Italian passion and beauty in the shape of a steering wheel? Yes it is possible, and Cube Controls has done just fine. Cube Controls is an Italian company which is world famous in the sim racing scene for their premium steering wheels. We really wanted to do a review of these steering wheels, so Cube Controls sent us a Formula Pro at a reduced price.
Packaging and Contents
When you order a Cube Controls steering wheel you have to take into account a production time of 3 to 4 weeks. This was no different for us and the Formula Pro was neatly delivered by DHL after about 4 weeks. In the white outer box you will find a nice black box with the Cube Controls logo on it. When we open the box we find a sticker set, USB cable, the manual, a white bag with some tools and of course the Formula Pro steering wheel which is neatly packed in a black protective cover.
The Steering Wheel
When you hold the Formula Pro you notice that this is a premium steering wheel. From materials used to the finishing touches, everything feels very good and solid. Italian craftsmanship is therefore not only dedicated to clothing and cars.
The steering wheel is 28.2 cm wide, weighs about 920 grams and is available in 3 color combinations of aluminum parts. The base consists of a 4mm thick carbon plate mounted on a very sturdy and beautifully finished aluminum housing. The handles are 45 mm thick and made of elastomer. It is equipped with 13 momentary buttons with backlight, of which the buttons at the top left and right will flash when you press it. Next to the flashing buttons are 2 toggle switches, which light up red when they are active. There are 4 rotary encoders on the front and 2 thumb encoders on your thumb. On the left is a multi-directional joystick. At the back of the steering wheel are the magnetic shifters and the dual-clutch system. The dual-clutch system also includes a red thumb encoder for setting the bitepoint of the clutch for the use of launch control.
The carbon used is milled with the utmost precision and finished in such a way that there is really no sharp edge to be felt. This applies to both the front plate and the paddles. The plastic part around the buttons is molded with a very smooth finish. The handles are made of elastomer and feel good, they are neither too soft nor too hard. We’ve been riding it for quite a few hours and couldn’t find any scuffs on the handles. We do think you should use the steering wheel with gloves. Without gloves, we quickly find the handles to be sticky, especially when your hands start to sweat a bit in the heat of battle.
The shifters and the dual-clutch system are equipped with hall sensors. These respond very directly and accurately. You can also adjust the distance, angle and position of the shifters and dual clutch as desired. The shifters make a bit more noise than we are used to, but not so much that it is annoying. In addition, we always drive with a headset.
The buttons are of good quality and not too brightly lit. They have a clear and tangible ‘click’ which is very pleasant. The encoders are very precise, 1 click forwards or backwards is really one registration of one action within your racing games.
The sticker set is very complete, but also somewhat limited. This is because stickers can often, apart from the round stickers, only be stuck in 1 place on the steering wheel and your choice for button mapping is therefore more limited for certain buttons. We also miss stickers for modern F1 cars such as ERS, Mix and Overtake.
A frequently heard term with Cube Controls steering wheels is ‘VR friendly’. We are not die-hard VR drivers ourselves, but of course we had to test this. What we noticed after a number of laps in VR driving is that the steering wheel has a pattern and layout that is recognizable and is easy to get used to quickly. You actually immediately feel where your thumb is on the steering wheel. All you have to do is remember which button has which function.
The Formula Pro is suitable for the well-known wheelbases of eg Simucube (1 and 2), Thrustmaster, Logitech, Accuforce and Fanatec. Please note that you still need a separate Quick Release, Podium Hub or adapter for mounting. You must mount the Quick Release, Podium Hub or adapter on the aluminum hub on the back of the steering wheel.
We have used the Formula Pro on both the Simucube 2 Pro and the Fanatec DD. Mounting the Simucube Quick Release itself is quite easy because these screws are screwed to the frontsite of the hub. You mount the The Fanatec Podium Hub from the backside of the hub, you shouldn’t have thick fingers for this.
The Cube Controls Formula Pro is a very nice, comfortable and very manoeuvrable steering wheel. The aluminum housing with carbon front plate makes it feel very sturdy as a whole. The quality is truly sublime, every part is made and finished with the utmost precision. For us, the looks also meet the ideal image of a real Italian beauty. We could actually find few downsides to the Formula Pro. The price is something that seems pretty steep at first. Especially because you still need a separate Quick Release, Podium Hub or adapter to mount it on your wheelbase. However, for that money you do have a very high-end steering wheel.
The Formula Pro is available from € 949.- via the Cube Controls website. The price depends on the chosen color of aluminum parts on the steering wheel.
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