CSL Elite F1 Set - Disappointing build quality

Has anyone else been disappointed by the build quality of the CSL Elite F1 wheel?

I've owned the product since September and in that time I have used it quite a lot, around 300 hours on F1 2020. Unfortunately, in that time I've experienced several issues.

The biggest issue I've experienced is the power supply developing a fault which means the connection is extremely loose and the slightest jolt is now enough to cause the power to disconnect so the wheel switches off. Obviously not ideal with the force feedback causing a lot of vibrations!

Aside from that, several button key caps have cracked and fallen off - even ones that aren't used frequently! I've had to glue them back in place. Also, the alcantara fabric is already noticeably worn which is disappointing considering I've owned it for less than a year. The plastic on the metal handle to tighten the grips underneath the wheel has also cracked and fallen off. Finally, the downshift gear paddle is slightly sticky, although this is only a minor gripe.

Overall, considering I spent €724.39 on this wheel I am very disappointed at the shoddy build quality! I don't think I would recommend a fanatec wheel based on my experience. Has anyone else experienced these sorts of issues or am I just unlucky?


  • Have you ever tried opening a ticket for the issues such as power supply and cracked buttons or sticky shifter? 😉

    I will not comment for the alcadara cause 300 Hours are a lot of abuse for this kind of leather even on the real race cars steering wheels.

    You should see my real racecar wheel after 24hours endurance race... 🙃

  • I have contacted customer support regarding the power supply issue just now so hopefully they are able to resolve the issue quickly. My league is still ongoing so it would be a shame if I had to miss the last two races of the season due to an issue outside of my control.

    My gripe about the alcantara is just me being fussy, I'll admit. On it's own I wouldn't have mentioned it but together with all the other issues it does add up. 300 hours is a reasonable amount of use but I don't think I've abused the wheel particularly!

  • Regarding the wear of the alcantara, do you wear gloves when you race? I've worn gloves with my 911 GT2 wheel that I've been using literally for the past 10 years and probably have thousands of hours logged on it, and the alcantara still looks and feels to be in pretty good condition.

  • No, I don't wear gloves. I have read gloves will prevent wear, but I found them too uncomfortable and made my hands too hot when driving so stopped using them. I appreciate that has contributed to the wear. Although I think a wheel should be designed so you don't need to wear gloves in order to stop it from wearing out so quickly TBH.

  • I hear you, but... that's the nature of alcantara, for better or for worse. It would be nice if they also offered a version of the F1 wheel with leather grips for those who would prefer that.

    I've found a nice cheap pair of bicycling gloves that are quite thin and have mesh that runs in between the fingers. They work great, can still feel everything I want to feel, and they're not too warm thanks to the ventilation. Maybe something like that would work for you.

  • Does anyone know if the ClubSport Wheel Rim Flat 2 also has the same issues with wear? I would be looking for something that has that alcantara look but will remain eye candy for years to come :D

  • Anything alcantara that you touch repeatedly with your bare hands is going to show premature wear. It doesn't matter how clean your hands are, the oils in your skin seep in over time and the alcantara loses its nap.

    Wearing gloves is the only way I know of to drastically limit this wear.

  • Great info, Thanks! I think I will stick to normal leather :D

  • Alcantara will need to be cleaned eventually, gloves or not. Unless you keep your house 70F/21C or colder and never drive enough to sweat and your hands are always 100% clean. Alcantara will need to be cleaned eventually, gloves or not. I cleaned my wheel (and gloves!) for the iRacing indycar at texas week (186 laps), started driving on friday, and by noon saturday the grips needed to be cleaned again. My environment and sweat level is rather extreme compared to most (Arizona desert, house kept at 87-89F), but that's normal for alcantara.

    Damage to your buttons/caps sounds like an abusive wear and tear thing. I have a V2 and CSL V1.1, have used it quite a lot more than 300 hours. I have none of these problems. Stop gorilla-handling your stuff and it won't break so easy.

    Your shifter paddles can be adjusted, if that's the issue. Mechanical, moving parts might also require maintenance and lubrication. That's nothing but a part of life, like your car needing oil changes.

    I hate to assume but most of this sounds like you're thrashing and abusing the parts, so perhaps some other issues have come from that as well.

  • I have now cleaned the alcantara and it does look much better. What I had assumed was wear was in fact built up grime. There is a bit of wear but it isn't nearly as bad as I first thought.

    I don't "gorilla" handle my "stuff" at all, I've actually been very careful with this wheel due to the price. I certainly haven't thrashed or abused the parts at all, you're completely wrong there. I think I have just been unlucky with the quality of the parts on my wheel. The plastic seems to be very brittle.

  • I have a habit of assuming the worst possibilities first, and working up from there 😅

  • Out of curiosity, how did you go about cleaning the alcantara?

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