Fanatec Universal Wheel Hub – Sim Garage Review

Barry Rowland of The Sim Garage is among the very first to receive Fanatec’s new Universal Wheel Hub, putting it through a thorough review process.

The hour-long review covers all aspects of the unit, including unboxing, assembly and first-use impressions.

Features

  • 16 integrated buttons on top of the hub
  • 4 button boxes with 3 buttons each
  • FunkySwitch(tm) with 4-way direction pad, 2-way turning function and push button. Comes with a metal knob
  • ​Small or big shifter paddles for different rim diameters.
  • The big shifter paddles are fully adjustable in distance, width and angle
  • Shifter paddle units can be taken off to save weight.
  • LED display for Tuning or telemetry functions. It can be installed in two positions: Standing or flat
  • USB port to charge a smartphone. No data
  • An additional 5th button box unit can be attached (not included)
  • Data port for future feature upgrades

An additional 16 buttons are placed on top of the unit for users who prefer to use buttonless third-party rims, still giving players the controls needed to sim race.

The Universal Wheel Hub is now available and in stock, selling for 249,95 Euros/Dollars respectively. For more info, please visit the Fanatec website.

GTOmegaRacing.com

  • SimRacer007

    Barry, I enjoy your videos, but I really feel like they should be edited down a bit more – an hour is waaaay too long. I think 30 minutes is the maximum length really for this kind of video. Just my 2 cents.

    • http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT_50ZiRFWSm7oziV1OZloQ Barry Rowland

      Yeah, I hear ya! Sometimes I just can’t help myself once I dive into the details of a new piece of hardware. I have changed the format, so if you read the description section for this video you will see links to different segments of the video. This way you can look at the segments of interest at your own leisure.

      • Aleš Přibáň

        Im ok with the lenght .) GJ !

      • http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT_50ZiRFWSm7oziV1OZloQ Barry Rowland

        Glad you enjoyed it!

      • toyvonen

        Barry, i’ve sent you a mail, asking for a specific feature (or lack of
        it) on the FFB feeling when using the Universal Hub compared to the
        generics wheel rims of Fanatec directly attached to the CSW
        base…someone stated before that some of the FFB features and feelings
        were missing, other say that the less weight of the Wheel Rims (freelly
        choosen) even when used together with the Hub, increased the reactivity
        off all FFB features between the CSW base and the Wheel rim (wich in my
        opinion would be the logical reaction)…can you share some light on
        that one…cause altough you made the best review of the Hub i ever saw,
        that feature isn’t reported…

        THANKS in advance

      • Daan Loos

        I was also wondering this, on my CSR there can be rumble on both sides of the wheel separate. Is this all coming from the base or is there something in the rim like in a Playstation controller?

      • Aleš Přibáň

        I think, that more weight of rim, more work for base = u must set stronger FFB. For example my CSW with formula rim got much more harder and stronger FFB with same FFB setings than when i put BMW rim on. That means also abit faster cornering, contra etc. It simply depends on weight of rim. I think when u get hub with some real rim you are still on less weight than with BMW rim which is really heavy. i mean that is also reason why fanatec made latest porsche rim much lighter.

      • http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT_50ZiRFWSm7oziV1OZloQ Barry Rowland

        This is the same as I experienced. With just the generic or MOMO rim attached, the FFB was stronger than with the MOMO with the SMC electronics pod mounted to it. You will have to increase FFB settings to compensate it you can. Just not enough power in these motors to fully compensate for heavier wheels I’m afraid. Unlike the Bodnar, it just laughs at the heaviest wheel combo I have, including the weight of the QR system. Hoping the upcoming Accuforce will be able to do the same. High end FFB for the masses!

      • toyvonen

        OK, is what i was expecting and already had as experience…less weight, more FFB, wich is logical.
        I can say that for me the lack of strength is not a problem, i compensate that with ingame tweaking, and with parameters of the CSW itself…i mean, sure the motors could be better, but not long ago we were amazed with the G27/G25, and let’s be serious, Fanatec CSW with good configuration is on other league, that includes all the other wheels, with exception of Bodnar and probably the future Simxperience wheel rim…but hey, 400Eur are not 4000, so let’s compare what is comparable…i’m also sure Fanatec has in it’s projects new bases to complement the CSW, low and high end products…
        …..till then, i’m enjoying and absolutly confident i made the right choice of buying the 918 RSR rim…as i said before, it doesn’t get much better than this…full of features, never ending build qualities, more important…the reduced weight (less 500g than the BMW) makes ALL the diference, believe me…it’s spot on, because it allows the motors to be experienced in less limited way, and at the same time, with enough enertia/mass to feel we’re not dealing with a toy rim….not to mention the way it looks, that is obvious…i was afraid because i thought it’s high price wouldn’t compensate for the increased experience, but now i have to say my “guts” was wrong on this one…IMHO it’s worth every cent…it’s an Elite product, and i guess one must get use to pay them according, regardless of economic problems…after a certain level, this is definitely not a “hobby” for everyone.

        …the Hub will probably be in my future list, because i also think this is a really landmark of simhardware….THANK you Barry and all others for making me feel i almost had experienced the products, without even putting my eyes on it!

      • Ghoults

        Please don’t make your videos any shorter :). I love your in-depth and very hands on approach. I was very positively pleased to see one hour review for this thing instead of typical 15 minute review. One of the best advice for any review or tv-show is “Show, don’t tell”. I like how you go through the various technical aspects of the products and literally spend the time and effort to show us the various bits and pieces. Watching your videos is pure sim racing porn and imho the length of the videos is just a plus.

      • SimRacer007

        Good idea, I hadn’t seen that yet. Thanks for doing that.

  • Glen Orpheus

    I’ve asked this question everywhere but nobody seems to answer….lol
    were is the mobile phone attachment/holder/grip so that i can use the software that fanatic showcased a little while ago……?
    or any other telemetry display software….there are pictures of it still on the website, but nobody seems to know how to get it.
    can anybody shed any light ? PLEASE!!!!!

    • http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT_50ZiRFWSm7oziV1OZloQ Barry Rowland

      I tried digging also but could not find it listed any where right now.

      • Glen Orpheus

        keep digging ;)

    • Bakkster

      I believe that was an in-development product, that might get produced if lots of people ask for it.

      • Glen Orpheus

        in this day and age I’m pretty sure a lot of people would benefit from this….surely it’s a no brainer ?

    • Thomas Jackermeier

      We still need to dvelop the mobile phone holder. It is one of our upcoming projects but it is not available soon.

      • Glen Orpheus

        no point in holding my breath then, i’ll be honest and say that has made me feel somewhat disappointed and cheated….you still have pictures on the site and it’s not even a real thing yet…..OMG :(

      • Glen Orpheus

        the hub even has a USB charger for your phone, leading us to think that it’s an option, i do hope it’ll be a free add-on for the cheek…..poor deceptive show :(

      • Thomas Jackermeier

        I agree that we need to make it more clear and we are now changing the text. Such a holder should not be difficult to make it by yourself if you have some DIY skills

      • Glen Orpheus

        well i don’t, thats why i was so excited to see what we thought you had developed :(
        anyhow all this talk won’t get it designed, I’m obviously keeping you away from the design board…..peace out

      • Chris D

        how about another sale so some of us can get in on that base

      • F1Racer

        Is that so we can call tech support during a race ? :)

        I would have had a CSW base off you a few weeks ago if you had them in stock. Couldnt wait so landed myself with another GT3RSV2 instead :(

  • BackMarker

    Fantastic review, Mr. Rowland! Another +1 to the lengthy reviews if it is not a burden. I feel having links to the segments is preferred to actual editing out of information.

    Does anyone know when the Fanatec rims will be in stock? I see that the rims are still listed as preorder at the Fanatec NA website.

  • Dirtbooger

    Great job as always Barry

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