Culprit Covert Ops Aero System and PERK Saddle Bag – First Look

Last week Culprit launched their latest crowd funding campaign for not one or two but three new products that, at first look, we are pretty excited about. The Covert Ops stem and aero bars will clean up your front end, and when the worst strikes, the P.E.R.K. saddle bag might just help you avoid the long walk home. So, without further ado, lets break these down and check out what Culprit is looking to offer.


Culprit Covert Ops Stem

When Josh at Culprit first shared their Covert Ops stem with us, honestly, we may have inwardly groaned a bit – another aero stem? But then he started walking us through the details that Culprit put into it, which quickly turned that frown upside down. They really have put a lot of thought into this.

Let’s start with the fact that the stem will be available in four sizes – 90mm, 100mm, 110mm, and 120mm. While there are definitely other aero stems on the market, we really cannot think of another that offers four different sizes.

To get that aero designation, the Covert Ops Stem is not only designed for aerodynamics but is built to hide all of your cables and junction boxes away from the wind. Including not just the Shimano EWRS110 and 3 or 5 port boxes, but the 110mm and 120mm Covert Ops stem can even handle an eTap Blip Box.

Looking to run an inner brake cable only on the front brake? The stem has a cable stop included that allows you to run bare cable to the front brake making the front of the bike as clean as possible.

Culprit claims that by using a Covert Ops aero stem that is both more aero than a standard round stem and also cleans up all of your cabling, you could save 17 seconds over a 20-minute time trial at an average speed of 17 mph.

Culprit Covert Ops Clip-On Aero Bars

Getting your aerobars to the perfect tilt is a pain. You get one perfectly level only to find that you cannot get the second to match that exact same angle. And to adjust the angle, you usually must remove the pads and typically one, if not two, bolts.

Instead, how about just one bolt that you can always reach? Introducing the new Covert Ops Clip-On aero bars. Made with four parts rather than two, the design is easy to install and change fit and comfort without completely removing the bar clamps. Oh and if you need to drop your bars for travel. The Culprit Covert Ops Clip-On bars have you covered too. One bolt a bar and you are set!

Check out the video below – about 1:10 in he is quickly changing the angle and getting back on the road again. We cannot imagine doing that on our current setup without our full tool kit (and maybe a shop stand).

Culprit says that between their stem and aerobars there are 2,448 positions per stem length (including the four stem options, that makes for nearly 10,000 positions!).

Culprit P.E.R.K Saddle Bag

Finally, there is the Culprit Portable Essential Repair Kit (P.E.R.K.) Meant to be used as a saddle bag or to drop in your back jersey pocket. The P.E.R.K. kit has just about every tool we can think of that you might need on your ride.

Inside is a mini ratchet with bits  2, 2,5, 3, 4,5,6, 8,T10, T15, T25, Slot 2, PH2. Then you will find a mini torque wrench, patch kit (with six patches), chain break with spoke tool, tire levers, and Co2 inflator. The kit also has inside pockets for C02 (not included) and credit cards \ ID.

On the outside is a slot for a mini pump, a spare tube, and even an included rain cover to protect the bag.

We just received our bag today, so a full review is forthcoming. But from what we can see, it’s a pretty awesome little kit. Definitely something we can easily see ourselves dropping in our jersey when we head out for a ride.


You can check out the full campaign at The discounts are pretty awesome compred to the final retail prices!

The Covert Ops Stem is launching at $60 (final retail price is set for $110) with $20 shipping.  The Covert Ops Aerobar with alloy extension will have a $90 pre-order price + $32 shipping ($140 retail). Or those looking for carbon extensions can pre-order for $156 + $32 shipping ($240 retail). Finally, the P.E.R.K. Saddle bag will have a pre-order price of $65+$20 shipping ($100 retail).

Wrapping Up

Our fingers are crossed to see all these items make it to production. The fact that Culprit is planning a full sizing lineup for their stems is awesome news for those that don’t fit the “typical” cyclist needs. And for anyone that has to adjust an aerobar on the fly, the Covert Ops clip-ons may be a sight for sore eyes. Stay tuned to for our deeper review of the P.E.R.K. and the latest on any funding news! (Oh and if you see us at IMFL make sure to remind us to show you the P.E.R.K!)

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