For many people, especially car enthusiasts or amateur racers, the steering wheel is the most significant interior component of a vehicle. In the most obvious example, the steering wheel is the main mechanical mechanism that connects a driver to any car. Every input from a driver’s hands is translated into the vehicle’s behavior in motion.
There are 2 basic types of steering wheels available on the market today; the OEM variety (original equipment), and the aftermarket steering wheel. The OEM steering wheel needs little explanation. This is likely best exampled by the existing wheel many currently have in their vehicle. It’s almost always the wheel that came from the factory and gives little to nothing in premium performance.
Aftermarket steering wheels on the other hand are where Max Papis Innovations comes in. Aftermarket steering wheels are often chosen for both aesthetics and performance, and we create multiple variations for purposes ranging to Super Speedways to Sunday drives on your favorite road to get a cup of coffee. Your steering wheel is an expression of you, however simple or complex that may be:
“Whether it’s with my engineers in the team, my home life, or my friends, I don’t like things to get complicated – and one good example would be the steering wheel in my Mercedes Formula 1 car” -Lewis Hamilton
When shopping for a steering wheel, there are two main factors to consider:
The steering wheel is the most handled instrument in any vehicle — racing or otherwise. Comfort and precision are key, especially with performance driving. Max Papis Innovations’ wheels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and even a range of materials to suit any driver’s preference.
More common in tuner and custom recreational vehicles, people upgrade their steering wheels to enhance the car’s aesthetics. Our products are designed meticulously in the United States, with manufacturing and assembly performed in Italy by true artisans.
When buying a steering wheel, there are few factors to consider before purchasing:
- Steering Wheel Size (Diameter): The sizes that matter include the diameter and the grip circumference of the steering wheel. These diameters typically range between 14 and 17 inches, while the grip circumferences range between 2 3⁄4 and 4 1⁄4 inches.Determining the size of steering wheel you want to purchase depends on your preferences and type of driving. If you’re planning to use your vehicle as a road car, then a regular sized steering wheel is likely the right wheel for you.
Alternatively, if it’s going to be used on a race track, then you might consider a smaller steering wheel for increased comfort and more room in the racing cockpit. Smaller wheels often require more physical effort to turn, so it’s a trade off.
Your steering wheel size and seat combination is also vital to selecting the right product.
- Form Versus Function: The looks/shape is an important consideration when buying a steering wheel. Although looks are subjective, the form factor will affect the driver directly – so choose wisely. Positioning of the driver’s arms, based on the number of spokes is one example. And a D-Shapes (Flat) wheel may give more room in tight spaces. While it’s easy to choose the wheel that ‘looks the best’ be sure to consider the practical applications.
- Flat or Dish Wheel: For road cars, we typically recommend flat wheels. It’s typically considered more comfortable. As for dish wheels, we usually recommend those for racing cars.
- Bolt Pattern: While it sounds trivial to say, be sure to find a wheel that fits your bolt pattern. Most MPI wheels offer a universal bolt pattern for hubs, quick releases, and spacers. The most common standard is the 6x70mm (2 ¾”) bolt pattern. Some wheels that are manufactured for specific purposes may come undrilled, allowing the users to dictate which pattern they prefer.
Buying a steering wheel is an important decision for any car. This guide is very basic, and meant as a starting place. We understand you may have questions, and we’re here to help. We pride ourselves on customer service that is second to none and we want to make sure you get the right wheel. We are available to answer specific questions or help you choose the right wheel for your needs. Simply contact us with your questions and we will do our best to help.