This is a Long Term Review. I used the Logitech G27 Racing Wheel for several years.
The Logitech G27 Racing Wheel, Shifter and Pedals might be your entry point to the World of Simracing. Amongst simracers worldwide this piece of hardware is a well known one, and you are not doing anything wrong starting with this.
Conclusion for the busy Racer
Of course it’s not a perfect wheel, likewise the pedals, but on the other hand, it’s simply easier to afford compared to higher class hardware, and if you are not sure if Simracing is your kind of thing, but want to take a serious look, it’s a great starting point. If not this, how’ll you ever find out if you got talent? You see, even if I am not using this wheel anymore, I am full of praise for it.
Further, there exist several options to tune it up over its lifetime, and alone because of this, it will provide a great learning experience for you: Linear vs. Progressive Brake, 8 bits vs. 10 bits of Pedal Accuracy or just Cooling the Hardware. More below, take the tuning.
Before the detailed review, let me tell you what: If you are used to cheaper hardware, or never had a wheel before: It feels awesomely great. I can easily remember the excitement and thrill I felt after doing my first laps, I was even sweating for I was not used to the unexpected wheel forces! I could not resist to plug it in again, again and again. Fortunately, my wife understood. She recognized I was blessed that day and the weeks after.
Certainly, this was the time I began to recognize what it meant when they say “don’t use your skills outside” in movies.
A few iRacing certificates I earned with a vanilla G27!
Yes, I am a certificate bitch. Those are what remain on your iRacing profile page, and to be honest, success, victory and improvement are the ultimate trinity of racing. Let me proudly present a selection of my collected certificates that I did with a, yes, naming it a lot, pristine and vanilla Logitech G27:
Thanks for taking a look, seriously.
At the time of the certificates, I was using a Vanilla G27, without any modifications. In 2012 and 2013, I did about 400 races (including a number of non-iRacing-races); with regards to the certificates, this speaks for the durability of the G27.
Even pros use it
Sage Karam, IndyCar driver and long time iRacing member, recently tweeted about his new rig:
— Sage Karam (@SageKaram) April 14, 2015
Even though he is now targetting Fanatec Hardware, you have to realise he’s in IndyCar for some years now.
The leather coated wheel feels nice and quite racy. Its diameter is about 28 cm. I wish my real car had such a sportive wheel. There are small holes in the material; not sure if helps with regards to sweating. However, in order to not let those holes accumulate too much dirt and sebum, you should clean it every now and then (you should also regularly clean your keyboard; you do, do you?).
The metal is not rustproof: After a phase of relocation, I discovered small patches of rust here and there. However, I could clean it without any debris left.
There are 8 buttons and a D-PAD on the shifter, as well as the 6 speed shifter itself. On the wheel there are 6 buttons, plus the shifter paddles. Further, there are three pedals (clutch, brake, throttle). Be creative: Why not use the clutch-pedal as your Push-to-Pass-button, if it is otherwise unused?
- Pedals: 3 Pedals (Clutch, Brake, Throttle)
- Wheel: 6 Buttons + 2 Paddles
- Shifter: 8 Buttons + 1 D-PAD + 6 speed H-pattern-shifter
There is nothing to complain about the shifter paddles, they are really nice, and almost optimal for slightly bigger hands like mine, especially compared to the paddles of the Thrustmaster T500RS Racing Wheel there is a lot more free room.
The paddles are fixed to the wheel and turn with the wheel. In contrast again the Thrustmaster T500RS Racing Wheel, whose paddles are fixed to the wheel base. This is a matter of taste, but personally I prefer paddles that turn, like in a Formula 1 or IndyCar.
Regarding the durability, there is some slight wear, the click is less over the years, but all in all, after almost three years of usage, they are as effective as on day one, and the actual pressure point is still clear. The up-shifter has some more wearing than the down-shifter, but that could be because the urge to accelerate is bigger than the urge to brake -wink-.
Racing in a simulator, it feels like you would expect. If you are not used to racing with force feedback, this is probably what makes you want to race again and again, all day, all night; it’s addictive.
Later, you will intuitively counter steer, and with more improvement, you can sometimes even feel the ideal turn in angle, when you turn just enough, but not more. All in all, I typically did not drive with full force feedback to reduce the strain on my hands, and to increase my own endurance.
