Need Advice on Fanatec Gear: Help Spend My $$$!!!

newbert

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I'm considering upgrading from my Logi G29 wheel and pedals to Fanatec gear. Although I've read/heard nothing but excellent reviews, I still have numerous questions.

First a bit about me as a sim racer. In rough order, these are the sims that I spend time on (Most to least): AC, RF2, RRE3, KartKraft, AMS, PC2, ACC, Dirt Rally 1. I prefer open wheelers, but am getting more into GT3's and others.

Now my questions:
1. I'm considering the v2.5 Clubsport Base. Is it a requirement to have a dedicated sim racing rig to mount it to? ( I use a desk for my G29 and prefer to continue using the desk). Related to this, what are the physical dimensions of this Base and how heavy is it?

2. I know that it comes with a 20 degree mount, but can this be clamped onto the desk or does it absolutely need to be screwed on.

3. Given my racing interests ( see above ), which of the Fanatec wheels would you recommend I get? So many choices.....

4. Regarding pedals, I only use 2 pedals (I map the brakes to the clutch pedal). Given this, which set of Fanatec pedals would you recommend? Are the inverted pedals worth the higher price?....and what are the physical dimensions of that set up?

Of course I have a budget, but let's not consider that for this exercise ATM. OTOH, I don't want to overspend if I don't have to. And on that topic is there somewhere that Fanatec gear is discounted and/or has a good return policy? (Good price and return policy are always something that I consider, but aren't absolute requirements.)

I'm sure I'll have other questions, but that's all for now. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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newbert

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Hmmm....Nobody has any thoughts about this? Then let me narrow down the questions a bit.... After checking thru Fanatec's website, based upon my situation with the desk, and left-foot braking, I'm now looking at this combo:

- CSL Elite Racing Wheel for Xbox One & PC
- CSL Elite Wheel Base
- CSL Elite Pedals LC (includes Load Cell Kit)

Total cost $889.80

I'm reasonably certain about my choice for the wheel base since it comes with a desktop clamping mechanism and reviews indicate that it's better bang-for-the-buck than the Clubsport v2.5. I'm also reasonably certain about the pedal choice because of the included load cell kit and the pedal's adjustability.

I'm less sure about the wheel choice though. I just don't see any reason to pay more for a few more doo-dads, especially since I race mostly in VR now. But I'm open to other ideas. Does anyone have any thoughts about it?

Also, would this combo represent a significant upgrade from the Logitech G29?

Thanks!
 

AJ McDaddy

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I think your choices are good and would be an upgrade on your G29, although if you could invest a little more I'd go with the CSW 2.5 (there is a table / desk mount for it but it needs to be purchased separately).
https://www.fanatec.com/us-en/wheel-stands-table-clamps/clubsport-table-clamp-v2-us.html

I don't actually have experience of the CSL Elite as I went straight from a Thrustmaster TX to a CSW 2.5 and have no regrets - it was a major upgrade.

Good luck with your choices.
 

callumjtc

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Can I make a shout on the pedals? I would say get Heusinkveld pedals, and get the the 2 pedal set to save money over the 3 pedal set. I've used a set once and they were pretty fantastic, and they have a huge cult following on here.
 

Denis Betty

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Can I make a shout on the pedals? I would say get Heusinkveld pedals, and get the the 2 pedal set to save money over the 3 pedal set. I've used a set once and they were pretty fantastic, and they have a huge cult following on here.
Good point about only paying for 2 pedals, if that's all you will use. HE pedals rock (IMO).
 

RCHeliguy

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The differences that you may care about.

The CS 2.5 wheelbase is a smoother than the CSL and has a better wheel release mechanism. It can be mounted to a desk. The force feedback is adjustable, so if it is a bit too much for your desk, you can lower the FFB until it is acceptable and still have a smooth system.

