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Racing Wheel Advice

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WonderingSoul

Team 32 Folding Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
I want to get into racing games and racing sims for the PC. But to really get into the games, I want to get a nice racing wheel.

I was looking to spend about $50-$150. I was looking at the G25 wheel, but not sure if I want to drop that much money on one.

Should I look into getting used ones or something new?

What other options are out there for something around $100 and has force feedback? I really want a shifter, but not imperative. Are there any shifter add ons I can buy later?

Thanks.
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
Racing wheels with force feedback are something that's easy to kill if you're WAY into your game. You know how it is sometimes you disconnect from the fact that its a plastic toy wheel for a second and really whale on it and something snaps.

I'd spend as much as possible and buy high quality.
 

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
I'm actually faster in racing games (ie NFS) with my old non-FFB joystick than using my FFB wheel/pedals. However, nothing can compare to actually "feeling" the cold tire understeer in GTR with reality maxed. The added immersion factor just can't be described.

It seems the Logitech Driving Force GT does work with PCs (it's listed as a PS3 wheel), but there are some driver tweaks to enable the 900deg mode in most PC sims. It has a sequential shifter & no clutch.

Personally I'd really try to get the G25/27, but I understand it is pretty much double the upper end of your budget.
 

jaymz9350

Member
Joined
May 13, 2006
I bought a Logitech Momo wheel to try out and I liked it in GTR2 but couldn't use it in anything else (Grid, Dirt, or any NFS game) and just went back to my 360 controller. while it was the only way I could really race in the sim style games I just don't really like them that well and will probably just sell it eventually, which is why I bought a cheaper one to start with, I'd hated to spend the price of a g25 to realize i didn't really like it. The momo only has a sequential shifter and paddles plus no clutch pedal but i did like the way it worked in gtr2, plus it was around $100. I bought mine at best buy becasue i didn't want to wait so it was $100 + tax but they sell on the egg for like 90 plus shipping.
 

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
I'm surprised you had so many compatibility problems Jay. I thought the black Momo was kinda the standard for wheels with most racing games. I have an old red Momo as a backup wheel to my Act-Labs RC Force wheel. Most my problems are only with demos, no problems with full versions.

The Driving Force GT can be purchased for $99 too.
 
OP
W

WonderingSoul

Team 32 Folding Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Thanks for the input so far guys. I am going to be buying the wheel most likely after the holiday so my budget may be more or less, pending.

I would really love to get a G25/27, but the Logitech Driving Force GT looks like the best option so far.
 

jaymz9350

Member
Joined
May 13, 2006
I'm surprised you had so many compatibility problems Jay. I thought the black Momo was kinda the standard for wheels with most racing games. I have an old red Momo as a backup wheel to my Act-Labs RC Force wheel. Most my problems are only with demos, no problems with full versions.

The Driving Force GT can be purchased for $99 too.

Sorry I should have worded that differently, It functioned fine (after I got the latest drivers) I just sucked with it.
 

BenF

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Location
Hell, Michigan
If you aren't going to buy a custom racing wheel + petals there are 3 viable options imho.

Logitech Momo
Logitech Driving Force Pro, might have been renamed to driving force gt but I'm not sure (it is a ps2 wheel but it works on PC. It is the wheel I used back when I was playing Live For Speed all the time)
Logitech g25
 

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
Sorry I should have worded that differently, It functioned fine (after I got the latest drivers) I just sucked with it.
That made me LOL.:) I agree that a good wheel doesn't make you a better driver, it just really adds to the immersion of the sim.
If you aren't going to buy a custom racing wheel + petals there are 3 viable options imho.

Logitech Momo
Logitech Driving Force Pro, might have been renamed to driving force gt but I'm not sure (it is a ps2 wheel but it works on PC. It is the wheel I used back when I was playing Live For Speed all the time)
Logitech g25
The Porsche wheel I linked seems like a good option too, I just don't know how sturdy & reliable it is.
 

jaymz9350

Member
Joined
May 13, 2006
That made me LOL.:) I agree that a good wheel doesn't make you a better driver, it just really adds to the immersion of the sim.

I do agree with the immersion factor, the wheel coupled with in car view is nice, I just couldn't get into the sim style games much, I love the realism to them they were just too boring for me. I like my NFS, Grid, and TOCA and I guess i'm just so used to racing with a game pad i couldn't adjust well to the wheel, but that's why I didn't go all out when I bought mine.
 

BenF

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Location
Hell, Michigan
The Porsche wheel I linked seems like a good option too, I just don't know how sturdy & reliable it is.