Unfortunately, the G27 has only passive cooling, and your wheel may need a cool down phase after some hours, depending on your prefered strength of feedback. You can overcome this by targetting a ventilator onto it, or even by using a coolpack (with a bag around it).
Or, if warranty doesn’t or does no longer matter to you, you can open the wheel base and remove the front grill. With a heated piece of metal, you may also want to enlarge the air[.
The pedal plates are made of steel. The spring cylinders and housing of the pedal set are made of plastic, but it’s pretty stable and I had no issues so far; many race seats perfectly fit with the pedals, including Playseat Evolution M, GTR Racing Simulator or the awesome Playseat F1 Red Bull.
Throttle, Brake & Clutch
The brake and clutch pedals are raised a bit in order to support you with heel and tow shifting. Apart from the slightly different plates, they are identical. All three use linear springs, which for the brake is a bit different to the hydraulic feel in your real car, and for the clutch is different to the sudden-fall-off feel.
However, good racing hardware unfortunately is expensive (but still nada nothing compared to real racing), and for the price class of the Logitech G27 it’s more than okay. As said, I’ve won above certificates with it.
I loved the 6-way shifter and the additional button it provides. Funnily, my wife could shift better than me with them.
Even though some more resistance and stick-travel would be nice, this would just be personal preference; I’ve driven real cars like a Seat Ibiza whose shifter had less resistance and less feel.
Blast from the future / Edit April 2016
One year later, it has been a while since the Logitech G29 and Logitech G920 have been released. Even though they are more expensive, they are worth a look. The improvements are very limited, but Amazon does often discount them. Learn more about them at our Logitech G29 – and Best Xbox One Steering Wheel Review.
Mounting is easy. As you can see in the sideview of the shifter above, thin as well as thick tables are supported. The pedlas grip nicely on carpet. If you have no carpet, you may want to support the pedals-plate by means of your wall or by using some good tape.
Regarding race seats, almost all of them come with support for the G27.
Maintenance & Cleaning
It’s easy to clean with Swiffer.
If the metals get rusty after squirting your beer over it, some WD-40 is your friend. If you need to clean the contacts inside the pedals, silicon spray lets it shine and smooth again.
Tuning options for Logitech G27
There exist several tuning options to improve your beloved Logitech G27 over its lifetime. These are the most popular ones.
Okay, this one might not be in the category “popular”, but extremely useful. After a longer break from racing, or for less often used buttons, you may want to mark your configured functions, such that you can just relax in the heat of racing without panicking over the wrong buttons.
The Bodnar cable is a simple external plug-in. It basically decouples the combined wheel/shifter/pedal-cable that comes stock into a separate wheel/shift- and pedal-cable. The additional hardware inside will also increase the precision of your pedals from 8 bits to 10 bits, or 256 steps to 1024 steps (nobody knows why Logitech limits the potential precision so much) and increases the update-rate.
The effect is subtle, but definitely present. It definitely improved my driving. The effect is stronger if you are already near the limits of your current abilities, and if your pedal usage is limited to a relatively small amount of actual travel.
To give an example what those bit-thingies actually mean: Together with the Nixim Mod, I have a very small amount of actual foot travel on the brake, let’s say I usually only use 1/10 for light braking. For this light braking, the precision went from 256 steps / 10 ≈ 26 steps, to a glorious 1024 steps / 10 ≈ 102 steps.
Nixim and GTEYE Progressive Brake Mods
Coming from the Logitech werks, the brake pedal is a linear one, i.e. for any fixed unit of travel, you linearly add some fixed amount of force. Let’s say Travel (or brake force) is Cookies, and Strength is Cup. Then for every cookie, you add one more cup. With progressive brakes, however, you add one cup for the first 3 cookies, 2 cups for the next 3 cookies, 4 cups for the next 3 cookies, and finally 8 cups for the last three cookies.
Progressive braking is both more realistic, as this is exactly what happens in your real car with its hydraulic braking system, and somehow more natural to your legs and brain. You will have a far easier time learning correct braking for each new track and become more and more intuitive if you have progressive brakes. I know racers that are winners even with linear brakes, but with progressive brakes, you learn faster, and then can spend more time becoming even better.
Typically Top 2%-5% racer. Tries to not be slow.