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Thrustmaster NASCAR Pro Force

Thrustmaster gets it right with their latest force feedback offering

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Thrustmaster NASCAR Pro Force Feedback S

Thrustmaster NASCAR Pro Force Feedback Steering Wheel

It's no secret that I have not been a huge fan of Thrustmaster's steering wheels since they replaced their venerable T1 and T2 products. I wasn't sure what I expected when I opened up their latest wheel but it definitely wasn't this! The NASCAR Pro Force Feedback Wheel is a winner from top to bottom.

The Looks

The NASCAR Pro Force Feedback is an all-black textured rubber wheel with the NASCAR logo on the center of the hub. Nothing too dramatic, this wheel doesn't stand out until you sit behind it and race.

Convenience

Thrustmaster's clamping system is a single knob on the bottom that you twist up tight against the bottom of your desk. My only complaint here is that all of the cables for the wheel, pedals and power cord all attach to the back left corner of the wheel (there's also an on/off switch there) this made the wheel slightly annoying to put into place. You do need to be careful that the cords aren't caught under the wheel when you attach it.

I'd much rather see them run just one cord from the wheel down to the pedals and then run the power and PC connections to the pedal unit.

The Feel

This is what it's all about. Wrapping your fingers around the all-rubber wheel inspires great confidence. That tacky surface won't slip through your sweaty fingers when you are in tight traffic.

The buttons are conveniently located and comfortable to use. My only comment is that the butterfly shifters behind the steering wheel have a longer travel than I would prefer. You have to move them a fair distance before they click and shift. However, the real stick shift on the right-hand side of the unit feels great and is the more realistic option for NASCAR fans.

While I'm on the topic of buttons, this baby has a bunch of them. A stick shift, butterfly shifters, an eight-way hat under the left thumb, a four way hat under the right thumb and two additional buttons on the wheel hub.

The pedals feel good and stay in place better than most. The gas and brake both have extremely long travels. While this takes some getting used to at first it really is a blessing for NASCAR where precise brake and throttle techniques are the key to going fast.

The force feedback effects are solid and strong enough to wear you out if you crank up the power. Fortunately the power is adjustable, I was more comfortable with the effects set at 70%.

Overall

This is the best wheel available for the money. With a price under $100 for a great all-around wheel you just can't go wrong.

Whether you use this wheel with the force feedback effects enabled or you just want a great non-force steering wheel Thrustmaster has a great product here. The wheel feels great in your hands while the pedals have long throws which allows for more precise pedal use. Also, the pedals stay in place better than most other units.

Thrustmaster truly has a winner with this NASCAR Pro Force Feedback Wheel.

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