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What gear do i Buy?

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Christopheduron, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. hello everyone,

    I've decided that i'm going to buy a sim racing setup and since i don't have any experience apart from a 25€ plastic steering wheel, i would like your experience to guide me!

    After some research it seems that only logitech, thrustmaster and fanatec are building quality sim race equipment with fanatic delivering the most realistic, and expensive, experience. Since i don't think there's a way for me to test this myself apart from buying all 3, i would like some feedback from people owning some of this equipment. Preferably experience with multiple setups over the years.

    A complete setup with the steering base, wheel, pedals, shiftbox, handbrake and race chair (to mount everything on) will probably go for around 1500-3000€ depending on which brand you choose. And another 800€ will go on top of that for a vive for some vr experience. Now all this isn't exactly cheap, but i've been saving up and would like to treat myself to something nice :).

    So basically i want to know what's the best setup? Or isn't it as simple?
    Thanks for helping!
  2. t300/tx base with alcantarra wheel
    t3pa-pro pedals with ricmotech load cell mod, or fanatec clubsport pedals
    shh shifter

    anything more than that and you're into big $$ stuff like heusinkfeld engineering pedals or proto sim tech pt1s, and OSW wheels.

    for a base, look into the simetik one from portugal. very solid.
  3. Thanks for the tip! I'm definitely looking for quality items, but obviously not for the 'big $$' professional stuff. I'll check out some reviews on these things right away and hit you with a few more questions if need be.
  4. I've checked out some reviews about the t300 and tx bases. My first question to you: is there a difference between them apart from one being for the pc/xbox while the other is for pc/ps4? As far as the reviews go, it's a mixed bag. Mostly it's good, but they never seem super satisfied with the wheel. I saw the same youtube channel do a review from the fanatic wheel base (ClubSport Wheel Base V2) and they really looked satisfied with it. It is a bit pricier, but it seems to perform better aswel.

    The pedal reviews seem to go in favor of fanatec aswel, however it's pricier again.

    The race stand from simetik looks really nice. It's a lot less expensive than the one from fanatic aswel. Maybe a silly question here, but do both these stands come wit a racing chair? Or is that something one would have to buy seperately? It would be silly to have an amazing setup with no chair :D...

    I have to say that right now i'm favouring the fanatec wheel base and fanatec clubsport pedals over anything else i've seen. Please give your own opinion on this since i'm most likely overlooking some things. For the shifter and handbrake i have to look up some more reviews.

    Keep the opinions coming guys! :)
  5. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    I have travelled the route of
    Madcatz £40 wheel (no ffb).
    Fanatec CSR Wheel/ pedals
    Fanatec CSW V2 with formula rim.
    OSW Wheel.

    In my view you should (considering your budget) consider an OSW.
    The top fanatec products are not so much cheaper and while good, are not as good as OSW.

    I managed a completed OSW project with rim at circa £1250.
    To that of course you need to add a screen and some pedals.
    I was able to find a set of near new fanatec CSR Elite pedals (load cell).
    The fanatec Club Sport pedals have become so pricey that I was considering Proto Sim Tech.
    I run a 26" 2ms PC screen.
    The genuine OMP race seat in the pics was about £140 (cheaper than a gaming seat by about 50%).
    Some pics HERE
    Some more details HERE
    A young apprentice carpenter asked an experienced old timer.....
    "should I buy the cheap tools or the expensive tools?"
    the old timer replied "will you eventually own a good set?"
    Young apprentice "Yes"
    Old timer "Well then the only variable is how much money between now and then that you blow on ****".

    Now that parable ignores budget, but if you are in serious budget territory which it sounds like you are it makes sense to make the small step from fanatec to OSW.
    In my view the price compromise is to go the Thrustmaster route. A nice T300 with Ferrari Integral rim in alcantara and decent pedals can be had for £350. When you get to near £1000 there should be no compromise.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  6. I wholeheartedly agree. Logitech is not the answer these days due to weak steering force and gears instead of belts.

    Going the OSW route like David, the weakness lies in the fact that you'll have to mod something at some point. If you're really wanting only a purchased product without owner mods, then Fanatec is hard to argue against.

    Cockpit criteria:
    1) You have the space available for the one you're considering.
    2) It is ultra sturdy.
    3) The monitor stand is separate & isolated from the steering wheel mount so that steering vibrations aren't transmitted to the monitor (unless you plan on a motion simulator & that's a whole other realm).
    4) The monitor stand can be moved extremely close.
    5) Cockpit is easy to enter & exit (unless you really want a race car tub simulator).
  7. I would be weery putting a new guy into a OSW, He doesn't understand how FFB works, Nor does it sound like he has any mechanical building skills. therefor the Fanatec route would be the smartest/easiest route to go. Plus Fanatec aint no "cheap tool set"
  8. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    I can see your concern.
    However its not stated that he is inept at things mechanical AND the latest OSW kit is assembled anyway.
    Yes he needs to sort a rim.

    FoR me the botrom line is that a 2000 plus budget that doesn't include an OSW makes little sense. The wheel and the ffb is the money shot, the core product. The rest is decorative. To have a consumer wheel instead at its heart with a net saving of 10% would be a possible source for regret.
  9. I'll look into those OSW kits, is there a main site for these things? I can't really find much about them apart from some wiki and reddit pages.
  10. Zero7159

    Premium Member

    I would not start with an OSW. Also, the guys who claim you can get a fully functional OSW with rim and button box for only a little more than a Fanatec CSW V2 are flat out wrong. Although I love my CSW, I am not sure you want to start with that. You might want to start cheaper.
  11. The whole things that peaks my interest about simracing is being able to 'feel' the car you're driving. So i'm not sure if i agree that i should start with something cheaper. If the whole bundle is a bit above my budget, then i'd rather look for a cheaper mounting base and chair or some of the other pieces as long as it's not the pedals and the base.

    I have to say that the OSW thing doesn't look very appealing. I'd much rather stick with the big brands then so i have an easier time setting things up.
  12. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Not sure who you mean .
    The facts are that my OSW cost £1250.
    A fanatec csw v2 with rim costs about £1000.

    I dont have or need a button box. I have 22 functions on my wheel.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  13. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Personally I agree with your first paragraph.
    You sound like a guy who if you settle for second best will always be wondering

    Your second paragraph where you express doubt and are tempted by convenience and possibly someone to call if you have an issue.......fair enough.
    I can tell you that I am not particularly clever with stuff like this. My last and only soldering was done in 1972 as a 12 y/o on my McLaren M8A slot car.
    I managed, now I have the ultimate wheel.
    A wheel that commercial suppliers such as bodnar charge circa £2500 for.
    And now its even easier as the bodnar chip needs no soldering and the Sim plicity kit is assembled and in an enclosure.

    In terms of information and contacts. There is an active group who have built them. Its a community project.
    The ISI site has a big resource. So does ISR If you need more I can help.
    One example
    If you decide to go the consumer boxed product I have a brand new Thrustmaster Ferrari integral set here in a box, never opened. It will be auctioned soon by Formula Sim Racing with the funds going to prize money.
    In the meantime search yt for the sim racing garage and his reviews of the OSW. There are 2. One comparing with Accuforce and Simsteering. One a standalone test with the OSW , Mige.

    A metaphor for soending what you are spending and going the consumer route is to buy a Ferrari Enzo but with a Ford V8 since the warranty is better and you have a local dealer.
    Final comments.
    7nm vs 20
    Rubber belts vs holding the motor shaft via a wheel.
    Plastic housings or a motor bolted to yr desk thats designed fir industrial cnc applications?
    You choose!!!!
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  14. If you have no experience with sim racing, there is also a general question whether you will actually enjoy doing it.

    Most of us gradually work up from a cheap starter wheel to getting a full rig, and as we do so we figure out for ourselves what the most important to us. So it could be that expensive pedals end up being worth the investment, or a good shifter, or a wheel with various rim options for ideal formula, nascar, drifting, or whatever, maybe even a motion rig.

    In fact, I'd argue that your budget is best "spent" by holding back. Get hold of a cheap starter wheel capable of being mounted to your desk (a simple DFGT, T150 or a 2nd hand G27 would be ideal) and buy all of the current crop of racing sims [iRacing, rFactor 2, Automobilista, RaceRoom, Assetto Corsa, DiRT Rally, Project CARS). Pick a car+track and start doing laps in each, get a feel for what they offer. Sure, the experience won't be as refined as a higher end wheel, but you get 75% of the experience even with the cheapest DFGT.

    Actually playing these sims even with a cheap force feedback wheel is enough to get you a MUCH better feel for what budget would be appropriate. At that point you know whether you want to go up to a T300, CSWv2 or Direct Drive wheel budget.

    Or whether the investment won't be worth it because it's not what you expected. Heck, you may even be underwhelmed and turn to Forza Motorsport instead for the huge licensed road car list + tuning which it offers. And that would mean getting an Xbox One wheel, which rules out lots of alternatives.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 3
  15. Zero7159

    Premium Member

    I am in the US. You guys in Europe pay a premium for Fanatec gear. Here in the US, I spent a total of less than $1500 to get a CSW V2 base, Xbox one hub, Forza leather rim, Fanatec oval rim and original button box. Shipping was $40 total because I did two orders, if I had ordered everything in one batch, it would have been $20.

    On the other hand, the only guy I know of, Joe Sullivan, that sells turnkey ready OSW wheels sells the set ups for around $2000. That only includes one rim. To get my set up, with two rims and two hubs, would almost certainly cost between $2300 and $2800, which is almost twice what I paid for the V2 set up.
  16. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  17. Zero7159

    Premium Member

    Its not an apples to apples comparison if the cost factor he uses is a build myself OSW. The fact is that if he buys the Fanatec, he just hooks it up, downloads the driver and drives. Building your own OSW involves sourcing the parts, putting them together and installing firmware. That is far more complicated than say building your own PC, where you can buy all of the parts from one retailer and then access the thousands of resources available on the Internet that tell you how to build the computer.
  18. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Who said it was apples to apples? Not me. We have clearly outlined the differences in convenience.
    The area of dispute was cost.

    Was the cost I gave "flat out wrong "or not?

    There are only 3 suppliers involved. A complete kit from supplie A. A rim from fanatec. A circuit board from bodnar.
    And with fanatec you have to flash new firmware anyway.

    Edit #2 build a pc? No way would I attempt that.

    Bottom line its 1250 vs 1000.
    We can debate convenience all night.

    Edit #4.
    The OSW is a self build project. That part is a given.
    I rechecked my figures in the interests of accuracy.
    With the pound a little weaker its more like £900 for CSWV2.
    also I dont really expect any kind of admission that "flat out wrong" was not a correct statement.
    Some cultures find it hard to admit an error.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016