- Supreme build quality
- Super smooth force feedback
- Wireless mode
- Widely compatible with 3rd party wheels
- Sport model not as powerful as competitors
What is the Simucube 2 Sport?
The Simucube range of wheel bases, are the second generation of direct drive wheel bases produced by Finnish robotics company Granite Devices. The Simucube 2 product range were developed to increase the immersion available from a direct drive wheel base, with a heavy focus on reducing the latency between software and hardware.
There are 3 wheel bases that make up the entire Simucube product lineup. The Simucube 2 Sport, Pro and Ultimate. As you move up the range from Sport to Ultimate, there is an increase in performance and price.
The Simucube 2 Sport is the baby direct drive wheel base in the lineup. However there isn’t much “baby” here, as I personally think the Sport model offers everything a sim racer could ask for from a whel base.
In this review, I’ll run through all of the features of the Simucube 2 Sport. I’ll frequently compare elements to the other wheel bases in the Simucube linep, as well as comparing it to other direct drive wheel bases such as Fanatec’s mighty DD product range.
Simucube 2 Sport design & build quality
When you first look at the Simucube 2 Sport, you will immediately notice how much of a precision product it is. The entirety of the Simucube 2 Sport’s body is constructed from machined solid metal. All edges are nicely bevelled giving the whole wheel base a premium look and feel.
Being a robotics company, it is no surprise to find robotic grade sensors inside the wheel base. This, paired with the brushless motor goes along way to creating some of the smoothest force feedback I’ve felt from a direct drive wheel base. I’ll talk about this more in the performance segment below.
Simucube offer all of their wheel bases with two connection options. You can use the tried and tested USB connection to connect your wheel rim. Or you can connect wirelessly via bluetooth. I tested the wireless connectivity briefly, and I can say there way no noticeable lag or latency issues.
In the box along with your Simucube 2 Sport is the Quick Release (SQR) and locking pin, both of which are needed to connect your wheel rim to the base. The Simucube Quick Release is built to handle the torque that the Simucube delivers. Simucube themselves describe the SQR as being “virtually immortal”.
I have to say during all of my testing with it, I was mightily impressed by the Quick Release. There was zero flex or give when my wheel was locked into place with the pin mechanism.
Overall, you can tell that the Simucube 2 Sport is built to last.
The Simucube 2 Sport has been built to produce a mighty 17 Nm of sustainable torque. The Pro and Ultimate models do produce stronger force feedback, coming in at 25 Nm and 32 Nm respectively.
While comparing the Sport to the other models, you may think that 17 Nm would pale in comparison to the other models. However, going above about 20 Nm of torque does lead you in to excess torque territory. You would find it very hard to complete a long race session using a wheel base outputting close to 30 Nm of torque consistently.
In comparison to other popular wheel bases, such as the Fanatec ClubSport which produces upto 8 Nm. The 17 Nm of torque from the Simucube 2 Sport brings a major upgrade.
As well as strength, the brushless motor inside the Simucube 2 Sport provides amazingly consistent force feedback. The thing that struck me the most during my play testing was just how smooth the force feedback is.
Direct drive wheel bases are all about removing the gear or belt that acts as a transfer mechanism for delivering force feedback from the wheel base to the wheel itself. By removing this intermediatry, you can first and foremost deliver more power into the wheel rim. And also improve the smoothness and detail of the force feedback.
Having raced a lot with the Fanatec DD2, I can honestly say that the Simucube 2 Sport feels much smoother. It really is best in class. Other than the Pro and Ultimate Simucube 2 models. But even the Sport is a step up in terms of smoothness.
While the Sport does deliver enough strength and force feedback detail to use it regularly as our main wheel base. I would like to quickly touch on both the Pro and Ultimate models.
Along with the boost in torque power, comes improved slew rate. This is essentially responsible for how responsive the wheel base is. The faster the slew rate, the faster the wheel base can react to torque spikes.
Jumping from a Simucube 2 Sport to the Ultimate is certainly noticeable, in terms of the responsiveness. However the Sport model already delivers very impressive slew rate speeds. In a similar fashion to the max torque, the Simucube 2 Sport delivers a slew rate that is more than good enough.
Setting up the Simucube 2 Sport is pretty much as easy as they come. Simply plug in the power supply, connect your wheel via the quick release, and connect the USB to your machine and you are ready to race.
Simucube wheel bases all come with the required True Drive software, which acts as the hub to update and tune your wheel base. Within this software, you can access multiple tuning options to configure your wheel base, as well as update your wheel’s firmware and drivers.
True Drive is fairly intuitive to use, giving you a plethora of customisation options. There are also a selection of preset profiles already within the software, which are optimised for individual sim racing games. This allows you to load up an individual profile for whichever game your looking to race in.
Simucube 2 Sport and all of the other models in the Simucube lineup are compatible with the majority of sim racing wheel rims. Wheel rims from brands such as Cube Controls and Ascher Racing are all supported. However for some wheels such as those from Fanatec may require an adapter to fit to the Simucube Quick Release.
There is a built in wireless receiver in the Simucube 2 Sport, which allows you to connect wheels remotely without the need for a USB connection. I tested this a little with a Cube Controls Formula Pro, and it worked well with barely any latency. After testing this feature, I did find myself going back to a hardwired USB connection.
In terms of connecting other peripherals such as handbrakes and shifters, while there is an accessory port available. It is generally easier to manage your other peripherals seperately. I run mine through a USB hub, which allows for reasonably tidy cable management.
So let’s talk about money. The Simucube 2 Sport comes in priced at just over €1000, with the Pro model jumping up by €200, and the Ultimate going for well over €2000.
When compared to other offerings, such as the Fanatec Podium DD1, which is possibly the most similar product to the Simucube 2 Sport. It fairs pretty well in terms price, as the DD1 is currently priced at €1199.
With the Simucube 2 Sport providing slightly smoother force feedback than the DD1, this price tag does seem to offer good value for money.
The Simucube 2 product lineup really focuses on quality. Both in terms of the wheel base hardware itself, which is extremely well designed and built. To the quality of the force feedback, which is really unrivalled within this price range.
The Sport model does surpass the quality of force feedback on offer from its nearest competitor, the Fanatec DD1. And it is also priced ever so slightly lower. Yes, the Fanatec has a great ecosystem, whereas the Simucube relies entirely on third party wheel rims. But this reliance on third party wheel rims could be both an advantage and disadvantage.
Ultimately, the Simucube 2 Sport delivers in every category, for a reasonable price. Meaning I would highly recommend considering it as your next direct drive wheel base.