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My ClubSport WheelBase V2 review

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by HoiHman, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. The Fanatec CSWv2 review by HoiHman


    I was very excited when I got an email from Fanatec with the invite to beta test a new product.

    At that time I did not know what it was yet. I still had to wait a very long 3 weeks until I finally got an email that a ClubSport Wheel Base V2 was shipped and it was a very nice surprise :)

    So I expected a half finished beta product in a unmarked box, which probably needed a lot production adjustments before the final release.

    To my great surprise the UPS guy showed up at my doorstep with the "standard Fanatec shipping box" and on the side of the box I could clearly read what was inside.


    When I opened the box, I quickly learned there was no "beta packaging". This "beta" unit was packed like the full retail CSWv1 I received 4 weeks earlier : A full colored box, base covered in dustbag in foam. A quick guide was even included

    The box is a bit bigger, which immediately gives the impression that this wheelbase has more to offer. Which it does


    A quick inspection learned that the mounting points and the dimensions were exactly the same as the CSWv1. This is a very big pro for all current CSW/CSR-E owners. This means you can install your new base in no time, without having to adjust anything to your rig, besides exchanging the power supply to feed the bigger brushless servo motor.

    The obvious big optical changes to the CSWv1 are:

    Dark cover on the top and a polished edge on the front plate


    The fan on the back of the wheel


    The rubber ring on the quick release hub


    Even though my wheelbase is officially labeled as beta. It looks and feels like a full retail product.

    The quick release has been improved by adding an extra rubber ring which reduces play significantly. Although the necessity to use the bolt all the time has been decreased, I still prefer using the special bolt to firmly secure the wheel to the base.

    Because fanatec want to keep compatibility of all add-on rims with the new ClubSport Wheel Base V2, this is the best solution possible.

    So yes, you can use all your CSWv1 rims on the CSWv2. On the Fanatec website there is a long list of rims directly available for the ClubSport Wheelbase V2.

    Undoubtedly there will be a lot reviews covering all the various technical aspects of the CSWv2 (benchmarks, internals ect)

    The full specs can be found here:

    My review will focus on the important aspect:

    How does it drive?

    At the release the ClubSport Wheel Base V2 is for PC and PS3. Next gen console support will be added at a later stage through additional rims.

    I have only tested the CSWv2 on the PC. The current 2.0 driver and the latest Fanaleds release already support the CSWv2

    First Impression : OMG :D

    The wheel is fast, very powerful. Effects are more crisp, clear and direct. There is no cogging, the wheel is super precise and smooth and i have to mention it again : It's POWERFUL

    So I tested the wheel with various sims (Asetto Corsa, Iracing, PCARS, Rfactor2) and the simcade codemasters games (F1 2013, Grid Autosport & Dirt 2 )

    The wheelbase is secured very firm to my rig, which is as solid as a rock. Driving the CSWv2 with no flex in the base or the rims feels great. All Fanatec rims are high quality wheels and they all feel real and authentic. No plastic feel like of some their competitors.

    In all sims the wheelbase feels very smooth and has very little resistance of the internals. The powerful brushless servo motor is very fast and ensures that there is no cogging at all.
    You clearly feel the bumps, curbs and dips in the track and even the camber of the wheels through the steering wheel. (depending on the sim)

    All effects are delivered faster, more direct and clearer than ever experienced before. Because the base has so much power is much easier to distinguish different loads on the front wheels during braking of when the wheels are losing grip.

    The CSWv1 was already a very precise wheel, but with 2 sensors the CSWv2 is much better. The Club sport Wheel base V2 has 4096 Pulses per Revolution. This means with a 280mm steering wheel a 0.22mm movement at the edge of rim will be picked up by the internal sensors.

    This precise movement is noticeable in all sims and it contributes to better control of the car. I could clearly notice the difference in all sims and for example in F1 2013 and did not have to revert to in game linearity settings to get a good feeling around the center.

    So how powerful is it?

    Driving with the ClubSport Wheel Base V2 can feel like a real workout especially when one of the smaller rims is mounted (like the Flat1 / Round1 of Formula rim)

    When driving on the straight at full speed, the downforce pushes the tires on the road with full downforce and I literally have to use a lot strength to turn left or right.
    As soon I start to brake and the speed goes down, it becomes easier to turn in the wheel. I can clearly feel the difference in resistance between high speed and low speed corners.
    When the front tires are loosing grip, the wheel becomes light.

