A solid connection between the steering wheel and the drive shaft of your Direct Drive wheelbase is essential during sim racing. Also, many of us want to use different steering wheels, so a Quick Release system between the steering wheel and wheelbase can make the life of the simracer a lot more pleasant. Sim-Lab is no stranger to the sim racing world and has recently released the Xero-Play Quick Release system. The system is not completely new, the Xero-Play was originally developed by Hybrid Racing Simulations (HRS) and the close collaboration between Sim-Lab and HRS made it possible for the Xero-Play, provided with the Sim-Lab brand, to be produced and delivered on the other side of the world. The Xero-Play Quick Release system is known as one of the best in the sim racing world.
The Xero-Play Quick release system can be purchased in the Sim-Lab webshop for € 119.00 (base adapter wheelbase side) plus € 49.00 (per adapter steering wheel side) excluding any shipping costs. The wheelbase side is available in 3 different colors which are black, red and blue. In terms of adapters, there is a choice of a 70mm adapter (Standard), 52mm adapter (Fanatec), 50.8mm adapter (Formula) and a 44.5mm adapter (Stock Car). So you purchase the wheelbase side once and one or more adapters for your steering wheel(s).
Please note that this Quick Release system is only suitable for wheelbases from Simucube, Accuforce, Simmagic, VRS etc. The Xero-Play will not work on Fanatec wheelbases because Fanatec uses its own QR system. The 52mm adapter for Fanatec is only suitable for using Fanatec converted steering wheels on one of the aforementioned brands of wheelbases.
Sim-Lab sent us a red base adapter with 70mm steering wheel adapter for this review. The QR system has been specifically developed for Direct-Drive systems to handle extreme forces and vibrations. The Xero-Play is made of steel alloy and therefore feels light and yet very solid. Once clamped, we can no longer detect any form of play. The secret lies in the plastic cap in the inside of the QR system on the side of the wheelbase. While the steering wheel side already slides seamlessly into the wheelbase side, clicking the clamp ensures that this plastic cap clamps everything together without play.
In the box
The Xero-Play Quick Release System is well packaged in a recognizable Sim-Lab box. In addition to the 2 components, the box also contains 2 bags with screws, bolts, nuts, washers and allen keys. A nice complete package which was neatly delivered to us by UPS.
Assembly and Use
We want to use the Xero-Play in combination with the Simucube 2 Pro and the Cube Controls Formula Pro. On the wheelbase it is unfortunately not simply ‘original QR off, Xero-Play on’. The only way to mount the Xero-Play on the Simucube is to leave the original QR and mount the Xero-Play on the 70mm plate. An alternative is to disassemble the original QR and put an adapter in between. We prefer the latter option because leaving the original QR on is a bit of a redundant. This “problem” is only related to Simucube wheelbases, on the wheelbases of Accuforce, Simmagic, VRS (with hub adapter) you can easily mount the Xero-Play. On the Cube Controls Formula Pro steering wheel it is a matter of mounting the adapter on it and tighten the bolts. This should not be a problem, provided you have ordered a suitable adapter for your steering wheel with your Xero-Play.
Using it is super easy; pull the locking lever up, slide the steering wheel on and snap the locking lever down. Fixed! Yes really, your steering wheel is stuck and does not show a millimeter of play or flex. Start your favorite racing game and go! We were able to use the Xero-Play Quick Release system intensively for a solid week before we started writing this review. In that week we did not encounter anything crazy or noticeable and the Quick Release system did what it had to do. Are you done racing or do you want to fit another steering wheel!? Raise the locking lever, pull the steering wheel off and press the lock lever back down. Especially ‘pulling off the steering wheel’ goes without any bumps or hiccups, something that you can sometimes suffer from with other brands.
Note: We have been in discussion with HRS about the available adapters. We will soon have a new, well-fitting solution for direct mounting of the Xero-Play on the Simucube 2 Pro wheelbase. To make the review complete, we will provide this article with the necessary updates and photos as soon as this solution is available.
As far as we are concerned, the Xero-Play Quick Release system is certainly one of the better QR systems in the sim racing world. In terms of looks, the Xero-Play looks very professional, and in addition to looking like this, it also feels that way. The unit is built very solidly, clamps well and there are no signs of flex or play to be found. For mounting on a Simucube wheelbase you will have to use it on the original QR or you have to use a separate adapter. On wheelbases from Accuforce, Simmagic, VRS (with hub adapter) you can mount the Xero-Play without any issues. You cannot use an alternative QR system on a Fanatec wheelbase, Fanatec uses its own QR system. However, using a Fanatec steering wheel on one of the aforementioned wheelbases is an option.
Is it a must have? Not if you stay within one ecosystem. However, if you want to use multiple steering wheels on wheelbases from Simucube, Accuforce, Simmagic and VRS, you cannot avoid using a decent Quick Release system. The Xero-Play Quick Release system will make your life a lot easier.
As mentioned before, HRS will soon send us a new product which should be the best solution between a Simucube wheelbase and the Xero-Play Quick Release system. We will provide this article with necessary updates and photos as it becomes available.