We’ve all been there. Begging our bike shop to let us borrow just one more saddle to try before we buy. If you’re like me, and you’ve been stuck on a seat that just never quite fit right, you’ll know the struggle to find something comfortable that still looks sleek and fast. Enter the Reprieve Saddle by 3 West Design. This new concept in saddles utilizes an air bladder and mid-section drop to offer both a race-worthy look and a comfortable cushion that won’t compress your most important “contact points.”
What’s So Cool About the Reprieve?
I actually came across the Reprieve Saddle through Twitter, and the Kickstarter page intrigued me. As the folks at 3 West explain, the seat includes an active surface achieved through their integrated bladder design. This makes the center and nose depress, shift, and conform to your movements as you pedal, which should reduce numbness and soreness. Shipped with a small pump tool, you can add or remove air as you see fit, theoretically giving you a customized ride.
The center of the saddle also drops 3/4″, which keeps your undercarriage from pressing flat while engaging your sit-bones and allowing you the control of a classic, full-nosed seat. Consider it a channel on ‘roids, right? Wait, that metaphor definitely doesn’t work. But you get what I’m saying. Take a look at the image to the right that compares a classic shape to the Reprieve’s shape to get a better idea of what I’m trying to convey:
Specs & Features
Weighing in at about 210 grams and retailing for an industry-friendly $185, the Reprieve features titanium rails and a real leather surface. According to the folks at 3 West, it’s suitable for both men and women–particularly if those women currently ride a 133 mm saddle. If the Kickstarter is fully funded, you should also be able to get a wider version that may be better fitted to most women.
So How Do You Get One?
As I mentioned, this is a Kickstarter project–and we all know the cool gear that’s come from Kickstarter in the past. With just 2 more weeks (as of this posting) to reach their $25,000 goal, they are offering saddles at nearly half of what they’ll retail for in the future. The $100 backing level will net you a saddle, t-shirt, koozie and a thank you letter. But of course you can support the project for as little as $10 (or as much as $500 if you want some serious schwag and 6 SADDLES!).
With promises of a sleeker and even more cosmetically appealing design, the Reprieve should certainly be on your radar if you’re searching for more comfort. I’ll be testing this product in the near future, and I can’t say I’m not super excited to try this one out.
Head over to The Reprieve Saddle Kickstarter Campaign to see what you can do to bring this to full production. If you want a closer look at the design, watch the video that caught my attention to begin with: