Giovanni Scala has managed to get his hands on Leo Bodnar’s recently unveiled spectacular SimSteering wheel.
Luckily for us, Giovanni has captured lots of videos of the device in action and provides an extensive review below!
The SimSteering Wheel is available in two versions, a kit version for those who want to assemble a wheel with their own rim and a complete version with the GT wheel rim you can check out below, alongside the impressive specs.
Unfortunately, all the fancy tech comes with quite a price tag attached as the kit version sells for 2400 British Pounds + tax while the complete package is available for a hundred pounds more.
The wheel is compatible to all major simulations currently on the market, videos of the unit in action are expected to be available soon.
- 16nm peak torque
- 10,000 PPR Encoder
- 20,000Hz internal update rate
- Used by professional driver training centres and race teams since 2010
- Powered by mains 100 – 240 VAC
- Works on every sim race game we’ve tested including, rFactor 1&2, iRacing, DiRT 1,2&3, F1 2010,2011,2012, P. C.A.R.S, Assetto Corsa, all SimBin titles plus many more.
Guest Review By: Giovanni Scala
Hi guys, someweeks ago thanks to my friend and colleague Stefano Pianoterra I had the chance to try the SimSteering, I state that due to my work I was able to try almost all steering wheels on the market, so following a little review of the device combined with photos and videos, trying to be as objective as possible.
The steering wheel is made in two different sections, one section is a box that houses the power supply and connections, the other one is the engine of the steering wheel itself, connected together.
Forget the conventional steering wheel, as described above the steering wheel is divided into 2 parts, the box is a ‘simple’ black box to which you connect the two wires of the motor, the power supply, the USB and the panic button (!). The engine is very compact and rather heavy, in this case, Stefano has built ad hoc support for his position, always with an homebuilt adapter fitting on 30 cm OMP steering wheel. Unfortunately there is no paddleshift, something to take into consideration (it depends if you are formula enthusiast or if you like GT cars with sequential shift lever or H one) and no buttons. In summary I would describe the look simple but definitely functional.
The simplicity of the SimSteering is equal to the construction quality, materials and construction techniques gave me the impression of absolute solidity and durability, the cables that link the two sides are long enough, and then allow to position the control unit virtually anywhere. Another very positive thing is the low noise, it’s like 0!
The functionality and simplicity are the masters here, the steering wheel is operated by a panel that allows you to center it perfectly, set the damping, the degrees of rotation, which are handled differently by commercial steering wheels, the general strength and individual values . Every time you change something you have to assign it, the steering wheel disconnects and reconnects accepting the change. Note 1 welcome (for me!), the steering wheel does not calibrates itself like most of the commercial ones. Note 2 welcome (I think for everyone!) the steering wheel does not have a limit, you can set any degree of rotation, which allows you to simulate any vehicle, from a kart to a bus!
Leo Bodnar already provides some settings , I want to clarify that global forces have never exceeded 30/35%. You may wonder why .. the answer is simple, if more it literally splits over your arms! But it is not just pure strength, but it is all the force feedback that will affect! I tried several software that I’ll list below, but apart from that the first impression of the SimSteering is the ‘easy to drive’ feeling and the feeling of having a real steering wheel in my hand. Everything becomes intuitive, there are no jerks, the steering wheel communicates in a very defined way what the car is doing, and ‘covers’ the FFB that you can have with some simulators. Oversteer is immediate and very natural, understeer feels immediately and in a very defined, everything happens with more and less with all the simulators. In a few words this wheel gives new life to everything!
I state that I have tried all the sim without intrusive aid, only with automatic clutch (laziness!) and invulnerability (necessity!). My impressions are of course influenced by the potential of the software, so I came to dwell also on a normal indirect feeling that can give this wheel and the affinity between HW and SW.
The first tried is rFactor with a GT3 RS @ Imola developed for one of our customers. Previously I had tried it for several hours and the memory on the FFB was quite vivid in my mind and in my hands.
After a few turns my smile is getting wider! The reason I’ll explain it, I had never tried that car with a definition and density of FFB so impressive and especially realistic! First impressions are very positive, the drove comes with a naturalness never had with any sim, the car was a CAR. The FFB is never jerky and is very progressive, understeer and oversteer are very clear and defined. After about 15 laps I stopped and I did a shocked expression to Stefano. After I said in my mind that I could not feel any better …
In a word: regenerated!
