Selecting a wheelbase is a relatively easier process than choosing a wheel. Especially if you have switched to using a direct-drive wheel system for driving, finding the perfect sim racing wheel for your direct drive setup can be difficult when you’re new. Don’t worry, we got your questions covered! While there are many options to choose from, the Sim Racing Coach GT1 Pro is a sim racing wheel that can’t be overlooked. This article will find a detailed review of the SRC GT1 Pro wheel.
Why Sim Racing Coach GT1 Pro?
Before we start the review, you must be wondering why Sim Racing Coach GT1 Pro, out of all the options you can explore?
Simply put, if you have to select a wheel for a direct drive wheel setup, there are three options for you. The first option is to purchase a wheel from infamous manufacturers like Thrustmaster or Fanatec as they produce wheels in masses. You can convert the wheel into a USB and get an adapter separately to fit the Servo.
A second option is to purchase an actual steering wheel. You can get a button box from places like Ascher racing to get mounting and control options.
Lastly, the third option is to purchase a sim racing wheel designed to be used on a direct drive wheelbase.
The third option seems the most feasible out of all the three options. It is also a cheaper route than the first two options discussed above. Now, if you were to look at Sim Racing Coach GT1 Pro, it is a pre-designed sim racing wheel that you can directly plug into a direct drive wheel system to start your sim racing journey. Considering the price, it will cost you the same as purchasing a rim and additional components for converting the wheels to git the Servo. However, simply buying a wheelset is more convenient than any other option. So, let’s dive into the depths of the SMC GT1 Pro wheel.
GT1 Pro Specifications
One look at the specification sheet, and you’ll know just how promising the GT1 Pro is for sim racing. The direct-drive wheelset comes with a button box that’s made using a 3D printed anti-block braking system and carbon fiber. The wheel rim is manufactured by Motamec, while the electronics are made with the components of Leo Bodnar. Overall, the GT1 Pro has flashier LEDs than most wheels because of the Bodner SLI-pro display.
The Button Box
The construction of the button box is quite simple. It consists of two carbon fiber plates separated by metal standoffs. The carbon plates are enclosed in a 3D printed surround.
The wheel rim is solidly connected to the Servo because of the metal standoffs. It ensures that there are minimal losses when the force feedback is transferred. It gives reassurance to the user, which is a major plus point.
Now, if you were to look at the 3D printed surround, it adds more to the aesthetics than functionality. Although the 3D print has a decent anti-braking system filament, and the adhesion layer is also quite strong, it’s not as if it is just for show.
The electronics of the GT1 Pro feature purpose-built printed circuit boards. The immaculate ribbon cable work and Bodnar display make for a great combination when combined with purpose-built printed circuit boards. The system is also integrated with Bodnar’s rotary encoders.
The buttons and switches are not from infamous brands or manufacturers, but they are still of decent quality. So, there isn’t much you can complain about when it comes to the GT1 Pro. The upper buttons have machined surroundings to avoid accidentally hitting the pit limiters during play. The wheel offers yellow button caps, but you can change them to red or black based on your preferences.
Besides the rotary encoders, the toggle switches are also much appreciated because of the easy navigation they have to offer. Overall, the functionality of the GT1 Pro wheel is great; plus, there is no excessive clutter. The only thing that requires improvement is the USB cable. Although it is serviceable and mounted with a strain relieving fitting into the button box, it is not the best cable you’ll find. Other than that, the electronics are top-notch.
The shifters are made of 3D printed units and have carbon fiber paddles. These paddles use neodymium magnets to function. The feel they offer is exceptional and much better than the feel that Fanatec or Thrustmaster rims offer.
The outclass construction is quite reliable. The only downside is that the 3D printed housing for the shifters does not seem aesthetically appealing, but then again, this is subjective and can be debated. However, the housings are at the back of the unit, so they won’t be in plain sight. Even if you don’t fancy the aesthetics of the 3D printed housings, they won’t be visible to you much.
The wheel rim feels comfortable in your hands and has a solid construction. The wheel has an Alcantara leather coating on top which feels nice. But it is important to wear gloves when you have Alcantara leather on your wheel rim. So, make sure to invest in a good pair of sim racing gloves, even it looks weird wearing them.
The wheel and display configuration are intuitive because of the free use of Fanaleds software. Overall, the display configuration is a straightforward process and a relatively simple task. The configurable parameters are countless, which is impressive, to say the least.
The overall specs of the Sim Racing Coach GT1 Pro are quite impressive, and the wheelset is well-thought-out. Compared to most of their competitors, the price for the wheel is justified, given all the features it has to offer. It should contribute to a better driving experience when you race your sim racing cars and hit the tracks.
Carbon steel instantly adds strength to the structure, and the non-structural parts are made with 3D printed housings. The best part about this sim racing wheel is that it uses premium electronics for the more complex areas, so the functionality isn’t compromised. However, generic hardware is used in other general components to keep the price in check.
The only downside of this direct-drive wheelset is that its USB cable is not up to the industry standards and the aesthetics of the 3D printed housing are similar to that of Minecraft. But then again, as mentioned earlier, this is a subjective aspect, and the good thing is that the housings aren’t visible to the user as these units are installed at the back.
If you compare it to all the other wheelsets, the Sim Racing Coach GT1 Pro is easily installed onto the wheelbase and offers a top-notch end feel. Overall, the product is great, and the product design is innovative. Of course, it is not the best product you’ll find on the market, but given its price, it is worth buying, given all its great specs and features.
And as always, make sure to check customer reviews, but don’t rely fully on what you see there. The best way is to give it a try yourself, spend some time with it and get a feeling for how the racing wheels work in action.
Enjoy the practice and hopefully improved lap times and higher speed when beating the competition online in the multiplayer mode, or at home as singleplayer.
All images from https://www.bsimracing.com/sim-racing-coach-gt1-pro-wheel-review-by-chris-haye/