1. Do you love cycling and/or running?
    Join the RaceDepartment community on Strava here.

Direct Drive Wheels: What's the verdict?

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by kondor999, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. kondor999


    Sorry in advance for this somewhat rambling post.

    "TLDR" version:
    Will a DD wheel help me better "catch" oversteer at corner exit? Or should I just keep practicing with my TM TX wheel?

    Full Version:
    OK, I have been seriously considering a DD wheel. I am basically pleased with my TM TX wheel, except for one thing: The ability to "catch" power oversteer on corner exit.

    Here's the source of my dissatisfaction: I'm much better at this IRL with my track day car, which is my personal benchmark. I feel like, if I can do something IRL at the track, I should be pretty good at it in AMS, rF2, R3E or AC.

    But with my TM TX, it feels almost exactly like the time I forgot to set my Samsung TV to "game mode" and thereby introduced a whopping 150ms of lag. In other words, my timing was completely thrown off and it felt like I was "chasing" the controls.

    This is so much easier for me in a real car. Back when I had my M6, it was incredibly easy to catch the rear coming around, way before I started generating lurid slip angles. Now, I realize that was a heavy, long wheelbase car (ie not exactly an F1 car), but Still. I wonder sometimes if my real-world track experience is actually screwing up my ability to correctly interpret the somewhat-laggy-by-comparison FFB coming from my $300 FFB wheel.

    I've read that a DD wheel reacts much more quickly, especially at the very beginning of force generation. And I've read where (supposedly), this allows you to detect incipient oversteer quick enough to correct it. I've got no problem doing this in-game with street machinery and the GT3 stuff, but I am really struggling with the higher-end open wheel cars - Especially the diabolical AMS Formula Extreme (it would help if I'd learn to modulate the throttle, but dammit I wanna power out of the corners and catch it!).

    So, what are your opinions? Track days are expensive, and I'd like to more fully enjoy sim racing. I don't care that much about how much force the thing generates (I actually prefer a fairly light wheel, since that's what my track car feels like).

    What I do care about is how fast it generates those initial forces that (maybe) tip you off about what's about to happen.
  2. 3ller


    what you want IMO is to reduce input lag as much as possible, find a good 144 hz monitor with gsync or freesync and it will be a better experience for sure.
  3. Tim Meuris

    Tim Meuris

    I have an accuforce. Thnx to the simcommander software i don t use the game ffb. I just use some friction to give the wheel some weight and it never felt better. Just driving on the physics.
    I don't believe in high ffbsettings. I highly doubt racecars feel as heavy as an amateurkart when turning the wheel. But correct me if i m wrong cause i have no reallife experience except for being in traffic jams with my everyday car...
  4. Turk


    I wouldn't completely overlook the middle range like the fanatec clubsport. I was pretty shocked by the difference between it and the cheaper wheel I had. I can now drift like a boss with that wheel. It has settings to specifically help with drifting.

    Of course the problem for anyone buying a wheel is we can't try before we buy, I'm sure a DD wheel is better, but it's so much more expensive that I'd wonder if it's worth all that extra money after trying the clubsport. If it's just improved drifting you're looking for you can get that cheaper than a DD wheel.
  5. Jeremy Ford

    Jeremy Ford

    My previous wheels were a G27 and Clubsport V2. Now using a Bodnar.

    A DD wheel does provide much more detailed and instant ffb compared to belt driven wheels. In my personal opinion to your question, yes it can improve your ability to catch cornering oversteer.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. rocafella1978


    wonderful world and fidelity of DD wheel, but be prepared for lots of tweaking and only a few sims/ games allowing DOR (rotation angle of wheel) be adjusted automatically. so in rF2, AMS and R3E for example you have to the DOR in MMos manually for the correct corresponding DOR in game...not always easy and just very time consuming.
    works all perfect in iRacing, and also good in Assetto Corsa although not 100% convinced yet. (still feels strange in AC sometimes with the DOR)
  7. Leynad777


    I catch formula cars with the break, not the wheel, but stay on the throttle as well. Works like the throttle-trick in a FWD-car with maybe a second more time-penalty and just with cars without ABS.

