Fanatec ClubSport Wheel Base V2 review

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by HoiHman, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. HoiHman

    HoiHman

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    The Fanatec CSWv2 review by HoiHman


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    I was very excited when I got an email from Fanatec with the invite to beta test a new product.

    At that time I did not know what it was yet. I still had to wait a very long 3 weeks until I finally got an email that a ClubSport Wheel Base V2 was shipped and it was a very nice surprise :)

    So I expected a half finished beta product in a unmarked box, which probably needed a lot production adjustments before the final release.

    To my great surprise the UPS guy showed up at my doorstep with the "standard Fanatec shipping box" and on the side of the box I could clearly read what was inside.


    [​IMG]


    When I opened the box, I quickly learned there was no "beta packaging". This "beta" unit was packed like the full retail CSWv1 I received 4 weeks earlier : A full colored box, base covered in dustbag in foam. A quick guide was even included

    The box is a bit bigger, which immediately gives the impression that this wheelbase has more to offer. Which it does


    [​IMG]


    A quick inspection learned that the mounting points and the dimensions were exactly the same as the CSWv1. This is a very big pro for all current CSW/CSR-E owners. This means you can install your new base in no time, without having to adjust anything to your rig, besides exchanging the power supply to feed the bigger brushless servo motor.

    The obvious big optical changes to the CSWv1 are:


    Dark cover on the top and a polished edge on the front plate


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    The fan on the back of the wheel


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    The rubber ring on the quick release hub


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    Even though my wheelbase is officially labeled as beta. It looks and feels like a full retail product.

    The quick release has been improved by adding an extra rubber ring which reduces play significantly. Although the necessity to use the bolt all the time has been decreased, I still prefer using the special bolt to firmly secure the wheel to the base.

    Because fanatec want to keep compatibility of all add-on rims with the new ClubSport Wheel Base V2, this is the best solution possible.

    So yes, you can use all your CSWv1 rims on the CSWv2. On the Fanatec website there is a long list of rims directly available for the ClubSport Wheelbase V2.


    Undoubtedly there will be a lot reviews covering all the various technical aspects of the CSWv2 (benchmarks, internals ect)

    The full specs can be found here:
    http://www.fanatec.com/forum/discus...net&utm_campaign=General+Links&a_aid=gtplanet



    My review will focus on the important aspect:


    How does it drive?

    At the release the ClubSport Wheel Base V2 is for PC and PS3. Next gen console support will be added at a later stage through additional rims.

    I have only tested the CSWv2 on the PC. The current 2.0 driver and the latest Fanaleds release already support the CSWv2


    First Impression : OMG :D


    The wheel is fast, very powerful. Effects are more crisp, clear and direct. There is no cogging, the wheel is super precise and smooth and i have to mention it again : It's POWERFUL

    So I tested the wheel with various sims (Asetto Corsa, Iracing, PCARS, Rfactor2) and the simcade codemasters games (F1 2013, Grid Autosport & Dirt 2 )

    The wheelbase is secured very firm to my rig, which is as solid as a rock. Driving the CSWv2 with no flex in the base or the rims feels great. All Fanatec rims are high quality wheels and they all feel real and authentic. No plastic feel like of some their competitors.

    In all sims the wheelbase feels very smooth and has very little resistance of the internals. The powerful brushless servo motor is very fast and ensures that there is no cogging at all.
    You clearly feel the bumps, curbs and dips in the track and even the camber of the wheels through the steering wheel. (depending on the sim)

    All effects are delivered faster, more direct and clearer than ever experienced before. Because the base has so much power is much easier to distinguish different loads on the front wheels during braking of when the wheels are losing grip.

    The CSWv1 was already a very precise wheel, but with 2 sensors the CSWv2 is much better. The Club sport Wheel base V2 has 4096 Pulses per Revolution. This means with a 280mm steering wheel a 0.22mm movement at the edge of rim will be picked up by the internal sensors.

    This precise movement is noticeable in all sims and it contributes to better control of the car. I could clearly notice the difference in all sims and for example in F1 2013 and did not have to revert to in game linearity settings to get a good feeling around the center.


    So how powerful is it?

    Driving with the ClubSport Wheel Base V2 can feel like a real workout especially when one of the smaller rims is mounted (like the Flat1 / Round1 of Formula rim)

    When driving on the straight at full speed, the downforce pushes the tires on the road with full downforce and I literally have to use a lot strength to turn left or right.
    As soon I start to brake and the speed goes down, it becomes easier to turn in the wheel. I can clearly feel the difference in resistance between high speed and low speed corners.
    When the front tires are loosing grip, the wheel becomes light.

    When driving with high Forcefeedback levels, it's the experience that makes you sweat and your hands start to hurt. It gives you an impression of the great physique a real race driver must have to do this in real life.
    The first timeafter 15 minutes you feel like taking a break. :)

    Also the bigger porsche 918 RSR wheel feels just perfect when mounted to the ClubSport Wheel Base V2. I do not own a BMW GT2 rim anymore, but i think there is more than enough power available to handle it without any drawbacks.