If you want to keep the rig on your desk the 2 pedal CSL brakes are fine. Many people like the CSL brake as good or even better than the CS 3.0 brake. They can also be set to be reasonably soft to work with a desk. One of the reasons people like a full frame is for increasing brake pressure not just FFB from the wheel.

Fanatec equipment is never discounted except for the Black Friday sale each year, but that sale is on random components that change each year. The odds of having exactly what you want on sale are slim. Last year they had a great deal on the inverted CS 3.0 pedal set for example.

If you are trying to save money and are patient, there should be a number of CS 2.5 wheelbases for sale used when Fanatec releases their DD wheelbase at the end of April this year.
 

suspectmonkey

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Oct 6, 2017
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I've been down this very road just a couple of weeks ago and upgraded from a G29. I looked into all options, from Thrustmaster to Fanatec to OSW and based on what I was looking to achieve decided on the following setup:
  • Fanatec CSL Elite Wheelbase + PS4
  • Fanatec CSL Elite McLaren GT3 Wheel
  • Fanatec CSL Elite Pedals LC
The wheelbase is a fantastic step up from the G29. No longer do I have that "dead centre" feeling you get with the G29 in AC, for example. It also has much more power, is more detailed, and is smoother and quieter than the G29. Obviously the CSW is another step up again, but you'll certainly not be disappointed going from a G29 to CSL Elite and your wallet might even thank you for it ;)

A couple of other notes. I already purchased the LC brakes and was using them with my G29 beforehand. As I primarily race modern GT cars and open-wheelers I decided to only use the throttle and brake pedals. This allows me to space the pedals further apart, keeping my legs straighter and making long stints much more comfortable. Like many people I saw an almost instant improvement in both my laptimes and consistency when I moved to a LC brake. Not massive, but not insignificant either, so it's an area well worth investing in.

Finally, I choose the McLaren GT3 rim despite all the negative posts you'll read about it. Fanatec are now supplying this wheel with the ClubSport Quick Release as standard, as some of the early problems seem to have been related to a bad batch of the "simplified quick release". I followed the instructions on their website to upgrade the drivers/firmware before even using it and so far it's given me no troubles despite racking up quite a few hours on it. The open wheel design works really well for modern cars, particularly GT and Formula cars. The rubber grips are comfortable in bare hands, and you don't need to worry about wearing gloves like with Alcantara. In my opinion the 30cm diameter is perfect for sim racing, keeping your arms in a more neutral and less cramped position compared to the 27cm diameter of the G29 or the Fanatec Formula rims. The amount of buttons mean I don't need to use a button box or take my hands off the wheel when driving. However, my favourite part is the manual clutch paddles. These allow me to run without a clutch pedal and still do manual starts. They are absolutely fantastic and the clutch bite-point mode works extremely well for standing starts.

I know that's a lot of information to take in, but if you have any specific questions just shout! It's hard for me to recommend anything different because, after much research, this is the equipment I decided on. The only thing I can say is I don't regret a single part of the purchase and would buy the same setup again in a heartbeat!
 
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newbert

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Can I make a shout on the pedals? I would say get Heusinkveld pedals, and get the the 2 pedal set to save money over the 3 pedal set. I've used a set once and they were pretty fantastic, and they have a huge cult following on here.
Never heard of these pedals. Do you have a link? And would they require use of an additional USB port? (I'm running out....)

Thanks!
 

suspectmonkey

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Oct 6, 2017
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Yes, I saw this on the website. As far as I can tell, the only difference between this and my selection is the steering wheel, yes? What makes this wheel better than the one had selected? (I honestly can't tell....)

