Fanatec Podium Porsche GT3 and Fanatec ClubSport Formula V2.5X wheels on a shelf

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Which Wheel Suits Me Best?

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The choice in SimRacing hardware is almost as diverse as real motorsports: Manufacturers offer all kinds of options, from beginner-friendly to high-end pieces. As a result, SimRacers are faced with a difficult decision when it comes to their choice of wheel rim – which one should they choose, and what are the advantages of different types?

Steering wheels are among the most important pieces of hardware for SimRacers when it comes to aesthetics – after all, it is the one piece of equipment that is almost in front of their face and in their field of view when they are driving, VR being an exception. However, looks are not the most important factor when it comes to choosing a wheel rim – things like comfort and functionality should always come first.

The different types of wheel rims can be roughly divided into three classes. Let us take a look at them.

© Gomez Sim Industries

1 – Formula Wheels

Probably the most popular type of wheel rim among SimRacers today, formula-type wheels can be found in many rigs of esports pros. The reason is simple: This type of rim can be found in modern single-seaters like F1 vehicles, Le Mans Prototypes, IndyCars or even the ever-popular GT3 class, and is the go-to for many SimRacers as a result.


– Compact design: Most formula rims feature a diameter of 280mm, allowing for quick input corrections that high-powered cars need in certain situations.

– Buttons: There are not many models of rim in this category that will leave you with too little buttons for all the adjustments your virtual ride may need while driving. For example, the Fanatec Clubsport Formula V2.5X wheel sports eleven buttons, two toggle switches, two rotary encoders, two multi-position switches plus shifter paddles – which can even be expanded upon with the Advanced Paddle Module for one more set of paddles plus analogue clutch paddles.

– Customizability: Many formula-style wheels feature LEDs for rev or warning lights, which can be customized in their respective software. The same goes for built-in HUD screens on the more high-end models, allowing SimRacers to adjust their wheels exactly to their preferences.


– Their shape does not necessary work well for driving vintage cars, rally vehicles or drifting.

– The smaller diameter requires more force to fight against the FFB compared to the same output on a larger rim, making racing with a formula wheel potentially more exhausting. Of course, this can be remedied by lowering the FFB strength.

© Cube Controls

2 – GT Wheels

Halfway between formula wheels and classic round rims, GT wheels are a great solution if SimRacers frequently switch the type of car they are driving. They usually have at least one of the upper or lower part straightened, leading to an oval or D shape, and sometimes the top bar of the rim is omitted entirely. This type of steering wheel used to be found in GT cars until just a few years ago, and were used in formula cars as well once the transition from round wheels to the more form-fitted kinds occurred in the early to mid 1990s.


– Flexibility: Due to their hybrid shape, GT-style wheels work well in almost any kind of car. They come in various diameters as well, meaning SimRacers can pick the size they like best.

– It is possible to fit a wheel of this type from a real race car to your wheel base: Most quick releases support the usual six-bolt pattern so matching rims can be used and even upgraded with a compatible USB button box.

– GT rims may be bigger than formula rims in most cases, but are still relatively compact.


– For immersion in modern cars, GT style rims are not that frequent anymore.

– Depending on the shape, it might be hard to fit HUD displays on wheel bases without the wheel rim obstructing your view

© Fanatec

3 – Classic/Round/Rally Wheels

The style found in almost every average road car and the reason why they are named “steering wheel”, this classic type is simply round. Like GT wheels, SimRacers can choose from different diameters, just like vintage race cars sported – a classic F1 car from the 1970s had a smaller wheel than a sports car competing at Le Mans in the same era.


– Round wheel rims are perfect for any type of driving that involves going sideways, so rally or vintage racing enthusiasts should feel more at home with them.

– Just like GT wheels, any steering wheel rim that supports the bolt pattern of your quick release can be mounted, allowing for countless options and individual preferences to be incorporated.

– Immersion for older cars: While it is possible to drive a vintage vehicle with a formula rim, it will feel more natural with a round wheel.


– Immersion for newer cars: See the point above, but vice versa – a high-tech F1 race car will not exactly feel right for most SimRacers if they have got a round wheel in their hands.

– Displays mounted on wheel bases – see the same point for GT wheels.

Which wheel should you choose?

As you can see, all three types of wheels have their advantages and drawbacks. For most esports racers and fans of modern machinery, it makes sense to choose the formula wheel to feel right at home in the cockpit of your favorite contemporary race car.

Should you tend to switch up the cars you are driving but want to get one wheel only, a GT-style rim should be the best option for you. That way, you have the best of both worlds without much of a drawback in various disciplines.

If you are determined to focus on driving rally cars, drifting or are vintage SimRacer, a classic round wheel is the perfect choice for you, allowing you to drive your favorites just the way they were driven on the real track – add a clutch pedal and an H-shifter and you have your very own motorsports time machine on your hands.