Although it is possible to mount your rim directly onto a hub without a button box, this is quite unusual. Most drivers want some control over their computers during races, so assignable buttons or rotaries are the best options.
If you are new, you might think that sim racing is only about paddles. Your wheel can be an extremely powerful game controller.
Close-up: A fun switch made of anodized blue aluminum featuring a momentary push button, thumb rotary, and standard rotary for TC.
iRacing, currently the only simulator I use, can be easily mapped to any CubeControls, Fanatec, or Ascher best sim racing wheel base.
Racing requires a pit limiter, the ability to adjust your black box settings, and brake bias. However, there are many other ways to control iRacing using macros on your keyboard, a button box, or a stream deck.
Fanatec wheels are only allowed to be mounted on a Fanatec base. It isn’t true. You can use either the Fanatec Podium hub, or an equivalent unit from Sim Racing Machines to mount virtually any wheel rim to the wheelbase.
Fanatec invests in wheel compatibility, so mounting a Cube Controls or Cube Controls wheel on a Fanatec base is not an easy task.
Cube Controls wheels mounted on Fanatec Podium Hubs add a lot to the hub’s length.
Although this route is possible, it is sub-optimal. This can lead to frustration as you lose the ability to adjust the wheelbase settings via your steering wheel.
Fanatec wheels are highly quality, and I highly recommend them to Fanatec wheelbase users of them.
Fanatec made it difficult for me to choose from a variety of wheel options. This is why I ended up in the Simucube universe. My Simucube allows me to mount any sim steering wheels to the QR hub, provided that the adapter is compatible with either 50mm or 70mm PCD.
My guide QR hubs will teach you everything about PCD measurements, how to match a hub adapter with a QR hub that is compatible with your wheelbase, and more. It’s really easy. It’s possible to mount virtually any item to a Simucube by using the SQR or QRX hub.
Cube Controls wheels are equipped with a hub adapter that can be attached to the rear of the wheel. These wheels are predrilled for 50mm PCD and 70mm PCD. The holes are pre-drilled for either 50mm PCD or 70mm PCD, making fitting very simple.
You can order a hub extension, as shown in the above image. Just make sure the PCD measurements are correct. The item pictured is a 70mm extension.
Are you wired or wireless?
Simucube offers a feature called Wireless Wheel Technology. Although it’s very similar to Bluetooth, the signal is encrypted so you must have a Simucube in order to use the Wireless compatible wheels.
G-Performance stocks a number of cube Controls wheels. We also stock the Ascher racing wheels.
Wireless is convenient because you don’t have to use a USB cable. However, wireless has some limitations: a Wireless wheel cannot be used with the USB cable as a controller for PC games. It will only work with your Simucube.
Wireless wheels have a limit on buttons and paddles. Wireless wheels won’t have an analog clutch and may have fewer buttons. I like Wireless, and I have a Cube Controls Formula Sport Wireless to take along on those days when I want to drive the F3 car.
Display of wheels
Advanced wheels such as the Cube Controls Formula CSX 2 have a vibrant 4.3″ display screen compatible with Ultimate Gametech Manager.
VPG Custom 911 RSR Sim Steering Wheel
Simhub is used by many Custom sim racing wheels, such as my VPG RSR wheel. These features allow you to immerse yourself in the simulation environment.
An F1-style display is my favorite! If you don’t have the budget for an F1-style display, there are two options: either set up Simhub to create a dashboard or purchase a separate screen to mount onto your wheelbase.
How does a high-end wheel look?
You want the wheel to feel right when you buy it. What does it actually mean to feel?
When you hold a high-quality item, you first notice its weight and stiffness. Cube Controls’ OMP GT Pro is always a surprise to me. I am amazed at its weight and how solid it feels.
Cube Controls uses a real steering wheel, which I could take out of the button box and attach to a racing car. It is exactly the same thing.
You’ll notice that the wheels are well-made and sealed in an aluminum chassis.
Fanatec Formula Clubsport F1 wheels – This is a great budget wheel, but it makes use of more plastics and uses cheaper manufacturing processes.
The hub of Fanatec’s cheaper wheels is made from more plastic than the hub. These choices in the material are crucial. Solid objects have less flex and play. They also tend to be more transparent about the electronics inside. Machine work is always better, with neat edges and a perfect fit.
Cube Controls wheels, even at entry-level pricing, show exquisite attention to manufacturing detail
Switches and Rotaries
Machined aluminum knobs are used for switches and rotaries. The toggle switches and (monetary) buttons may also have backlights. A backlit set of buttons is useful as you won’t have to see the sticky labels in the dark.
Aluminum rotary knobs make a great finishing touch
A nice set of paddle shifters makes a great addition to any wheel. The difference is obvious – you can feel a stiff but consistent feel when shifting. Well-made shifters can make it easier to be consistent and reduce mistakes.
Budget wheels are not to be discounted. There are many great deals for as little as a few hundred Euros. The Fanatec Clubsport range, particularly the F1 Clubsport and its higher-end LTD edition wheels, is worth every penny. There are many other options in high-end sims.
It’s not about the wheel; it’s the method that counts
My advice is not to recommend that you buy a high-end, custom, or intermediate wheel. It’s your driving style and racecraft that matters.