    The tuning menu offers various options to customise the wheelperformance to your liking. Settings like rotation, shock, ABS, linearity, spring, damper and deadzone can be changed in realtime by pressing the tuning menu on the steering wheel.

    The force settings allow you to overclock the FFB effects from the sim to a maximum of 150%.
    In all my testing the wheelbase never became hot, nor did i experience any forcefeedback drop-off during long racing sessions. The brushless servo motor and the bigger ball bearings give me the confidence that this is a real reliable wheelbase.

    When I used the wheel for the first time after not using it for a couple days, I found myself more than one time checking the force settings in the tuning menu. Every time i was thinking it was set way above the standard 100% from a previous session, but it wasn't. :)

    On Iracing Thomas Jackmeier (CEO of Fanatec) wrote that the wheel is so powerful that 95% of all simracers do not need a more powerful wheel. I totally agree with him. This is about how powerful you can get, without needing an emergency stop button.

    At this moment I do not believe I will ever need a more powerful wheel.

    I was very satisfied with the CSWv2 from day one, but the announcement of next gen compatibility through additional rims is a genius concept.
    This means I can use my Clubsport Pedals, Handbrake and Shifter together with the ClubSport Wheel Base V2 on the Xbox One and the PS4 in the future. It doesn't get any better than that.

    Judging from the response from fellow Beta testers, they all feel pretty much the same. At the price of 599,- this is the wheel with the best price performance ratio on the market.

    To prevent long pre-order and waiting periods Fanatec implemented the "by invitation" order procedure giving Fanatec customers the first option to buy the new wheelbase.

    There is simply no way that their supply can keep up with demand at the launch or the next couple of months.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2016
  2. Carson79

    Carson79

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    Brilliant review Henk!
     
  3. skazz

    skazz

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    How does the internal resistance of the CSWv2 compare with other wheels (like the G25/27, CSWv1, Porsche wheels, T500RS)?

    i.e. can you flick the wheel and watch it spin easily, or do the belts still add plenty of friction?
     
  4. Punknoodle

    Punknoodle

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    Very good review, insanely jealous. I want to place my order!
     
  5. TGR_Kefran

    TGR_Kefran

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    Thanks for this very good review :tup:

    I would have liked some GT6 impressions too but other beta testers will cover this and anyway you mentionned from the start that this was going to be PC only.
     
  6. HoiHman

    HoiHman

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  7. K_Soze

    K_Soze

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    Private video :crazy:

    Edit : sexy video !!! My CSR Elite instantaneously stop due to friction (and lighter rim too). Impressive improvement.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  8. skazz

    skazz

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    wow, that freewheeling is even more impressive than I expected. Even my non-belt G25 doesn't spin that easily.

    Sounds like the v2 is everything Fanatec needs it to be. Combined with the awesome set of wheel rims (and the promise of future nextgen console rims), they have the €700-1500 wheel market sown up now for sure.
     
  9. RacerXX

    RacerXX

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    Fanatec came out with an AWESOME upgrade to the CSW base (fellow beta tester here). These are beta/early impressions and reviews please note. I can tell you that the wheel inherently gives more feel and power - the former from the much lower drag and positioning measurement improvement, and the latter from a beefier single drive motor.

    The V2 is actually a giant step in *exactly* the functional direction I went when I modded my CSR-E so heavily. I look at it as an Engineer who is also a Racer. The details vary of course, but the net results are there. If you recall some of the comments I made about feel and finding track speed with my mods, well they largely apply to the V2 also. Especially if you use different car setups which you can now go more aggressive on due to the feel and increased ability to "catch" the car when things get hairy. I want to do some studies there in the future like I did last year and earlier this year.

    One thing that is still present is a tendency for a belt to take a set (and the V2 belts use high tension) at particular positions. All belt drives do this to a greater or lesser degree, this is not aV1/V2 thing. This mostly goes away in use at the belts flex and warm up. Over time I may load in some of my CSR-E mods into the V2, many can be applied directly. So drag can be further reduced for instance, it is not as low as where I wound up. This can wind up helping with belt-set too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  10. LogiForce

    LogiForce Premium

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    Nice review, Henk.

    I think this deserves a 'Best Sim Racing Product 2014' award if there would be such a thing. Do you agree?
     
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  11. amar212

    amar212 Premium

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    I am also congratulating on the review to both Hen and to you - your review is also great - and I agree with you.

    CSWV2 is such an amazing upgrade to the CSW and I am still amazed how great it actually feel.

    No other wheel I have ever tried comes even close to its sensation and clarity of FFB.
     
  12. HoiHman

    HoiHman

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    Thx Chris,

    I like yours on simology too.:)

    Don't know about the "Best Sim Racing Product 2014" award, i still have that other upgrade on the way.

    But it's pretty awesome :tup:



    Thx, great to hear from fellow beta testers that we all feel the same :)
     
  13. LogiForce

    LogiForce Premium

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    Thank you, Amar.
    I am of the same opinion, this wheel is just a cut above. I still remember how it felt when I owned the G25 and got the T500. I think this the same type of jump, so from T500/CSW v1 to CSW v2.

    I saw your comment there, Henk. Thanks :tup:

    That other thing of yours has been on the market for a few years now though. So it should've gotten an award in previous years. Its also revolutionary though, no doubt there.
     
