Support and Conclusion
Long Term Quality and Support
The internet is a strange place due to everyone having a voice. This means that those who have had bad experiences with products can be the squeaky wheel and make their displeasure quite apparent on message boards and other outlets. I have heard some horror stories about Fanatec products and their support and initial quality. I cannot speak for those people, but my experience so far has been positive.
Fanatec has been extremely patient with me and this setup. I was initially supposed to have it for about a month and then send it back. At the very beginning they said that they can accommodate me further, but it is frowned upon. Well, I tested their patience. I used this setup nearly daily for about three months. Julian at Fanatec probably has about as much hair as I do after asking me very nicely to get the review done. I’m surprised Ryan still has hair as well.
The rim and hub together. Note the LCD screen that can be moved in position from flat to upright. This does not rotate, rather it requires removal from a socket and then insertion into another socket.
During this time I only had the fan issue and that was fixed by a firmware update. Everything else worked perfectly after quite a few hours of use and abuse. Fanatec has a pretty extensive website that requires registration to get into. There a user can find technical support and message boards where they can get their problems fixed. My support emails were answered quickly and efficiently by the staff there.
The products are made in China. These are not made in Germany. This was not a problem with me. The fit and finish of the products is top notch. I had no defective parts even though these were shipped directly to me from their warehouse in the US and not handpicked by the PR staff in Germany.
A true long-term follow up would of course be nice, but sadly I have to send these parts back to Germany. I had the option to buy, but my budget does not allow for such things at this time. Perhaps sometime in the future I can do this, but I need to feed two teenage boys these days.
If you have to ask the price for something, one obviously cannot afford it. This may or may not be applicable to this particular setup. As configured with VAT it comes out to be €1,800 (approximately $2,000 US). Users can of course cut this number down by going without the mounting clamps and perhaps the sequential shifter. There are also other less expensive options of wheels and hubs. Still, this is a complete set that costs as much as actual used cars.
The mount mechanism allows the base to tilt about 20 degrees at maximum. I removed this portion due to my personal preference.
The design, feel, and finish of these products are simply top notch. It still utilizes the motor and pulley system rather than the direct drive motors that more expensive options utilize. Most direct drive products cost around $1,800 for the base alone. Adding pedals, wheels, and shifters can cause the entire set to approach $2,800 US. I feel it is a good compromise for Fanatec to utilize the setup they have with ClubSport V2 and not go into the stratosphere in terms of price.
I thoroughly enjoyed my extended time with this setup. It may have jeopardized my future relationship with the company, but I had just read more than a few complaints against their products. I needed to make sure in the time I had that the different components would not break under use. In my experience they passed with flying colors while suffering under daily abuse.
The user interested in these products needs to make sure that they have the budget for this kind of expense. The company only offers a 12 month warranty on parts, but there seems to be some wiggle room in there with products that show defects beyond that of normal wear and tear. I would highly recommend that buyers get familiar with Fanatec’s website and communications in case.
There is an optional damper set that can be paired with the ClubSport Pedals V3. This again allows the user to fully adjust their experience.
If I had the spare scratch I would happily buy these products. They work great, they feel great, and they seem to hold up under a reasonable amount of abuse. It is hard not to recommend these parts, especially the pedals. In fact, perhaps getting the pedals and combining them with a less expensive wheel base and wheel is a very good plan for users who cannot budget $2000 for the entire setup. That is a big positive of the shifter and pedals.
Fanatec seems to make a really nice product, and their reputation is well deserved. There may be other products out there that outperform them (direct drive), but the overall product is very impressive. The price will obviously turn a lot of people away, but I feel that Fanatec delivers on the product at a reasonable price considering the bill of goods that goes into each set. Construction, quality, and feel are all top notch and deserves our "Editor's Choice" award.