    When driving with high Forcefeedback levels, it's the experience that makes you sweat and your hands start to hurt. It gives you an impression of the great physique a real race driver must have to do this in real life.
    The first timeafter 15 minutes you feel like taking a break. :)

    Also the bigger porsche 918 RSR wheel feels just perfect when mounted to the ClubSport Wheel Base V2. I do not own a BMW GT2 rim anymore, but i think there is more than enough power available to handle it without any drawbacks.

    The tuning menu offers various options to customise the wheelperformance to your liking. Settings like rotation, shock, ABS, linearity, spring, damper and deadzone can be changed in realtime by pressing the tuning menu on the steering wheel.
    The force settings allow you to overclock the FFB effects from the sim to a maximum of 150%.
    In all my testing the wheelbase never became hot, nor did i experience any forcefeedback drop-off during long racing sessions. The brushless servo motor and the bigger ball bearings give me the confidence that this is a real reliable wheelbase.

    When I used the wheel for the first time after not using it for a couple days, I found myself more than one time checking the force settings in the tuning menu. Every time i was thinking it was set way above the standard 100% from a previous session, but it wasn't. :)

    On Iracing Thomas Jackmeier (CEO of Fanatec) wrote that the wheel is so powerful that 95% of all simracers do not need a more powerful wheel. I totally agree with him. This is about how powerful you can get, without needing an emergency stop button.

    At this moment I do not believe I will ever need a more powerful wheel.

    I was very satisfied with the CSWv2 from day one, but the announcement of next gen compatibility through additional rims is a genius concept.
    This means I can use my Clubsport Pedals, Handbrake and Shifter together with the ClubSport Wheel Base V2 on the Xbox One and the PS4 in the future. It doesn't get any better than that.

    Judging from the response from fellow Beta testers, they all feel pretty much the same. At the price of 599,- this is the wheel with the best price performance ratio on the market.
    To prevent long pre-order and waiting periods Fanatec implemented the "by invitation" order procedure giving Fanatec customers the first option to buy the new wheelbase.

    There is simply no way that their supply can keep up with demand at the launch or the next couple of months.
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  2. Mark Reynolds

    Mark Reynolds
    Physics & AI Programmer

    I am not going to bother writing my thoughts because you cover exactly my basic thoughts on the wheel right here , the wheel is really epic, especially for the price point, and for me this is the defining moment for Fanatec and a very smart move.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Mark Reynolds

    Mark Reynolds
    Physics & AI Programmer

    And nice review btw HoiMan, I have been using the BMW Rim as well btw, and can confirm it doesn't have any negative side effects, I might also add that a couple of times whilst using the F1 rim to drive the McLaren GT3 in iRacing I have actually lost the wheel right out my hands lol...
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  5. Yea, I'm all over this wheel if and when Fanatec decides to release it to the general public. Thanks for the reviews and opinions.
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  6. Frederic Schornstein

    Frederic Schornstein
    TXL Racing Premium Member

    Can you make a wheelcheck comparison with the BMW GT2 on the V1 and V2? I saw those on the V1 and the BMW was a lot slower than the Formula Rim and you can feel it clearly on the V1, that the wheel just moves to slow and doesn't give the feedback quick enough. I believe you that it is solved, but a nice graphic would be even better :D
  7. Mark Reynolds

    Mark Reynolds
    Physics & AI Programmer

    Oh sure, there is definitely a difference between using the F1 rim and the BMW GT2 rim, the GT2 is very heavy as we all know, I was more trying to put across that the extra power of the V2 deals with the extra weight much better, to the point you never give it any more consideration, now the V2 with the F1 Rim, holy smokes, as I already indicated I have actually lost the wheel right out my hands a couple of times.

    So yes, you can still feel the extra weight & inertia on the V2 with the BMW vs F1 rims, but not in a way which makes using the BMW rim a negative experience, just different.

    I honestly cannot find anything negative to say about the V2 :)
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  8. Same here Mark,

    Nothing but positive. The only negative thing could be the availablility .......

    Not concerned by the weight of the rims at all, but then again the Porsche 918 RSR is the heaviest of all my 4 rims.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Nice, pleased fanatec has put effort into making this so good.
    I prefer full sized rims, adds a realistic feel, will be great to order rims on preference and be confident in the fact response won't wholly suffer.

