Last updated: February 19th, 2024
Over the years, Simucube has extended its product line-up, and aside from offering top-notch direct drive wheelbases, we’re now getting steering wheels, pedal sets, and a bunch of other accessories from the vendor, too.
We’ve already discussed the Simucube 2 DD wheelbases in depth and how they dominate the sim racing world. Now, let’s take a closer look at the other offerings coming from the Simucube stable and how they’re maintaining their market dominance with their highly-rated sim racing gear.
With a handful of wheels to offer, Simucube ensures that there’s something for everyone with its wide variety of steering wheels. The most popular choice among enthusiasts is the GSI x Simucube Formula Pro Elite wheel which caters to the needs of enthusiasts craving an F1-like experience at the wheel.
Limited Edition GSI x Simucube Formula Pro Elite
The GSI x Simucube Formula Pro Elite is a high-end racing wheel and comes with all the bells and whistles. Here, you’ll find a nice LCD screen with touch-screen functionality for telemetry information that keeps you updated on all the stats of your car.
Its 5mm thick carbon fiber plate with tons of push buttons, rotatory encoders, and 7-way multi ‘funky’ switch ensures that you have tons of in-game customization options and can create a personalized driving experience.
With its aluminum paddle shifters, silicon handles, and wheel side Simucube Quick Release, the GSI x Simucube Formula Pro Elite is a pretty solid racing wheel that’ll cost you €1798,80 on a good day.
For a slightly cheaper F1-style rim, Simucube also offers an Ascher steering wheel F64 V3 that can also be considered. Although it does have fancy features such as an LCD or a bunch of rotary encoders, it would still do a fine job of powering your sim racing career.
Simucube Tahko GT-21 Wireless Wheel
The Simucube Tahko GT-21 Wireless Wheel feels like the right option if you’re stepping into the sim racing world and looking to grab a high-end D-shaped wheel without breaking the bank. With a price tag of just €822, this wheel from Simucube offers a great bang for the buck.
At first glance, you’ll see the Alkantara-like finish (Suede fabric) on the 12.9-inch wheel with a handful of push buttons with a nice clicky feel. A rotatory encoder in a medley with a 7-way switch further enhances your customization options and gives you a premium feel of the wheel.
Magnetic paddle shifters and wireless connectivity further sweeten the deal and whether you’re into F1 racing or a fan of GT sports racing, the Simucube Tahko GT-21 Wireless Wheel is a darn good option.
And if you have any concerns regarding longevity, CNC-finished aluminum steel build will ensure that the steering doesn’t come apart easily. Finally, the orange-colored theme here looks quite stunning, but since not everyone is fond of this color scheme, Simucube is offering a Simucube Tahko GT-21 Black Edition as well that comes with an all-black faceplate.
For those who want a racing wheel for rally racing and drifting, D-shaped steering wheels aren’t the best way to compliment your driving style. For such purpose, a round-shaped steering wheel is preferred and fortunately, you’ll find a Simucube Tahko Round steering wheel perfect in this scenario.
To create a “Simucube ecosystem”, the only thing that you’re missing here are the pedals. Fortunately, Simucube now offers a handful of (very) high-end pedals that go hand-in-hand with the rest of your build.
Don’t mind spending a fortune on pedals? The Simucube Activepedal with its premium build quality and unlimited customization options makes it one of the best in the business. Here, you’re getting Force Feedback, G-Force, ABS, RPM, and a ton of other feedback features that ensure a realistic driving sim experience.
The Activepedal can be configured to be used as the accelerator, brake, or clutch. But, since it comes with a load cell mechanism, it’d make a lot of sense to use this as the brake pedal. Moreover, the pedal comes with a nice rubber grip, and their ball-screw mechanism ensures that each movement is registered.
One of the finest details of this Simucube Activepedal is that you can simply customize the stiffness and the force feedback of the pedal using the native Simucube software. Fortunately, you won’t have to swap out any springs or elastomers to make any sudden changes.
Finally, for just €2398, you can take this bad boy home.
And if you want a 2-paddle set with Activepedal technology, you’ll have to cough up a whooping €2928 for the bundle. Finally, each of these pedals can be purchased separately, although the accelerator pedal doesn’t feature the Activepedal technology you’d still get to customize its stiffness and make other adjustments.
With its current product roster offering three choices in the Simucube 2 collection; Sport, Pro, and Ultimate, the company aims to serve the top-end spectrum of the direct-drive scene. Built to serve different market segments, each model offers its unique selling points, with the Sport catering those new to direct drive wheels, the Pro serving more experienced drivers, while hard-core professionals, who crave the ultimate experience, are best matched with, you guessed it, the Ultimate, which to me looks satisfyingly Kollmorgenesque.
Constructed with industrial-grade direct-drive torque motors, all three models essentially have zero torque ripple or magnetic cogging. The angle sensors, drive electronics, and CNC-machined full-metal parts are all made by Granite Devices to complete the monstrous motor and unleash its maximum potential.
I’ll go into more features present in each model soon, like the Simucube Quick Release (SQR) system, ultra-low latency mode, high dynamic range, and natural signal processing, but before that, I’d like to share a bit of Simucube’s history and why it’s parent company Granite Devices, make it a reliable and skilled producer of sim racing hardware.
