While most new saddles are reshapes of the norm, 3West Design hit the market in 2016 with a completely new concept that lets you customize the nose’s firmness with an adjustable air bladder. The tail offered firmer support for your sit bones, and in between was a divot that kept pressure away from a man’s sensitive tissue. We reviewed it and loved it, particularly for cyclocross.

Now, it’s getting a new, more simple option for roadies. The upcoming 3West Design Halcyon saddle takes what was good about that original Reprieve design and makes it better looking and, honestly, easier to market.

This pre-production prototype of the new saddle loses the internal adjustable air bladder, but still has the old cover and graphics.

It also looks better. Founder Jon Marcelano says rider feedback included a desire for darker rails and logo graphics, basically it had to look more modern. Which meant muted graphics.

He says pure roadies didn’t like the air bladder. While we found it very comfortable, it wasn’t so much the fact that it was an air bladder as it was the recess in the middle. Founder Jon Marcellano says there are performance benefits to using an air bladder in that it easily flows with your movement, but there are limitations.

3West Design bicycle saddle with no pressure points for comfortable performance

where do my sit bones contact a bicycle seat and where are the pressure points that cause pain

The rear section keeps its medium density foam, but the nose gets a new foam that’s much softer. And it’s flat. Here’s why:

When you’re sitting on a bike saddle, about half of your body weight is on your sit bones. The nose isn’t really meant to be a load bearing part of the saddle, but your body has stuff there. For men, the middle of it is the Bulbospongiosus muscle, which sits between the Ischiocavernosus muscles. Imagine flipping the saddle over and sitting on the rails – those would line up pretty nicely with the Ischiocavernosus. So, they gave that very soft central foam a firmer foam perimeter, providing padded support for those perimeter muscles.

3West Design bicycle saddle with no pressure points for comfortable performance

Unlike the Reprieve model’s air bladder that conforms to your body, this one has no “bubble” of soft foam because you don’t really want anything pressing on that perineal area. So, this new version creates more space for your junk. Measurements remain the same at 143mm wide x 270mm long. Final weight is TBD.

3West Design bicycle saddle with no pressure points for comfortable performance

I rode this prototype on a spirited gravel/road ride and liked it. A few things will probably change before the final production models ship, but I’m excited to try it as it really did seem to support me in the right spots. And it carried over the performance benefit I enjoyed on the original, namely, keeping the pelvis in a more powerful forward rotated position.

What else is new?

Not shown, there’s also a new Trinity triathlon model that adds more foam to the rear section where your weight is. Because triathletes have their pelvis tilted (or rotated) more forward, the extra padding lifts the sit bones up a little and creates a deeper central cavity for your sensitive bits to rest in. Dimensions will be 155mm x 270mm.

Price will be around $175 for both, actual MSRP is TBD, and they should be available by early summer 2018. Look for a Kickstarter in early summer to get the Halcyon off the ground.

He’s also working on a new women’s saddle, which adjusts the size for the smaller perineum of the female body. After talking to a lot of women, the feedback led to a wider, flatter rear section with the “V” of the recessed center coming further back. Jon says the nerve path runs right along the bottom of the sit bones and leads directly to the very, very sensitive bits. So, the nose is a bit shorter, there’s a deeper recess in the middle, and it uses varied foam densities to put softer foam where it’s needed without creating too-soft spots that end up crushing right onto the saddle’s shell.

3WestDesign.com

11 comments

    • Tyler on

      As mentioned in the article, this is the original model’s cover and graphics…on a prototype. The rails are now black, which will match the new, darker graphic scheme the Halcyon will have.

      Reply
  1. Scott F. on

    Have the original 3W ‘Reprieve’ saddle for my roadie and cross bikes – love them! Work like a charm, happy these guys are finally getting some good pub. Interested to see how the foam works vs. the bladder.

    Reply
  2. Andreas Kammerloher on

    The flat nose is like the SQlab Maxcontact concept, the lowered nose is the SQlab stepsaddle concept. Measuring sitbones is also from SQlab, all this concepts are since 10 – 15 years in the market,
    This saddle looks like SQlab from around 2005.
    The airbladder concept was used by topeaks allay saddles also almost ten years ago.

    Reply
  3. pathfindersfuncycling on

    All I know is that I’ve ridden a lot of saddles and the Reprieve is, by far, the most comfortable. I’ve tested it for 50 miles with double the rated air capacity, have ridden it 35 miles in my underwear (no pad), and found it to be the only saddle that I wasn’t sore after 100 miles. However, it is important that you set it up correctly for maximum comfort. i.e. 2+ degrees nose up and just the right amount of air will make your sit bones feel better—even though the bladder is in the front.

    Reply
  4. Jon Marceleno - 3 West Design on

    Just a follow up note. The width of the nose is pretty standard, 70mm in the middle where the graphic of the arrows point to the side, to 41mm wide (from bottom of the arc graphic at the nose).

    SQlab, Rivo and Topeak seem like a fine saddle companies. However our design is different. Starting with mid-saddle drop of ¾” – (1” for the Trinity) which runs the complete width of the mid-saddle, best viewed from the side. Once your sit bones engage, your soft tissue rests on a fully adjustable soft layer of air, or a soft foam membrane. Our target is relief of both the Perineum and Ischiocavernosus Muscles. Based on our unique design we were issued our U.S. Patent back in 2015.

    We hope you try our saddle, we have a 30 day money back policy.

    Reply

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