I haven't heard of it. The wheels I listed were the only wheels worth considering about a year ago back when I played a lot of racing sims, at least in the liveforspeed racing community.
 

nightelph

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Location
SoCal
I use a 360 ctrl'er most times. Borrowed a friends momo for a weekend to play DiRT and GRiD but I really kinda sucked at it, unless it was the Pike's Peak hillclimb in DiRT. But it felt a lot more immersive. Huh, firefox doesn't think 'immersive' is a word.. :)
 

Sonny

Senior TIFOSI
Joined
Aug 3, 2001
Location
VARIANTE ASCARI
Driving Force Pro
  • PS2 for Gran Turismo 4
  • PC

Good basic wheel, enough buttons on the wheel itself with directonal buttons for cycling thru menus & other options while driving. This is something important for sim racing, you will be changing pitstop strategies on the fly while you are on the track. The paddle shifter feel is good but is prone to wear due to the fact how Logitech mounts the micro switches. The sequencial shifter is reliable but to be honest most people map it for a handbrake for PC driving simulators. The wheel uses a optical position sensor so there is no potentiometer to wear out which is good. The pedals use full size potentiometers but are carbon carbon contacts, they wear out within a few months if you are a serious sim racer. You can replace these with conductive plastic potentiometers,steel casing but the contact points inside the pot are conductive plastic, that are usually rated between 5,000,000 to 20,000,000 rotations compared to the stock 100,000 rotations. The wheel is noisy, gear whine mostly so you will want to get in there & use some plastic friendly grease so minimize this.

Driving Force GT
  • PS2/3 for Gran Turismo Series
  • PC

Basically the same as the Driving Force Pro with updated on the wheel switches plus a rotary encoder. Everything else is the same with the same exact pedals & problems.

G25
  • PS2/3 for Gran Turismo Series
  • PC

Dual Motor Force Feedback with much quieter operation compared to the Driving Force series. Combination of plastic, stainless steal & leather construction. The paddle shifter feel is sub par but doesnt fail like the Driving Force series over time with some prerequisite mods. There isnt enough buttons on the wheel, the H Patern Shifter setup is vague & not reliable. I have it setup in sequential mode mapped as a handbrake. The buttons on the shifter module are not useful since they are difficult to reach when you are driving. The wheel isnt thick enough for me but uses the proven optical sensor. The pedals are built very well. They can take more abuse than the Driving for series because of the way the potentiometers are actuated. People complain about having the brake & throttle in the same plane, being a problem for heel & toe driving. I dont have a problem with this since I like to left foot brake. A Clutch pedal for racing really isnt needed because you only need it really when launching at the start, even real race cars with sequential shifters you only need to let off the throttle to shift up or down, I would prefer a 3rd paddle for a hand clutch.The wheel feel is very very good with how it relates to the game, the faster reacting dual forcefeedback motor is very very good, they are smaller so reacts faster & located at oposite ends of the main gear system. This solves the problem of jumping gears associated with single motor gear driven wheels.

G27
  • PS2/3 for Gran Turismo Series
  • PC

Same as the G25 with some major mods. There are more buttons on the wheel & it is thicker too. The paddle shifter is much better, you have a positive click feel & Logitech finaly mounted the micro switches properly. They now use helical gears instead of straight cut to reduce the noise even further, this is a drawback I believe. There is more slack & a bigger dead spot on the center of the wheel. The shifter is now only H Pattern but has been improved. I dont like H Pattern for racing, slow & cumbersome & more prone to failure. The pedals have been reworked for better heel & toe driving, adjustable so for me I can still set it up for F1 style.

Wheels to avoid in the Logitech range would be the MOMO Racing, the cheap black & plastic wheel. Although it has the best steering feel of them all, very small deadspot & very precise, the paddle shifter failure rate is very high & the pedals fail in a month for serious sim racing.

If only Logitech would create a wheel that had the MOMO Racing feel for the steering, buttons like the Driving Force GT, force feedback system of the G25, pedals & paddles of the G27 then add 2 more paddles for clutch & whatever you so choose & keep a sequential shifter so you have the option to map it like a handbrake.

I am getting the G27 when the revision B comes out, I have the G25 revision B.
 

