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DD wheels : so few options, such a difficulty to choose

Fastard

25RPM
Apr 12, 2020
31
15
I am about to buy a DD wheel and I passed quite some time searching about what the market has to offer.

I want to share my thoughts with the community hoping to get some feedback on the validity of my conclusions(at least the non subjective ones).
In plus, other members that are currently on the same boat may share their thoughts/findings on the matter.


Simagic M10 : - not interested

I didn’t like the reviews


OSW : - not interested

Not an option for someone with terrible DIY skills like me


Accuforce Pro V2 : -not interested

+good reviews

+good user feedback(especially for the software)

-stepping motor

-170 euros the shipping cost to Europe

-unknown custom fees as I had no reply from the custom office of the country I live


VRS Directforce Pro : - still considering as an option

+Barry’s statement : ‘I could be happy if this would be my only wheel’

+impressive feedback from rally drivers and visitors of SimRacing Expo

+200 euros cheaper than DD1 and SC2

-I will be an early adopter

-sent an email asking for the weight of the base as well as for the availability and had no response

-limited community of users to share experiences with

-unknown games support

-lost in the steering wheels options as I cannot identify which is the cheapest rim that will do the job*


Fanatec DD1 : - still considering as an option

+large community of users

+fanatec wheels ecosystem

+realtively cheaper than SC2 as the cost of a decent wheel is lower(a 300 euros BMW GT2 wheel can do the job*)

+available

+easy to sell if I ever decide to

-QR flex

-I don’t trust their quality control and their software

-I doubt if my GT Omega Art Cockpit can handle the 10kg of weight and the forces produced by the base**


Simucube 2 Sport : - still considering as an option

+seems to be the most reliable base

+seems to offer the best driving experience

+weights 2kg less than the DD1 and it may be manageable by my cockpit

-lost in the steering wheels options as I cannot identify which is the cheapest rim that will do the job*. I think that the minimum you need is 400 euros but again the price/quality ratio is not so clear as with Fanatec wheels.

-usb cable on the wheel(in my price range)

-unavailable



*I don’t want a fancy rim with an lcd display and many functions. I just want a wheel with a basic button box+basic paddle shifters. By ‘doing the job’ I mean finding a rim that can handle the FFB of the base with no flex. That's my only concern.

**during my research I realized that i will most probably ave to upgrade my cockpit. It will be good though to do the upgrade in 6 months time. I will be hapy if my current rig can serve me till then.
 

CRMS

50RPM
Apr 26, 2020
61
29
65
I went Fanatec DD1 after a few weeks with a Thrustmaster T150 Pro and 20 years since Thrustmaster FFB Wheel and F1 99!!
Found Fanatec to be fine. Split my UK order as V3 Pedals were not available on 6 May and pre order was early June. Wheel arrived 12 May and unexpectedly pedals on 19 May. So happy.
And then Samsung 49" and a PC and a rig had to be got!!
Don't forget Leo Bodnar - http://www.leobodnar.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=101
But pretty pricey!!
 
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Ruttman98

100RPM
Premium
May 8, 2019
208
133
52
Excellent analysis.

I recently graduated from consoles to my first PC. I have Fanatec gear compatible with XBbox 360 (Forza CSR), PS3 (orange Porsche GT3) and a Thrustmaster Ferrari TX 488 Italia bought for Xbox One. Given Accuforce and VRS Directforce pricing, I am resolved to bypass the Fanatec CSW V2.5 and go directly to DD. This is with some reluctance as my Fanatec gear has been flawless and the appeal of the Fanatec rim choices and relative value. The Podiums are just too far a reach for me to justify.

I don't view wireless connectivity as superior though it might be convenient and prevent cable damage if one forgets to disconnect the wheel at startup. However, 1) real racecars have coiled cable connections, 2) cable would seem to guard against potential EMI issues with wireless.

Accuforce Pro V2 is very appealing given the following:

+ SimXperierience is passionate about simracing
+ Proven track record with Accuforce Pro V1

+USD $999.99 complete (I'm in the US). This is an amazing value.
+ available
+ beefy wheel hub
+ very solid quick release
+ Simcommander 4 software
appears very well developed--appeals to me as a first-time DD buyer.

