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Wolf Tooth EnCase System Bar Kit One Multitool
130g £110

Wolf Tooth’s EnCase System Bar Kit One Multitool is a space saving system that keeps the tools you need for most repairs safe and secure in your handlebars. It seems to do a good job and is surprisingly adaptable. However, there are some bars which it won’t like and, as with any multi-tool, you need to be sure that it suits your bike’s needs. Those who like to ride unencumbered will particularly appreciate gear like this, and those who do not may well be converted.


Pros: secure, range of tools for modern bikes, spares and extras readily available, swivel head.


Cons: will not fit all bars, can be a bit fiddly.


There’s no doubt that the Encase System Bar Kit One is aimed at the rider of up-to-date quality bikes. It should fit all standard MTB bars – flat bars, in general – and many drop bars, too (minimum 17.5mm internal diameter). However, it is well-worth visiting the Wolf Tooth website to check out their list of known incompatible bars . In particular, watch out for drop bars with narrower curves - on some compact bars, for example. You can manipulate the kit a little bit, but things can only be taken so far. Clearly there are some bars that are out of bounds – the Jones bars on my Surly Long Haul Trucker for one – might fit, but the bar ends are integral to the ergo grips and I am unwilling to cut the ends away.

The kit consists of two rubber sleeves which are, in effect 130mm long bar-end plugs – of which 123mm is insert. Each of the tubes that insert into the has a flap that can be trimmed to fit narrower than usual handlebar diameters. Ingeniously, there is additional storage for a magic link or a presta-schrader adapter. You hide them away in the in the bar end. The bar-ends are machined aluminium. 

wolf tooth encase bar kit one multitool cycling
testeview multitool handlebar storage cycling ike

There are two tools made of aluminium and steel. First up is a Hex Bit Wrench. There are seven Hex Head (Allen) Keys: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 mm; T10, T25, T30 Torx heads; spoke and valve core wrenches; #3.5 flat-head and #2 Phillips screw-drivers. The aim is to cover most trail or road-side repairs.


The bits are held in the tube of the tool. Helpfully, there’s a swivel-head designed to make getting into those awkward spots – the one’s which always seem to need adjusting most urgently when one wants to get back on track.


The second tool is a chain-breaker and a tire plug tool (with five ‘bacon’ strips to plug small holes in tubeless tyres. The chain-breaker is universal, but we will come back to that later.

test review multitool cycling
test review bicycle maintenance multi tool

The main tools are held in the rubber tubes, whilst ‘o’ rings and magnets keep the individual bits and so on in place. However, if you do mislay items there is a wide-range of spares and replacement parts available. The components of the system can be bought separately, as well.


The Bar Kit One Multitool is very much for when you are out and about, but Wolf tooth suggest it as a workshop staple, too.

Fitting 2.5/5

Take care when unpacking the components. Be sure to cut the zip-tie and not the ‘o’ ring or the rubber tube.


Before going any further it is well worth watching the video on the Wolf Tooth website  about how to fit. If modifying, do so little by little.


Fitting may look fiddly – and it can be, depending on your bars – but do not be dismayed. I’d guess that, unless you have identical bars on different bikes, you’ll be installing these once on one bike. For the purposes of testing, I tried several bars before making any modifications. As well as taking slivers off trh flap, it is possible to use a lighter or heat gun to shrink the ribs near the bar end cap.

Do not jump to the assumption that the two sleeves will fit the same drop bars, either. The hinged head of the chain-breaker is longer than that of the hex swivel head, therefore making the curve of dropped bars an easier prospect. For example, on some Pro Lt Compact Handlebars the chain-breaker fitted nicely. Sliding the multi-tool in however, reached a tight point. Slivering a sliver of flap away, a little soap, a good deal of cajoling got me nowhere. Remember, it should not be forced. Clearly, these were bars with a curve that was just, too tight


On the other hand, Velo Orange Grand Cru Rando Bars took both parts really well. They have longer flats and a gentler curve. Strangely, if the ribs were shrunk, it fitted nicely into a pair of 1948 GB bars – but this is hardly the tool for your restoration project - and was really just a whimsey only part.

multitoo test review bicycle handlebar
bicycle handlebars randonneur velo orange

I’ve reached the conclusion that flat bars with a minimum of 17.5mm internal diameter and no integral bear ends on ergo grips is the natural habitat of the Encase System. Drop bars need some careful thought, checking, and measuring. I cannot be definitive, any more than Wolf Tooth on what drop bars it will fit. However, I’d suggest that touring and gravel bars are likely to be more hospitable than compact road bars.

