A buyer’s guide to high-end rally and drifting steering wheels

Most sim racers tend to favor certain racing categories. If you prefer rally or drifting and need a new steering wheel, this guide is for you. We will introduce you to high-end rally and drifting wheels and share tips on finding the perfect one for you.

Why is it important to have a suitable and high-quality sim racing steering wheel?

Why should you invest in finding the right sim racing steering wheel and consider upgrading to a high-end model? A high-end steering wheel, which is suitable for you, can:

  • Bring enhanced realism: A more realistic driving experience, mimicking the feel you would get in a real rally and drifting wheels
  • Improve your performance: A steering wheel, which is made from high quality materials and with precise engineering, can offer better control and responsiveness
  • Offer ergonomics and comfort: Ergonomically designed wheels can bring you more comfort, especially during long racing sessions, and allows you to maintain focus and control
  • Ensure durability: High-end steering wheels are built to last a long time
  • Enhance aesthetics: Aesthetically built sim racing steering wheel can improve your overall sim racing experience

A high-end sim racing steering wheel is always an investment in your hobby. However, it can provide you with better value over time through improved performance and satisfaction.

Why should you consider upgrading to a high-end rally and drifting wheel?

A high-end wheelbase offers an immersive sim racing experience, and high-quality pedals provide excellent feedback. However, the steering wheel is what you hold onto throughout the race, so when it is made from good materials and designed to fit your hands well, it can make your racing experience even better.

Additionally, high-end sim racing steering wheel can add a nice touch to your setup. While looks aren’t the most important thing while driving, they can enhance your overall enjoyment.

What is the definition of a high-end Drifting and Rally wheel?

High-end sim racing rally and drifting steering wheels are focused on the following characteristics:

  • Expected service age
  • Quality of the button plate
  • Overall quality
  • Ergonomic design

High-end steering wheel is built with top-quality materials

High-end steering wheels are made from quality materials, and they ensure durability and precise control. A high-end steering wheel effectively conveys force feedback from the wheelbase you have, to your hands, allowing accurate feeling during each turn.

High-end rally and drifting steering wheels are firm and designed so that they are just like in real cars. Their overall quality reflects steering wheel’s high-end status and expected service age. Of course, the surface material, especially if it’s alcantara or suede, needs care to maintain its appearance over time.

A key difference among steering wheels is the button plate. In high-end wheels, realistic push buttons and shifters are essential features. However, some racers prefer a blank steering wheel without a button plate.

Ensuring ergonomic design is crucial for achieving both speed and safety during racing

Higher-end sim racing steering wheels are designed for comfort and ease of use. They fit your hands well, with button plates easily accessible for quick actions during races.

However, for rally and drifting, a completely round wheel is essential. It allows for fast, full-range movements without any gaps. While ergonomics are important, the round shape should not be compromised for these racing styles.

Different types of high-end Rally and Drifting wheel

Since there are many different features in rally and drifting steering wheels, it is important to do background check and to think about the features you need to have in your rally and drifting steering wheel.

You can observe the differences between various steering wheels in:

  • Material used in the rim
  • Diameter of the wheel
  • Button plate or blank wheel
  • Weight of the product
  • Wireless or wired function
  • Price

Now, we well go through these points, and explain some of them in detail.

Material used in the rim

Rally and drifting steering wheel rims vary in material, typically falling into four main categories: leather, alcantara, PU rubber with silicon surface and suede. Each material offers distinct qualities.

  • Leather: timeless look and is easy to maintain
  • PU rubber with silicon surface: good grip, flexibility, and easy upkeep
  • Alcantara: synthetic material that combines luxury and durability, mimicking suede while being more resilient
  • Suede: natural material, provides a soft texture to the wheel

For both alcantara and suede, using driving gloves is recommended to preserve their appearance and ensure regular upkeep, as these materials may cause friction on bare hands while driving.

All four materials are commonly used in steering wheel construction, providing users with options based on personal preference.

Diameter and weight of the wheel

Rally and drifting steering wheels usually range in diameter from 290 to 350 mm. The choice is completely based on each racers own preferences.

Moreover, in the rally and drifting sim racing steering wheel market, steering wheels come in different weights. A lighter wheel maximizes force feedback from the wheelbase, while some enthusiasts prefer a heavier wheel to enhance tactile sensation.

Wheel’s functions and design

When considering the design and functionality of rally and drifting wheels, there are various options available within this category.

  • Shifter type: some steering wheels have push-pull shifters and others don’t have any shifters, since some racers prefer to use external stick shifter, especially when driving rally
  • Screen on the wheel: not that common feature in rally or drifting wheels since it’s not necessary, but it can serve as a useful tool when racing
  • LED lights: offers looks and usefulness to the steering wheel
  • Modular button plate: some manufacturers offer modular button plates, which allows you to attach different rims and change the purpose of the steering wheel

Wireless or wired functionality

Steering wheels come in wired or wireless, and it’s only based on each driver’s own preference that which one they want to use. Some drivers opt for wireless wheels, as they feel like they perceive an easier experience, and some racers on the other hand like to use wired sim racing wheels, since they feel like they are more reliable.

For wireless wheels, Simucube offers a Bluetooth-based technology called Simucube Wireless Wheel system.

Roundly shaped steering wheel is crucial in rally and drifting

In rally or drifting, fast and precise movements are crucial. Rally driving involves navigating bumpy and complex roads, while drifting requires turning the wheel hundreds of degrees quickly. Therefore, the steering wheel must be easy to turn and use without any gaps. This is why a round-shaped steering wheel is essential.

Rally and drifting wheels differ from formula or GT wheels in both shape and functionality. They don’t need many functions, and some drivers prefer blank wheels without buttons or features. Instead, they use separate button boxes and shifters, as the additional functionalities on the wheel are not always necessary.

Simucube offers a great option for rally and drifting, which is Simucube Tahko Round. This wheel is with Simucube wireless connection and has a 320mm diameter round rim. The leather material on the rim allows it to glide smoothly through the hands while racing.

Sim racing Drifting and Rally wheel compatibility

When evaluating rally and drifting steering wheels, it’s crucial to consider both their physical compatibility and wireless connectivity.

Check compatibility between your desired steering wheel and your existing wheelbase

Simucube wheelbases typically require a 5×70 bolt pattern attachment type, which is the standard. Also, you can purchase a Simucube Quick Release Wheelside Kit to ensure that the wheel is attachable to Simucube wheelbase, if you have one.

Simucube wireless connection with the wheelbase and computer

The Simucube wireless system offers a unique way to connect your steering wheel to your Simucube wheelbase. Also, Simucube Link Hub provides easy access to connect Simucube wireless wheel to your computer.

Conclusion: How to choose your high-end Drifting and Rally wheel?

When purchasing your rally and drifting sim racing steering wheel, several factors come into consideration. However, many features to weigh when choosing a steering wheel are subjective and depend on the racer’s personal preference. Thus, there are no wrong choices here, so remember to select a wheel that you genuinely like.

When purchasing a sim racing rally and drifting steering wheel, consider ways to extend its lifespan to get the best value for your money. A key aspect is the use of driving gloves, which can prevent sweat from damaging the wheel’s material. However, this is mostly with alcantara and suede. Additionally, gloves can improve grip comfort and protect your hands from rubbing against the surface.

Lastly, in addition to this buyer’s guide, you can find plenty of information and insights on good rally and drifting wheels from sources like Simucube’s Discord’s wheel channel or Reddit’s sim racing thread.

Want to explore more content?

Remember to check out our other buyer’s guide blogs, if you are looking for new sim racing gear.

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