- The 4.3″ display is a game changer
- Comes in wired or wireless form
- Almost perfect layout and design
- Extremely sturdy with real carbon fibre
- Widely compatible across many wheel bases
- High price tag
The Cube Controls Formula CSX 2 is an extraordinary racing wheel which sits atop of Cube Controls’ wheel offering. It is the flagship formula-style racing wheel on offer, and it’s easy to see why.
Boasting a stunning 4.3″ LCD display right at the centre of the wheel, this wheel is designed for ultimate sim racing pleasure. Many sim racers would only dream of owning a wheel like the Formula CSX 2, which comes with a price tag to rival its huge display.
In this review, I’ll run you through this wheel in detail. I’ll give you my thoughts having been lucky enough to spend some considerable time using the CSX 2. And I’ll ultimately try to advise on whether this sim racing wheel is worth considering.
If you’ve ever owned a Cube Controls racing wheel, then even upon opening the box you’ll find many similarities. And if the CSX 2 is your first Cube Controls product, you will immediately be hit with a sense of luxury.
This wheel comes very well packaged, with everything you need to setup your wheel, minus a quick release. The quick release isn’t included as you will need to ensure you purchase the correct quick release dependant on the wheel base you’re using.
Inside the box you’ll find the wheel itself, a selection of cables, a very nice feeling bag to store your wheel in, a Cube Controls branded t-shirt, and a huge selection of stickers. These stickers allow you to configure your racing wheel exactly how you like.
The Cube Controls Formula CSX 2 Design
You can look at the Formula CSX 2 as the big brother of the Cube Controls Formula Pro. It features many of the same design features, and adds a few new features to the mix.
Read our Cube Controls Formula Pro review to compare it to this CSX 2 review, and see which wheel is right for you.
When you first handle the CSX 2 you’ll notice just how high end the whole product feels. The front of the wheel is finished in real carbon fibre, which gives it a cold metallic feeling when you touch it. The rest of the body is machined from aluminium, which gives it a sense of weight. Although you’ll be surprised at just how light this wheel feels when you consider it heavily uses aluminium components.
Across the front are a wide selection of inputs, many of which can also be found on the Formula Pro wheel. There are 13 push buttons, all of which are backlit, including 2 which can be programmed to flash at you. These flashing buttons can be used for functions such as pit release or natural.
All of the buttons sit within a slightly raised and contoured platform. This really helps guide your thumb on to each button. Every button is surrounded by its own molded button housing, which makes button pushing easy, even without ever looking at the wheel.
Both of the flashing buttons that sit towards the top of the wheel, feature a very prominent button housing. These button housings are the perfect size for your thumb to sit comfortably in when engaging these buttons.
Rotary Encoders and Other Inputs
On the left hand side front of the CSX 2 is a joystick which also features a rotary encoder on the top. This is designed so you can easily flick through menu screens. However the addition of a rotary encoder into this joystick, also allows you to program it to control functions such as traction control or brake bias.
However, you may not need to use the joystick’s encoder, as there are 4 large rotary encoders on the front of the wheel. The two largest encoders which sit on the bottom row feature 8 positions. And ever engagement and position feels super crisp. There certainly wont ever be a time where the encoders feel washy or uncertain.
Adding to these 4 encoders, are 2 extra rotary encoders right next to your thumb grip. These are super useful for switching through settings on the fly, and making small, quick adjustments.
And if that wasn’t enough, there are an additional 2 rotary encoders on the front of each hand grip. These 2 additional hand grip encoders don’t feature on the Formula Pro, and are exclusive to this wheel.
That brings the total amount of encoders up to a mighty 8, plus 1 for the joystick encoder.
Every single one of the inputs, including the rotary encoders are extremely well positioned. After using this wheel for just a few hours, you’ll quickly learn the positioning of all of the buttons.
This will allow you to feel right at home using this wheel, allowing you to use the inputs without ever even looking at the wheel. This is especially useful when it comes to using this wheel with VR.
Shifters and Dual Clutch
As mentioned, looking at the CSX 2 and the Formula Pro side by side, you’ll see a lot of carry over in terms of design. This includes many of the button placements that I mentioned above, as well as the majority of the rotary encoders.
This carry over extends to the rear of the wheel, where you’ll find four paddles, the quick release and the cable housing.
Just because these elements are on the reverse of the wheel, doesn’t mean that Cube Controls have slacked in terms of quality. All four of the paddles feel extremely premium.
The two shifter paddles are magnetic switchless shifters and feel extremely positive. They feature a very short throw with almost zero deadtime between you pulling the shift, and the shift engaging.
