Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 Review

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Does this premium Fanatec handbrake deliver on the promise of simulating a real rally or drift car? We have spent quite some time reviewing this handbrake peripheral with a range of sim games to find out just how good it is.

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Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 Review

Our Verdict

9.2 / 10

Product Design

92

92
Gameplay

96

96
Value For Money

88

88
Compatibility
Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PC

Pros

  • Adaptable mounting options
  • Good quality build
  • Great progressive feeling

Cons

  • Pricey
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Unboxing the Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake

Starting from the moment you open the box, you get that usual Fanatec quality. The box is tightly packed with black foam, meaning everything is nice and snug and certainly won’t get damaged along the way.

As well as the handbrake itself, you also get the standard plethora of Fanatec connection cables. Strangely, you get a couple of 3.5mm connection stereo jacks.

That is correct, that is how this handbrake transmits its analogue connection. Both 3.5mm cables come with a converter in place, so you can plug them straight into your wheel bases or pedals.

You’ll also find an additional adapter and the mandatory quick-start guide. Which, if you’re anything like us, you’ll throw straight in the bin.


ClubSport Handbrake design

For a handbrake peripheral costing over $100 / €100, you would expect something substantial. And that is exactly what Fanatec deliver. The quality and design of this handbrake is top-notch. The whole body is constructed entirely from metal giving it some weight to it.

Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake Review

The handbrake lever itself is made up of an aluminium shaft, and a lovely, soft-to-the-touch, soft foam grip. This foam grip is padded nicely so it never feels rough or uncomfortable in your hand. All good so far then.

There is also a good level of customization with this handbrake. You can completely switch the direction of the lever to suit your own preference. You can opt for a vertical handbrake just like a real rally car. Or have it horizontally mounted to match a real-world road car.

Changing the direction of the handbrake has been designed to be as easy as possible. You will have to take apart the handbrake base, but it has been designed with a few Allen key bolts to make it easy to remove. Then, simply switch the direction of the lever.


Mounting the handbrake

Mounting the handbrake is very easy, especially if you already own the Fanatec ClubSport shifter. Drill holes allow you to mount it directly to the shifter base. This is great as you don’t need to have an additional mount to support the handbrake.

This results in a tidy mounting setup, with barely any faff involved. We really appreciate having this option to mount it to the shifter. It places the handbrake in a natural position and it feels sturdy when mounted.

Mounting Fanatec handbrake

How does this handbrake feel?

The handbrake itself has a lovely dampening effect when you lower the handbrake back down. This will help with durability if you release the handbrake too early, as it won’t fly back into its resting position causing any damage. It also gives the whole unit a lovely, premium feeling.

There is also a stiffness to the handbrake, giving it resistance when you engage it. This again, is a really nice sign of a high-quality product. And it does feel somewhat realistic.

The analogue progression of this handbrake differs completely from simply using a button to engage the handbrake. When using a button on the wheel to engage the handbrake, you simply have an on-off engagement.

Introducing a progressive handbrake, you get a lot more control over how you apply the handbrake. This Fanatec handbrake allows you to engage the handbrake quickly, slowly, at 50% engagement and more.

You can really control how your car slides in a way that is very hard to replicate with a simple button press.


Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 compatibility

The great news is that this handbrake is compatible with every console, and wheel that Fanatec manufacture. It connects directly to the wheel base for ease of setup.

Fanatec handbrake vertical horizontal

When setting up this handbrake in a game, most games require a simple engagement of the handbrake for it to be recognized. Once recognized in the game, it will start working immediately. This is one of the easiest setups for any peripheral that we have experienced.


Is the ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 worth buying?

If you are a fan of games such as Dirt Rally or fancy yourself as a drifter, then not having a physical handbrake is doing yourself an injustice. This Fanatec ClubSport handbrake is a supreme example of a handbrake peripheral.

If you regularly use a handbrake button on your wheel, this physical handbrake will elevate your experience and immersion. You gain a lot more control when using this handbrake.

And using the handbrake to lock the rear axle feels extremely satisfying. Trying to press a handbrake button while the wheel is at full lock can be extremely awkward. This handbrake removes that, and in its place adds immersion.

This is a must-buy for any rally or drift driver who is already in the Fanatec ecosystem.

Technical Specifications

  • Platform – PC, PS4 Ready, XBox One Ready
  • Sensors – Analog
  • Grip material – Soft foam
  • Main Material – Metal
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Review written by Felix König

About Felix König

Felix König is a professional Esports sim racer from Seattle, WA, and is the founder and editor of Sim Race Reviews. In addition to over 10 years of professional sim racing and competing in both iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione competitions, Felix has been sharing his sim racing knowledge and expertise with other sim racers. His passion lies in sim racing, and in particular in the plethora of sim racing hardware from racing wheels to pedals and more.