- side motor mounting points spaced too close/difficult to access
- no easy front mount option. I have searched for a clever mount and have tried to visualize one myself. Here is a gap in the market for an enterprising designer.
- RJ11 cable - 1) port placement on wheelbase front annoys some users,
2) some commenters would prefer a USB for greater of the shelf wheel capacity. Seems to me RJ11-USB adapters are inexpensive, but this introduces another potential failure point. Can anyone comment?
- noisy fan in Meanwell controller/PSU
- Aesthetics are personal, but housing and buttons on Simexperience button box appear a bit toylike.
- button box buttons
functional but not exceptional.
- limited wheel options directly from SimXperience - round Alcantara and Duramold (urethane) and open top wheels. I understand the Accuforce/ Simcommander forum has a thread dedicated to compatible wheels.
- shifter paddles described as adequate (no missed shifts) but not providing a crisp click/tactile response (to convey positive feedback/ provide satisfacton)

+/- Wheel included in the "complete" package described as a "$50 wheel" = that is exactly what SimXperierience is charging!
_______________

VRS Directforce Pro is especially intriguing but, given the limited information available, difficult to compare 1 to 1 with the Accuforce Pro V2 complete.

+ VRS is passionate about sim racing
+ favorable SRG review
+ steel case control module smaller than plastic Accuforce unit (I cannot remember if Barry said anything about noise.)

- too new for me to dive in for my first DD wheel
- software options?

It has been a week or so since I watched the SRG VRS wheel review. Please fill in inevitable gaps in my pros and cons.
 
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Ruttman98

100RPM
Premium
May 8, 2019
208
133
52
Research breeds more questions!

VRS DirectForce Pro = 20Nm servo motor @ $799 USD
Accuforce Pro V2 DIY = 13Nm stepper motor @ $599

I think 13Nm is more than enough, but what exactly are the merits of the two motor types. Some reviewers state servo is smoother. Can anyone educate us?
 
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BillyBobSenna

75RPM
Premium
Dec 30, 2010
75
75
I am about to buy a DD wheel and I passed quite some time searching about what the market has to offer.

I want to share my thoughts with the community hoping to get some feedback on the validity of my conclusions(at least the non subjective ones).
In plus, other members that are currently on the same boat may share their thoughts/findings on the matter.


Simagic M10 : - not interested

I didn’t like the reviews


OSW : - not interested

Not an option for someone with terrible DIY skills like me


Accuforce Pro V2 : -not interested

+good reviews

+good user feedback(especially for the software)

-stepping motor

-170 euros the shipping cost to Europe

-unknown custom fees as I had no reply from the custom office of the country I live


VRS Directforce Pro : - still considering as an option

+Barry’s statement : ‘I could be happy if this would be my only wheel’

+impressive feedback from rally drivers and visitors of SimRacing Expo

+200 euros cheaper than DD1 and SC2

-I will be an early adopter

-sent an email asking for the weight of the base as well as for the availability and had no response

-limited community of users to share experiences with

-unknown games support

-lost in the steering wheels options as I cannot identify which is the cheapest rim that will do the job*


Fanatec DD1 : - still considering as an option

+large community of users

+fanatec wheels ecosystem

+realtively cheaper than SC2 as the cost of a decent wheel is lower(a 300 euros BMW GT2 wheel can do the job*)

+available

+easy to sell if I ever decide to

-QR flex

-I don’t trust their quality control and their software

-I doubt if my GT Omega Art Cockpit can handle the 10kg of weight and the forces produced by the base**


Simucube 2 Sport : - still considering as an option

+seems to be the most reliable base

+seems to offer the best driving experience

+weights 2kg less than the DD1 and it may be manageable by my cockpit

-lost in the steering wheels options as I cannot identify which is the cheapest rim that will do the job*. I think that the minimum you need is 400 euros but again the price/quality ratio is not so clear as with Fanatec wheels.

-usb cable on the wheel(in my price range)

-unavailable



*I don’t want a fancy rim with an lcd display and many functions. I just want a wheel with a basic button box+basic paddle shifters. By ‘doing the job’ I mean finding a rim that can handle the FFB of the base with no flex. That's my only concern.

**during my research I realized that i will most probably ave to upgrade my cockpit. It will be good though to do the upgrade in 6 months time. I will be hapy if my current rig can serve me till then.

I just ordered the DD1. I like the idea of a good ecosystem and use base.

I am moving from a Logitech G920. I have owned entry level wheels for about 30 years. About time to upgrade a bit.
 

TedBrosby-

100RPM
Premium
May 13, 2020
109
82
36
Let's be clear about something and I say this as a Fanatec owner (Admittedly, CSW v2.5 right now):
Even with the DD1/DD2 and their age, you are absolutely an early adopter.
As of now, they haven't had an official driver update in many months and everyone has been using beta drivers for 4+ months.
One of their most recent beta drivers actually bricked someone's base and Fanatec had to work with him to resolve the issues/ship out a replacement.
You can't simply say "well don't use beta drivers" because in all honesty, Fanatec's beta drivers are their current drivers.

