Thrustmaster T128 - best beginner wheel?

These are the Best Wheels and Pedals for Beginners

Last week, we posted an article about the best shifters to add to your rig once you have experience in simracing. Now, Joe has taken a look at the best wheels and pedals for beginners in our latest video.

Image Credit: Logitech

Thrustmaster, Fanatec, Logitech, Moza, and many more amazing brands. Simracers are currently spoilt for choice when it comes to beginner racing wheels. In fact for those starting out in this somewhat expensive hobby, picking out the correct hardware can be a daunting task.

To help everyone out, our very own Champion Joe has gone over the best options for a beginner wheel and pedal set. Whatever your needs are, Joe certainly covers all the bases in this video rundown.

Many Force Feedback solutions Available

There are many different types of wheel base available. Manufacturers use different solutions for the force feedback motor to send its torque through to the wheel.

On the lower end of the market are gears. This design is most commonly found in beginner wheels thanks to its simplicity. This cheaper tech comes with a clunky feeling to it according to many. In fact, the gears struggle to provide a smooth force feedback experience all while making a lot of noise as the wheel’s internals knock against each other.

Mid-range wheels are mostly made up of belt driven force feedback systems. These replace the heavy gears with rubber belts, both reducing noise and raising smoothness. However, the belts do tend to stretch over time meaning a wheel’s force feedback can often become vague over time.

Finally, direct drive started its life as a form of racing wheel only available at the very highest end. Though over time, brands such as Fanatec and more recently, Thrustmaster and Logitech have introduced it to a more mainstream audience. With the electric motor sending its power straight through the steering column, this solution gives the most authentic force feedback feeling and should, in theory, never degrade.

Price tags for each force feedback solution do vary, though as Joe says for the best beginner wheel, a mid-range belt drive product is usually a good option. However, Fanatec does offer the low-power direct drive CSL DD wheel base from €350. For serious racers that know they’ll stick to the hobby, this is a great way into the Fanatec ecosystem of peripherals.

Pedals are More Important than Wheels

It’s all well and good getting a great beginner wheel, but the pedals are almost more important. Simracing often comes down to one’s ability to modulate brake and throttle pressure, so you’ll want to prioritise your pedals.

Just like with the wheel market, there are many options for pedals. Some simply offer spring setups, others feature load cells. Pedals with springs will do the job and, depending on the stiffness, are all you’ll ever need.

For those with competitive goals, load cell brake pedals make racers more consistent. In fact, load cells recognise pressure being exerted onto them, not a position like most pedal sensors. Pressure is also what the human body is better at replicating repetitively. Both Fanatec and Thrustmaster offer reasonably priced load cell pedal sets while also allowing users to chose a traditional spring setup if they so desire.

Did you find this guide to the best beginner wheels and pedals helpful? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

A petrol head and motorsports fan since the early days, sim racing has been a passion of mine for a number of years. The perfect way to immerse myself in my true dream job; racing driver. With lots of experience jotting down words about the car industry, I am happy to share my passion for pretend race cars here on Overtake!