Steering input

Topics relating to Advanced Driving in cars
Speary
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Re: Steering input

Postby Speary » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:57 am

Please don't let this forum end up like the now defunct IAM forum. I like a bit of banter but that site got nasty and personal hence why I jumped ship and came here

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ChristianAB
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Re: Steering input

Postby ChristianAB » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:31 pm

I agree with you Speary. I suppose it's for the moderators to take action. With that said, I think it will take a while for the bad energy from that forum to dissipate but eventually it will settle down a bit.

Back on topic, I am currently trying to develop a steering technique that does not make my shoulders suffer too much but it is proving to be harder than expected. Yes, with my short torso and long arms, I am a bit of an oddity but still. The most problematic aspect is the rest position with the hands on the wheel. Unless I use my thumbs to support some of the weight, I get pain in my shoulders after a few hours.
Last edited by ChristianAB on Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ChristianAB
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Re: Steering input

Postby ChristianAB » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:40 pm

Astraist wrote:On many discussions here and on the old fora, we tend to get back into the subject of steering input. So, just like I did there, I will sum up my thoughts about what steering inputs correlate with what steering outputs, and hopefully put an end to this otherwise endless debate.


What I do
Personally, I use fixed-input for any input less than 90 degress of steering in a car wheel, and slightly less in a more planar wheel (as in lorries). When a greater input is needed, I simply extend the range of motion available for fixed-input by predictivelly prepositioning the hands against the direction of the bend.

Because prepositioning both hands is also very limited in range, I tend to preposition just the hand in the direction of the bend and keep the opposite hand where it was. I pull the wheel as if I "draw" it out from the opposite hand so that mid-corner I fall back into quarter-to-three. I than preposition the opposite hand to remove the steering lock and fall back to the basic hand position again.

In order to achieve the greatest range of motion, I am happy to preposition the hand around and under the wheel. It's not palming, but gripping the face of the wheel with the palm pointing down. The hand than slips under the opposite hand and across the wheel so one can apply 270 or 360 degrees of steering in one "go." Here's a good example of it all:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgDK4wiZJ_M

So I get smoothness for using the longest possible hand motions and using either the pulling hand or bot hands together in a fixed-input. I get accuracy and effort reduction for much the same reason, and I am also consistent because both hands are on the wheel at all times and at least one is gripping it at any moment.

However, if you look at what we established is needed for effective steering, it's not unobtainable with any of the other steering styles, be it rotational, pull-push or whatever.


What happens in respect to changing gears? Are you able to change gears or switch/cancel indicators mid-corner?
Also, I find that I often need to push the wheel slightly (away from me) with one hand as the other changes gear (in a straight line or whilst cornering) or the car has a slight wobble from the single hand on the wheel. How do you position your hands (when on a straight road) when you change gears?

Gareth
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Re: Steering input

Postby Gareth » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:42 pm

ChristianAB wrote:I am currently trying to develop a steering technique that does not make my shoulders suffer too much

Are you sure seating and steering wheel position aren't to blame? Generally, try for sitting as upright as you can manage, with the steering wheel as low as you can manage, while all other necessary constraints are satisfied.
there is only the road, nothing but the road ...

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ChristianAB
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Re: Steering input

Postby ChristianAB » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:45 pm

Gareth wrote:
ChristianAB wrote:I am currently trying to develop a steering technique that does not make my shoulders suffer too much

Are you sure seating and steering wheel position aren't to blame? Generally, try for sitting as upright as you can manage, with the steering wheel as low as you can manage, while all other necessary constraints are satisfied.


Trouble is, my legs are quite long too, so the steering wheel cannot be too low. Also, without reach adjustment in the 370z, the upright thing gets complicated...

Rolyan
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Re: Steering input

Postby Rolyan » Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:27 am

Speary wrote:Please don't let this forum end up like the now defunct IAM forum. I like a bit of banter but that site got nasty and personal hence why I jumped ship and came here


....and then....

ChristianAB wrote:I agree with you Speary. I suppose it's for the moderators to take action.


It may be me, but I can't see anything on the other pages that's a problem in the slightest.

Astraist made a good post, ref was innocently made to the IAM, Mr CW made an impassioned plea not to make it about the IAM, Martine questioned arms on the airbag, then a few other good, relevant and interesting comments, including from Waremark who I respect greatly. Nothing to see here, move along please. We've got to be careful we don't become as anal, paranoid and controlling as the place that dare not speak its name!

So back on topic, I use pull push, fixed input and predictive. I rarely if ever palm. I don't hook my thumbs, I lay them around the face. I do sit the hands just above 1/4 to 3. I can drive
for hours without discomfort. I don't worry about the airbag going off. When I'm steering with fixed input/predictive, I've never found it necessary to change gear or indicate mid corner. I've never steered off the road. Ive always managed to avoid potholes, cows and hedgehogs. I can react to camber and adverse camber holds no fears. I can add steering if a corner tightens. I can carry my lunch on the passenger seat without it rolling off, even at speed. I can even drink my cafe mochiata without spilling it while steering around a bend. I'm sure many in here are the same. So I'm with Silk, I must be doing something right, and I hope that those who are doing it wrong take care.

