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Guide to commonly available wheels

By Jakg, updated, partially rewritten and transferred to LFSwiki by duke_toaster

You can get “cheap” wheels, however these really aren’t worth touching with a barge pole, you can pick up a great new wheel for £50, you can spend more, and you can spend less by buying on of eBay (but beware, there are limits on how much abuse a wheel can take.), and you could pick up an ok wheel up for £5 excluding postage - they are big pieces of kit and to get the posted well can cost a fair bit.

Most modern wheels nowadays come with a set of pedals, these are usually 2 pedals (throttle and brake). Some also have clutch pedals as well.

Some have FFB (Force Feedback), which relays bumps in the road through the wheel, and gives invaluable feedback, you can feel as the car’s tyres start to let go. It sounds like a gimmick, but it is very useful! Not to be confused with Vibration, which just shakes when you hit something like consoles.

Rotation is the last part where wheels differ, it is measured from lock to lock. Some wheels have 900, some have 270 and some have 180, 900 is the most natural, but you can race with 270. 180 feels a bit weird. The LFS road cars have 720 degrees of lock, you can use more or less.

The Logitech Driving Force.

Logitech Driving Force

This wheel has vibration (for PS2) and force feedback. It has 180 degrees rotation lock to lock. I think it’s out of production, and as such seems to command £35 new, which seems very high, and is really only worth getting around the £20 mark. This wheel is compatible with some older PlayStation 2 games before the Driving Force Pro became available.
Manufacturer site

The Logitech Driving Force EX.

Logitech Driving Force EX

Designed for PlayStation 2, will probably work with PC should you get the right drivers.
Manufacturer site

The black Logitech Momo Racing.

Logitech MOMO Racing

A very good wheel, 270 degree rotation, 2 pedals and force feedback. Make sure you get a Rev. B version, as Rev. A has pedal problems. It currently sells for £50, although many people have upgraded to the G25, so there are some more on eBay.
Manufacturer site

The red Logitech MOMO Force.

Logitech MOMO Force ("The Red MOMO")

Essentially similar to the Logitech MOMO Racing, the only real difference is that it is seemingly made from better materials. It is rare, and therefore quite expensive on sites like eBay.

The Logitech Driving Force Pro.

Logitech Driving Force Pro

This wheel has 900 Degree rotation. Like the Momo the Rev. A seems to have pedal problems, Rev B’s don’t have these issues. Available new or used from around £50. This and the Momo are the best wheels for under £140. This wheel has two Pedals. Many used ones are on eBay after people have upgraded to the G25.

This wheel was not marketed as being compatible with the PC - it was sold as a wheel for the PlayStation 2, especially Gran Turismo 4. However, it works with PC, it just needs Logitech Profiler installed.
Manufacturer site

The Logitech G25 Wheel.
The Logitech G25 Wheel's shifter.

Logitech G25

900 degree rotation. Better FFB than the Momo and turns more than twice as fast as the DFP. This wheel has 3 pedals and comes with a proper car gear stick (aka an H-Gate shifter), ideal for road car fans. Put simply this is the best wheel for under £1000. Retails at around £150. The wheel is bigger and to quote one user "I love mine, its FFB feels sublime, the pedals feel beautifully balanced, and the wheel is bigger - i love it, it's amazing, i wish i'd bought it sooner".
Manufacturer site

The Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel.

Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback wheel

Old and discontinued, but a good wheel, expect to pick one up from eBay for £5-£10 excluding postage (which, due to the size and weight of a wheel could easily be as much, if not more, than the wheel itself!). This wheel has 270 degree rotation and FFB. A great 1st wheel if you can find one.

It was made in USB or parallel gameport flavours, gameport ones are cheaper, but useless if you have no gameport, although you could pick up a sound card (which would come with a gameport) for £2 (including postage!) on eBay. If you have the choice, pick the USB one, as the gameport version is reported to have problems with certain motherboards.

Other, more exotic, wheels

Wheels for specific needs

If you cannot for one reason or another (due to a disability or lack of space) cannot use pedals, the Thrustmaster Ferrari Force Feedback wheel had split paddles, the bottom half of each pedal being analog when the pedals were not plugged in. Thomas Enterprises produce steering wheels with similar features.

Wheel Problems Troubleshooting

The black Logitech Momo Racing.

Logitech DFP and Momo

It is not uncommon for mass-produced devices with moving parts to harbour a few gremilins and Logitech controllers are no exception.

There are a few issues which many Logitech users have in common and some may be addressed by applying software patches or using new drivers and software written for just this purpose.

While some problems may be hardware or design issues (therefore can't be fixed by software), others may be rectified by trying the software fixes available. If your controller shows signs of a shifting centre for example, you can try the official Logitech fix for that problem. Before you post your Logitech problems on the Live For Speed Forums please check out the Wingman Team Web Site first to see if others have had the same problems you are having. Try the new drivers and other fixes that relate to your controller and see if you can solve some of the common problems that other people also have with their controller. Other utilities can be found on the Wingman Team site including DX Tweak2 which works for other controllers too, not just Logitech ones.

Please visit the site and try to fix your problems. This may save several similar topics being created here every time someone experiences a typical fault. Many people have reported that their controller issues were solved by patching their software or updating to newer versions. If all else fails then contact Logitech for a replacement controller (if your warranty has not yet expired).

Hardware Problems

The inside of a DFP. Most wheel problems can be fixed without opening it.

There are a few issues that can be identified that may lead to an under-performing controller. If your controller is still covered by the manufacturer's warranty it is wise to enquire about a replacement. Pulling your controller to pieces, or even removing one screw, will void your warranty so consider whether or not repairs are worth doing before becoming Dr Frankenstein. If you have no choices left then try this link. Although the site features a Momo, the information can be easily applied to the DFP as well. Replacement *pots, springs etc are not available seperately. Special lubricant (grease) is used inside the controllers and you should be able to buy some from an electronics or hobby store. Normal lubricants are unsuitable and may corrode the plastic itself.

  • Try the software fixes listed above before assuming that you have a hardware problem.
  • If you are still covered by warranty, seek a replacement wheel from the manufacterer rather than repairing or modifying your controller.
  • If you dismantle or repair your controller you do so at your own risk. Damage to the controller or your person is your reponsibility.

Don't forget to check our hardware section for more discussion on wheels and other controllers.

Pot: Nickname for potentiometer. This is a small device used in analogue wheel/pedal or joystick that measures the movement of the wheel or pedal and sends signals to the PC so that your action can be reflected in the software.