Some of their best wheels are blocked by lower firmware so if you don't use latest drivers, you might not have access to their features like the Porsche Podium Wheel or Advanced Podium Module for example.
Also the DD1 is a bit of an anomaly. Yes it's true that it's around $300 cheaper and only 5NM lower torque. It's also true that the DD2 has a five year warranty, faster acceleration and includes the kill switch.

The DD1/DD2 appear to be improving by major strides with every driver release, but I just honestly expected a little more finesse and quality of software from a product as expensive as that.

DD1 vs Simucube 2 Pro:
  1. Simucube 2 Pro's MSRP is around $150-$200 higher than DD1, but in reality you can buy the SC2 Pro for the same price as a DD1 because Fanatec sells directly so their prices are fixed but SC2 is sold through vendors like SimRacingBay with discounts.
  2. SC2 Pro includes a wired kill switch.
  3. Fanatec has one year longer warranty than the SC2.
  4. SC2 Pro has two power supplies and the included cable is not that long. Barry from SRG expressed that this might limit mounting options for people who buy it.
  5. Cheaper wheels with Fanatec, but more flexibility with SC2. Fanatec disables FFB unless you use Universal Hub or Podium Hub. If you plan to use a universal rim and Ascher shifters, you will need to buy the $250 podium hub.
I'm on the waiting list for VRS:
  • I like the torque output rating despite the low cost.
  • Even with the hub adapter and mounting bracket, it'll be about $300 cheaper than an SC2 Pro.
  • It sucks that they didn't respond to your email but I think they're very impacted right now.
IMO, I don't think your GT Omega will be stable enough for anything but a small MIGE OSW. You'll need to install reinforcement brackets and possibly weld to the side of the wheel base.

Regarding Accuforce V2:
  • You forgot Cloud tuning as an advantage
  • Plus for the $1000 price you also get really good paddle shifters and a button plate with the included wheel. This can considerably eat into your budget so please consider if you need wheel buttons and paddle shifters! They can be quite expensive!
IMO: Simucube 2 is your best bet. You seem to be concerned with support and issues and not very willing to deal with instability and problems. DD1 has been out for longer than a year and I'm quite defensive of unfair criticism of Fanatec as a company, but honestly if you buy into Fanatec, you're not getting the track record/long term history of the CSW or VSL wheel base. You're buying into Fanatec's first foray into direct drive wheels that was already delayed from the original release date of December 2018 to April 2019 and that was before a global pandemic caused a huge surge in their demand that crippled their support and online ordering logistics.

That means that, despite Fanatec being an older and more known company than Granite, you're still an early adopter of their DD technology, whereas Granite has been engineering direct drive wheel base solutions and supporting them since January 2017. And it's all they do. Fanatec has to direct engineering not just to DD1 and DD2 but also their steering wheels, universal hubs, pedal drivers, shifter drivers, etc. Simucube just produces a wireless button module, distributes it and says "we communicate to the pin outs, wheel makers like Ascher Racing and Cube Controls can handle the rest".
I'm interested in the DD1, but IMO:
  • They're artificially inflating the value of the DD2 by not including the kill switch with the DD1 because they know the 5NM difference in torque doesn't justify the $300 price difference alone.
  • With VRS on the horizon and SC2 Pro being available for the same price as DD1 despite being more on par with DD2 for specs and features, the DD1 is even worse of a value proposition.
  • DD1, with the above two facts, should probably be priced around $999 and include the kill switch. Anyone who buys it and wants a GT style or oval style wheel will have to drop $700 on a Fanatec podium wheel/hub/button bundle because SC2 Pro owners can just use a $50 wheel hub with 70mm wheels but Fanatec owners are required to buy the $250 podium hub.
  • Fanatec has a history of lowering the price of second and third revision wheel bases. The CSW 2 was $800 and they dropped the price to $550 when the 2.5 came out (which was better in almost every way).
 
May 27, 2020
79
78
@Fastard : Having had VERY similar thoughts as you, I'd like to offer a completely different view on this:
- We are thinking of purchasing a PART of a GAME controller that is more or less an electric motor with a sensor for your steering input built in.
- I know, there's more to it but let's be honest: We just encountered a luxury problem.
- It's very tough to think about a valid price point for every luxury product
- If I'm ready to spend 1250€ on the base alone, I don't want myself be limited by the choice of wheels.
=> My solution: To "celebrate the fact" that I'm even in a position to only THINK about a purchase like this, I postponed it for 2 months (easy, as lots of stuff isn't available anyway) and add a few hundreds for the wheel. This in turn broadens the possibilities A LOT.