BenF

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Location
Hell, Michigan
Driving Force Pro
  • PS2 for Gran Turismo 4
  • PC

Good basic wheel, enough buttons on the wheel itself with directonal buttons for cycling thru menus & other options while driving. This is something important for sim racing, you will be changing pitstop strategies on the fly while you are on the track. The paddle shifter feel is good but is prone to wear due to the fact how Logitech mounts the micro switches. The sequencial shifter is reliable but to be honest most people map it for a handbrake for PC driving simulators. The wheel uses a optical position sensor so there is no potentiometer to wear out which is good. The pedals use full size potentiometers but are carbon carbon contacts, they wear out within a few months if you are a serious sim racer. You can replace these with conductive plastic potentiometers,steel casing but the contact points inside the pot are conductive plastic, that are usually rated between 5,000,000 to 20,000,000 rotations compared to the stock 100,000 rotations. The wheel is noisy, gear whine mostly so you will want to get in there & use some plastic friendly grease so minimize this.

Driving Force GT
  • PS2/3 for Gran Turismo Series
  • PC

Basically the same as the Driving Force Pro with updated on the wheel switches plus a rotary encoder. Everything else is the same with the same exact pedals & problems.

G25
  • PS2/3 for Gran Turismo Series
  • PC

Dual Motor Force Feedback with much quieter operation compared to the Driving Force series. Combination of plastic, stainless steal & leather construction. The paddle shifter feel is sub par but doesnt fail like the Driving Force series over time with some prerequisite mods. There isnt enough buttons on the wheel, the H Patern Shifter setup is vague & not reliable. I have it setup in sequential mode mapped as a handbrake. The buttons on the shifter module are not useful since they are difficult to reach when you are driving. The wheel isnt thick enough for me but uses the proven optical sensor. The pedals are built very well. They can take more abuse than the Driving for series because of the way the potentiometers are actuated. People complain about having the brake & throttle in the same plane, being a problem for heel & toe driving. I dont have a problem with this since I like to left foot brake. A Clutch pedal for racing really isnt needed because you only need it really when launching at the start, even real race cars with sequential shifters you only need to let off the throttle to shift up or down, I would prefer a 3rd paddle for a hand clutch.The wheel feel is very very good with how it relates to the game, the faster reacting dual forcefeedback motor is very very good, they are smaller so reacts faster & located at oposite ends of the main gear system. This solves the problem of jumping gears associated with single motor gear driven wheels.

G27
  • PS2/3 for Gran Turismo Series
  • PC

Same as the G25 with some major mods. There are more buttons on the wheel & it is thicker too. The paddle shifter is much better, you have a positive click feel & Logitech finaly mounted the micro switches properly. They now use helical gears instead of straight cut to reduce the noise even further, this is a drawback I believe. There is more slack & a bigger dead spot on the center of the wheel. The shifter is now only H Pattern but has been improved. I dont like H Pattern for racing, slow & cumbersome & more prone to failure. The pedals have been reworked for better heel & toe driving, adjustable so for me I can still set it up for F1 style.

Wheels to avoid in the Logitech range would be the MOMO Racing, the cheap black & plastic wheel. Although it has the best steering feel of them all, very small deadspot & very precise, the paddle shifter failure rate is very high & the pedals fail in a month for serious sim racing.

If only Logitech would create a wheel that had the MOMO Racing feel for the steering, buttons like the Driving Force GT, force feedback system of the G25, pedals & paddles of the G27 then add 2 more paddles for clutch & whatever you so choose & keep a sequential shifter so you have the option to map it like a handbrake.

I am getting the G27 when the revision B comes out, I have the G25 revision B.

Very good overview of available wheels worth considering for under $300!

I think the driving force pro is better than you state. I used it for about 1.5 years, 2-8 hours a day, playing racing sims and had no problems with it. Probably about 1/3 of the time was spent oval racing (which has less wear on the wheel imo), another 1/3 was spent for simulated city driving/racing/cop chases, the other 1/3 was traditional racing. I think Logitech might have changed something with the pots to make it more reliable and longer lasting.
 

Sonny

Senior TIFOSI
Joined
Aug 3, 2001
Location
VARIANTE ASCARI
Very good overview of available wheels worth considering for under $300!

I think the driving force pro is better than you state. I used it for about 1.5 years, 2-8 hours a day, playing racing sims and had no problems with it. Probably about 1/3 of the time was spent oval racing (which has less wear on the wheel imo), another 1/3 was spent for simulated city driving/racing/cop chases, the other 1/3 was traditional racing. I think Logitech might have changed something with the pots to make it more reliable and longer lasting.

Just trying to help out anyone who wants to sim race. I hope they did, the DFP is the wheel of two of my buds & they both had problems back in 2005. Atleast the pots are regular size so its easy to get good pots for them. Only downside is that they cost $70USD+ each for conductive plastic.

Who have the nice highend wheels & pedals these days?
 
OP
W

WonderingSoul

Team 32 Folding Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
I REALLY want the clutch and shifter. I don't know why, but I do.

Probably will end up with the G27.
 

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia