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REVIEW

Topeak Ninja 16+ Tool, Bottle Cages and Pumps

Words Tim Coleman
Photos Tim Coleman
Date Jul 11, 2019

Topeak has launched some interesting products semi-recently. I was particularly keen to try the combination of the Integrated Tool Box, which mounts to a Topeak bottle cage, and a new smallish pump. The three make a slick combination mounted to the bottle cage mounts of your bike. There is also an illuminated bottle cage for better visibility when riding at night.

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Topeak Ninja Bottle Cage mounted with the Ninja 16+ Tool Case and Pump.

Topeak Ninja Cage

The foundation of this combination of bits is the Topeak Ninja Cage X1AJ. Topeak has some other cages, but the adjustable mounting of the X1AJ piqued my interest. The X1AJ has the tidy Ninja mounting interface which works with all the Ninja accessories. The X1AJ also comes with two tire levers that are readily available, although these are probably more applicable to road than mountain bikes tires.

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The X1AJ Bottle Cage has rail mounts that allow you to space the cage up and down the frame. This comes in handy to free up space for the Tool Box. (Note - some frames still won't have enough room for the tool behind the bottle cage. - Ed.)

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Two of these small tire levers clip to the bottle cage for use in an emergency. They helped removed my mountain bike tire in a pinch, but they are quite small and probably not sturdy enough for tire fitting mountain bike tires.

The integration of the tire levers, and adjustable mounts is really clean. It might seem like a silly statement, but the bottle cage works well. After days of riding rough terrain including in the Whistler Bike Park, I haven't had any issues with bottle retention. The only issue I've had with the X1AJ Bottle Cage is due to the adjustable mounts which don't mount as rigidly as a convention bottle cage. On some occasions I'd hear some clicking from the cage. This has been resolved by tightening the mounting screws. Over time it seems like there might be a bit more side to side movement. This hasn't become an issue yet, but I think the Ninja TC Mountain might be a better option for us mountain bikers with a more rigid attachment method. The cage weights in at 68 grams and will set you back 17.95 USD.

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The X1AJ Cage allows the Toolbox to rotate (like all the Ninja cages). Access to the Ninja 16+ tool trail side couldn't be easier.

Topeak Ninja Tool Box

The Ninja Tool Box integrates with the Ninja Cage above flawlessly. This can be rotated in place to make easy access to the tool, or can be quickly removed from the bike. The Toolbox seems to be fairly waterproof when closed. There is a rubber band around the tool which does a good job of keeping the Tool Box rattle free.

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The entire Tool Box can be quickly and easily removed if need be.

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Hiding inside is the Ninja 16+ tool.

Topeak Ninja 16+ Tool

The Ninja 16+ is one of Topeak's newest tools, and it's like no other tool I've used before. The chassis of the tool is composite polymer which feels light and sturdy. The integrated chain tool is well placed and easy to use. Each of the tools seems to be high quality, and useful so far. My only critique is that 4 mm hex wrench is a separate piece for operating the chain tool. This 4 mm wrench is probably the most used hex wrench, but its not the easiest to remove or replace, and although there is an extender to increase torque it's not that nice to use. At 92 grams there isn't much else on the market that offers this level of functionality in a smaller and lighter package. Price is 49.95 USD for the Ninja 16+ with the Ninja Tool Box above. Main competitor here is the OneUp EDC tool, which I think is nicer to use, and hides away in a cleaner location. The EDC tool is a similar weight, but it's bit more expensive. Given the price of asking, weight, and functionality the Top Peak Ninja series is a worthy competitor worth checking out.

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Side A of the Ninja 16+

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Side B of the Ninja 16+

Topeak Mountain DA G Pump

The Mountain DA G pump is a dual action mini pump, which makes for more air flow in a single stroke (82 cc) which should reduce inflation time. The integrated gauge works well, and when cross checked with high quality gauges at home, seems to be surprisingly accurate. The construction is sturdy, and the pump weighs in at a reasonable 152 grams. Max pressure is 60 psig, which is plenty for all mountain bike tires and gravel bikes, but won't suffice for skinny road tires. The pump comes with a sturdy mount to your bottle cage lugs. Pricing on the Mountain DA G Pump is 34.95 USD.

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The Topeak Mountain DA G mini pump

Topeak iGlowCage B

The iGlowCage B is a neat design that integrates a colour changing LED light into the bottle cage. When used with a transparent water bottle, the LED illuminates the bottle to a colour of your choice and I'm all for more visibility on the road at night. The elegant design looks good on the bike, weighs 56 grams and can be found locally for 39.99 CAD (30 USD, 24 GBP).

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I haven't been commuting in the dark much this time of year. But when the days shorten this fall I'm looking forward to being a bit more visible.

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The cage itself is well made and has done a good job of retaining even larger water bottles.

The suite of new tools, cage and pumps from Topeak seems well thought out. It's handy that these can all be installed on standard bottle cage mounts. For those who enjoy pack-less riding I think these are good solutions, that put everything you need within easy reach. Placing that weight lower and more centered in the bike than some other solutions is a plus as well. Pricing seems reasonable, and the quality of all the parts is as good as you'd expect from a reputable brand like Topeak.

Comments

Vikb
0
Vik Banerjee  - July 11, 2019, 7:49 a.m.

Good to see more packless friendly cargo accessories. I like the fact the multi-tool is protected from the elements. I use my onboard tools so infrequently that if they were exposed to the elements they'd be a rusted mess when I had one of my infrequent mechanicals.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - July 11, 2019, 10:35 a.m.

The little box is fairly well weatherproofed too. I've blasted it with my hose while washing my bike and the tool remains dry. The only thing to remember is when I've used it on a wet day, to pull it out and dry it off.

Reply

DemonMike
+2 Ben Tim Coleman
mike  - July 11, 2019, 8:53 a.m.

Specialized called , lawsuit in the mix LOL. They cam up with the water bottle and the tool carry idea. Own one , like the fact it,s a side loader. All though it,s a neat idea having it all right there. I find my pump being mounted to the side of the bottle cage. A hazard at times , caught my short leg on it a few times. Some of those times are not the best to recovery from. Tiny swiss army knife tools , ya they are light. Easy to store , but are they easy to use being so small?? The LED light for the bottle , now I like that idea. Great for those who commute, and even for night trail riding. It could allow some light for the rider without using a helmet light. Oh and it,s damn near 2020 could they not put a muck cap on the water bottle!!! Inside the frame or not it still gets crap on it.

Reply

Timmigrant
+1 mike
Tim Coleman  - July 11, 2019, 10:34 a.m.

The small tool works surprisingly well. I've used it frequently trail side, and it's fixed all the issues I've had so far. It's not going to replace your home tools, but its worked well for me trail side so far. 

The Elite Corsa water bottle shown on the Glow Cage has a muck cap. I actually don't like them as much mountain biking unless it's really wet and mucky. The muck caps never snap into an open position allowing for easy one handed use while moving.

Reply

xy9ine
+3 Ben mike Tim Coleman
Perry Schebel  - July 11, 2019, 10:43 a.m.

ok that light up cage is sick. i guess you could create the same effect with one of those led ice cubes in the bottle, but this is slick. #thingsineverknewineeded

Reply

MTTCDA77
0
MTTCDA77  - July 11, 2019, 11:25 a.m.

I've had good success with the Syncros Matchbox I recently mounted on my Transition Smuggler.  No rattle, the tools seem adequate (although there isn't a 6mm tool for those that use bolt-on axles), and the bottle definitely stays in place.

Love the light up water bottle idea!

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