My Fanatec plan was DD1, Podium Porsche Wheel, R300 Rim but after lots of research moved to
SC2, Fanatec R300 Rim, Ascher's Large Button Box (Wireless). Both options are around the 2K€ price point, so around 300 (15-20%) above what you are looking for. Stretching the term of "luxury" further, there is the SRB-wheel. Or the Ascher F64 (which will be my choice once available again I guess). Still no fancy displays:)

One part of this "journey" for me PERSONALLY was that if I would now spend 300 less, there will be the day when I think I want the many controls, the analog clutch system etc. Then I will pay for the F64 anyway. Being sure that simracing will stay one of my hobbies for longer, I don't see the use in buying twice.
 

Faster42

1RPM
Jun 30, 2019
2
1
35
There are many options to choose from actually. When I bought my Bodnar back in 2016, I think, it was the only option available. OSW was just starting to become a thing and Accuforce was still under development. The Bodnar is great, customer service is great also, if you have the money you won't regret it. Having said that, it is not the best value on the market anymore.

If I were buying today, I think I would consider, in that order, Simucube, VRS and Fanatec. I would not even consider an Accuforce (not on the same level as others) or an OSW (too much work and no support at all).

When I bought my Bodnar, I went for a Sam Maxwell wheel based on a momo 29. It was the least expensive rim at the time, and it was a basic momo wheel with buttons, as you said. The USB cable and connector broke many times witch cause a bit of frustration. This year I upgraded to a cube controls formula pro wheel and couldn't be happier. It was expensive but much better quality then the Sam Maxwell. Arscher looks pretty good too, maybe even better then cube controls, the only reason I didn't go for that was because it wasn't available. When looking for a rim, keep in mind that the weight of the rim matters. The lighter the rim, the more ffb detail you will be able to feel. The difference in feel between the heavy momo and the cube controls is night and day.
 
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Fastard

25RPM
Apr 12, 2020
31
15
Thank you all guys for contributing to the solution our devastating first world problem:)
Really useful points. Already started to investigate some of them.

Just few points without quoting each one of you :

- Accuforce's complete solution was tempting even with 170 euros shipping cost
I could get a full steering system for 1000 euros while I need 1600+ for DD/SC2.
The feedback from the users of this product is excellent
But the unknown custom fees could hide surprises in my case

- I got an email from VRS:)
The weight of the base is 21kg! Really impressive in comparison with the 8kg of the SC2 Sport, the 10kg of the DD1/2 and the 11kg of the SC2 Pro
As for the availability, they expect hardware in the next couple of weeks

- Postpone the purchase for a couple of months is always an option
The availability is low and we have time to watch reviews or discuss on the matter
My bad I sold all my gear thinking that buy a DD wheel would be something like an 1 week project:laugh:

- I will definitely update the cockpit
It may be good to do it know while taking my time to decide on the wheel base
The mounting needs are quite similar for any DD wheel
 

Andrew_WOT

3000RPM
May 11, 2014
3,635
1,550
- I got an email from VRS:)
The weight of the base is 21kg! Really impressive in comparison with the 8kg of the SC2 Sport, the 10kg of the DD1/2 and the 11kg of the SC2 Pro
They must have quoted you weight in pounds, Small Mige motor they use is just 11.5 kilos.
But this is essentially custom build OSW, except that instead of known and tested by time Granite Device controllers, it's using some unknown board, the software is also at the level of MMos without all the extra filters SC2 provides today. The drop in features, quality, and long term support is not worth the saving, IMHO.
 
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Fastard

25RPM
Apr 12, 2020
31
15
My Fanatec plan was DD1, Podium Porsche Wheel, R300 Rim but after lots of research moved toSC2, Fanatec R300 Rim, Ascher's Large Button Box (Wireless). Both options are around the 2K€ price point, so around 300 (15-20%) above what you are looking for. Stretching the term of "luxury" further, there is the SRB-wheel. Or the Ascher F64 (which will be my choice once available again I guess). Still no fancy displays:)
Arscher looks pretty good too, maybe even better then cube controls, the only reason I didn't go for that was because it wasn't available. When looking for a rim, keep in mind that the weight of the rim matters. The lighter the rim, the more ffb detail you will be able to feel. The difference in feel between the heavy momo and the cube controls is night and day.
I am looking for a round rim as I play a lot of Dirt Rally. 320mm is my favorite diameter.
I have a fear that the R300 will feel small to my big hands.
To be honest I do not remember finding a lot of SC2 setups with a Fanatec wheel. And that made me skeptic.
@Squared Circle I guess you already checked that the combination works flawlessly.
Ascher do not have these type of round rims. I still have an eye on their button boxes though.
Cube controls has some real beauties at a high price
No round wheels on SRB as well which offers only this solution :

