The 3 West Reprieve saddle debuted in April, and I’ve been running it on my ‘cross bike for the past four months of training and racing. For cyclocross, I like something with a kicked-up tail. It allows me to push against the saddle when pedaling hard, but it can’t be so high that dismounts are impeded. The Reprieve meets these requirements and adds an interesting take on pressure relief.

The saddle is designed with a 3/4″ drop immediately in front of the wider sit bone support section. In front of that is an inflatable balloon along the nose that lets you adjust the height and firmness to suit your preferences. Amazingly, all of the additional shaping, construction and internal parts come together in a package that’s not any heavier than a typical performance saddle…

3West Reprieve inflatable air adjustable bicycle saddle review and actual weights

For 265g, you get a hollow ti railed perch with real leather cover that measures 143mm x 270mm. The rails are tall, and they seem to connect more forward than many other saddles I’ve tried, so I have the seat pushed way further back than I normally do.

3West Reprieve inflatable air adjustable bicycle saddle review and actual weights

Top down, the shape is traditional, and the profile from the front has a moderate curve that should suit many riders.

3West Reprieve inflatable air adjustable bicycle saddle review and actual weights
Side note: Normally, my rails are positioned the exact opposite of this, setting the saddle far forward. However, my body position on the bike didn’t feel right until the Reprieve was pushed almost all the way back.

It’s the side profile that’s so unique (and attention grabbing when you’re standing around after a race). 3 West says the pit in the middle allows the perineum to maintain its normal shape and not be squished by your body weight. And that the angled tail section rotates your hips forward, which helps keep your spine straight and positions you for optimum power output. This forward hip rotation works well for me and something I try to achieve with any saddle, the Reprieve just makes it easier.

3West Reprieve inflatable air adjustable bicycle saddle review and actual weights

The other unique feature is the ability to customize the firmness of the nose. The perimeter of it has a firm but plush padding with a bladder running through the center that’s pumped up via the port underneath the shell. It comes with a small pump that’s also used to deflate it. It maxes out with just six squeezes of the pump, becoming firm-ish. Actually, not really all that firm, but supportive enough that I couldn’t feel the edges. Deflate it all the way and it becomes perfectly flat.

3West Reprieve inflatable air adjustable bicycle saddle review and actual weights

I rode it fully inflated and it felt good. I can’t remember any numbness while using the saddle, whether in the hard charging race position or on longer, more casual adventure and training rides. It’s comfortable, but I think I’ll keep it on my ‘cross bike or try it on a mountain bike. It’s designed to work for road, too, or anything else, but personally I think I like it better for bumpier situations. Gravel racing might be a good fit for it as it’s cushy but supportive. Triathletes might fall in love.

As weird as it looks, it feels good. And normal. Personally, I’d like to see an “SL” version that just uses a fixed foam to create that front shape and lose the bladder and stuff, but adjustability is a good thing and it comes at little or no real weight penalty here. If you’ve been having trouble finding a sweet spot on your saddle, this might be the right one to try. Retail is $175, available in black or white.

3WestDesign.com

10 COMMENTS

  1. Very interesting concept. To date, I’ve found the “slot” approaches taken by many to be only modestly effective. Honestly, I have little or no problem with my Bonty seat, but more is betterer! One question and one comment:

    Tyler, are you the “bigger” BR guy? I’m thinking so. I’m 6-2 and 190, so size of dude matters to me in reviews.

    And I think many including me would be more inclined to roll the dice on something this novel if the money back guarantee was 60 days instead of 30.

  2. I wonder how this would work for someone in constant pain after having a vasectomy? I can’t and haven’t been able to ride for the last 3 years cause of it. I and curious is I could with this.

  3. I found one of these Reprieve saddles during its Kickstarter campaign. It’s been awesome having an adjustable seat that allows me to deflate or inflate as needed for different road conditions and lengthy rides. Frankly, it’s nice not have any soreness following my longer rides (or any rides for that matter). The leather is soft and feels of good quality. Conventional seats don’t offer anything like this one. I’m interested in any product that allows me the option of training for longer periods of time and this one definitely delivers! Thank you, 3West Designs!

  4. Bought one last summer. It rocks! FYI, the middle part is the main thing on the saddle, the back is the same as any other saddle. I worked w/it for a while before it locked in. Now it’s perfect, gonna order my second. Bout time someone figured this out… Thanks for writing about it, never see much advertising from them good on them for getting some pub..

  5. I have these on three of my bikes and really like them. Before that I rode a variety of cutout style saddles. I find these a lot more comfortable and I feel more connected to the bike at the same time.

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