- Great force feedback from the CSL DD
- Exceptional value for money
- Xbox compatibility is easy to attain
- All-in-one racing bundle
- The P1 V2 steering wheel is a little basic
- The CSL pedals aren’t great without optional load cell
What is the CSL DD Ready2Race Bundle?
Fanatec offers a range of small direct drive wheel bases, which are much more affordable than many high-powered direct drive wheels. To make these racing wheels even more affordable, Fanatec has released their Ready To Race bundles.
There are a variety of Ready To Race bundles, each offering a different steering wheel, pedal and wheel base combination. But all of Fanatec’s Ready To Race bundles make the cost of buying each of these products significantly less.
Here, I’m going to review the 8Nm CSL DD Ready2Race Bundle. This specific bundle includes the CSL DD 8Nm wheel base, the P1 V2 steering wheel and the CSL pedals.
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I’m going to kick things off by looking at the price of this Fanatec bundle, as this is where a lot of savings can be made by choosing a pre-built bundle.
This 8Nm CSL DD Ready2Race Bundle costs $/€499.80.
To put that price into perspective, the full cost of each of these products individually adds up to $/€649.85. That means this bundle would save you $/€150 compared to buying each product individually.
There are a few other Ready To Race bundles that Fanatec sell which offer some different product combinations. Below are a few of the more popular highlighted bundle deals.
- CSL DD Ready2Race Bundle for PC (5 Nm) – $/€399.85
- CSL DD Ready2Race McLaren Xbox Bundle – $/€479.85
- Gran Turismo DD Pro (5 Nm) – $/€699.95
- CSL DD Ready2Race NASCAR Bundle – $/€679.85
All of these bundles include a wheel base, a steering wheel and a set of pedals. The main difference between each bundle is firstly the strength of the wheel base.
Some include the 8Nm CSL DD/GT DD Pro and others only include the 5Nm wheel base. However, every bundle can be upgraded to 8Nm. The other main difference is the steering wheel they come with, which in turn dictates the console compatibility.
The wheel base
The wheel base that is included in this Fanatec Ready To Race bundle is one of the very best small direct drive wheels around. All Ready To Race bundles come with either the CSL DD or the GT DD Pro.
This bundle features the CSL DD wheel base which is the PC and Xbox compatible version. The bundle I am reviewing here also includes the additional boost kit that bumps the force feedback strength up to 8Nm of peak torque.
This addition is well worth it and really transforms the whole sim racing experience. The additional strength that is on offer with the boost kit installed makes this wheel much more well rounded.
You can save $/€100 by opting for the 5Nm wheel base without the boost kit. And while the CSL DD still performs very well at just 5Nm, it does feel a little limited. At 8Nm is where it truly shines.
All areas of the force feedback become more pronounced. Small details become noticeable such as minor track surface changes and little bumps in the track. Also, the peak torque output when cornering at speed makes the wheel feel much heavier and more realistic.
At 8Nm, the CSL DD is easily one of the very best mid-range racing wheels.
The steering wheel
The included steering wheel in this Fanatec Ready2Race bundle is the P1 V2. This is a circular steering wheel that features relatively basic functionality. In fact, it is actually the cheapest steering wheel that Fanatec sell.
This does make it great value, as it performs very well while racing. The size of the wheel is great making it feel much more realistic than some smaller sim racing steering wheels.
There are a series of push buttons on the face of the wheel. Although, personally, I prefer a few more inputs. When racing games such as Assetto Corsa Competizione, you often require inputs for your engine, your wipers as well as inputs to control your traction control, brake bias etc.
With the P1 V2 wheel, there simply aren’t enough inputs to control all of these functions. Instead, this is much more focused on more casual sim racing, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With this use case in mind, the P1 is a great steering wheel.
Across the top is a display which can show live speed and telemetry data. And the whole wheel is finished nicely in a rubber material which includes perforation on either side.
If you do fancy something more premium, there are Ready To Race bundles that include more premium steering wheels. The McLaren bundle includes a formula-style, McLaren-branded steering wheel. And there are Nascar and WRC steering wheels available as well.
- Check out the McLaren Ready2Race bundle
- Check out the Nascar Ready2Race bundle
- Check out the Gran Turismo Ready2Race bundle
With this particular Ready To Race bundle, you get the 2-pedal version of the CSL pedals. This is Fanatec’s current entry-level pedal set and features a throttle and a brake pedal.
Both pedals utilise contactless hall-effect sensors to measure the distance of the pedal travel. This is then translated in-game to how much braking or throttle pressure is applied.
The throttle is much easier to press than the brake, with the brake pedal featuring a stiffer spring with a foam damper to try to simulate a real-world brake pedal.
This approach works fine and allows you to have a relatively consistent feel under braking, and at this price point, these pedals are excellent.
I would however recommend you consider the optional load cell pedal upgrade. This can be applied to this bundle, or you can opt for a premium bundle which includes the load cell pedal.
The load cell brake pedal transforms these pedals into a full 3-pedal set with the load cell becoming your new brake pedal. The old brake then can be moved to become your clutch pedal.
The load cell upgrade makes the brake pedal feel much more realistic. Rather than measuring pedal distance, it measures the force applied to the brake pedal. This gives allows you to build muscle memory while braking, making it easier to be much more consistent on the brake pedal.
With all parts of this bundle looked at, it’s time to move on to the compatibility. Out of the box, this bundle is only compatible with PC. This is despite the bundle saying it is Xbox-ready.
Xbox ready means that the wheel base will become Xbox-compatible when an Xbox-compatible steering wheel is attached. Unfortunately, the P1 V2 is not an Xbox-compatible steering wheel.
To use this bundle with an Xbox, you could add a steering wheel such as the McLaren GT3 V2. This steering wheel actually comes as standard with the Fanatec CSL DD Ready2Race McLaren bundle.
If you are after PlayStation compatible racing wheel, you’ll need to look at a GT DD Pro Ready2Race bundle. These come with a Gran Turismo licensed steering wheel and are PS5-compatible right out of the box.
Should you buy the Fanatec CSL DD Ready To Race Bundle?
This bundle offers incredible value however you look at it. As I mentioned above during our pricing segment, you’re saving around $/€150 compared to buying all elements separately.
This additional saving could allow you to upgrade the pedals to include the load cell brake pedal. Which I’d highly recommend considering as it instantly transforms this bundle into a great mid-range sim racing setup.