Looking also to SRC wheels

Other options :


They must have quoted you weight in pounds
makes absolute sense:thumbsup:
 

Chrhun

100RPM
Premium
Feb 25, 2019
224
148
42
Can you not just buy a button plate with QR and then put on a wheel you prefer? I think the D-shaped wheels do look nice, but mostly serve no purpose on a sim rig. I'd always go with a round rim.
 

Andrew_WOT

3000RPM
May 11, 2014
3,635
1,550
Can you not just buy a button plate with QR and then put on a wheel you prefer? I think the D-shaped wheels do look nice, but mostly serve no purpose on a sim rig. I'd always go with a round rim.
Yes, this is how most button plates work. If you check Ascher web site he lists confirmed rims that work with each button plate, you can also contact him if your rim is not listed.
E.g. if you click through images on this button plate, you can see all kind of rims, D shaped, square, round.

I use Sparco P-310 on Ascher plate for GT/modern sport cars/formula racing and for rally or old school manual/seq shifter cars just bare Sportline Imola 3 -300 as they don't have paddle shifter or any controls on steering wheel.
Or you can just bolt round one and have it work for all cases, your choice.
 
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Goes To 11

75RPM
Dec 23, 2013
75
44
48
- RJ11 cable - 1) port placement on wheelbase front annoys some users,
2) some commenters would prefer a USB for greater of the shelf wheel capacity. Seems to me RJ11-USB adapters are inexpensive, but this introduces another potential failure point. Can anyone comment?
- noisy fan in Meanwell controller/PSU
- Aesthetics are personal, but housing and buttons on Simexperience button box appear a bit toylike.
- button box buttons
functional but not exceptional.
- limited wheel options directly from SimXperience - round Alcantara and Duramold (urethane) and open top wheels. I understand the Accuforce/ Simcommander forum has a thread dedicated to compatible wheels.
- shifter paddles described as adequate (no missed shifts) but not providing a crisp click/tactile response (to convey positive feedback/ provide satisfacton)

+/- Wheel included in the "complete" package described as a "$50 wheel" = that is exactly what SimXperierience is charging!
_______________
I like the wheel that comes with the AF2. It feels very professional to me. The shifters feel great to me as well but I'm sure some people would prefer magnetic shifters. Other than the shifters, I'm not that impressed with the button box. No rotary encoders or switches. The buttons are just ok. It is adjustable so it will fit other rims.

You don't need to plug in a RJ11 cable to the wheelbase so there is no limitation to wheel options. If you buy a USB wheel, you just plug it into a USB port.

Apparently they have improved the cable since I bought the wheel. The cable has bothered me a lot less than I thought it would although I have broken two cables in two years when letting go of the wheel during a spin. The replacement cable that I bought from Digikey is slightly better and longer than the originals. It does not accidentally hook on the paddle shifter when turning the wheel to larger angles so this problem may have been solved.

The fan in the PSU is noisy. I don't notice that at all when driving with headphones but it is loud enough that I don't leave the PSU on when not driving.

Overall, the wheel is great value for the money.
 
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May 27, 2020
79
78
@Fastard : I originally planned to use Ascher's wireless button box but the R300 was not listed as compatible, so I emailed Martin. A few hours later, I had a CAD-mockup on the buttonbox/rim combination (turned out the large BB fits) and the R300 was listed on the website as compatible. This (and another similar experience) makes me certain, where to put my money:)
Wanted 300mm to make the difference to the G29 not too big. And wanted leather to not have to use gloves. There are not so many rims for DD in leather and 300mm:)
Anyway, this all has to be sacrificed for functionality. F64 it is:) [or rather: will be]
 

Andrew_WOT

3000RPM
May 11, 2014
3,635
1,550
Wanted 300mm to make the difference to the G29 not too big. And wanted leather to not have to use gloves. There are not so many rims for DD in leather and 300mm:)

And even featured on Martin's web site with large button box.
 

Cloudini5

25RPM
Jul 12, 2011
33
26
So you can not use an universal rim or self made f1 wheel on an Fanatec DD without a Podium hub ? Or it will give you no FFB ?
Thats smart and shitty at the same time :(