Security 5/5

So, popping it onto some unbranded flat bars and heading off for some mixed surface riding to induce some rattle. Forest trails and even some single-track caused not a sound. Even the pot-holed road and the short stretches of setts on the canal towpath produced nothing audible. Ejection was out of the question.

test review compact bars multitool wolf tooth

Luckily, no trailside fettling has been required, but the sleeves slid nicely from their hidey-holes very easily. Although you should not use any grease to keep things loose, making sure things are not getting glutinous around the bar caps is worthwhile – there is a pricey bit of gear inside.

Tool Performance 3.5/5

If the Encase system can be problematic with some bars, there’s no doubt that you are getting a high quality and light-weight multi-tool, especially for stripped down bikes running tubeless systems. The whole is well-made and nicely finished. The tools have the size marked on, if you remember to store them the right way up!


The chain-breaker has a hardened steel pin. Even so, I share Michael’s suspicion of multi-tool chain breakers. However, given due care in aligning pin and rivet, they can be very effective. It’s sorted out 7,9,11 speed chains with little effort and the usual care.


The range of tools covers pretty much all the needs of a modern machine – and some extras. The bits are well made, doubling up to save space and keep the range of tools wide. The hinged chuck is very handy for working away under the saddle, for example. OK, bikes with racks will always cause trouble for multi-tools – a point worth thought if you are touring. However, on stripped down bikes, things should work well.

The downside of doubling-up is that the bits are relatively short. Not a problem of itself, except under some specific circumstances. For example, the 3mm bit was not long enough to engage with the adjuster in my mechanical TRP Spyre disc brake callipers (the whole of the Allen Key up to the yellow shaft was needed). Fine on other disc brakes I tried, but that would not be a definitive list.


The tyre plug tool can be found screwed into the base of the chain breaker along with some plugs. Great for those running tubeless set ups, especially on gravel or MTB machines.

allen key hex head
wolf tooth test reiew

Is this a workshop staple? Despite a natural prejudice against multi-tools for workshop jobs – especially hefty work – the swivel-head is extremely useful, in some circumstances. In fairness, it has removed a seized seat-bolt without blinking an eye – with the aid of a few doses of Motorex Joker. On that front, give the bit a clean after contact with oil; the sleeve may not like it.


The tools can be bought without the sleeves, of course. They’ll fit nicely into your jersey pocket or a seat-pack.

Value 3.5/5

Using hidden voids for carrying gear has been on the cycling agenda for a while now. Michael tested the Topeak Hide ‘n’ Tool. This disappears into some bottom brackets. It is cheaper, but more limited functionality. He’s also tested the Torque Covert, another bottom bracket loader. Again, it is cheaper, but functionality is much more restricted.


More directly comparable are the Giant Clutch Bar - a tyre repair kit aimed at the tubeless off-road market, and the Topeak Handlebar End Plug `n Tool Roadie. They don’t really offer more than tubeless repair.


On the other hand the Zefal Z Bar Tool has bothe the multi-tool and the tubeless repair. Coming in at around half the price, it has fifteen functions, but lacks the chain breaker. Unashamedly aimed at mountain-bikers, it does not have a rubber sleeve to protect the multi-tool. Zefal say that their “expander” system ensures a snug fit, but I cannot vouch for this. At first glance, the Wolf Tooth version looks to have the edge on build quality and finish.


Given that, the Wolf Tooth Encase System Bar Kit One offers good functionality – at a price.


The Wolf Tooth Encase System Bar Kit One offers a lot to those who want to ride unencumbered off-road. Clearly best suited to bikes with flat bars or more gently sweeping gravel drops – as opposed to popular road compacts – and tubeless systems. You do need to be pretty sure it is going to fit. Even so, if you decide the sleeves are not for you, there’s still a highly functioning multi-tool for your jersey pocket.

Verdict: 3.5/5


Steve Dyster





Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH


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