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How to upgrade from G920 - Recommendations?

Long-term goal
Ever since I met RasmusP, and he told me about his personal transformation after upgrading from a G920 to a ClubSport base and BMW GT2 wheel, it has been my dream to get a Clubsport setup. After researching all of their wheels, the Porsche 918 wheel seems perfect for me. I'm also really looking forward to having the authentic feel of a ClubSport H-shifter, the realistic feeling clutch and brake pedals on the Clubsport V3 pedals, and finally getting a handbrake. But all of this is going to be $1700+. Its going to take me at least 1 year to save up enough for this, so I need to make a short-term plan to get me by (my G920 is now nearly unusable).

Short-term planning
My wheel needs to be replaced first, and its all I can afford for now. My Logitech pedals and shifter are still doing great and I've learned how to position my keyboard by my shifter to use as a binary handbrake. So here's the question: do I get a CSL elite wheel system or a ClubSport system?

Argument for the CSL Elite wheel system:
There are no reasonably priced ClubSport wheels. All ClubSport wheels are almost the same price as the base itself. Purchasing a standard ClubSport Wheel to match your ClubSport bases costs $950 total. For $50 more, you can buy a top of the line Direct Drive base AND wheel with the AccuForce Pro V2. I simply do not see why it should cost $300-400 to stick a $130 rim on a base (An xbox controller is only $60, so the argument that "its also a controller" doesn't account for the extra $200). I don't even care if there are no buttons on the wheel. I just want a light (less than 2Kg) yet realistically large wheel (over 300mm) to stick on the base. I know I could use the CSL Elite wheel, but its so small that I can't justify putting it on such an expensive base.
I also understand that upgrading to either the CSL or the ClubSport is a HUGE jump up from a G920, so I feel like I might as well enjoy the CSL for now and sell it later after saving up more money for a better wheel system. I really don't want to use the small 300mm CSL wheel, but at least it's a little bigger than the G920.

Argument for the ClubSport wheel system:
Although I'm not convinced that the ClubSport is a better deal than the AccuForce Direct Drive, I do know that the rest of my racing setup will be Fanatec gear. Therefore, it will save me a lot of hassle just having all my equipment be Fanatec (my gaming rig is a laptop [I can't bring a gaming tower on my military deployments], so I'm limited on USBs [Yes I use USB hubs too]).
ClubSport wheels are the best, hands-down. They are also the only wheels that come in the size that I want (larger than 300mm).
Also, the only reason I will buy a CSL base and wheel are if I determine that the resale value will be high after 1 year of use, at least 60% of the original price. If Fanatec wheels lose value quickly, I'd be a fool to buy something I plan on selling later.
Again, the main thing holding me back here is the cost. There is no reasonably priced wheel for the ClubSport. If I buy a ClubSport base, I will have to buy a puny CSL wheel to go with it, and that will feel wrong. (I'm also not interested in the BMW wheel, its too heavy).

Unless I can find a nice, lightweight, realistic-sized wheel to put on a ClubSport base, I'm probably going to have to get the CSL and save up for a while before getting the ClubSport. Does anyone know of any older wheels for sale that will mate up, or how to use the ClubSport with an aftermarket alternative? Thanks!

Games I play, in order of playtime:
Dirt Rally 2.0
Assetto Corsa
Forza Motorsport 7
RBR
Sebastien Loeb Rally
WRC7

My current setup:
20200904_180630.jpg


-------------------
Background (you're welcome to skip)
For a year and a half I've been using a G920 wheel, pedals, and shifter. Considering I found the whole setup for $300, I think I got a great value. The pedals and shifter have performed well, my only criticisms are minor things of preference (I could do a separate review of the whole setup another time, considering that I have put in about 500-600 hours of time into this rig). The wheel however, well, I knew early on that I would need a replacement before long. Just looking at it, I knew it was more of a toy than a serious racing wheel. The main thing that always bothered me was the rim diameter. I now understand the reasoning and physics behind the design (smaller wheel = better FFB with cheaper price), but I've always felt like a child using it.
Now, I don't have a choice but to upgrade. After about 6 months with this wheel its gears stated slipping mid-race. At first it was rare, but now it happens 1-3 times per 10 minute race. I mostly play rally games, which is much harder on these wheels, but now it is even slipping when I get into tight corners in Assetto Corsa. No bueno. I'm now reading online that this is a very common complaint with these wheels, and Logitech doesn't give a flying *insert expletive here* to help or fix it.
 
