It was only a few weeks ago that we shared the Indiegogo campaign for the Culprit P.E.R.K. saddle bag with tools. And on first inspection we called it a “pretty awesome little kit”. Here we are almost exactly one month later and we can tell you that yeah it definitely is a pretty awesome little kit.
The Culprit P.E.R.K.
The Culprit Portable Essential Repair Kit (P.E.R.K.) saddle bag with tools is meant to be your go to on the ride tool kit. Carrying just about every tool you may need for your basic road side challenges.
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.
Over the past month we have been riding with the bag in our rear jersey pocket. As part of our testing we initially strapped it underneath a rear wing and had no issues. However, we typically like to store a tire under there, so preferred to have the bag in our rear pocket. It fit in standard road jerseys with no issue. But we found on one piece tri kits that their aero and flush pockets were not quite big enough. Our suggestion would be that if you want this always there on a bike figure out how to get it under the saddle, but if just for training probably throw a jersey on with it packed into a pocket.
There are a number of little items that really impressed us as we started our review. First is the internal flap\divider of the bag. In it is room for your credit card, insurance card, and id as well as a small pouch for the included patch kit. We really loved the inclusion of the space for your cards. We usually carry a plastic bag with them included (and there is nothing wrong with that as a cheap and easy solution) but if we are now carrying a bag, might as well have a place to put them in there.
We also liked that Culprit included a rain cover for the saddle bag. If we know we are embarking on one of those rides where grit and grim is going to cover you from head to toe. And any piece of equipment is going to end up soaking wet for the next week, its nice to at least alleviate that somewhat.
During the review period, we spent most of our time playing with the mini ratchet and torque wrench. Mostly because at Ironman Florida we heard a few horror stories of cockpits slipping during a race (and training) and we wanted to get a feel for how these handled.
The ratchet is a touch on the small side (which isn’t surprising considering how much is packed into the bag). And the result is we had a bit of trouble if we really wanted to tighten something down (which most likely would have been past torque specs anyway). However that being said it met our needs when we wanted to make a small adjustment to our bars mid ride one day. And also helped us when one of the bolts on a rear wing had slipped a bit.
The torque wrench is extremely simple – just a simple bar to read torque off of. Using it was just as simple – push down on the ball until the right torque was hit. We tried it both in the shop and on the ride and had no issues. The markings are pretty easy to read, and we could easily see the numbers we were trying to hit. Unfortunately we didn’t come up with a good way to validate how precise the torque wrench was, and how repeatable the results are. So jury will have to remain out on that piece.
Like we said at the top – this is a pretty awesome little bag. The P.E.R.K. Saddle bag will have a pre-order price of $65+$20 shipping ($100 retail). We are pretty happy with the price – especially the preorder. The inclusion of a torque wrench really makes it stand out vs some of the other offerings out there and will be something that we suspect will be the reason people choose this over other options. The preorder has about another month to go – so stay tuned for any more details about production status and when the P.E.R.K. will be available for order!