    I´m using an Accuforce since 15 months and i can´t feel faster reactions compare to my former TX-wheel if running the TX with non-clipping forces. Maybe i´m too old and it´s certainly a lot better wheel with less moment of inertia than any belt-driven wheel. I just doubt that this advantage let you catch oversteers so much better and the alien-drivers often using cheaper options seems to confirm this.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  8. Paul Blythe

    Paul Blythe

    Not against the purchase of a DD wheel (I just can't afford one ATM) ... Would suggest the same as 3ller, and look at trying a dedicated monitor first. That's if your using a TV (post doesn't make it fully clear). VR is even better!

    Personally used to struggle with catching oversteer or slides until I started playing Dirt Rally. My reactions increased considerably (more aggressive snap response), making driving in AC, rF2, R3E & AMS a lot more enjoyable.
  9. Ghoults


    The lag you write about exists in real life as well. This sounds stupid but let me explain. The force feedback or steering feedback is coming from the front wheels and is affected (in direction and strength) by couple of things. One is the load on the tires. Other thing is the steering geometry. For this example we can ignore the steering geometry.

    The lag on your wheel is caused by the load and direction changing on your front tires. So when you are in a slide the front tires want to follow the path of the car. But once the car wants to come out of the slide - once the tires are starting to grip the load balance changes. Suddenly your rear tires have more grip which will want to straighten the car.

    This change is not felt instantly in the steering because it takes little bit of time for the tires and springs to react to the new situation. You will feel the change instantly through your seat and g-forces (and should notice it visually) but not through the steering. If your car is more track oriented with stiffer springs the change in steering is felt quicker because the suspension transitions quicker from one situation to other (from countersteering to going straight). But something like m6 which is a big heavy car is not as fast as something like a gt3 car in sim.

    You are not wrong in that dd wheel can react quicker and corrections can happen quicker. When the car comes out from an oversteer slide the front tires want to follow the path of the car. So when the car regains grip the wheel wants to rotate towards the center. And in other situation when the rear breaks loose suddenly the front tires want to follow the path again which causes the wheel to countersteer by itself. But it takes a little bit of time before that is felt through the steering wheel.

    In real life if you have become accustomed to this change in steering wheel weight as your signal to start or reduce your countersteering and can't find it in sims... then I think it is possible that in real car you don't actually react to the steering wheel feedback but instead to the g-forces coming from the seat. So when the g-forces are missing in sims you are then responding to the wheel movement which is little bit later than you expect.

    When you drive in sims and you get into this kind of situation you are then also limited by how quickly your steering wheel can rotate. Something like a G25 is slower than a t300 which is slower than a bodnar servo wheel. Older fanatec wheels had even more resistance which means quick corrections are even harder (these wheels have a "drift mode" to help with these transitions). All these wheels should have about equal amounts of initial delay but a bodnar wheel has a lot more torque to rotate the wheel. This means the bodnar is the quickest when the sim asks the wheel to rotate quickly 180 degrees to left or right.

    That being said there are ways to make this easier in sims. One trick is to use quicker steering ratio. This means that instead of 900 degrees try using 600 or 500. This makes it easier to catch the car and it also gives the steering wheel more time to steer by itself. A g25 for example is pretty slow to rotate so making the amount it needs to rotate smaller can make it feel quicker. Other thing is to use higher ffb levels. If your ffb levels are too low then the wheel is also slower to rotate.

    The important thing in my opinion is that slide should be felt and predicted before you feel them in your steering. If you rely on your wheel to countersteer for you then it is always going to be little too late. In real life this is fine if you are going 8 / tenths but in sim when you are more likely going 11/10 (overdriving little bit) then you are going to struggle.

    However if you are not feeling and predicting the slides before the steering wheel starts to move then I think your issue might be elsewhere. If your monitors (or tv) has slow response time or if you have turned on stuff like vsync in graphics options then it is harder to keep up with what is going on in the sim. You are constantly little bit behind. Whenever you notice something happening that requires you to react you are already 100 or 300 milliseconds too late. It is also possible that your wheel is not set up correctly. Also in real life your feedback is mostly g-forces when you feel through the seat. In sims it is mostly visual which makes it important to have your graphics settings set up correctly and your monitor should be quick enough. Your fov could also be an issue.

    But something like t300 should be more than enough quick.
    I don't think it translates directly. Keep in mind that in real life you have learned to drive based on physical feedback. Sim driving is mostly visual experience. No g-forces. Other thing to remember is that in sims you are more likely driving using much grippier rubber than in real life. The more grip there is in your tires the harsher and abrupt the direction changes are.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1