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My advice (feel free to ignore!), don't worry about the actual wheel rim for now. Concentrate on the best wheel base that you want/can afford and the best pedals you can afford. Wheel rims can be upgraded cheaply and easily later on but the wheel base and pedals can't. So if you get the cheapest wheel rim you can afford right now, you can always improve it later down the line.

The csw 2.5 wheelbase is good. Okay, probably not as good as the accuforce or other dd wheels, but it's perfectly fine imho. I personally think the pedals are more important.

The main thing that puts me off fanatec is the feeling of being locked into their ecosystem. I have a csw 2.5 base, and it's taken me quite a while to move away from their ecosystem. Combined with a universal hub, it's now the only fanatec hardware I use regularly. I now use heusinkveld sprint pedals, a Bakos h-pattern shifter (which unfortunately I don't think is available to buy yet) and bespoke rims, some of which are just ebay rims that I've added button boxes to, and some I made completely from scratch.

That said, the good thing about fanatec is it's pretty much supported by any game/sim that supports a wheel, with very little messing about.

Try to think about what you'll be doing in a couple of years. If you buy fanatec pedals, will you want to upgrade to heusinkveld (or similar)? If you go for a fanatec csw/csl base, will you want to upgrade to a dd base in a year or two? If the answer to those is yes, then I'd try to save up and buy exactly what you want once. I've spent a helluva lot of money on hardware I no longer use.
 
My advice (feel free to ignore!), don't worry about the actual wheel rim for now. Concentrate on the best wheel base that you want/can afford and the best pedals you can afford. Wheel rims can be upgraded cheaply and easily later on but the wheel base and pedals can't. So if you get the cheapest wheel rim you can afford right now, you can always improve it later down the line.

The csw 2.5 wheelbase is good. Okay, probably not as good as the accuforce or other dd wheels, but it's perfectly fine imho. I personally think the pedals are more important.

The main thing that puts me off fanatec is the feeling of being locked into their ecosystem. I have a csw 2.5 base, and it's taken me quite a while to move away from their ecosystem. Combined with a universal hub, it's now the only fanatec hardware I use regularly. I now use heusinkveld sprint pedals, a Bakos h-pattern shifter (which unfortunately I don't think is available to buy yet) and bespoke rims, some of which are just ebay rims that I've added button boxes to, and some I made completely from scratch.

That said, the good thing about fanatec is it's pretty much supported by any game/sim that supports a wheel, with very little messing about.

Try to think about what you'll be doing in a couple of years. If you buy fanatec pedals, will you want to upgrade to heusinkveld (or similar)? If you go for a fanatec csw/csl base, will you want to upgrade to a dd base in a year or two? If the answer to those is yes, then I'd try to save up and buy exactly what you want once. I've spent a helluva lot of money on hardware I no longer use.

Thanks for the advice, Neo. Honestly, I've never heard of heusinkveld or Bakos before (along with a lot of other brands that I should know). I should probably do more research.

Interesting comment about their "ecosystem". Do you mean that, because its so convenient to make a rig out of Fanatec-only equipment, that its hard to diversify? Convenience IS something I'm taking into consideration, especially if getting 4 pieces of sim gear from 4 different companies means that I have to use 4 separate USB cables and 4 different software programs to run them.

I will consider your tip about saving up for what I really want. I definitely would take the advice and be saving up for a ClubSport or the Accuforce if my G920 didn't need to be replaced soon. I can't go for months without my sim-racing, I'm afraid the collective withdrawal would actually kill me.:(

And that brings up another important question: why are people buying overpriced Fanatec ClubSport wheel systems when they are more expensive than Direct Drive competitors? What does Fanatec have going for them to be worth the price? Customer serivce? Warranty? Ease of use? Longevity? Or is it just name recognition and the fact that most people (myself included) don't put in the time to research alternatives?
 
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Regarding the ecosystem. Fanatec are a little like Apple, their model is based around most of your gear being Fanatec. So for example, with a fanatec wheelbase you can only use fanatec wheels, although they do offer a 'hub' that allows you to use other wheels.

