Lewes, Delaware, USA, 25th May 2021 - Equipment - Splitting Opinions We left off with me getting my G29 for my birthday and as you can see in the pictures it's been modified from its stock form. Equipment may just be the single most dispersive and opinionated topic in simracing. Some people bash on low end equipment while other people give it unrealistic praise, some people may tell you all you need are 2 thousand Euro Loadcell Pedals while others may recommend the DIY route to customize your equipment. What I found to be the most important thing is comfort. That starts with the contact points you have, your wheel rim, the material it's made out of, your seat, the amount of comfort and support it can give you, or your pedals and how much replicable modularity you can achieve with them. So why did I modify my Wheel? Well the stock G29's leather stitching isn't particularly comfy and it can become quite painful, especially in longer endurance races. So I went for a replacement Formula style wheel which is wrapped in suede and also has the benefit of being lighter and less obtrusive to your screen, if like me you did the majority of your racing on a desk with a screen right in front of your wheel. I also got some magnetic shifter add ons as I'd get mis-shifts with the G29's springy paddle shifters. I modified my Pedals as well. I did the basic "Eraser Mod" to my brake pedal, extending the bumpstop to fill out the whole pedal travel to aid in modulating the brake and replaced the linear throttle spring with a progressive one. All of those Mods were "quite" cheap, maybe another 100 bucks including shipping. And what they provided me with most was comfort. I went from struggling to be comfortable and to focus on what was happening, to exceeding my own expectations in what I thought myself and my G29 were capable of. But why would I mod my equipment and not just save up to buy "something better". Well because I couldn't, even if I saved those a hundred bucks on the mods, I still wouldn't be able to afford another higher end wheelbase. A TS-PC Racer starts at about six hundred bucks, and a CSL Elite sits at a similar price point, if you can buy one that is, as they've been consistently out of stock here and and the second hand market is saturated with people selling their used equipment for mostly off the shelf pricing. Still I never seem to hear the end of it, how the G29 is horrible, how I'm stupid for spending any money on it, how I "should just save". But I also hear the opposite, that a G29 is capable of pretty much everything and I shouldn't modify it for that reason. But all of that is fiddlesticks, the G29 is a great beginner platform, it can be your first wheel that you upgrade from if you have the monetary options, it can be a gift to someone who just wants to try out simracing, it can be a tool to be competitive with. But it also has its clear limitations and if you are thinking about simracing and are pretty sure you'll do it for a while, you will hit the ceiling of its possibilities at some point and all of that is fine. If simracing is ever going to be an accessible, fun and inclusive hobby, the negativity around the most basic things has to end. The most important thing is comfort. What is a comfortable budget, what makes you physically comfortable, what gives you the comfort to be happy about your purchasing decision and first steps into simracing. But what about the games/sims out there? Stay tuned for the next blog to find out :-)
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