Having originally got a boost via a crowdfunding campaign, the Reprieve saddle has been shipping in recent months. 3 West Design originally kick-started its Reprieve Saddle funding campaign on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter late in 2014, and having secured the funds it needed to get the product off the ground, the company is rolling out its innovative saddle product.
The new saddle, with its integral air bladder, offers up a ‘seat design that alleviates soft tissue discomfort while cycling’, whether it be across the road, triathlon, mountain, track, spin or recreational bike categories.
Having put the Reprieve through its paces over the past 8 weeks, it certainly feels comfortable…
From long, steady, predominantly seated sessions on the turbo (where discomfort has previously kicked-in), through to testing out on the road, the saddle certainly felt that it was giving much-needed relief in saddle-soreness prone areas.
Each rider has his or her own body shape,of course, and one reviewer’s perspective will be applicable to that reviewer’s saddle requirements. Although, the presence of an air bladder does give customisation to the saddle set-up, which should broaden its appeal for all types of riders and their needs.
Having personally favoured cut-out saddles to be most comfortable for road riding, a look at the Reprieve start-up video, below, clarified that ‘less is best’ in terms of the amount of air in the saddle’s bladder.
Aesthetically, the saddle looks the part. It is unusual and has turned a few heads – prompting a few ‘what’s that?’ questions from club mates on group rides. Ultimately though, the proof of a saddle is whether it is comfortable for a variety of applications – particularly for a long day on the bike. For this reviewer, it certainly did that and the Reprieve will stay a product of choice for some time to come.
The Reprieve saddle product…
- Drops the mid-section of the saddle 3/4? to naturally fit the outline of the human anatomy; the dropped area of the saddle is also shaped to further account for the perineum and soft tissue region.
- Incorporates an imbedded ‘Active Surface’; this air-filled bladder differentiates the Reprieve from any saddle on the market. It’s fully adjustable so each cyclist can find his/her comfortable level of cushion to ride. It allows a rider’s soft tissue to sit on a soft layer of air.
- The bladder is a tough, RF welded, medical grade urethane with a solid Lara Valve. The team at 3 West Design note that they ‘didn’t have to add air to the bladder for months.’
- Offers equal performance; as the sit bone area is like that of any other saddle, providing cushioned comfort with a shape that encourages free pedalling movement.
- Provides a better shape, so the sensitive tissue area doesn’t touch anything until a rider’s sit bones are on the saddle.3 West Design adds that this is unlike traditional saddles where the perineum typically absorbs direct pressure from the bike seat throughout the ride.