I think the main benefit is ease of use. You buy your base, pedals and have a choice of wheel rims, shifters, etc. and you know they'll all work nicely together. Like with Apple, I think you pay a (slight) premium for that. I think of fanatec as the best mainstream, mid-tier equipment. I think they're better than logitech/thrustmaster, but there are companies out there who make better equipment.

It's worth researching some other companies to see if what they offer. I'm sure others will add recommendations, but I'd start by looking at heusinkveld for pedals, and for the base accuforce and simucube. Bear in mind that the other wheelbase manufacturers are competing with fanatecs's dd range (dd1 and dd2) rather than the clubsport. So they will be more expensive.

If you look at the fanatec website and think they'll have everything you'll ever want in terms of wheel rims, then they're a good company to go for. But if you want to explore other wheel designs (ie, asher racing or turn) or custom made wheels, then having a fanatec base makes it a little more awkward.
 

blekenbleu

Premium
Convenience IS something I'm taking into consideration, especially if getting 4 pieces of sim gear from 4 different companies means that I have to use 4 separate USB cables and 4 different software programs to run them.
A load cell brake pedal is generally considered most likely to improve sim racing performance.
If you are uninterested in a load cell upgrade to G920 pedals,
and Thrustmaster's T-LCM + TS-PC are unacceptable,
then Clubsport pedals are Fanatec's plug-and-play upgrade,
Why are people buying overpriced Fanatec ClubSport wheel systems
when they are more expensive than Direct Drive competitors?
Value depends on which direct drive wheels are considered competitive. Fanatec has more
plug and pray options, including rims with moderately accurate GT and formula controls.
I don't even care if there are no buttons on the wheel.
A $25 eBay 320mm rim can be screwed directly to the $699 AccuForce V2 "Your Way".
G920 pedals can be wired into the AccuForce controller,
and several Logitech brake pedal upgrade options exist.
 
A load cell brake pedal is generally considered most likely to improve sim racing performance . . .

I'm hearing that a lot so I don't doubt you're right. I've even created a deadband setting for my G920 pedals in all games to make them act like loadcells.

A $25 eBay 320mm rim can be screwed directly to the $699 AccuForce V2 "Your Way".
G920 pedals can be wired into the AccuForce controller,
and several Logitech brake pedal upgrade options exist.

:geek:
That sounds awesome. I'm now going to spend some time looking for these rims which you're talking about. I'm also pretty happy with my G920 pedals, so I'll look around for some affordable upgrades.


You've been a huge help, blekenbleu! :thumbsup:
 
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Wiring pedals to the AccuForce controller was not well documented, so I did some:
Logitech pedals to AccuForce analog input

I really need to buy soldering equipment.

Thanks for the research, I will keep this handy if I decide to use the AccuForce with the Logitech pedals!

Also I found one of those cheap wheels you where talking about:

I thought about getting an AccuForce wheel, but they are almost twice the weight of this one.
 

AccAkut

Premium
Word of advice regarding loadcell pedals, imo you need a dedicated racing seat setup/rig to effectively use them. I DIY converted my G25 pedals to loadcell, but that honestly sucked in my then current desk setup, I spent more thought and concentration on keeping my swivel chair aligned than on the braking force.
 

blekenbleu

Premium
I DIY converted my G25 pedals to loadcell, but that honestly sucked in my then current desk setup, I spent more thought and concentration on keeping my swivel chair aligned than on the braking force.
A ratcheting tiedown strap lashes my swivel chair to wheel stand and pedals with no issues.
See Sim Racing Garage's Next Level Racing Wheel Stand DD Review.
Brakes can be calibrated for preferred maximum braking force in most games and
specifically in Sim Commander 4 ->Control Center->Sim Device Manager->AccuForce->Pedals
 

blekenbleu

Premium
I really need to buy soldering equipment.
I have good experience with Weller WLC100
Also I found one of those cheap wheels you where talking about:
That's it! For classic (1950s) car sims, I'm also considering a 15" rim.
I thought about getting an AccuForce wheel, but they are almost twice the weight of this one.
Having experience with suede and alcantara rim deterioration even with gloves,
I prefer this pierced pleather wheel without gloves.
 
Word of advice regarding loadcell pedals, imo you need a dedicated racing seat setup/rig to effectively use them. I DIY converted my G25 pedals to loadcell, but that honestly sucked in my then current desk setup, I spent more thought and concentration on keeping my swivel chair aligned than on the braking force.