This short throw does take a little getting use to, but due to the shifters feeling so positive to engage. You shouldn’t accidently be pulling shifts when you didn’t mean to.
Underneath the shifters sit 2 spring loaded paddles, which are used for your clutch and launch control system. These allow you to pull both paddles to engage the clutch. Then you can release one paddle to start pulling away, then when you’re in motion release the second paddle for the perfect start.
There is also a small red dial just in front of the left clutch paddle. This little red dial allows you to adjust your clutch bite point very quickly. This is especially useful if you are racing on varying track conditions.
Just like the rest of this wheel, these paddles all feel extremely premium as they’re fully constructed from real carbon fibre. They feel sturdy to the touch, and feel about as close as you can get to a real world race wheel.
One of the first things you’ll probably notice when you pick up the Cube Controls Formula CSX 2 is the hand grips. This will most likely be the first part of the wheel you touch, and it’ll be the part of the wheel that your hands will be in contact with the most.
So it’s good to know that they feel great. The diameter of the wheel is 282mm, with the hand grips coming in at a chunky 45mm. These grips feel substantial in your hand, and are comfortable to hold.
They constructed from elastomer molded grips, which feels slightly soft to the touch, but with a rigidness underneath. Essentially they feel like a form of rubber, and emulate rubber in their tackiness and soft touch design.
The design of the grips features a large diameter around the middle portion of the grips, with a sharp drop-off lower down. Overall, they feel extremely comfortable to hold for an extended period of time.
The 4.3″ LCD screen
At the heart of this Cube Controls wheel, sits the main attraction. The 4.3″ LCD screen. This screen is what sets this wheel apart form its little brother, the Formula Pro. There is also the addition of a series of 21 extremely bright LED lights, which is also a bonus. These are used as rev lights and flag lights, giving you useful information at a glance.
The display itself can be found on a few other racing wheels, and is the Ultimate Game Tech V2. This display features a display resolution of 480×272, which although sounding low, is more than enough.
There are a 5 built in preset screen configurations available to you while racing, however if that isn’t enough, you can import or create your own layouts. To be honest, the configurations that are loaded up by default are more than good enough for me to never have to dabble in a custom layout.
You can switch through these easily to find the right one for you, with options such as F1 style layouts to more simpler configurations available. There are even presets which allow you to view the current race order, and lap times.
Everything regarding this display is controlled via the Ultimate Game Tech software, which has to be running in the background when using this wheel. However, you don’t always have to use this software when changing wheel displays.
You can quickly scroll through each screen using a custom input, such as the thumb encoders. This lets you quickly switch between displaying the race order, and your normal display configuration mid race with ease.
While we’re talking about the UGT software, you can control practically every part of your CSX 2 wheel with this piece of software. The options are so wide, from completely changing button configurations, to adjusting how your rev lights flash.
You can do it all with the UGT software, and lose many hours setting it up to your preference.
The screen itself features an anti-scratch coating meaning you shouldn’t accidently scratch it with a ring, or watch as you move your hand across the wheel. In all of my time with the wheel, there was absolutely no wear issues regarding the screen.
Under racing conditions this Formula CSX 2 wheel holds up just as well as the Cube Controls Formula Pro, that we have previously reviewed. The body construction of aluminium and carbon fibre ensures there is zero flex in the wheel, even when battling with a direct drive wheel.
The diameter of 282mm is the sweet spot for a formula-style racing wheel. It feels comfortable to use, while remaining compact and agile.
While racing everything on this wheel feels intuitive. The button placement is pretty much perfect, with almost every input accessible without removing your hands from the wheel. Within just hours I had learnt to use many inputs without looking at the wheel.
Although I couldn’t help but continuously look down at the impressive display. The screen is constantly at the heart of this wheel. And it is the part of the wheel that I love the most.
The addition of the display makes such a huge difference to any racing scenario. You can remove almost all of your in-game HUD elements, as the wheel can display most of these. This frees up screen real estate to make for a much more immersive racing experience.
Simply switching through the displays to view in-game race leaderboards, through to tyre temperatures and lap times immerses you like almost no other wheel I’ve raced with has done in the past.
Ultimately, the Cube Controls Fomula CSX 2 sits above almost every other sim racing wheel on the market. Yes, it does come with a premium price tag. But the amount of immersion and functionality that the CSX 2 brings to the party probably justifies this price.
If you are looking to build the absolute best sim rig you can, or you are looking for extra immersion, then I couldn’t recommend the CSX 2 enough.
If, on the other hand you are looking for a premium wheel. But have VR racing in mind, then the Cube Controls Formula Pro features a lot of the same functionality and build quality. But lacks the display, which in VR you wouldn’t be using.