anyone have the new Fanatec CSR wheel yet?

#1 Posted by gnarlycore (86 posts) -

I'm sitting here with the new CSR wheel and elite pedals in checkout status staring at $421.90 sales total and wondering if I should take the gamble. Have the old Microsoft wheel and hate it, but would love to play with a wheel. Anyone have the CSR? thoughts?

#2 Posted by slowbird (1747 posts) -

I just got it today, but I'll have to wait until I get the pedals to use it. I'll let you know what I think of it, but I know it got rave reviews from InsideSimRacing.tv and that convinced me to go for it.

#3 Posted by gnarlycore (86 posts) -

Cool, def let me know. Have you used any other wheels before? Or is this your first? Used to watch that show, but those two guys are so dorky that even that insanely smokin girl can't make up for them. I can't watch it.

#4 Edited by Jugnutts (437 posts) -

I have the Fanatec GT2 Clubsport and I can't live without it. I had the MS wheel before and this one is soooo much better. Having a place to mount a Fanatec wheel is a must.

The only two complaints I have is the bugs that these wheels always seem to have with games and the cheap shifter set.

I need to get some new pics of my setup and i will get them uploaded.

#5 Posted by Contro (2040 posts) -

I have one and love it. It will add to your experience of Forza for years to come The build quality is superb and it feels fantastic with any car.

#6 Posted by NickLott (793 posts) -

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that wheel completely crossplatform supporting PS3, 360 and PC? If it is, I think it may be worth the money provided it's a really good wheel.

#7 Posted by Jugnutts (437 posts) -

@NickLott: You are correct, it supports the PS3, 360 and PC.

#8 Posted by gnarlycore (86 posts) -

One of my main beefs with the Micro Wheel is, aside from the awful FFB, the wheel is tiny. Not comfortable at all, are the Fanatec wheels the size of an actual steering wheel? That would be huge for me.

#9 Posted by Jugnutts (437 posts) -

@gnarlycore: As far as i know the the Porsche wheels are made from parts of real steering wheels. They are definitely larger than the MS wheel.

#10 Posted by vaportra1l (272 posts) -

The wheels are definitely not the same size as a real car. I have fanatec Turbo s and it is comparable in size to the MS wheel which I also have. My CSR elite pedals arrive today, can't wait to try them out.

#11 Edited by slowbird (1747 posts) -

This thread shows a picture of the Porsche wheel next to the Microsoft wheel. It's a bit larger.

http://forums.forzamotorsport.net/forums/ShowThread.aspx?PostID=2998405

As for my firsthand report, THIS WHEEL IS FUCKING AWESOME. BUY IT NOW. But make sure you have something to clamp it to. I can't really use it yet, because I need to buy a stand for it, or at least find a suitable table in the interim. But even though it's really tough to steer with the wheel not clamped down, it still felt amazing for those few practice laps I did.

#12 Posted by gnarlycore (86 posts) -

Yea I caved and bought the csr and elite pedals, i figure if I don't like it I can sell it for minimal loss. Slowbird, just drop the $350 on a playseat haha, but honestly the rennsport stand seems alright, I had a stand from wheelstandpro.us for my Logitech wheel that I used for gt5, the stand was awesome, shame that gt5 isn't. I'm just gonna hook the fanatic up to a card table I have until I decide if I want to invest the $130 in a stand.

#13 Edited by Jugnutts (437 posts) -

Fanatec GT2 CS unboxing from when i got the wheel a while back.
#14 Posted by Fink (104 posts) -

Yeah, I'm rather insane. I ordered mine the 7th (still not here!) But I got the play seat sled already, and I've been using it with my Microsoft wheel (rather neat)

Total cost of just the wheel, shifter, pedals, and sled.... $710

Like I said.... insane. Vinny, if you every want to play a racing game you can always come over to my house :P

#15 Posted by slowbird (1747 posts) -

oh damn it is so glorious.

seriously everyone, just sell some junk, start a lemonade stand, or swipe your mom's purse, because the CSR wheel is so totally worth every penny.

#16 Posted by gnarlycore (86 posts) -

It's been out for delivery all day! Just sitting here waiting for it it killing me

#17 Posted by gnarlycore (86 posts) -

Delivered to my front office at 440. Ups site didn't update until 530, office closes at 5. Cool.

#18 Posted by j3ffro919 (243 posts) -

@gnarlycore said:

Yea I caved and bought the csr and elite pedals, i figure if I don't like it I can sell it for minimal loss. Slowbird, just drop the $350 on a playseat haha, but honestly the rennsport stand seems alright, I had a stand from wheelstandpro.us for my Logitech wheel that I used for gt5, the stand was awesome, shame that gt5 isn't. I'm just gonna hook the fanatic up to a card table I have until I decide if I want to invest the $130 in a stand.