Astraist
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Re: Steering input

Postby Astraist » Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:29 am

ChristianAB wrote:So back on topic, I use pull push, fixed input and predictive. I rarely if ever palm. I don't hook my thumbs, I lay them around the face.


Just to compare, I use predictive steering (the way I described it) 99% of the time, although I don't count "fixed-input" as a distinctive style. It's something that everyone does within a certain range of motion, so yes, I do lots of that, as well.

I do find myself in need to use pull-push in cars with unassisted, very heavy steering at parking speeds, but I consider that an extreme rather than something that defines the way I drive normally.

I do palm at parallel parking, but with the same form of steering, so the opposite palm is also on the wheel, so I don't count it as something worthy of much notice, either.

I also learned to use a sweeping style of rotational (180 degrees of lock with each hand) to enable very quick steering from lock-to-lock, although I never used it and indeed don't see the need to use it ever arise, even in off-road competitive driving. My style does allow sufficiently quick steering for every practical application.

Another point that I failed to mention was that, depending on the design and size of the spokes, I do normally hook my thumbs over them. For most wheels, at quarter to three the thumbs exert leverage unto the wheel which aids the grip very much.

The components of the wheel assembly, suspension and steering mechanism on modern cars tend to flex or collapse on impact so there is some damping and crash ride-down and there are a lot less wheel kick-back related injuries than before

The spokes on modern steering wheels are big, mallable, collapsable and since the thumbs sit directly on them, even if the wheel does kick-back there is little impulse acting on the thumb and the shape of the corner of the rim and crossbrace is often such that the thumb just slips out of the way.

Also, unless the thumb is flexed in quite an obscene angle, placing it vertically isn't necessarily going to put it wholly out of the way of the spokes if the whee does kick-back.

ChristianAB wrote:What happens in respect to changing gears? Are you able to change gears or switch/cancel indicators mid-corner?
Also, I find that I often need to push the wheel slightly (away from me) with one hand as the other changes gear (in a straight line or whilst cornering) or the car has a slight wobble from the single hand on the wheel. How do you position your hands (when on a straight road) when you change gears?


That's a good point. Good steering should at least allow for the possibility of steering one-handed, should it be required. But than, it doesn't have the be the same form of steering for both applications.

I tend to sort out the gears before the bend and finish it without changing gears, but because my steering is predictive it's usually quite easy to change gears or indicate mid-corner. In the transitions I sometimes have to use fixed-input with the opposite hand (so, push) depending on the direction of the corner.

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ChristianAB
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Re: Steering input

Postby ChristianAB » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:56 pm

Astraist wrote:That's a good point. Good steering should at least allow for the possibility of steering one-handed, should it be required. But than, it doesn't have the be the same form of steering for both applications.
I tend to sort out the gears before the bend and finish it without changing gears, but because my steering is predictive it's usually quite easy to change gears or indicate mid-corner. In the transitions I sometimes have to use fixed-input with the opposite hand (so, push) depending on the direction of the corner.


Just to avoid any doubt, what do you mean by 'predictive' in this context? Do you estimate the amount of lock that you will need before the corner and (pre)position your hands accordingly? If so, how do you approach blind corners?

hir
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Re: Steering input

Postby hir » Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:54 am

ChristianAB wrote:
Just to avoid any doubt, what do you mean by 'predictive' in this context? Do you estimate the amount of lock that you will need before the corner and (pre)position your hands accordingly? If so, how do you approach blind corners?


With "blind" corners the severity of the curve of the bend is going to be quite severe, one's speed would be low, probably 20mph or less. One would therefore be using pull-push for a sharp bend of this kind. predictive fixed-grip is exactly as you describe it but is used only when one is 100% certain of the curvature of the bend that is about to be negotiated. In other words it is not a technique that is appropriate for "blind" bends.

Astraist
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Re: Steering input

Postby Astraist » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:58 am

Not necessarily.

I steer predictivelly by anticipating the severity of the bend and prepositioning (usually) just the hand in the direction of the bend and pull the wheel. The opposite hand I keep in place, so the pulling hand "draws" the wheel away from under it and, if the bend assesment was well done, will "land" opposite to the other hand mid-corner. Like so:



Part of the advantage is that if you cannot judge (or be bothered to judge ;) ) the severity of the bend sufficiently (as would be the case of a blind bend), you can preposition for a lot of lock and, if it does turn out to be too much, hold the steering and slide the hand back to it's place.

It also helps with succesive bends in alternating directions (0:53). You can preposition to pull 180 degrees left, and than preposition to pull 270 right to get 90 degrees of lock to the right. Just two hand motions instead of who knows how many for most drivers.

Sure, Pull-Push or rotational, if big hand movements are used, will also work well. This is just my (and Constantine Aur's) take on this. It's a classic rally driving techique to allow for the constant wheel kick-back on a gravel stage, even mid corner.

It's actually the notes that help asses the severity of the bend in terms of predictive steering. It was taught to Titi and my mentors in what was at that time the best rally school in Europe, GET Cergy. It's still perfectly applicable to the road, though.


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