I ditched my swivel chair as soon as I started sim racing for that reason. The G920 pedals have a very hard breaking section for the last cm of travel, which is what I use for all my breaking.

So if you disregard the chair, did you have much luck modifying your Logitech pedals? I'm still looking for a product to convert them to load cell.

I have good experience with Weller WLC100

That's it! For classic (1950s) car sims, I'm also considering a 15" rim.

Having experience with suede and alcantara rim deterioration even with gloves,
I prefer this pierced pleather wheel without gloves.
Yeah, I really like the way Alcantara/suede looks, but I've heard the same about it wearing down. I found some really cheap "Alcantara" express, but I know for sure I'm funding China if I buy those.

Thanks again for the advice. I've completely changed my mind about my upgrade choice now that I know about these wheels, and that they can be used with the AccuForce.
 

blekenbleu

Premium
I'm still looking for a product to convert them to load cell.
Ricmotech's is well regarded, but $130.
Several other load cell kits convert the brake to a separate USB device.
I suppose you have seen this thread.

I've completely changed my mind about my upgrade choice now that I know about these wheels, and that they can be used with the AccuForce.

These wheels forfeit paddle shifting along with the button box.
Eventually converting a Fanatec GT or formula car rim to USB or Bluetooth addresses that,
but I use a separate TH8A shifter.
 

GeekyDeaks

Premium
So if you disregard the chair, did you have much luck modifying your Logitech pedals? I'm still looking for a product to convert them to load cell.
I made a DIY loadcell mod (https://github.com/GeekyDeaks/g29-load-cell), happy to help you replicate but you need a propensity for tinkering and access to a 3D printer. I would probably recommend the TrueBrake mod as an alternative (https://www.axc-sim.com/product/brake-pedal-mod-for-logitech-g29-g920-g27-g25-pedals/). It's technically not a loadcell, but the principle is the same (it measures spring rate compression, not angle). I'd also recommend bypassing the Wheel Base as I found that improved things no end for me with non-ABS cars
 

blekenbleu

Premium
I would probably recommend the TrueBrake mod as an alternative (https://www.axc-sim.com/product/brake-pedal-mod-for-logitech-g29-g920-g27-g25-pedals/). It's technically not a loadcell, but the principle is the same (it measures spring rate compression, not angle).
I have seen positive YouTube reviews for the TrueBrake; something that is available now
and is an actual load cell for about the same price: Sensor Solutions FC2231-0000-0100-L
This load cell mod was described here by jspicer.
Here is the datasheet
 
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GeekyDeaks

Premium
I have seen positive YouTube reviews for the TrueBrake; something that is available now
and is an actual load cell for about the same price: Sensor Solutions FC2231-0000-0100-L
This load cell mod was described here by jspicer.
Here is the datasheet
I have seen that load cell before. It's pretty nifty, but one thing to bear in mind is that it's not directly compatible with the G920/G29 as they expect the voltage to decrease with increasing brake application and in a very limited range (due to the rubber block). Ah, and I just realised the spec is 5v. That might be a problem as the G920 is 3.3v

EDIT: just looked at the link by jspicer. Looks like they got it to work, so maybe a viable option? The amps are usually rated down to 3.3v, but knowing the limited range of the G29/920 ADC I'd still be inclined to bypass the wheel though
 
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blekenbleu

Premium
Looks like they got it to work, so maybe a viable option?
The amps are usually rated down to 3.3v,
but knowing the limited range of the G29/920 ADC
I'd still be inclined to bypass the wheel though
I agree, going with Logitech pedals wired into the AccuForce controller, which provides 5V,
linear sensitivity and integrating pedals with wheel, so fewer USB devices.

A trick to linearize load cell response with Logitech wheel base:
  • swap wiring between clutch and brake, making the clutch nonlinear, but who cares?
  • swap brake and clutch assignments back in games, which may not be possible in all.
 

TedBrosby-

Premium
Logitech pedals with load cell for me was a significant improvement with my brake lines. I’ve recently upgraded to Heusinkveld Sprints and while they’re quite expensive, they’re an “end of the line upgrade”, meaning I won’t feel tempted for many years to upgrade them. Fanatec pedals aren’t in that same league so in my opinion, upgrading the G29 pedals and using them while saving to buy “endgame“ pedals is the more cost effective solution. That way you can buy the Accuforce sooner.
 
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