I started the game by choosing a Z4 GT3 @ Monza (Milan). Unfortunately, after a few seconds I realized that there was something wrong, the FFB was strong but the information received from the steering wheel were thwarted, as if he understeer and oversteer at the same time! I stop and wonder immediately Stefano who promptly tells me that there is something wrong in the settings, changing things a bit but no improvements.
Unfortunately, Stefano did not remember the settings that were going well and as a result I decided to quit the test and try again when I could do it in the right conditions.
In a word: to try again!
Assetto Corsa TP
Here the choice is mandatory, Elise @ Magione. Like rFactor the feelings you get with this wheel are very defined but unlike ISI title they are much more immediate and rich! It seemed to really have an Elise in hand, the curbs, the understeer, oversteer were something that I’ve never tried on a sim.
I have not tested too much because of ‘boredom’ coming for driving the same car on the same track , because it’s been months since we ride it! But in summary, the prevailing feeling is the simplicity of driving, the car does what I tell him to do, on a naturally way.
In a word: very promising!
Ferrari Virtual Academy
Let me say that this is an ultra underestimated SIM (as NetKar-PRO from which it is derived). The choice for the test went immediately on the 458 Challenge @ Mugello for obvious reasons, the first is that the steering wheel having a crown of 30 cm and does not lend itself to an F1, the second is that Mugello, in laserscan, is simply sublime ! Just out of the pits, this time, the smile quickly becomes giant, a thrill pervades, I’m driving a Ferrari, again! (Note, some time ago, in a day of madness, I went to Maranello to try a 458 street road …).
The feeling was like to find myself in that car again, but much more naughty! The FFB is very strong, ultra defined and natural, I had the feeling of being part of the car! The oversteer can be controlled just like the brain and hands suggest to do, every corner and braking is a crazy pleasure! Tested for 20 minutes in a row and a smile on my face was always there to remind me the combination SimSteering and FVA is the most realistic I’ve ever tried … and exhausted with my arms numb I leave room for Stefano that engages som fantastic oversteers.
In one word: fantastic!
The test track is SPA, one of my favorite and demanding track. The cars I choose were Radical SR8 and the Corvette C6R, the first for his chronic understeer, the second for the accentuated oversteer. Here Stefano corrects some things in the small panel based on suggestions from Bodnar, settings that have been given from what I know, from the same community (the best, in my opinion, regarding simracing). Staretd with the SR8 and my first feeling remember my G25 but after steroids treatment !
Even here outweighs the ease with which the steering wheel communicates what the car is doing, understeer feels a lot but unlike my trusty Logitech, now is much nicer and ‘easy’, it is easy because finds himself immediately to drive fluently and progressive, without mixed feelings. After about 10 minutes drive I changed for the C6R. The first thing that the SimSteering makes to note is how the two cars are different, there is a distinct difference in the FFB, which I had never noticed with this definition. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with this car, but with the SimSteering I immediately tacked to love! As for the Radical FFB is sharp and very well defined, with a simplicity and progressivity never felt with iRacing.
In a word: smooth!
Kart Racing PRO
I must say that karting is not really my thing, but Stefano insists to try it. My expectations were not great. The first sensations are to get your hands on a direct and precise steering wheel, with a power that this time I would say devastating! I really struggled to keep the pace of the combination Lonato / kart / SimSteering, after about 5 minutes I felt really tired, I stopped and Stefano changed the tires by setting the soft ones, telling me: try it now! I do the first few corners and I notice that the kart had a double grip but also that the steering wheel was a real rock! The feelings of FFB remain unchanged but the suffering I endure has increased dramatically, the feeling is just what you would expect from a kart that mounts a very soft tires. A gym equipment.
In a word: convincing!
After 2 hours of test this wheel I was exhausted and sweating, amazed by this fantastic tool that gives ‘life’ to any sim on the market. Unfortunately I hadn’t the time to try everything but I tried to do everything possible, RF2 is missing but as already explained the time and effort did not allow me to try it, I’ll do it as soon as possible, just liek Project CARS. Then, what to say more, SimSteering is a professional and very realistic wheel, allows brute force without ever going into clipping, for those who can afford it and is a big fan and especially wants the uncompromising realism is a must buy , the definitive steering wheel .
Pro: FFB, strenght, rotation degrees, noiseless, no startup calibration,
Cons: Price, no paddleshift, no buttons, not easy to mount on a rig, need a bit of electronic and mechanic knowledge