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  1. #1
    Tim323i
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    Steering wheel ergonomics: 3- vs. 4-spoke

    Does anyone else out there HATE 3-spoke steering wheels? I'm not a race car driver, and so for casual driving (admit it--most of the time!), I like to rest my right hand on the bottom of the steering wheel (when not shifting). I've found 3-spoke wheels to be uncomfortable, especially on long trips, because you can't hold the wheel at the bottom.
    Am I the only one with this opinion? And what's the big advantage of the 3-spoke design? Because "it looks cool" doesn't cut it...


  2. #2
    kisalex
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    considering getting SP on 323i....

    thanx for your opinion. Still think the 3-spoke wheel looks great, and there's nothing wrong with that. Hey, a lot of things in this life we get just for looks (incl. some people too :-)). Regarding the 3-spoke's ease of use on long trips... Hmm, gotta think about.

    Alex


  3. #3
    mwang
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    Re: Steering wheel ergonomics: 3- vs. 4-spoke

    : Does anyone else out there HATE 3-spoke steering wheels? I'm not a race car driver, and so for casual driving (admit it--most of the time!), I like to rest my right hand on the bottom of the steering wheel (when not shifting). I've found 3-spoke wheels to be uncomfortable, especially on long trips, because you can't hold the wheel at the bottom.
    : Am I the only one with this opinion? And what's the big advantage of the 3-spoke design? Because "it looks cool" doesn't cut it...

    The big advantage of the 3 spoke wheel is that it allows you to keep your hands and the proper "3-9" position and have them supported by the "spokes" themselves so your arms don't get tired as quickly. With the 4 spoke design you can have your hands at 3-9, but there's nothing supporting your hands since the bottom 2 spokes are at 4-7, or you can rest them on the top two spokes but then they are at 2-10. I drove a Prelude for 14 years that has a similiar layout to the BMW 3 spoke and and loved it, even though there was nothing to grip really at the 6 position (you could actually hold it from "behind" at the 6 if you really wanted to). I never found that to be a problem, even on long drives since if I'm driving "relaxed" I rest my elbow on the window sill and hold the wheel at the 9 position.


  4. #4
    Thomas Shea
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    Re: Steering wheel

    I also like the four spoke wheel better. I lik ethe ergonomics of it better and I like the aesthetics better. The greater mass looks better to me in relation to the interior design. Of course this is very personal.

  5. #5
    jpherit
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    Re: Steering wheel ergonomics: 3- vs. 4-spoke

    I agree with mwang. I have driven an Acura Integra for 10 years with a nice three spoke design. I really appreciate the support the horizontal spoke provide to support the hands at
    just above the 3-9 position, semi-straight arm, elbows slightly bent. I have driven from San Francisco to San Diego (almost) nonstop in that position with rests in the 4-5 position. I keep both hands on the wheel that way at all times. I am ordering a 323i, with sport; the steering wheel is one of the reasons for the choice of sp. I actually do not give a damn about how it looks.


    : : Does anyone else out there HATE 3-spoke steering wheels? I'm not a race car driver, and so for casual driving (admit it--most of the time!), I like to rest my right hand on the bottom of the steering wheel (when not shifting). I've found 3-spoke wheels to be uncomfortable, especially on long trips, because you can't hold the wheel at the bottom.
    : : Am I the only one with this opinion? And what's the big advantage of the 3-spoke design? Because "it looks cool" doesn't cut it...

    : The big advantage of the 3 spoke wheel is that it allows you to keep your hands and the proper "3-9" position and have them supported by the "spokes" themselves so your arms don't get tired as quickly. With the 4 spoke design you can have your hands at 3-9, but there's nothing supporting your hands since the bottom 2 spokes are at 4-7, or you can rest them on the top two spokes but then they are at 2-10. I drove a Prelude for 14 years that has a similiar layout to the BMW 3 spoke and and loved it, even though there was nothing to grip really at the 6 position (you could actually hold it from "behind" at the 6 if you really wanted to). I never found that to be a problem, even on long drives since if I'm driving "relaxed" I rest my elbow on the window sill and hold the wheel at the 9 position.



  6. #6
    asdf
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    what about the thumb things on the m steering whee

    what are those for... they stick out and i have no idea... and are you saying that you are resting your hands on the spoke? like gripping right at the spoke point? I always thouhht we should be gripping onthe wheel.