Sim Racing Today: Simucube 2
After the much-covered days of the Simucube 1 where you were a pioneer if you could assemble the controller, Simucube took their technology and made it a lot more accessible to ordinary sim racers (as opposed to electronics engineers!). So, first of all, I want to quickly run you through the three different models that Granite Devices offers in the Simucube 2 range today.
We have the Simucube 2 Sport, the Simucube 2 Pro, and the Simucube 2 Ultimate. Each model in the Simucube 2 range has been optimized to perform at the highest level and with sub-millisecond latency, while the main differences between the three lie in the maximum torque, slew rate, and angle sensor used.
Each wheelbase ensures rigid mechanical coupling with the wheel, which is the fundamental requirement for direct drive, and they all feature SQR (as featured in our guide to QR hubs) as standard. Furthermore, thanks to the Simucube 2’s dedicated DSP processor for motor control, and another processor for interfacing with PC simulators, the ultra-low latency is stable and consistent.
Another new addition that comes with the Simucube 2 is True Drive; a PC configuration application for all the Simucube 2 devices. This intuitive and easy-to-use app makes tweaking the wheelbases to one’s taste easier than ever.
Of course, there are more variables between the three wheelbases, like differences in the emergency stop button designs, power supply requirements, and different dimensions (they all have different lengths but mounts as what we call “MiGE” front mounts).
One key difference is in the warranty offered with each model. The Sport and the Pro both come with a 24-month warranty, while the Ultimate comes with a fantastic 60-month warranty. It’s reassuring to see that the company believes in its device’s longevity and offers such excellent worldwide guarantees.
To be fair, I’ve never had a single problem with my SC2 Pro. Some users, very occasionally) report the clamp on the motor shaft loosening – this has never happened to me. This is probably why my common Simucube problems fell flat on its face: there are very rarely any issues with these wheelbases.
Wheelbases: A closer look at the technical details
Going through the specs in a bit more detail, we can see that the Sport comes with a 17 Nm max-torque motor, the Pro has 25 Nm, and the Ultimate has 32 Nm. To put that in perspective, the forces you feel in an actual streetcar are usually somewhere around 7-10 Nm, so what’s on offer from all three Simucube 2 wheelbases is above and beyond the torque levels most people are going to require for driving in simulations.
However, what you get with that additional torque and the additional slew rate are increased responsiveness and an overall amplified sensation of realism, which are the keys to DD wheelbases’ superiority over other force feedback technologies.
Looking at the angle sensors used in the three Simucube 2 iterations, we can see that both the Sport and the Pro have a 22-bit absolute sensor, and the Ultimate uses a 24-bit Hiperface sensor. A higher angle sensor number represents more points of data throughout the rotation of the wheel. Basically, with a higher value, more subtle movements in the steering are transmitted into the sim; thus, the more accurate the steering will be. That said, you eventually reach a point where it becomes indistinguishable, and it’s often a hot topic that’s debated on various sim racing forums as to what that value is.
As for slew rate, this refers to the speed at which an amplifier can respond to a signal. In sim racing, it relates to how quickly a wheelbase can respond to steering wheel rotation. The lower the slew rate, the sloppier the steering starts to feel, diminishing the overall experience. While each of the Simucube 2 wheelbases offers fantastic slew rates, it’s wise to bear this in mind when deciding which model is suitable for you. The Sport offers 4.8 Nm/ms, the Pro provides 8 Nm/ms, and the Ultimate delivers a whopping 9.5 Nm/ms. These are all at such fine moments of rotation you’d never be able to tell the difference – despite what Youtube reviewers like to say.
All three models also incorporate Simucube Wireless Wheel (SWW), which automatically connects to a Simucube Wireless Wheel by briefly pressing both paddle shifters simultaneously. The wireless wheel transmission protocol has been specially engineered to provide consistent and unbreakable millisecond range response times and an extremely long battery life of over five years.
Before we move on from wheels, I have to say that Simucube’s SQR hub is a very high-quality item with what seems to be perfectly machined parts. The QR adapter slots together perfectly, and there’s no movement in the hub whatsoever. In my opinion, while there are plenty of other mounting options available it’s probably the best QR hub currently available for DD wheelbases from any brand. Remembering of course that the “wheelbase side” is only compatible with Simucube wheelbases. The machining tolerance on the mortice joint (pictured below) is sublime: it fits tightly and a clevis pin keeps the two ends connected.
Just like the rest of Simucube’s products, it’s been built to be virtually indestructible. The only theoretically wearing part is the spring-loaded pin mechanism; however, to combat this, Simucube has made it out of standard stock parts, making it more user-serviceable and easy to replace.
The True Drive software makes setting up painless and completes the overall sim racing system offered by Granite Devices. True Drive usually receives a software update monthly and commonly this is joined by a firmware update for the wheelbase. All of this is “done for you” – you only have to open the software and go to the paddock section to find a profile to try. No other wheelbase manufacturer is doing this (that I’m aware of) – it’s a masterstroke in new sim racer onboarding!