A steering wheel knob — also known as a brodie knob — is a nice, convenient attachment for your golf cart, riding mower, tractor, boat, or any vehicle with a steering wheel. They’re designed to assist with one-handed turning, eliminating the need for any hand-over-hand turning motion.
While steering wheel knobs are clever devices, the problem is that they’re pretty simplistic and straightforward. There’s not a lot of room for design innovations, so it can be tough to pick which one you should buy.
At HY-C, we manufacture the Easy-Rider Tight-Turn Steering Knob under our Good Vibrations product line. And in this guide, we want to help you decide whether or not it’s the right steering wheel knob for you.
We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of the Easy-Rider, from its installation process and cost to its aesthetics. By the time you’re finished here, you’ll have all the info you need to determine whether or not you’d like to get an Easy-Rider for yourself.
What Is a Steering Wheel Knob?
A steering wheel knob is essentially a golf ball-sized knob that rotates on a ball bearing. The device attaches to a steering wheel, allowing you to grab the knob and steer your vehicle with just one hand.
Wheels were harder to turn with two hands (let alone one). Though the advent of power steering has made these useful little knobs a bit redundant, people still appreciate their utility and use them for their convenience.
Are Steering Wheel Knobs Illegal?
No, steering wheel knobs are not illegal. That’s a common misconception. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should install one on your car or truck, especially if you drive a commercial vehicle.
If you’re a truck driver, forklift operator, or you drive any kind of vehicle for your company, be sure to check with your employer to ensure they don’t have any rules against using a steering knob. Also, though no state has any laws against using a brodie knob, it’s a good idea to check your local municipality’s rules and regulations.
Three Pros of the Easy-Rider Steering Wheel Knob
1. It’s Easy to Install
Most steering wheel knob manufactures will say this. And most of them are probably right, too — these knobs aren’t particularly hard to install. But aside from the included socket head bolt, washer, and Allen wrench, the Easy-Rider does come with a unique feature that helps with its installation.
Most steering knobs come with a thick metal or plastic clamp that hold it onto a steering wheel. The Easy-Rider, though, attaches by way of a thin, pliable stainless steel band that contours to the exact shape of your steering wheel as you tighten it. This helps ensure a secure, exact fit.
2. It Features an Ergonomic Design and a Rubber Grip
A steering wheel knob’s primary purpose is to be able to use it with one hand. The Easy-Rider’s tapered, hourglass-like shape is very conducive to one-handed use. It’s comfortable to hold, and grasping it feels secure.
It also features three separate sections of rubber padding to cover your fingers from all possible angles. This rubber assists not only in making the knob more comfortable to use, but it helps ensure that it won’t slip from your hand while you’re turning.
3. It Offers a Universal Fit
At its widest, the Easy-Rider’s stainless steel attachment band’s diameter measures about 1.5”. That should be plenty wide enough to fit onto the steering wheels of most semi-trucks, UTVs, boats, tractors, and more common vehicles.
In fact, when it comes to fit, you’re more likely to have a steering wheel that’s too small rather than too big. Because of that, we included a plastic spacer to fill any gaps that may result from a small steering wheel. With this spacer, the Easy-Rider provides a near universal fit.
Three Cons of the Easy-Rider Steering Wheel Knob
1. Its Cost Is on the High End
If you look around for steering wheel knobs, you’ll find some options as low as $7. The Easy-Rider, on the other hand, costs between $20 and $30 (depending on which retailer you buy your from).
While that cost is on par with the high end of the market, as with anything you purchase, the phrase, “You get what you pay for” applies here. The Easy-Rider is a strong, robust, secure knob that includes installation hardware, and those facts dictate its price.
2. Its Attachment Band Can Break (if Installed Improperly)
Some customers have reported that the stainless steel band that secures the Easy-Rider to their steering wheel has snapped upon installation. While these cases are few and far between, they’re not insignificant enough not to mention.
We recommend two remedies to help you avoid this issue. For one, don’t over tighten your Easy-Rider. It needs to be tight enough to ensure a secure fit, but not so tight that there’s undue pressure on the stainless steel band.
In a similar vein, be sure not to use the included spacer unless your steering wheel is too small (to avoid over tightening). In most cases, using the spacer is not necessary. We’d recommend using it only on steering wheels that measure 0.5” in diameter or less.
3. Its Design Lacks Character (Relative to Some Other Steering Wheel Knobs)
When some folks add a steering wheel knob to their personal vehicle, they’re looking to add a bit of flair. You can find knobs with a woodgrain finish, knobs that look like a billiards 8-ball, and knobs that resemble a skull. There are even steering wheel knobs that resemble a revolver chamber — complete with ammunition.
If you’re looking to add some character to your vehicle with a steering wheel knob, the Easy-Rider is, admittedly, not the way to go.
Good Vibrations products are used primarily by farmers and ranch workers, and they’re designed with utility in mind first and foremost. But what the Easy-Rider lacks in panache, it more than makes up for in sturdiness and dependability.
Should You Get an Easy-Rider Steering Wheel Knob?
We’re over 1,000 words in at this point, and you may not have imagined that there were that many words to say about steering wheel knobs. There’s more to them than first meets the eye, though. From their design and cost to how easy they are to install, steering wheel knobs — like any other product — are a niche all their own.
With all that said, you may be wondering: “Should I get an Easy-Rider for myself?”
For starters, it’s good to determine what you’d be using your steering knob for. The Easy-Rider specifically is designed for lawn tractors, riding mowers, UTVs, and boats. If that’s what you plan to use your steering wheel knob on, the Easy-Rider was designed with you in mind.
From there, it becomes a matter of cost vs. dependability. You’ll pay a bit more for an Easy-Rider, but we build them to last. Instead of buying the same $12 knob three times only to have it break, an Easy-Rider is a one-time purchase that should last you a lifetime.