How to choose a steering wheel for motorsport
Steering wheels are an essential part of all race cars, as they allow for quick directional changes. But more importantly, they ensure that the driver has required control over a cars direction. Choosing a steering wheel that supports the handling and comfort of the driver will, in return, also increase the safety and performance of individuals. Let us explain what you need to think about when choosing a steering wheel for your race car to improve the feel of your vehicle.
The diameter of the steering wheel will significantly influence the effort you need to put into steering and the connection you feel to your car. Often, the size of your steering wheel will depend on the space available in your race car and what angle you prefer to keep your arms at when racing. You will likely be able to select the size that places your arms in the ideal position when driving.
Racetech steering wheels range in diameter between 255mm and 350mm. We often see our smallest model being fitted in single-seater and stock cars, and our larger ones in circuit and rally. All our 300mm and above models come with a standard 6x70mm PCD or Pitch Circle Diameter mounting pattern (which is the diameter of the circle that passes through the centre of the bolt holes) which fits most boss kits on the market to ensure that you can easily install your new steering wheel into your race car.
The dish of the wheel is measured from the mounting point to the closest point of the wheel to the driver. The bigger the number, the more dish the steering wheel has.
A dished wheel from Racetech measures either 70 or 90mm. This allows for the wheel to be closer to the driver, meaning that they can put more force into steering when changing directions. A dished steering wheel works extremely well in cases where the desire driving position moves the driver away from the steering wheel. It ensures that the driver can keep their arms in the optimal place even after some modifications.
Flat steering wheels, on the other hand, have little to no dish and are usually fitted in small vehicles with no modifications.
The choice of material is mainly down to the preference of the driver, but they each have their own advantages. Steering wheels from Racetech mostly come in suede but a leather option is also available.
Suede: This is the most common material on racing steering wheels because it gives excellent grip for race gloves. Even if your hands are sweaty or wet, you will get a comfortable and strong grip with a reduced likelihood of slips. Suede needs regular care but will offer excellent benefits for a long time if looked after well.
Leather: This is a more durable and highly grippy option with or without motorsport gloves. Leather usually lasts longer and looks better for an extended time. However, it can get slippery if your hands are wet or sweaty.
Most race steering wheels are round, providing a great feel and supporting a strong mechanical grip. Racetech also has steering wheels with a flat bottom, which provides greater space for the driver’s legs.
Quick release mechanism
A quick release allows for easy removal of the steering wheel to support access and exit from the vehicle. These mechanisms are often fitted into cars with a roll cage, door bar or high sided bucket seats to help the driver get into and out of the vehicle easier. The high-quality quick releases from Racetech are made using aircraft-grade aluminium to ensure strength, durability, and accurate alignment whenever the wheel is removed and replaced.
Steering wheel covers
To ensure that the steering wheel is protected when the car is moved or stored, a steering wheel cover is also available from Racetech. This will ensure that your steering wheel grip is kept clean and always preserved.
Steering wheels from Racetech
You need to think about numerous aspects when purchasing a steering wheel for your race car. The friendly professionals from Racetech will offer you advice and support when you are looking for the ideal steering wheel to give you performance and safety benefits. Explore our variety of steering wheels online, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to ask any questions!