Thanks.
I believe the difference is in the wheelbase, not the wheel. The CSL Elite Wheelbase + (which supports the PS4) uses some of the internals from the ClubSport wheel. To quote their own website:

"The wheel base is using advanced and highly praised ClubSport technology. The servo motor, electronics and power supply come straight from its high-end brother. This makes the force feedback far superior."
 

newbert

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Feb 17, 2018
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I've been down this very road just a couple of weeks ago and upgraded from a G29. I looked into all options, from Thrustmaster to Fanatec to OSW and based on what I was looking to achieve decided on the following setup:
  • Fanatec CSL Elite Wheelbase + PS4
  • Fanatec CSL Elite McLaren GT3 Wheel
  • Fanatec CSL Elite Pedals LC
The wheelbase is a fantastic step up from the G29. No longer do I have that "dead centre" feeling you get with the G29 in AC, for example. It also has much more power, is more detailed, and is smoother and quieter than the G29. Obviously the CSW is another step up again, but you'll certainly not be disappointed going from a G29 to CSL Elite and your wallet might even thank you for it ;)

A couple of other notes. I already purchased the LC brakes and was using them with my G29 beforehand. As I primarily race modern GT cars and open-wheelers I decided to only use the throttle and brake pedals. This allows me to space the pedals further apart, keeping my legs straighter and making long stints much more comfortable. Like many people I saw an almost instant improvement in both my laptimes and consistency when I moved to a LC brake. Not massive, but not insignificant either, so it's an area well worth investing in.

Finally, I choose the McLaren GT3 rim despite all the negative posts you'll read about it. Fanatec are now supplying this wheel with the ClubSport Quick Release as standard, as some of the early problems seem to have been related to a bad batch of the "simplified quick release". I followed the instructions on their website to upgrade the drivers/firmware before even using it and so far it's given me no troubles despite racking up quite a few hours on it. The open wheel design works really well for modern cars, particularly GT and Formula cars. The rubber grips are comfortable in bare hands, and you don't need to worry about wearing gloves like with Alcantara. In my opinion the 30cm diameter is perfect for sim racing, keeping your arms in a more neutral and less cramped position compared to the 27cm diameter of the G29 or the Fanatec Formula rims. The amount of buttons mean I don't need to use a button box or take my hands off the wheel when driving. However, my favourite part is the manual clutch paddles. These allow me to run without a clutch pedal and still do manual starts. They are absolutely fantastic and the clutch bite-point mode works extremely well for standing starts.

I know that's a lot of information to take in, but if you have any specific questions just shout! It's hard for me to recommend anything different because, after much research, this is the equipment I decided on. The only thing I can say is I don't regret a single part of the purchase and would buy the same setup again in a heartbeat!
Jon, Thank you for your sharing your thoughts. This is exactly the type of info I was hoping to get. A few questions though:

1. Regarding the wheelbase - For a PC-only simmer, why get this PS4 compatible wheelbase when the one I had selected is $100 less expensive. Are there feature differences between the two that I'm not aware of?

2. Regarding pedals. Like you, I only use throttle and brake. Are you saying that you set aside the clutch pedal and only installed the throttle and brake?

3. I like your review of the McLaren GT3 rim and will take a closer look at it. I wasn't aware of it having manual clutch paddles.....

Thanks again!
Bert
 

newbert

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Jon, Is this the rim you have? I've always used round wheels so I'm not sure whether I'd like this. Did you have any trouble getting used to it? It's less expensive that the wheel rim I was thinking of, plus it's currently on sale.

Also, the pictures aren't very clear --- I see bronze colored paddles and black paddles. Which are the clutch and which are the gearshift?

Thanks again!
 

super_gt

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Dec 8, 2017
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Yes, I saw this on the website. As far as I can tell, the only difference between this and my selection is the steering wheel, yes? What makes this wheel better than the one had selected? (I honestly can't tell....)

Thanks.
The steering wheel is 200 grams lighter and has better paddle shifters.
With the CSL Elite wheel base + with DRI setting you can reduce electric motor damper or turned it off to increase the speed and details in the FFB, the Xbox version of the base does not have this option.