I went with the stand when I bought my GT2, it is well worth it in my opinion. Sure it pales in comparison to a full seat/sled set up, but if you already have a couch/chair/whatever to sit on, I think the stand is the way to go.

#19 Posted by chilibean_3 (1677 posts) -

I'm really considering Ebaying off the Logitech wheel and using the funds toward the Fanatec set. Is this set the same quality or better than the G25? I broke down and bought Forza and that's left me wanting a wheel that works on Xbox as well as PS3 and PC.

#20 Posted by gnarlycore (86 posts) -

Tried the wheel out for about 45 minutes until my foot hurt too bad to continue, I think my set up is an iota too cramped and my foot angle is not right. The quality of this wheel and pedals is insanely high, it's just going to take some getting used to. Any tips would be appreciated, as I just checked and I'm about 5-6 seconds faster on shorter tracks with the controller. I'm oddly enough much smoother with the controller. Having the normal problems most people probably have, sever oversteer with rwd cars and under steer with awd. Should I be using 270 degree or 900 degree steering?

#21 Posted by slowbird (1747 posts) -

@gnarlycore: I haven't changed anything from the default settings, 270 degree steering included, and I'm feeling much smoother with the wheel. Or at least it's easier to catch a sliding car. It probably still hasn't made me faster overall, but I think I'm getting there. I'd suggest playing for a few days to see if you get used to it. If not, then you can try different wheel settings.

#22 Posted by gnarlycore (86 posts) -

I think maybe my braking and acceleration isn't as quick/smooth as with the controller and that's where my loss is. What view do you play in? I've been using cockpit with the controller since day one, in 3 I used behind the trunk old school view, but the cockpit view in this game is the first I've ever used that i can do well in. I also think I'm babying the wheel and maybe a little afraid to drive harder on it because it was so damn expensive haha.

#23 Posted by slowbird (1747 posts) -

@gnarlycore: I use front bumper cam . It's got a better view of the road, and I still feel like I'm in the car and can feel when it's sliding. I definitely know what you mean about the pedals. It takes a while to get used to the stiffness of the brake, and the gas is a bit soft. Of course, I have the cheap pedals, lol. I think I was a bit overcautious at first, but now I'm pushing the car more, with the exception of very twitchy cars.

#24 Posted by j3ffro919 (243 posts) -

I was a lot slower with the wheel to begin with, now I think I'm a little faster and the controller feels foreign. With the controller I'm in third person view, with the wheel I use the hood view. I personally like 540 degree steering (feels not quite as twitchy as 270) but I also like getting credits and xp for each race I do, so for the time being I'm still rocking 270.

Sadly I think patience is the best thing to get faster, you'll get used to driving instead of using a controller, I've found over the last few weeks I can race longer - 2 weeks ago my shoulders would get sore after a few hours. Also turned down the FFB a little bit, that's helped some too.

#25 Edited by shuref00t (110 posts) -

I'm somewhat disappointed by the Fanatec CSR wheel. It simply doesn't feel like a $249 product.

My main issue is with the steering wheel itself, which feels extremely cheap (the hollow shiny plastic parts on top and the sides). The areas where your hands grip the wheel has the rubber and faux-suede inserts feels fine, and the hub with all the buttons and the paddle-shifters are of very good quality. But the rim of the steering wheel feels so crappy compared to my Logitech G25 and even the original Microsoft Wireless Racing Wheel. The flimsy plastic materials used are what I'd expect from MadCatz, not from a "premium" racing wheel manufacturer.

The motor in the CSR is quite good though, albeit a little loud (heard some complaints from other users of the high-pitched winding noises, which I've encountered myself). But the force-feedback is really strong and linear, and feels great turning in Forza 4.

I have the CSR paired up with the G25's pedals via the $20 adapter (sold separately), and they feel great in FM4, far better than the sponge-like pedals of MS Wheel (even with the cut up tennis ball trick). I just wish I could configure it so the outside left (clutch) pedal could be used as the brake (I'm using the paddles to shift, and I brake with my left foot).

I also bought the CSR shifter set, and for me they were a complete waste of $60. I can't properly mount them to my desk, because with the included hardware (the two alluminum poles you insert into the wheel's base and the shifter) just keeps it floating slightly above my desk, and if I manually shift with them, I feel like I'm going to bend or snap the mounts off. I wish they made an adapter for the G25's shifter too, just like they did with the pedals.

I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but I wish I could just simply use my G25 on the Xbox 360! Stupid Microsoft!

I don't fully regret buying the Fanatec CSR, but I really wish I could've tested it out (or even just seen it) in person first.