  14. isamu

    isamu

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    That is a good review, thanks.
     
  15. lemansfanatic

    lemansfanatic

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    Ok I'll bite... what are we talking about now?
     
  16. ilonioum

    ilonioum Premium

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    Nice review, Henk, I guess you guys convinced me :)
     
  17. ilonioum

    ilonioum Premium

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    Nice review, Henk, I gues you guys convinced me :)
     
  18. JuiceMcGoose

    JuiceMcGoose

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    How come I get the feeling the Xbox quick release wheel will cost $500?

    I'm going to have to wait and find out, even if I already have the PS wheel and Club Sport pedals.
     
  19. Zero7159

    Zero7159

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    Wow, what a great review and wheel.
     
  20. jply1992

    jply1992

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    The more I read about this wheel the more I dread the wait for mine to get here! :(
     
  21. Fanapryde

    Fanapryde

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    Just like to know your thoughts and findings after 9 months of using it.

    I just ordered the V2 base, together with the Porsche 918 RSR wheel and the (available end of August) V3 pedals and SQ shifter.

    Despite having read (and being told) a lot of negativity about Fanatec, I was still willing to take the risk, because it all looks so well made and IF it turns out to be reliable, it is probably the best price/quality sim racing stuff available at the moment. It is surely the best looking...

    I will be (for now) using it on PS4 / Project Cars (who already sorted out the first known issues)...
     
  22. HoiHman

    HoiHman

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    The CSWv2 base is an awesome piece of hardware that i can recommend to everyone who want to serious invest in their hobby.

    However for the PC i have move on to the Accuforce which is in a different league. I still have the CSWv2 and i will never sell it. Currently i use it for playing Forza / Forza Horizon 2 on the XB1.

    Eventhough the AF is much stronger i'm still pleasantly supprised by the power of the CSWv2 for the XB1 games.
    In almost 10 months i never had any issue with my wheelbase. If you do happen to have an issue you will find the customer support of Fanatec is one of the best there is.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
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  23. Jane Croft

    Jane Croft

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    That's good to hear. I can't wait to finally get mine setup in the games room. Do you think it's better to use it with the xbone or ps4?
     
  24. K_Soze

    K_Soze

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    Right now there is nothing to test the CSW on ps4 (forget pCraps, it is buggy like hell, and really more arcade than simulation, not able to drive a Mc Laren P1 under 9'30 on the Ring, and they call it a "sim").

    If you plan to play a serious simulation on console, wait for Assetto Corsa. And if so the ps4 will run with a better resolution. Gran Turismo Sport is also coming.

    But remember that if you buy an XBox One Wheel, your CSW will be also compatible with the PS3, the PS4 and the PC so it is the ultimate cross platform wheel.
     
  25. HoiHman

    HoiHman

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    At the moment i'm only using the CSWv2 with the Forza Games on the XB1. To be honest i have used it only a couple of times in the last 6 months. This last week i have been using it again in Sebastian Loeb Rally on the PC, since the AF is not supported.
     
  26. Fanapryde

    Fanapryde

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    :lol::lol::lol:
    I hope this is meant to be a joke ? Right ?
    Or not ?

    I was stupid enough to buy Asseto Corsa (PC version).
    Sadly I was too late to get a steam refund.
    It has a few good points (proper triple screen support and ability to save seat settings per car), but overall it is a piece of crap imo.
    The FFB may be easier to adjust (a lot less sliders), but it is not good at all.
    It has only 14 tracks (layouts), all lifeless and the mod tracks are mostly buggy (but on PS4 you can't have them anyway), graphics are bad, SOME cars sound better than PCars, physics are not as good as some people want you to believe either.
    In short, I'm "glad" I only paid 20€, but I would have liked that refunded too.

    Compare AC to RaceRoom and you get a score like 5/10. Sadly (if you really want to try something else than PCars) your choices are very limited.
    On PC RaceRoom and GSCE beat AC by miles.

    All findings on PC and Fanatec CSW / V2 base / Porsche 918 RSR / Formula / V3 pedals
     
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  27. skazz

    skazz

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    Clearly we are all different. I like Raceroom (mostly for the good AI), but in my opinion AC has it beat in every aspect except AI.

    All findings on PC with Logitech G25, Thrustmaster T300 and T500
     
  28. HoiHman

    HoiHman

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    All sims have their strong points:

    PCars: Best graphics, Most Content, Largest grids
    AC: The Nord in AC is the Best of all 3 (especially with motion / simvibe)
    RRE: The best AI of all 3, i have started a carreer in DTM 2014 and i'm having a great time

    I also have GSCE, but i haven't driven it that much.

    Back on topic; I hope that Grand Turismo Sport will work with the CSWv2
     
  29. fatkrakr

    fatkrakr

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    You can take this review with a grain of salt. He downloaded some modded content and then formed his opinion of the game on that modded content. Modded content varies widely and you should not base your opinion of ANY game on its modded content.
     
  30. Gunstar

    Gunstar

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    Me too. but I'm not holding my breath unless Fanatec ponies up for a SONY license.