    : : Does anyone else out there HATE 3-spoke steering wheels? I'm not a race car driver, and so for casual driving (admit it--most of the time!), I like to rest my right hand on the bottom of the steering wheel (when not shifting). I've found 3-spoke wheels to be uncomfortable, especially on long trips, because you can't hold the wheel at the bottom.
    : : Am I the only one with this opinion? And what's the big advantage of the 3-spoke design? Because "it looks cool" doesn't cut it...

    : The big advantage of the 3 spoke wheel is that it allows you to keep your hands and the proper "3-9" position and have them supported by the "spokes" themselves so your arms don't get tired as quickly. With the 4 spoke design you can have your hands at 3-9, but there's nothing supporting your hands since the bottom 2 spokes are at 4-7, or you can rest them on the top two spokes but then they are at 2-10. I drove a Prelude for 14 years that has a similiar layout to the BMW 3 spoke and and loved it, even though there was nothing to grip really at the 6 position (you could actually hold it from "behind" at the 6 if you really wanted to). I never found that to be a problem, even on long drives since if I'm driving "relaxed" I rest my elbow on the window sill and hold the wheel at the 9 position.


  7. #7
    jpherit
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    Re: what about the thumb things on the m steering

    Good question. I am not sure. When I drove a demo last Saturday, my little fingers slid into upper part of cutout rather naturally. I was too busy driving to pay attention to trying to use the cutouts for my thumb. I'll go back and try again next weekend. I guess the bottom line for me is that it felt natural with my whole hand above the cross bar in the 3-9 position.

    : what are those for... they stick out and i have no idea... and are you saying that you are resting your hands on the spoke? like gripping right at the spoke point? I always thouhht we should be gripping onthe wheel.


    : : : Does anyone else out there HATE 3-spoke steering wheels? I'm not a race car driver, and so for casual driving (admit it--most of the time!), I like to rest my right hand on the bottom of the steering wheel (when not shifting). I've found 3-spoke wheels to be uncomfortable, especially on long trips, because you can't hold the wheel at the bottom.
    : : : Am I the only one with this opinion? And what's the big advantage of the 3-spoke design? Because "it looks cool" doesn't cut it...

    : : The big advantage of the 3 spoke wheel is that it allows you to keep your hands and the proper "3-9" position and have them supported by the "spokes" themselves so your arms don't get tired as quickly. With the 4 spoke design you can have your hands at 3-9, but there's nothing supporting your hands since the bottom 2 spokes are at 4-7, or you can rest them on the top two spokes but then they are at 2-10. I drove a Prelude for 14 years that has a similiar layout to the BMW 3 spoke and and loved it, even though there was nothing to grip really at the 6 position (you could actually hold it from "behind" at the 6 if you really wanted to). I never found that to be a problem, even on long drives since if I'm driving "relaxed" I rest my elbow on the window sill and hold the wheel at the 9 position.


  8. #8
    is too often ignored. Tim323i
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    Thanks for the feedback--steering wheel design

    : Does anyone else out there HATE 3-spoke steering wheels? I'm not a race car driver, and so for casual driving (admit it--most of the time!), I like to rest my right hand on the bottom of the steering wheel (when not shifting). I've found 3-spoke wheels to be uncomfortable, especially on long trips, because you can't hold the wheel at the bottom.
    : Am I the only one with this opinion? And what's the big advantage of the 3-spoke design? Because "it looks cool" doesn't cut it...


  9. #9
    rocker4ever
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    4 spoke

    i agree, personally i to find that 6 o clock is the most comfortable, i hate that most every new car nowadays has a T. i like wheel on the Honda civics (2000-05) with kind of a x design, it allowed support for all major positions but they switched to the damn 3 spoke T design. which look cool, but if they would have just improved the design they already had it would look sleek and be totally comfortable for most anyone. honestly i don't see why they changed it besides to make the wheel seem more futuristic, too bad that doesn't make it anymore ergonomic. o well hopefully they bring back a similar design one day.
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  10. #10
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    Prefer either a 2- or 4-Spoke Steering Wheel

    The grip does feel more comfortable on an "M" steering wheel with the "cutouts." Having said that, however, I do prefer a 2- or 4-spoke steering wheel (I like the 2- more than the 4-spoke). The reason is I got used to driving a 2-spoke: I would grip the wheel at the "6" position with my left hand (my right hand is usually on the gear shift since I drive a stick). This single-handed steering technique is sufficient to maneuver the car to dodge potholes on city roads but is also preferable when driving on freeways. Two hands are still required when executing 90-deg turns.
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