Based in Texas, USA, 3 West Design is a small start-up that reckons its got the solution to saddle soreness and perineum discomfort with its range of saddles, and the Trinity is its latest offering.
With an unusual shape, the Trinity’s design is sure to divide opinion. The rear of the saddle is raised compared to the nose — a full 19mm higher – in a bid to relieve pressure on the perineum by focusing the body’s weight on the saddle’s rear.
The raised area measures 153mm at its widest but its overall shape is slightly convex and there isn’t a dedicated pressure relief channel — although in theory, one shouldn’t be required because of the dropped shape of the nose.
Thanks to the shape of the saddle and its relatively square rail profile, the Trinity does have a fairly large stack height.
The seat’s overall length is 250mm and it weighs 252g. The rails are hollow, constructed from a titanium alloy and it’s wrapped in a moisture-resistant cover. A foam membrane makes up the saddle’s padding.
3 West Design Trinity saddle performance
The saddle’s relatively narrow nose means that it doesn’t interfere with seated pedalling, and your thighs don’t come in to contact with it unless you’re pinching your legs together.
And it’s true, the rear section of the seat does take virtually all of the pressure off your perineum area, focusing it on the sit bones.
3 West Design has been successful at concentrating weight away from the soft tissue, but the saddle is quite difficult to balance on due to the ramped shape.
This unstable sitting surface uses more energy than would normally be required to sit on a seat and goes some way to undoing the positive work of removing pressure from the soft tissue.
The ramped rear-end means that your butt is inclined to slide forwards and the convex shape makes it feel like your sit bones are being parted — an issue shared with more traditionally-shaped seats.
This makes it hard to work out exactly where the goldilocks seating spot is and I found I was shifting my weight back and forth more than I’d have liked. The seating area is also quite tough, which exasperates the finding a sweet spot.
On the descents, I didn’t notice any obtrusive interference with my legs or unwanted contact. The saddle’s higher than average height didn’t cause any issues either.
Its descending prowess doesn’t make up for the issues I experienced when climbing, however, and the standard convex shape is a surprise considering how innovate the rest of the saddle’s design is. It could be improved considerably if it had a flatter profile with less ramp and softer padding.