Seat Position

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THerald
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:08 pm
Location: Cambridgeshire

Seat Position

Postby THerald » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:57 am

I seem to struggle getting a comfortable driving position that gives me good control over the steering wheel. If I get my legs in a comfortable position then set the seat back to give me some back support (so not bolt upright) I’m struggling to reach the steering wheel. The only way around this is to set the seat high so I can have the seat closer to the pedals but then my head hits the roof.

Am I alone in having this problem? I do have a long torso for my hight but I’m only 1.8m /6’ tall.
THerald

Gareth
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Re: Seat Position

Postby Gareth » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:01 am

With the seat on the lowest height setting, can you adjust the seat back so that it's more upright? Providing there's enough headroom, it can feel odd and, even, uncomfortably to begin with but soon feels normal.

On one of our cars I need to scrunch myself down in the seat to avoid banging my head :-(
there is only the road, nothing but the road ...

martine
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Re: Seat Position

Postby martine » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:21 am

THerald wrote:I seem to struggle getting a comfortable driving position that gives me good control over the steering wheel. If I get my legs in a comfortable position then set the seat back to give me some back support (so not bolt upright) I’m struggling to reach the steering wheel. The only way around this is to set the seat high so I can have the seat closer to the pedals but then my head hits the roof.

Am I alone in having this problem? I do have a long torso for my hight but I’m only 1.8m /6’ tall.

What car do you drive? Does it have an adjustable steering wheel? How do you judge the position for 'good control over the steering wheel'?
Martin - Bristol IAM: IMI National Observer, Group Secretary, Masters (dist), DSA: ADI, Fleet, RoSPA (Dip)

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jcochrane
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Location: Surrey-Kent borders and wherever good driving roads are.

Re: Seat Position

Postby jcochrane » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:54 pm

Are you using the much better 3-9 handhold than 10-2. I assume you have the wheel at its lowest and pulled towards you as far as it will go. Don’t compromise wheel position on the basis that you have restricted knee room to get out of the car. The wheel can always be raised when getting out or even sliding the seat back.

When depressing the clutch have you still got a reasonably good bend in the knee. Otherwise maybe your seat is too far back.

Apologies if this seems obvious but if arm and leg lengths are reasonably proportioned there is not usually a problem in setting up. Long or short torso usually have little influence in getting the best seating position.

Maybe if you attend one of the excellent ADHub driving days you can quiz those present to help. Trying to sort this out in writing is not ideal as seating is significant for good driving.

THerald
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:08 pm
Location: Cambridgeshire

Re: Seat Position

Postby THerald » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:01 pm

martine wrote:What car do you drive? Does it have an adjustable steering wheel? How do you judge the position for 'good control over the steering wheel'?


I’ve got a BMW 1-Series “Sport” model to get the extra seat adjustments. It’s got reach / rake steering, seat hight, seat tilt, back angle and some weird thing that squeezes your sides.

I feel the weight of my arms as though they are unnaturally heavy, if I attempt to hold the top of the wheel (not how I drive) my arm is straight and I have to move my shoulders forward to stretch.
THerald

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akirk
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Re: Seat Position

Postby akirk » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:31 pm

THerald wrote:...if I attempt to hold the top of the wheel (not how I drive) my arm is straight and I have to move my shoulders forward to stretch.


ideally you should be able to lock your arms straight ahead of you and your wrists should be on top of the steering wheel - meaning that to hold the wheel you never have straight arms, they are always slightly bent..., suggests that you / the torso is too far from the wheel

Alasdair

martine
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Re: Seat Position

Postby martine » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:47 pm

I agree with Alasdair...a guide is to:

  • sit normally in the seat with seat belt on
  • set the base of the seat first so you can fully depress the clutch and still have a small bend at the knee
  • then to adjust the seat back, stretch your arms forwards out straight so they rest on top of the steering wheel (not holding on)
  • check your shoulders are still back normally on the seat
  • the seat back tilt is correct if the top of the steering wheel is 'cutting' your wrists
This means when you hold the steering wheel at 10-2 or 3-45 you will have a small bend in your elbows. This should be comfortable for extended periods and offer good control.

As John suggested, it's a lot easier to discuss with someone face to face and get some advice.
Martin - Bristol IAM: IMI National Observer, Group Secretary, Masters (dist), DSA: ADI, Fleet, RoSPA (Dip)

Triquet
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Re: Seat Position

Postby Triquet » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:06 pm

Mmm, just toddled out to check in the Saab 9-5 Estate barge. Position is pretty much as recommended by Martin, but I find that I'm steering 10-2, and have been criticized for same, :steering:

The (now) recommended 3-9 seems much too low and the wheel won't adjust any higher or seat any lower. Ho-hum, I suppose it's all back to the input / output argument again ....

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jcochrane
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Location: Surrey-Kent borders and wherever good driving roads are.

Re: Seat Position

Postby jcochrane » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:39 pm

Ideally having hands below heart will reduce fatigue to arms, neck and shoulders. 3-9 position for hands will allow allmost all bends except hairpins to be negotiated without moving the hands or either hand passing 12 o’clock. Also for padel shift the hands are ideally placed to operate them at all times.

Personally I like to have elbows bent to app 90 degrees so that upper arms rest against the body. This is.the most relaxing and provides good leverage and precision. Not the way most suggest but used in certain forms of racing including NASCAR.

sussex2
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Re: Seat Position

Postby sussex2 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:07 am

Had you thought about adjusting your position during the drive eg; You start off in one position then change to another and back.
I do this a lot in our MX5 which does not have an adjustable steering wheel. I generally start off with the seat back as far as possible and the backrest reclined (slightly as they is all it does in these cars with the seat right back) but may then move it around a bit later; in any case it is not the most comfortable car to drive for any distance.
The most comfortable driving position of the two vehicles we own comes with the Citroen Berlingo van; a great range of adjustment is available and the pedals are well spaced for someone with large feet (46/11) the window ledge is also very wide which means you can rest one arm (at suitable moments) or the other on the pull down armrest.
I can think of few cars that are properly made for someone with large feet. I can cast my mind back to the 'proper' Saab 900 but then the pedals were offset to the left which took some getting used to.


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