Logitech G29 Wheel Review: Taking a Second Look
The G29 has more button functionality than the G920 and I find that lends itself better to PC use. It also has the built-in rev lights at the top of the hub, another feature that is also not included on the G920. The baby blue and red accents on buttons and knobs make it a much more interesting looking product, but tastes will vary. Some people purchasing for PC may appreciate the more monochromatic appearance of the G920.
Probably one of the more overlooked features of this product is the excellent pedal base. Thrustmaster typically includes a 2 pedal unit with their $150 to $300 products, with the lower end units being of all plastic construction. Logitech takes a huge step up with what they offer for all of their wheels. The 3 pedal configuration features all metal construction with the pedal faces and stems. The base itself is still plastic, but it has far more features than the comparable units from Thrustmaster. The bottom of the unit features a rubber base which sticks nicely to hardwood floors in regular use. On carpet it has the option to lower a spike strip that will very firmly embed itself into the fibers. For casual racers without a racing stand or a dedicated racing seat, this is a really solid part with some great thinking behind it. The accelerator and clutch have a good tension to them while the brake features non-linear force that more adequately translates braking pressure for better control.
The pedals are low profile, but provide a lot of space. Strong metal construction throughout and good feel for the different pedals.
The wheel mechanism is a 900 degree lock to lock unit. It does not look to have a soft lock functionality, which is essentially the ability to provide a lock force at less than 900 degrees. Some older race cars have a 720 degree wheel lock, but that is not terribly common. If a person really wants to simulate these racers, perhaps they should look at other higher end options from Thrustmaster and Fanatec. The unit features two motors to provide force feedback. Most other wheels will feature a single motor with a pulley system to transfer forces, but the Logitech unit features a pretty unique dual helical gearing setup. In theory the two motors will be more able to provide complex force feedback inputs than a single motor unit. It should also provide more potential force than other budget, single motor competition.
Logitech does not reveal how strong the motors are in tandem. Higher end units from Thrustmaster and Fanatec can approach 8 Nm with midrange being around 5 Nm. If I were to hazard a guess these would combine for around 4 Nm. It is a good amount of force, but it would be rare to be able to snap the wheel out of the user’s grip.
Installation and Impressions
Logitech has a very strong history in terms of driver and software support. They have integrated the wheel functionality into their Gaming Software suite so it seamlessly works with other Logitech products such as their Gaming Keyboards and Mice. Download the latest version of the application, plug in the wheel, and run the application. The control panel is nicely apportioned and easy to access. Sadly, few FFB settings are available for users to tweak. The games will be the only way to tweak the strength of feedback. It is rather limited in this way.
The mounting mechanism for this product is quite a bit different from the competition. Instead of the post and clamp setup of Thrustmaster and Fanatec products, Logitech features two integrated clamps that are tightened down by two knobs on top of the unit. Adequate pressure can be placed on the clamps to make sure that they do not move very much, but it is not nearly as secure as the aforementioned competition. I was able to really yank on the wheel and cause it to shift in ways that are just not possible with the other solutions. This is not a product killer as users can adjust their inputs to make sure that the wheel base will not break free of the surface it is mounted on. The wheel and pedal base also feature bolt holes for hard mounting on stands and racing chairs.
Hard to argue that this isn't a good looking wheel. Anodized/blued aluminum up top, leather wrap, and a matte black finish for the rest of the base. Offsetting this are plenty of buttons and knobs to serve nearly any purpose imaginable... nearly.
The pedal set has some good weight to it and the rubber surface underneath allows it to feel pretty firm on hardwood or concrete floors. The retractable spike strip for carpets is extremely effective in not allowing the pedals to be pushed around at all. The base itself is pretty roomy and does not feel cramped while in use. The pedals themselves have a nice feeling to them. The clutch has about the right resistance of a regular manual transmission (racing clutches have a lot more resistance). The accelerator has a good feel to it as well, allowing users to easily understand where it is when feathering the throttle. The brake feel is better than average for the units in its price range. It does not feature the kind of progressive resistance that is present in the Fanatec pedals, but it works better than the budget Thrustmaster units that typically are modded by the end user to improve the feel.