In this review, I’ll go through what I think are the pros and cons of this wheel in detail to help you understand whether it’s something you should consider adding to your own rig. I’ll also explain who I think should (and shouldn’t) buy this wheel rim, and I’ll provide some alternatives as well.
Note: If you want to know what the differences are between the Sport and Pro wheels from Cube Controls, I cover all the details towards the end of this review.
Things To Note About The GT Sport Wheel
This review is for the Cube Controls rim, rather than the Sparco or Zero options. They’re the same button box just with a different rim. I’ll also be reviewing the wireless version, so I can’t comment on the wired version. The wireless version comes with a 1500 mAh LiPo battery that should last 40 hours apparently, and I don’t think that’s too inaccurate.
You will also need to get your own quick release regardless of which version you buy, but Cube Controls sell various adapters you can choose from. Anyway, on with the review!
Pros & Cons Of The Cube Controls GT Sport Wheel Rim
|Very comfortable to race with||Suede finish wears quickly if you don’t wear gloves|
|It’s a great looking wheel||It’s very expensive|
|Lots of input options||No backlit buttons|
|Made from solid materials|
What I Like About The Design Of The Cube Controls GT Sport Wheel
Firstly, the wheel looks great. No matter which option you go for, the rim is going to look like a proper bit of kit when attached to your rig. It’s a 320 mm rim, and with GT in the name it’s no surprise it’s aimed at GT racers.
The rim is covered in beautiful suede that just looks straight out of a real race car, and it feels amazing too. On the faceplate you’ll notice various carbon fiber pieces, and these are each 3 mm thick bits of the real thing – no plastic false carbon here. The rest is CNC machined billet aluminum, and it all comes together to create a simple but stunning racing wheel.
On the Sport there is visible blue stitching around the inside portions of the rim, and I think this adds to the aesthetic. It’s also very on brand with Cube Controls’ colors, so I quite like that aspect of the design personally. This is black and less pronounced on the Pro wheels. There is also the blue center stripe at the top.
The rim is D-shaped, which might be a point of contention for some, but for me it is perfectly fine. You could still use this for rallying and drifting, but the cut out at the bottom does mean it’s slightly less suitable for those disciplines. For GT racing and anything else on a track, it’s great.
Moving into the center of the rim, you have the Cube Controls logo and three dots in the colors of the Italian flag. This all sits on a carbon fiber face plate, with six standard 70 mm bolt holes around it. This means you can remove the buttons from the rim and use it on its own if you want (but that would be a lot of money to pay for a rim!).
Buttons & Other Inputs
There are then 4 additional carbon fiber face plates around the middle of the rim, and these have all the buttons and switches on them, and they’re all within easy reach. All in all you get:
- 6 x push buttons
- 2 x toggle switches (that act like momentary buttons)
- 2 x rotary encoders on the front
- 2 x rotary dials on the sides
These buttons are not backlit like they are on the GT Pro wheel. There are also no screens or rev lights on this wheel rim, but it doesn’t need them. However, some people will find them to be deal breakers, so it’s worth pointing out their absence here.
Note that the switches on this rim behave like momentary buttons. Flicking it up registers as one press and flicking it down again registers as another.
Also note that you will get a funky switch instead of one of the buttons on the bottom left of the rim ONLY if you opt for the USB version. Bear this in mind if you need a funky switch! The reason the funky switch isn’t included on the wireless version is that Simucube’s True Drive software only allows for a maximum of 28 inputs. This is not an issue when you plug the USB version into your PC.
The Back Of The Wheel
On the back you get two lovely carbon fiber magnetic shifters. I’ll talk more about how they feel later, but the short answer is that they feel as good as they look! They’re a bit shorter than some people might like, but they’re still bigger than those on the likes of the Fanatec McLaren GT3 wheel.
You can adjust these shifter paddles in both their length and their reach, and you can do so with the tools included in the box (a nice touch). This means it’s fairly easy to tune them into a comfortable position no matter your hand size. I have fairly big hands and long fingers and found the shifters and buttons all to be easily accessible, but your mileage may vary.
The back is also where you’ll find the USB connector if you buy that version, and it’s angled at 45 degrees to ensure it’s easy enough to mount on your wheel base without getting in the way. It’s central but below the mounting point, meaning it’s quite tidy once it’s connected up.
The USB cable will only go in one way, and once it’s connected you lock it in place with a few twists of the solid-feeling connector. You’ll find a power button and wireless antenna on the back if you choose the wireless option.
I find the overall design of this wheel to be brilliant. It looks great, has plenty of functionality, and it’s really a solid piece of kit. It gets a 9 out of 10 for me in terms of design, but that will drop a good few numbers I imagine for those that don’t like the suede aspect alone.
What About The Build Quality Of The Wheel?
Cube Controls are generally a solid sim racing brand, but like every other manufacturer they have had their fair share of complaints. But I’m happy to say that my GT Sport rim leaves me nothing to really complain about in the build quality department.
The Suede Rim
Starting with the rim itself, the suede feels amazing. It’s definitely high-quality stuff, but it is suede, and so it’ll be a turn off for many potential buyers. Suede and Alcantara do require some maintenance if you want your sim racing wheel to look good for a long time and indeed to feel good as well. It wears really quickly if you don’t wear gloves, as it absorbs oils and sweat from your skin.
However, even with gloves it will show some signs of wear, and so regular maintenance is key. This isn’t a dealbreaker for me as it’s not going to be my daily driver for every game I play, but there’s no doubt it will look obviously used very quickly if you’re not careful.
Aluminum & Carbon Fiber
The rim’s backbone is CNC machined billet aluminum, meaning it’s a very solid bit of kit. There’s no heavy use of plastic, and so it’s built to last. The carbon fiber plates ooze racing quality, and I just love seeing the real thing on sim racing gear. I’m a sucker for it, but Cube Controls really have done a good job here without going overboard on it.
The buttons do feature some plastic, but the switches and front rotaries have metal covers on them. Overall, I’d give the GT Sport rim a 9 out of 10 for build quality.
How Does The Cube Controls GT Sport Perform?
This rim works like a charm, and it’s super fun to use. Again, I’ll reiterate that I’m talking about the wireless version, and I have experienced no connectivity or latency issues, although I know others out there have with Cube Controls rims. So for now I’ll focus on the functionality of the rim itself and how it feels to use.
For GT racing, it feels great. I think it’s the perfect size for most sim racers, and you can really feel the feedback from your wheel base without any fidelity loss. There’s not much else to say on that front, as it really is an awesome wheel. It is a little heavier than some other options I’ve tried (but it’s not the heaviest), but not so much that it takes away from the overall feeling.
However, I did find the buttons to be a bit soft, at least considering the price. I found the buttons on the Fanatec McLaren GT3 wheel to be very impressive for a wheel that’s costs just over a third of the price of this wheel rim, so I must say I am a little disappointed from that point of view.
Unfortunately this extends to the dials on the wheel and the paddle shifters too. They are definitely high-quality, and they do not feel cheap by any means. However, when you’re paying this much for a rim with no screen and not the most input options, it is a bit of a letdown when you don’t feel fully satisfied with every button press or gear shift.
You’ll definitely still feel clicks even if you wear gloves, but they’re a bit on the soft side for me. The switches also sit a little low compared to the surrounding faceplate, so I am sometimes worried I’ll miss them or accidentally bump them, but I think that’s just psychological as I’ve not yet had the problem actually occur while racing.
A Note On The Wireless Option
If you get the wireless version of the wheel, it will only work with a Simucube base. That’s because there’s a proprietary chip inside the wheel rim that will only work with a Simucube wheel base. This is not the case with all Cube Controls wheels, but it is for this one. If that’s going to be an issue for you, then you’ll need to opt for the USB option.
If you do get the wireless version, the Simucube software is excellent. It’s pretty straightforward, and you can calibrate everything to your liking, and I didn’t need to change anything. If you connect it to your PC via USB, you’ll get a window that pops up to connect your wheel. In this window you’ll be able to test all the buttons and dials and shifters and calibrate it via the settings page in this window.
Tiny Bit Of Maintenance Required
As a final note on the performance, Cube Controls do recommend that you apply some lubricant to your shifters once a year to keep them in working order. It’s minimal maintenance by most standards, but definitely something to be aware of.
Overall, this wheel performs brilliantly, and I’d give it an 8 out of 10 for overall feel and performance in-game.
Is The Cube Controls GT Sport Wheel Good Value For Money?
This is probably the trickiest question to answer, as this is an expensive but high-end wheel rim. This is not for the beginner sim racer, and I’d argue it’s really only suitable for those with a fair bit of extra budget to spare. But more on who it’s for in the next section.
I think overall it’s on the cusp of not being great value for money, purely because it’s priced so high and there are some small issues with it. I think the soft buttons and unfortunate use of suede would put a lot of people off this wheel, and when you see the price, it’s very understandable to think this is just too expensive.
But if you want a solid, highly functional suede rim for GT racing, then it’s a different story. If peak button tactility isn’t a huge deal for you, and you have a Simucube base, this can be a great option. But I think a lot of people will need to see how it compares to the alternatives on the market to really make a decision on this, as I’d argue it’s not going to be able to compete with many in the value for money department at least.
So, for specific use cases and specific sim racers, this will offer great value for money, but overall, it’s a lot of cash for what I think isn’t going to offer enough for a lot of people. I’d give it a 6 out of 10 for value for money.
Who Should Buy The Cube Controls GT Sport Wheel?
I think you should consider the Cube Controls GT Sport rim if:
- You want a high-quality suede GT rim for your Simucube wheel base (or other if you go for the USB option)
- You have money to spare to spend on an extra rim for your setup
- You want a wireless rim that’ll pair very easily with your Simucube base
I think you should look elsewhere if:
- You don’t want a suede rim
- Button/dial/shifter feel is very important to you
- You’re on a budget
- You’re a complete beginner
Cube Controls GT Sport Wheel Specs
|Diameter||320 mm (D-shaped)|
|Connection||Wired / Bluetooth (Simucube only)|
|Buttons||5 (wired) / 6 (wireless)|
|Switches / Dials||2 x toggle switches, 2 x front rotary encoders, 2 x thumb rotary encoders, 1 x 7-way switch (USB only)|
|Compatibility||All major wheel bases (wireless will only work with Simucube)|
Cube Controls GT Sport vs Pro
The Sport and Pro models of the GT rim from Cube Controls are very similar (as you can see from the image comparison below), although the Pro comes in at a higher price (more on that below). But there are some key differences to be aware of that might help you choose between the two.
The first difference is in the buttons, namely that they are backlit on the Pro and not on the Sport. Personally, this is something I can live without, although it definitely would be nice to have. However, I’ve read multiple cases of not being able to turn them off, even when your PC is off, which is something to be aware of.
Next up is a small difference and that’s in the lack of visible blue stitching on the Pro. I’ve said above that I actually like the blue stitching on the Sport wheel, but some people won’t like it. Both are suede wheels, so there’s no big difference there other than the stitching.
2 Extra Switches
You also get two more switches on the central front plate of the Pro. This adds some extra functionality of course, but for most people I think the Sport has enough inputs, or at least I don’t think the two switches add enough to warrant the price jump. I believe the 7-way switch on the Pro is also metal rather than plastic on the USB Sport version, but I can’t say for sure as I haven’t used the USB version.
One final difference between the GT Sport and the GT Pro rims is obviously the price. The Pro is a fair bit more expensive, although just how much the difference is will depend on whether you’re comparing the USB or wireless versions of each. However, it’s a considerable chunk of change, and so if you’re on a tight budget it may be best sticking with the cheaper Sport option given the lack of huge differences between the two.
Cube Controls GT Sport Wheel Alternatives
Cube Controls GT Pro
The first alternative to consider is the wheel I’ve just talked about in the previous section. The Pro version is the more popular option, and it comes in more varieties than the Sport. There is a Sparco version and a ‘Zero’ version that’s more like a formula wheel. Clearly if you’re looking for either of these the Pro will be the one to go for.
As I’ve noted above, there aren’t many big differences between the Sport and the Pro, and given both are very expensive, you’re likely only looking at them if you have a lot of cash to spend on a rim. In that case, it’ll likely just come down to the specifics of the Pro, and whether its unique style options, backlit buttons and extra toggle switches are what you’re looking for.
Simucube Tahko GT-21
The second alternative I’ll suggest is from Simucube, with their Tahko GT-21 rim. This also comes in Sport and Pro options, but it’s designed as a wireless-only wheel rim that connects seamlessly with your Simucube wheel base. Clearly that means this option is only really going to be ideal for Simucube owners.
It’s a lot more expensive than the Cube Controls GT Sport and even the most expensive version of the Pro. However, it is a very nice piece of kit, available in orange and black versions, and it offers plenty of buttons, a rotary encoder and a 7-way switch. This is ideal for Simucube users with a pretty big budget.
Fanatec Podium Porsche 911 GT3 R
Finally, we have the Podium Porsche steering wheel from Fanatec. This is a long-time favorite of many Fanatec racers, and it’s easy to see why. You get a highly functional wheel rim here with a lot of goodies included, all for about the same as the wireless version of the GT Sport from Cube Controls.
You get a stunning leather (or suede) rim, the Podium Button Module Endurance, the Advanced Paddle Module, and a Podium Hub, coming together to create one of the best GT racing bundles on the market. It’s obviously still pricey, but it’s the perfect option for Fanatec users, and there are console compatible versions available too.
Overall, I think the Cube Controls GT Sport rim is a very high-quality piece of gear, and that’s reflected in the price. While I don’t think it represents the best value for money in the industry, it’s still one to consider if you’re looking for a highly functional, suede GT racing wheel.
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