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 Here is my first ever detailed review.

  The wheel I am reviewing is the Fanatec CSR wheel as well as the CSR elite pedal set and the CSR shifter. The wheel is licensed by Turn 10 for their upcoming forza motorsport 4. 

The Wheel
The Fanatec CSR is a wheel that has a racey feel to it. Here i am going to tell you my thoughts.

The wheel is mainly made from plastic. However at the 3-9 position there is some lovely Alacantara, which is found on many high end road car wheels including Porsche's. The material feels nice in hand both comfortable and easy to hold onto. It is also set out in an ergonomic way. For example the paddles behind the wheel seem to feel the perfect distance away. They also make a very reassuring and satisfying click so you know when you change gears.

I have commented previously about the possibility that the buttons are too far away from your hands when you are racing on games like F1 2011. After having the wheel a while I have discovered that it isn't so bad.


 The wheel design is nice. The wheel looks and feels good. The brushed aluminum gives the wheel a premium look, combined with the Alacantara grips the wheel both looks and feels good. The wheel also feels solid in its build, something that some of the early fanatecs lacked.

The one thing in terms of design that I am not a huge fan of is the wheel clamps. They seem to take a lot longer to set up than wheel clamps from fanatecs competitors such as logitech. This can of course be resolved by either hard mounting a wheel to your rig or by buying the Fanatec Clubsport table clamp.
The clamp however is secure. It just takes a lot longer to install the first time than Logitechs do.

 Another thing that could be made easier is way you attach the two poles for mounting the Shifter set. Currently their is a system were you tighten/untighten a screw. This sounds good but it isn't as the screw is made of soft plastic. Whilst I was attaching my shifter set the screw became pretty much useless as the coin i was using bent the seam were you insert the coin meaning the coin has no grip to turn so you cannot turn to tighten the lock.


The wheel includes, like most fanatecs, an LED display which houses the wheels built in wheel settings were you can adjust many wheel settings. 
An example of what can be tuned is in the list below which shows Darin Gangi's (from Inside sim racing) wheel settings.

DRI: 3
ABS: 65

These settings are for forza motorsport 4. However I have found that thay work quite well on Gran Turismo 5.
another features is the wireless xbox functionality. This is rare now-a-days due to Microsoft's licensing and other things that are too complicated for me to understand fully and explain but i think its something to do with the Xbox's software.

The wheel also had 900 degrees of rotation and 14 buttons. Enough for all console games.

Build Quality

The build quality of this wheel so far has not let it down. The CSR both looks and feels solid. Little things such as the paddles have been greatly improved compared to any previous, If anything i would say they are as good if not better than the G27s.

The plastic rims being made out of two seperate pieces may not be ideal for everyone but as far as I am concerned it makes no difference as long as it is not where you are gripping the wheel. 

The rim is made from 4 materials.:
Metal for both the shifter and the core (middle) of the rim.

A rubbery textured bit at the flat bottom part of the rim and around the alacatara.
Alacantara in the areas were you grip the wheel. (3-9 position)
Plastic on the base and the areas of the rims that you wouldn't normally touch.

Force Feedback and driving in general

The force feedback of this wheel is silky smooth. It uses a belt driven mechanism which is seamless no matter what the conditions. The reason Fanatec use a belt driven mechanism is that unlike gear driven wheels their is no break or cogging when turning. The results are very impressive and you feel every bump.

You also know when you lock up your brakes thanks to the vibration motors. The vibrations from this make you immersed in your driving and are extremely useful. The vibration units are not too harsh or too soft they are perfect. 

A thing that you notice or rather don't notice whilst driving is the noise of the wheel. Their is no noise. This again is down to the belt driven force feedback rather than the gear driven force feedback found in cheaper wheels.

The force feedback tuning menu is extremely useful. It allows you to fine tune force feedback for all of the games. It also saves 5 of your force feedback settings meaning you can perfect force feedback for 5 games and then save those settings individually for them. You could also use this to perfect five different classes of cars force feedback for one specific title.
For example:
LMP cars (prototypes)
Road Cars
Formula 1 cars

Of course not everybody wants to bother with this. If your not the type of person that chooses to mess around with settings then you will not be disappointed with the standard plug and play settings.

The force feedback is actually quite strong. It uses a Mabuchi RS550 motor. This motor is the same as the ones that have been used on many previous fanatecs including the 911 GT2/3RS and the Carrera.

There is certainly no noticable deadzone from the time that I used this wheel, and if you see videos with deadzone that is likely down to the person driving having a preferance for deadzone.


The Fanatec CSR wheel is a fantastic piece of kit and i would recommend the wheel to anybody. However If you are not after a race like wheel and would prefer a standard car wheel then their are other choices such as  the Fanatec 911 GT2/3RS depending on if you need xbox compatibility. Their is also the Thrustmaster T500RS which is a lot more expensive than the the Fanatecs.

This wheel is fantastic and is certainly a much needed accessory for both console and PC racers.



  The fanatec CSR elite pedals are a fantastic addition to the wheel above or any Fanatec wheel. They are not fully made of metal. However all of the bits that you come into contact with are made out of machined aluminum. This includes the 3 pedals and the topside of the base were your feet would rest.

The build quality is just fantastic and is almost as impressive as the top of class clubsport pedals that Fanatec produce. The resistance of the brake pedals is really really tough. It means that there shouldn't be any problems with locking up for future owners. 

The impressive feature for this in my opinion is the price.
You get a brake pedal equipped with a load cell.. To clarify for some readers a load cell increases the resistance of pedals the further down you push the pedal. For example 50% travel requires much less pressure from you compared to 100% travel.
and some seriously nice aluminum machined pedals for 150$/euros. 
Very impressive. The only thing it lacks that the clubsport pedals have is the vibration functions when locking up. This however is not supported by many console titles so console players shouldn't be put off buy this. It is however possible to add this to clubsports manually using wheel settings under ABS.

  It does also lack contact-less sensors. I don't see this as a problem as only really hard core sim racers will know what they do.

The pedals, like the clubsports look very simple to adjust. This is not something I would personally do as I am happy with the pedals as they are but for the more adventurous of you it should be quite straight forward. Their is also a possibility to invert your pedals. See picture below for what it should look like.

Overall I believe that the CSR elite pedals are a fantastic purchase and should be considered by all fanatec customers weather they are buying a CSR wheel or any other fanatec wheels.


CSR shifter Set

The CSR shifter set includes both a sequential and H shifter (6+1). I have tested both. The set is very accurate and if it wasn't for me being useless with a manual whilst racing. It would be quite good fun online as well as offline. When I am offline and I am just mucking around on my own I have found It to be relatively fun and it adds something to races. 
 An example of it adding to races on Gran turismo your AI opponents are extremely slow and boring so with the H shifter you are thinking more about shifting than humiliating the AI. This makes racing more engaging and closer and subdues the Drag of GT5 single player.

 For those of you interested in using a manual gear box more for fun than anything else, this is a great budget set with metal sticks. I would recommend as it had a mix of budget and premium features on a relatively low budget price.

Would I recommend all of this
Combined this setup is very good and is certainly a lot better than an entry level sim setup. It is also relatively inexpensive for the products you get..
1x Premium Quality wheel with Xbox compatibility.
1x Premium Quality Pedal set compatible with all Fanatec wheels.
1x Budget metal/plastic shifter set  

I would certainly recommend these products to anyone as the positives are endless compared to my 2 tiny gripes.

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