How do I choose a steering wheel?
Your choice of a steering wheel for your car impacts everything from driving comfort and effectiveness to passenger safety. Thus, it is important to make a well-informed decision while choosing a steering wheel for your car.
There are four main factors to consider while purchasing a steering wheel:
The size of the steering wheel, measured in mm by diameter, is the most important factor in choosing a steering wheel, and there is a large range of options available. The best choice for a steering wheel is dependent on the type of driving and your preference for accessibility and visibility.
- Is the car intended for road usage or track racing? This decision is mostly a trade-off as smaller wheels take less space and are more comfortable but require more steering effort. In a race car, this is less important as the maximum turn required for the steering wheel remains short of 180 degrees.
- Some drivers prefer to look above the wheel while some prefer to look through the wheel. Too large a wheel can impair your visibility.
- The wheel diameter and seat type combination will impact the driving experience considerably. For example, a deep seat and large wheel can make getting out of the car a relatively difficult experience without a quick release.
Dish is the separation (in mm) between the mounting surface and the centerline of the grip of the steering wheel. Dish impacts the driving experience in two ways:
- Distance between driver and the wheel
- Distance between the hands of the driver and the signal stalks (if any)
The type of dish to be used will be based on the primary use of the car. In a race car, a deep dish brings the wheel closer to the driver, but it can make getting in and out of the car a tedious and time taking job, thus compromising the safety of the driver in the event of an accident. In a road legal car, it can become annoying to have a large distance between the blinkers and your fingers.
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