    Great news, thanks for the review and supporting info. :thumbsup:

    C'mon Fanatec, waiting for my code.....whenever your ready....;)
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Mark Reynolds

    Mark Reynolds
    Physics & AI Programmer

    Swap you my BMW GT2 for the 918 so we can compare notes if you like HoiHman :D

    I promise to send it back :whistling:
  11. How are the paddle shifters on the Fanatec rims, are they precise and durable?
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  12. Frederic Schornstein

    Frederic Schornstein
    TXL Racing Premium Member

    So you would say, that a BMW on a V2 gets a lot more closer to a Formula on a V1 in terms of reaction time of the rim etc.?
  13. Sure you will :D

    Still i regret selling my BMW GT2 rim. It was the first Fanatec rim i really fell i love with, besides that i own a BMW garage. Driving with a porsche rim still feels "strange".

    If i knew back that there was gonna be a new Wheelbase, i might have not sold it at all.
    Already looking into painting the rim black and replacing the porsche logo by a BMW one and spray painting the buttons.
    • Haha Haha x 1
  14. Mark Reynolds

    Mark Reynolds
    Physics & AI Programmer

    I hope to have the Porsche Rim to try out sometime, but it looks equally impressive in a totally different way of course :D
  15. ". At the price of 599,- this is the wheel with the best price performance ratio on the market."

    With 599 coins you only get just the wheelbase. Extra wheel costs something between 250€ to 400€! And you still need shipping which is 30-60€ for me. You probably want pedals too. The v2 pedals go for 250€. So all together this best "performance price ratio wheel" as a whole package would end up costing me 250+600+30+250=1130€. Are you insane? Are you serious? LOL!

    Best value for money? DFGT. Best value for higher end wheel? Tr500. If you want better wheel you can get better wheel at extra cost. But with diminishing returns. This wheel however is not even close to being good performance-price deal. It may be the performance one but definitely no chance whatsoever the price one.
  16. Mark Reynolds

    Mark Reynolds
    Physics & AI Programmer

    Honestly Frederic, I do not do any of the fancy testing with various programs and stop watches and all that gumph, as valid as it is, in its own way, I just drive with what I can feel, I don't run with a steering wheel displayed graphically either, with all that in mind when I have tried out the Indycars and Star Mazda the wheel responds instantly to what I ask it to my perception at least, and I have no issues with the heavier BMW rim either. I think the only time you should crack out those tools to investigate these things is when it feels wrong and you want to know why, I have yet to experience such a moment, hope this answers you question at least in some way.
  17. Frederic Schornstein

    Frederic Schornstein
    TXL Racing Premium Member

    I did mean any fancy testing. I meant if the FFB detail and reaction with the BMW on a V2 feels close to the quality of FFB you have with the Formula V1.
    I only want your personal feel and opinion ;)
    I felt the BMW on the V1 reacted a bit slow which made it harder to catch a slide.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. You have to experience the performance to judge the price performance ratio :)

    If all you want is a steering wheel and some pedals, so you can occassionally drive a racing game behind your PC. YES the driving force GT is the better price performance for you:roflmao:
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  19. Mark Reynolds

    Mark Reynolds
    Physics & AI Programmer

    Nope, I understand you loud and clear now, the V1 imho barely copes with the BMW rim, the V2 doesn't notice it in a negative way whatsoever, detailed and subtle effects are of course slightly muted compared to the F1 rim but that is not because the V2 is bad, merely a by product of the wheel being heavier, in short the V2 never fails to deliver enough umph to power the BMW rim up to catch a savable slide.

    I have quite a few wheels sat right here to compare directly with, price performance ratio for this wheel is finally perfect IMHO, I agree HoiHman
  20. You also need to experience the price!

    Please don't misquote me on purpose. I never even hinted the dfgt has better performance. It does absolutely have better price/performance ratio though than a 1200€ wheel/pedal combo. If 1200€ combo has better price/performance ratio than a 200€ combo then obviously by your logic a 7200€ combo is better price/performance than a 1200€ combo if it is better.

    What you are saying is that a ferrari 458 has better price/performance ratio than toyota GT86. Is 458 better? Yes. Faster, more power, better interior, better everything. But a LOT higher price which makes it less good in terms of price/performance.

    E: just for the sake of argument. I think the csw2 looks like a great wheel. Except for the price which is kinda high when you add the price of wheels it definitely looks like the king of the consumer priced wheels although it is clearly the most expensive one too.