#26 Posted by gnarlycore (86 posts) -

Honestly, if you wait for them to sell out you can probably sell them for what you paid or a tiny profit. I've only used the micro wheel and a Logitech dfgt, this wheel feels much better than both of those, all of my beefs are coming from user error I believe haha.

#27 Posted by subyman (654 posts) -

I'm considering picking one up. I have a G27 and love it. I would just buy the wheel with the pedal adapter for around 280. I may just pick up a used GT2 from someone upgrading, I've heard the CSR isn't much better and actually feels cheaper. I like the look of the GT2 more anyway.

#28 Posted by Kiri90 (261 posts) -

I really am considering getting the wheel with the pedals and shifter, but the total price is making me think really hard about it. Plus the fact that I would have to get a stand also makes it extra tough. I love racing games, and have been loving Forza, but I also play a lot of other types of games besides racers. Decisions, decisions....

#29 Edited by birru (3 posts) -

It's great to see a wheel racing crew here.

I've read up quite a bit on the CSR and most people seem to love the wheel but a few have called out the cheap feel of the rest of the rim beyond 9 and 3. The CSR was designed to perform slightly better than the GT2 in some ways. It has subtle tweaks to the electronics, and less mass in the wheel rim so more vibration is stronger and force feedback is quicker. Fanatec also finally upgraded the shifter paddles on the CSR so they're much more positive and responsive.

Right now I have the GT2 wheel with a set of ClubSport pedals. I had the Turbo S before that. I can say the GT2 does feel really nice. The whole rim is wrapped in Alcantara, and feels luxurious. There's a bit of mass to the GT2 rim, so the vibration motors are a little muted. The paddle shifters on my GT2 are really mediocre though, and I think that's an area where the CSR really has a leg up on the GT2. I miss the paddle shifters of my old G25. If I was buying new today, I'd probably go with the CSR, even with concerns about the exposed plastic in the rim, if for no other reason than the fact Fanatec finally fixed their paddles.

Anyway, for the new CSR and GT2 users, here are some things I've noted during my Fanatec ownership:

  • The standard table clamp seems pretty useless, but you can get a secure fit if you pull the wheel a couple of mm forward, which allows the clamp to close a bit tighter before closing the quick release levers. This allows the plastic of the clamp to flex a bit and act like a spring. Just don't overdo it. This also may not work with thicker desks.
  • The mounting rods for the stick shifters work best if you extend them deep into the base of the wheel, enough that they protrude a bit from the other side. Slide the shifter as close as to the wheel as you can stand. It still won't be perfect, but it's serviceable. Also, make sure to follow the directions in your manual to calibrate the 6-speed shifter. That's crucial.
  • If you "invest" in the ClubSport Pedals definitely take the time to tweak. Experiment with spring strength, load cell strength, positions of the pedal faces. If you're handy, get the tuning kit and try adjusting the throw of the brake pedal.
  • I strongly recommend getting a Rennsport Wheel Stand or Wheel Stand Pro to hard mount the wheel. I have the Rennsport and also have my shifters hard mounted to it and it makes a world of difference.
  • If you get a wheel stand, consider securing the pedals. I peeled the rubber feet off my ClubSport Pedals and replaced them with industrial strength Velcro. I have strips of the mating fabric running the length of the base of the stand if I ever need to change position. The pedals feel like they're bolted in place and it really improves braking confidence.
  • When using the Fanatec wheel with the Xbox 360, boot up the console before powering on the wheel.
  • Turn the force feedback strength to 100% in the wheel and then adjust force feedback strength lower in your game software, until you seem to feel the full range of effects, from subtle to maximum. Think of it like maximizing dynamic range and avoiding clipping in an amplifier.
#30 Edited by slowbird (1747 posts) -

@birru: Great info. I can confirm that the shifter paddles on the CSR wheel feel really great, and that the standard table clamp is sufficient if you have a table that is flat on the bottom and not too thick. I need to get some Velcro and mount my pedals with it, because they do tend to slide a bit.

Also, a general note: you can't look left/right while racing with a wheel, because there's no equivalent to the right analog stick. It's a bit annoying, but all the more reason to buy a Kinect for head tracking, I suppose. :P

Picture time!

#31 Edited by eXists (136 posts) -

It's incredibly better than the MS Wheel, especially when you get into the RWD cars and the R classes, with the MS Wheel it felt like driving on thin ice with fast rear wheel drive cars which made it more challenging to drive.

@gnarlycore Definitely go for the 900 degrees steering, tip: it only works if you start your 360 directly and not through the wheel. (See the Fanatec site)

Only complaint is the Gearbox, its assembly isn't the best and shifting to the 5th gear or back to 4th can be tricky, maybe because it's brand new and will work better with time.

I'll post some pics later on.

HTH

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