool won’t help. We can recommend the Lezyne Digital Pressure Drive as reviewed in THE LAB of our sister magazine ENDURO (read the review here). We also like the chain tool: due to the multi-part design, you can use the complete lever, making easy work of splitting any chain. The tire lever itself is made of plastic, but it’s embedded in the metal part of the tool. That way, you won’t damage your rims, and you can even use it in your workshop at home. Typical Wolf Tooth – it’s all been carefully thought through! Depending on the kit, the other side is either a rim dent removal tool or a tool for truing your rotors and an 8 mm wrench, which you can use on the brake lines of most hydraulic brakes. This seems like a very sensible combination and certainly a tool that you won’t find on many other multi-tools from the competition. We recommend Kit One for all those who frequently go off-road, and Kit Two for the road fans amongst us.
The Wolf Tooth 8-Bit System has a great look and feel, boasting high-quality workmanship. We can wholeheartedly recommend this multi-tool for bikepackers and adventurers, though less so for fast post-work jaunts or mid-race repairs. The handling is just a bit too fiddly for quick fixes. Nevertheless, it offers a wide and very sensible range of functions! The Wolf Tooth 8-Bit System definitely proved to be an excellent piece of kit for all eventualities.
- excellent shape
- high-quality workmanship
- good size
- a wide range of functions
- use of the bits is fiddly
For more information about the Wolf Tooth 8-Bit System, visit wolftoothcomponents.com
Test duration 3 months
Price 8-Bit Kit One: € 165, 8-bit Kit Two: € 165
Weight 173 g
Manufacturer’s website wolftoothcomponents.com
Intended use Gravel (Bikepacking), Road, MTB
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