Touted as a pro-level, compact toolbox with 18 of the most essential tools for the home mechanic and race-going semi-pro alike, how does Topeak’s rather pricey Prepbox fare on the work bench?
Topeak Prepbox toolkit details
The Prepbox’s case is made from engineering grade plastic and has two yellow clips that snap shut. Internally, each side of the case is full of tools, with foam cut-outs specially shaped for every tool.
It has a 1.5mm to 8mm Allen key set and a full Torx T7 to T30 set.
There’s a torque wrench — that measures from 0Nm up to 12Nm — with a 1/4in driver with compatible 3, 4, 5 and 6mm Allen keys and a Torx 25 head.
There are two sizes of Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers with a handle driver, a dedicated 8mm and 10mm double-ended spanner and a breaker bar with a 1/2in driver that can be used to drive the cassette, external bottom bracket tool and internal bottom bracket tool.
There’s a BB9000 bottom bracket adaptor tool with integrated Shimano crank preload tool along with the standard Hollowtech II tool.
There’s also a crank extractor tool, 15mm pedal spanner and a spoke key. It’s got a 12-speed compatible chain tool with a spare pin and chain hook, a 12-speed compatible chain whip and a cassette cleaner, too. The kit also comes with a chain wear and hook indicator.
Finally, there are three tyre levers – one reinforced – and a set of cable cutters.
Topeak Prepbox toolkit performance
The kit feels high quality, its case exudes strength and was comfortable to carry.
The tools didn’t rattle or move around during transportation and although the foam was robust enough to keep them from moving, the zipped pockets acted as a belts and braces solution to keeping them in place.
Overall, the tools had a great feel with the chrome-vanadium steel and hardened steel combination providing good weight without being tricky to use.
The plastic handles on the larger tools – such as the chain whip, pedal spanner and chain tool – were easy to grip and helped with handling.
The cable cutters didn’t have the smoothest action, but were very sharp.
The internal bottom bracket and crank puller were odd inclusions for what is touted as a pro-level tool kit, and there’s no 10mm Allen key. The Allen keys all felt impeccably sharp though, and having a 1.5mm Allen key on the set is a good addition.
The torque wrench is a nice inclusion, and although it feels a bit on the cheap side, it worked well and gives home mechanics access to torque measurements without needing to purchase a separate driver.
Although the supplied tools that work with the torque wrench are limited, and more heads will need to be purchased separately to expand its functionality, it uses a standard 1/4in driver fitment, which is good news.
The cassette tool’s chamfered edges meant that it didn’t fully grip SRAM XD cassette lockrings, but this was less of an issue on Micro Spline cassettes and standard HG designs. It would be hard to recommend using the supplied cassette tool with XD cassettes, though.
The tyre levers were robust and tackled even the toughest tyres. The chain tool was also very easy to use and the hidden chain wear indicator and spare pin is a nice touch.
The cassette cleaner wasn’t hugely impressive and I think that it could have been swapped for a more universally usable tool, such as an adjustable spanner, 10mm Allen key or pliers.
Topeak Prepbox toolkit bottom line
The Topeak Prepbox toolkit feels premium, but then it should for the asking price. Although there are no major omissions, Topeak could have swapped the internal bottom bracket tool, crank puller and cassette cleaner for more widely usable tools.
|Price||AUD $600.00EUR €320.00GBP £320.00USD $400.00|
1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 5.5mm, 6mm, 8mm Allen key set
2 flat screwdrivers
2 Phillips screwdrivers
T7, T9, T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, T30 Torx key set
Torque wrench with T25 Torx, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm Allen key sets
Shimano crank preload tool
Shimano Hollowtech II, BBR60 and BB9000 BB tools
Internal BB tool
Chain wear indicator
8 and 10mm double-ended spanner
15mm pedal spanner
3 tyre levers