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Discussion Starter #1
I want to start this off by saying that Sector111 have amazed me with their customer service. The initiative that Stacy, Shinoo and Toni took to work with me, their supplier and their stock level to get things worked out for me without my having to ask for a thing, really impressed me, and it made the difference between my getting the car set up for 4 days at VIR this coming weekend or not. Thanks to Sector111!

So anyway, about the stuff. The short of it is that I'm 245lbs, 6'3" wear size 13 shoes and long legs. I've had the car a bit over a year now and I have been greatly frustrated by my inability to drive it. The big problem has been the wheel sitting jammed against my thighs that limited steering input to about 70 degrees without a hand over hand shuffle. Also, I was never happy at how much leverage I could manage on the unassisted wheel. I could not turn the wheel far enough, quickly enough to make for a satisfying drive.

I wanted to track it but my helmet didn't fit under the top so I got the Sector111 DownLow rails (not so effusive praise for Sector111 there). THey slide the butt forward and tip the seat back. They allowed my helmet to fit, and they improved the leverage I had on the wheel so that was good, but I ran out of legroom (shins nearly touching the under dash tray), wheel still pressed against the thighs, but now with no room left for me to move my legs enough to operate the pedals. All my time at VIR was frustrated by my inability to get my legs, wheel, pedals unentangled.

It was just crap! I was getting to the point of deciding that I need to accept that I don't fit and I need to sell the car.

Then in the track driving subforum at the miata forum, an in car video was posted of a skilled driver (Manly?) in an Elise. I was amazed and extremely envious of just how much room the person had to twirl the wheel and dance on the pedals! Thats what I needed!

So I figured that a smaller wheel, installed such that it sits closer to my chest, would move the rim off my thighs and into my lap, and that should let me both operate the wheel and dance on the pedals.

So I got a 300mm Sparco, a 310 x 260 flat top and flat bottom Sparco, and a 280mm Momo to see what would work. I ordered the pricey Works Bell Rapfix II hub (its twice the price in the US as the US dollar price listed on the japanese site). The idea was to experiment.

Instead of retyping all this, I will just quote excerpts from my posts on the miata forum (my "home forum" for 8.5 years where this conversation has been going on).

Note the precursor to these posts is a series of sad frustrated disappointed posts relating to this problem, over many months.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
my posts from the other forum.
Ahahhahahahahahaha!!!!

YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A 280mm Momo wheel is in on a quick release hub. Not only have I gained a HUGE amount of room between wheel and leg, the way the car drives has become just fricking brilliant!!

I have never ever ever driven a car that handled this good, that felt this good, that was so ****ing mind blowingly direct and wired up. BMWs, miatas, whatever, they are all artificial playstation ****

With the seat rails mod (moved forward and tilted back) I was closer to the wheel but still too far from the wheel, my shoulders still not right. Now its different.

Even without the spacer, the steering plane moves away from the gauges by about 1.5" or so. That not only brings it closer, it also lifts it up closer to the shoulder plane. and the combination of moving closer, higher and smaller wheel has created a huge amout of space between wheel and legs. Instead of being restricted to about 70 degrees of input (without taking my hand off the rim) I can now do 180. But the new location, hooks me up in the car like I cannot describe. ****ing AWESOME

The lack of adjustability (seat rake, steering reach and rake), made the car completely unfit for me but by moving the wheel and the seat, I've managed to get a much much improved fit!

I am amazed at the transformation that has occured. I can now place the car with the accuracy of a whip end flicking wings off flies. The steering is so meaty, so communicative, so pure, so direct wired into my musculature now.

I am so happy! :D :D I feel so good driving the car now, my speed has gone up so much! For the first time I am hearing the A048s howling around the curves. I've never heard a peep out of them before!

Yippeee yay day doo!!!!
very interesting. I tried the sparco 300mm wheel in place of the 280mm Momo.

It provides me all the room the 280mm does. It feels better to hold because of its profile, but the steering and handling feel that is similar to stock.

I am just as fast with the 300mm as with 280mm, thanks to the room gained that allows me to steer properly, but it does not have the awesome wired into the musculature feel of the 280mm.

At this point, I am leaning to the 280mm. With it, I get the speed, the room, AND the feel. with the 300, I get the first two but not the last.
I've racked up 100 miles of windy and urban stuff today. the 280mm is the way to go. I think the diameter does two things:

1. the reduced diameter offsets the slow rack ratio, increasing how much steering input you get for moving your hands the same amount and that just makes the car so much more alert and reactive and feelsome

2. the smaller diameter also increases the effort and makes for meatier, beefier steering.

the two in combination really make the car feel very very good!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Some people might prefer the lighter, less resistive feel of the stock sized wheel.

Also keep in mind that the 280mm is significantly offset and no doubt that affects its feel too.

Its a quick release hub by Works Bell and quite pricey ($638 plus shipping in the US). Pictures with the wheel installed and popped off. Note in the first picture how far from the rim the turn signal stalk is. the wheel rim has moved about 1.5" or so away from the stock location.

The last image shows the size of the wheel relative to a DVD (yes its really small), and also the offset. See how much further from the center the top of the rim is compared to the bottom of the rim
 

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I also have the works bell setup, but Im using the Sparco 300mm wheel and love it. Having the steering closer to me made a big difference and the smaller wheel size seemed to make the car feel better. Im quite a bit shorter than you and about 100LBS lighter, so it works just as well for small people.

Oh and I don't accidentally honk the horn any longer. :D
 

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Harbir, thx for the compliments. We are likely to put our Big N Tall Seat into production. It should also help.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll be on the look out for it!

I should also mention that the Rapfix II is a remarkable piece of work, and worth the price.

It works extremely well both in terms of how smoothly and easily the wheel mounts and dismounts, how crisply perfect the remounting is, how there is not the slightest slop in it.

The engineering and manufacturing are really very impressive. I get the feel that you could not do low cost mass manufacturing on this thing without losing how well it works.

Thanks to Sector 111 for making it available to lotus enthusiasts here in the US!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just an update.

I tried both the Momo and a 300mm Sparco at the track. the Sparco is definitely much better at the track. the momo is better on the street.

The Sparco provides better leverage and allows smoother steering input thats appropriate on the track. Also, its rim profile works better. On the street, the 280mm Momo works better because of the quickness and meatiness of feel.

So I kept both and switch depending on whether I am on road or track.
 
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