CSW V2.5 and CSL Elite Base PS4 (new) drift mode explained in detail:
https://www.fanatec.com/eu-en/support/faq/details&id=101
 

newbert

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The steering wheel is 200 grams lighter and has better paddle shifters.
With the CSL Elite wheel base + with DRI setting you can reduce electric motor damper or turned it off to increase the speed and details in the FFB, the Xbox version of the base does not have this option.

CSW V2.5 and CSL Elite Base PS4 (new) drift mode explained in detail:
https://www.fanatec.com/eu-en/support/faq/details&id=101
Thanks for that clarification. I wasn't aware of any of this,
 
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newbert

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Never heard of these pedals. Do you have a link? And would they require use of an additional USB port? (I'm running out....)

Thanks!
Hmmm....Not only would they require an additional USB port but, as far as I can tell, they would require something to mount them to. (ie - They don't come with their own base?) I don't own a sim rig cockpit, nor do I want one. So I don't think that these pedasl would work for me.

Thanks!
 

RCHeliguy

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Hmmm....Not only would they require an additional USB port but, as far as I can tell, they would require something to mount them to. (ie - They don't come with their own base?) I don't own a sim rig cockpit, nor do I want one. So I don't think that these pedasl would work for me.

Thanks!
They have a base you can buy for them, but you should still bolt that to something. Heusinkveld pretty well assumes you have a frame for their pedals. They are a great pedal with piles of adjustability. With their base you would be looking at somewhere around $600 USD for 2 pedals delivered.

Heusinkveld makes great products, has excellent support, and I think many of the enthusiasts here are very enamored with them.

My take is that If you get to the point that you want them, you'll be ready for them.
 

suspectmonkey

500RPM
Oct 6, 2017
596
449
Jon, Thank you for your sharing your thoughts. This is exactly the type of info I was hoping to get. A few questions though:

1. Regarding the wheelbase - For a PC-only simmer, why get this PS4 compatible wheelbase when the one I had selected is $100 less expensive. Are there feature differences between the two that I'm not aware of?

2. Regarding pedals. Like you, I only use throttle and brake. Are you saying that you set aside the clutch pedal and only installed the throttle and brake?

3. I like your review of the McLaren GT3 rim and will take a closer look at it. I wasn't aware of it having manual clutch paddles.....

Thanks again!
Bert
No problem Bert, I'll try to answer your questions one by one:

1. Only real reason is the supposedly better internals that the PS4 version shares with the CSW. Whether this actually makes a difference you can feel is another matter, but if nothing else I figured the CSW motor is well battle tested and should be reliable! On a purely cosmetic note I also prefer the faceplate of the PS4 version which has a "brushed alloy" look, although is actually plastic. In the bundle version you also get the better "Elite" version of the P1 wheel which means the price difference isn't as drastic as it initially looks. If you'd rather save a few quid though I wouldn't worry about buying the cheaper of the Elite wheelbases, plenty of happy users out there!

2. Yep, my clutch pedal is still in the box and I only have the loadcell brake and throttle mounted. Even with three pedals the spacing of the CSL Elite pedals is very generous, but seeing I rarely use the clutch pedal, and now have a hand clutch, it was no real loss to me. Another option to keep costs down is to just get the CSL Elite Pedals and see how you get on with just the two pedals. If you like them you can also upgrade to the loadcell kit at a later stage!

3. There are two manual clutch paddles - one on the left and one on the right. They have a range of travel from 0 to 100% and pulling either of the paddles in puts the clutch at 100%. If you pull both paddles in at the same time then you can set the bite-point for race starts. This means at the start of the race you pull both paddles in and when the lights go green you immediately release one paddle. This will get the car moving instantly without any wheelspin and you then ease the other paddle out like you would with a normal clutch. It's surprisingly intuitive once you get used to it and I've definitely been getting great starts since moving to them! As you say the bronze/orange alloy paddles are upshift/downshift and the black moulded paddles are for the clutch. Here's a good video that explains how the clutch works:


Here are two more videos that really helped me make up my mind when I was choosing my setup: