Jimmy Broadbent’s wheel, base and pedals are all top-notch, and have been brought together to give him one of the best driving experiences you can get. We are going to look at one of the most complex parts of his set up; the wheel.
So, what wheel does Jimmy Broadbent use? The wheel is described as a Momo C26s. A real wheel, it is transformed into a sim racing wheel by adding by the C26s button box from Ascher Racing. Finally, we have the heart and soul of the wheel set up: the OSW MiGE servomotor base.
How can you get into designing your own custom set up and what other options are available to get your own sim racing experience? There are a multitude of questions to be answered with regards to Jimmy and his set up, so let’s dive into them and see what we can find out.
Why Use A Wheel?
There are many reasons for people to want to get a wheel. Whether it’s for in-race improvements, to feel more immersed in the game that they’re playing, or just for the cool aesthetic. The greatest thing a wheel offers is a huge improvement in immersion. It allows you feel what it is like to get behind the wheel of your favorite car, on your favorite track.
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We all dream of being a racer for our favorite teams, but for most of us sim racing is as close as it will get, and to get a wheel brings us ever closer to that reality.
What is the technology on the wheel that gives you that immersion and realistic feel? There are a few. Of course, a wheel is what you would use to control a car in real life, so being able to do it in the game in the same way gives you more of a real feel.
Also, a lot of the better wheels have force feedback that let you feel all the bumps of the track through the wheel. Finally, when turning cars in real life, you experience a lot of resistance, so being able to feel that really makes a difference when you’re driving.
What about control? How does a wheel improve your control of a racing game?
Let’s consider a controller pad where braking, accelerating, boost, handbrake, turning and changing gears are all done by 10 fingers, with no flexibility for a lot of the inputs. Taking some of those functions away from your fingers only serves to give you more control.
Also, wheels give a greater freedom of turning. Having a thumb control your entire car over only 180 degrees on the D pad will often lead to racing off-line because there is so little room for error. Using a wheel with up to 1080 degrees of rotational freedom means that you can tweak your racing line more, and be more precise while racing.
Finally, it’s worth considering that with wheels there often comes a set of pedals attached. Keep in mind that they are useless without each other, so if you have your heart set on a good wheel, take a look at the pedals that come along with it to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
So, what does Jimmy’s wheel have that gives him one of the most realistic sim racing experience money can buy?
Let’s first start by saying he has a huge number of spare wheels to choose from: the OMP WRC rim, the AMG rim, a 2nd Ascher Racing C26s button box – but this time on a Momo Mod 12/C – and finally a McLaren GT3 rim.
All these rims can be changed with the one he currently uses in his set up, and some even can be transplanted into real life racing cars. He even has an extra Fanatec Elite base to attach these wheels to (that comes with another stock rim).
On his actual set up, as alluded to earlier, he uses a Momo MOD 27 rim and on this he has attached an Ascher C26s button plate. These button plates from Ascher not only allow you to use real world steering wheels in your games but they also come with 8 buttons and magnetic paddle shifters that can be mapped to different inputs on your game.
All this means that the wheel and button plate give him the most realistic and best feel short of jumping in a car and driving it for real.
A wheel alone though cannot offer any of the force feedback or rotational freedom that you need to make it feel like you’re really driving. You need to plug it into something to control the game, and in turn this device sends feedback from the (virtual) road to your wheel.
This is where the base comes in. He does have the excellent Fanatec Elite base but, for his racing he uses the OSW MiGE. From SimRacingBay, this is a direct drive motor that has up to 30N/m of torque which is 15 times stronger than some of the better racing wheels available on the market; a serious piece of equipment.
Not to forget the power supply this thing needs, with everything included the price comes in not too far shy of $2000. A truly eye-watering price, but when you love something like Jimmy Broadbent loves racing, then surely price is no object! Also, some of them may be freebies from sponsors, which helps!
Is It Worth It?
Some might look at the price and wince. Others may look at the set up and drool. It really is completely about the player and their perception of what is important. Some are fortunate enough to not have to consider finance when they put together a rig, and do sim racing for a living.
However, for the majority of us, it simply isn’t possible to put together our own sim setup like the one Jimmy Broadbent has. So, is it worth it?
For Jimmy, yes. Sim racing is his life and livelihood, and he has a passion for cars in general, not just their electronic versions. He is more than satisfied with his set up, he races with the utmost realism and even though he might be the angriest sim racer on YouTube, he likes his set up and that’s all that matters!
When looking for a wheel of your own, it is important to know what the crucial things to look for are. A good wheel consists of 3 things: good force feedback, a large amount of turning rotation and some good pedals that accompany it.
Anything more than that is both surplus to requirement and purely to indulge any specific taste. The most important things are to enjoy the videos and enjoy your racing, and the latter can be done with almost any wheel you choose to get behind.
Force feedback systems get more advanced the more you pay, and any set up can become infinitely more refined the more you tinker with it and add things.
Is Jimmy Broadbent’s wheel the best that you can get? Subjectively, yes it probably is. Does that mean that you should spend all your money and try to emulate it? Probably not. Shop around, know what you want and most importantly have fun!