Lenkrad Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Mark Webber

Steering wheel rims comparison

Ben Kautt made a comparison of three popular steering wheel rims used to race GT cars. The size of these rims make them also suitable to race open wheel cars and many simracers has been choosing one of them to complete their OSW builds. I am the owner of an Sparco P310, which diameter fits better my needs than bigger steering wheel rims.

Sparco P310

The P310 came first. I definitely got caught by my boss playing with this in the office right after I opened it. I’m sure my face looked like I just got caught watching porn Luckily I’ve been here long enough that he doesn’t care anymore and just laughed

The first, and biggest, thing I noticed was the back side of the rim where it connects to the cross braces (not sure exactly what these are called). There is a “lip” for your fingers to wrap around, so-to-speak. With the Mod 30, it’s pretty smooth/flat at that spot. The difference is when I grip the P310, my fingers naturally wrap around the rim and feel comfortable. With the Mod 30, my fingers have to flatten out at that connection and feel awkward, un-natural, and like I have less control of the wheel. Now, it wasn’t perfect. It definitely felt like my fingers were being squished to actually take advantage of this lip, since the diameter of the rim itself (the portion your hands wrap around, not the 310 diameter of the wheel) was thinner than the other two wheels. On a similar note, there was only a small amount of shaping for the hands, which didn’t really fit my hands well. Here’s a picture of the back of the rim: Photo Apr 29, 11 36 22 AM

The suede seemed to be smoother/finer on this wheel too. Didn’t make a difference to my grip as I use gloves with silicone grips; they don’t destroy the suede but also grip everything.

This is also the smallest diameter rim at 310mm. Technically, this means it’s harder for your arms to apply the same amount of torque that you can apply to a 330mm rim. However, when driving the C6.R, I didn’t actually notice much of a difference in my arms between this wheel vs the others. It was a little easier to turn with heavily loaded tires and deal with the high FFB with the OMP vs the P310, but the grip of the OMP definitely had a bit to do with this as well, more to come on that…

One other thing is that this wheel has a slight cushion on the rim beneath the suede, feels like hard rubber. If you’ve ever firmly pressed on a lacrosse ball, the P310 is almost identical. This has pros and cons: pro being that it cushions your wrists and fingers from the FFB, con being that it cushions the FFB Honestly, I drive with an OSW w/ the small Mige on max power and my joints never hurt while driving with a Mod27C, which has very little, if any cushioning. In terms of softening the FFB, it sure didn’t feel soft with the Mige , however I couldn’t really test it with a low FFB wheel, but I haven’t heard people complaining about it. Last thing, the buttons on the wheel do not have a positive click/feel to them…just a cheap pushy feeling with a bottom stop.

Momo Mod 30

As I said earlier, this has a flat(ish) back side where it connects to the cross braces. I just hated the feeling, didn’t mater how I moved my hands while driving, it always bugged me and felt like I didn’t have a good grip on the wheel. The actual portion of the rim that your hands wrap around for a grip was shaped much better than the P310 though. I wasn’t able to get a picture of the back of this wheel, since I already returned it by the time I wrote this, sorry.

IMG_0042_zpswppkefcnOther than the back side of the rim, everything else fit my hands much better! It also had great thumb rest areas which were nice, once I got used to leaving my thumbs up there. I’m sure my thumbs weren’t placed right, but over time it did end up causing some pain in my lower thumb joints cause I would put too much pressure on the wheel through my thumbs.

This had the middle diameter of the 3, at 320mm. Again, this does make a difference, but I don’t feel like this should be a huge deterministic factor between these wheels.

The Mod 30 had just a little cushion on the rim, definitely the least of the 3. It was there, just not noticeable unless I pressed decently hard on it with my finger. Hmmm, these aren’t exactly scientific comparisons are they? Maybe I should have gotten a durometer…oh well

OMP Superquadro

This ended up being my favorite. Actually, it didn’t really “end up” being the favorite, it was my favorite 5 minutes into driving it. The shaping for the hands is absolutely perfect! It gives more room for the thumbs where they wrap around the rim, so there’s no pressure or friction on them while driving. There is a shaping/cutout/lip (whatever you want to call it) on the back of the rim that is shaped for your fingers with a slight ridge between each finger to keep them there. Granted, this is related to MY hand, so yours may be different, but I can’t really use your hand now can I? To help convey my hands’ size, they aren’t that large; from my hand’s heel to the tip of my middle finger is right at 7.25″ (18.5cm). Here is a picture of the back of the OMP’s rim. You can’t see the “lip” quite as well as the P310, but that’s because there is a ridge at the top for the index finger to rest on…and it’s wonderful

Photo Apr 29, 9 59 08 AM

This had the largest diameter at 330mm, but the flat portion on the bottom keeps it clear of my legs.

This also had the most cushioning. It’s still a hard rubber feeling, so it’s not like gripping a foam ball. In the lacrosse ball example, it’s a hair softer than that. I didn’t mind this at all while driving. Didn’t notice any softness in the wheel after driving for an hour, and when going directly from the Mod 30 to this, I didn’t feel like the OMP was significantly softer or that the FFB felt softened.

Obviously I liked the OMP the most. Mostly because it fit my hand the best while still feeling great after driving for a little over an hour. Hope this helped someone. There’s only so much I can describe and talk about between 3 different wheels, but those were the thoughts that hit my mind when trying them out.

Leave a Reply