| | | | | | |

Ascher Racing F64 V3 Sim Steering Wheel: Review


Featured image: Ascher Racing F64 V3

Today I’m delighted to finally get my gloves on this Ascher Racing F64 V3. It’s a study, Aluminium machined work of sim racing art that feels solid and sturdy in the hands. I know a lot of pro sim racers chose these wheels and I’ve wanted a piece of the action for a long time. So, finally, let’s take a look at the Ascher Racing F64 V3 sim racing wheel.


As soon as you open the box, the F64 V3 sim racing wheel stands out as an impressive piece of professional equipment.

Ascher F64 V3
Ascher F64 V3

It has a solid feeling to it, and inspecting the machining and workmanship – the chassis and faceplate are nicely bevelled, with clean a black anodized aluminium look throughout.

Assignability

The F64 V3 features an adaptable interface including 14 multicoloured push buttons with a nice tactile feel, two multifunctional 5-axis joysticks, two encoders with push button functionality, and two thumb encoders. Additionally, it boasts two 12-position rotary switches, two magnetic paddle shifters and a pair of clutch paddles offering a vast choice of controller options for the sim racer.

Ascher F64 V3 - thumb rotary and grip detail
Ascher F64 V3 – thumb rotary and grip detail

The design of the F64 V3 sim racing wheel showcases the manufacturers’ commitment to high-quality finishes and durable materials. With a grip level maximized by ergonomic rubber grips, a body machined from automotive aluminium, and a black anodized, laser engraved, brushed front plate finish, the F64 V3 is built to withstand intense racing scenarios.

F64 rear with SQR Hub fitted - paddle and rear detail
F64 rear with SQR Hub fitted – paddle and rear detail

The paddle shifters and clutch paddles are CNC machined, offering a smooth operation and powerful snap-action force. From an engineering perspective, it’s clearly been designed to do its job well, with no fuss or extravagant extra features to sell the wheel.

This is a proper driver’s wheel.

Additional Control Options on the Rear of the Wheel

The switches on the back of the F64 V3 allow for adjustments to the operating modes of the top two encoders and the 12-position rotary switches.

Full rear detail - Ascher F64 V3
Full rear detail

For the top two encoders, the switches can be set to either push button mode or shift mode:

Push Button Mode: In this mode, the encoder behaves like a regular encoder with an additional push button functionality.

Shift Mode: In this mode, the encoder acts as a double encoder where normal turning corresponds to one function (e.g., Traction Control – TC), and pushing and turning corresponds to another function (e.g., Anti-lock Braking System – ABS).

Similarly, the 12-position rotary switches can be set to either a regular mode or a shift mode:

12-Position Mode: In this mode, each position of the rotary switch sends a unique signal.

Shift Mode: In this mode, the position of the 12-position rotary switch determines the output of the thumb encoder. For example, when the rotary switch is in position 1, the thumb encoder output 1 is activated (e.g., Traction Control – TC); when it is in position 2, the thumb encoder output 2 is activated (e.g., Anti-lock Braking System – ABS), and so forth.

F64 V3 - More rear chassis detail
More rear chassis detail

These switches allow for a highly customizable and flexible control setup allowing the driver to configure the wheel for various operating modes and setup modes on the car. This is the type of control a very competitive Formula driver would need – particularly the F1 cars that have so many operating strat modes required to extract the maximum pace of the car.

Installation

It helps to charge the wheel when it arrives, just to make sure the battery is fully charged for its full 800 hours of use once installed. On the rear of the wheel is a handy USB-C port for charging. That just means it’s more convenient to charge the wheel on basically any mobile phone charger in the house. Not that it has the need to be charged often: the average runtime for the battery in this wheel is 800 hours.

Ascher Racing F64 Installed and ready to race
Installed and ready to race

The wheel mounts nicely to my SQR wheel side hub – the rear of the chassis is drilled and 70mm PCD compatible. Of course, this makes the Ascher F64 V3 compatible with basically any wheel and wheel side QR system. I’ve always been an admirer of the Simucube SQR but a Sim-Lab Xero Play QR Hub would be very nice with this wheel too.

As you might see from the photography, I’ve fitted a BG racing 100mm shaft extension too to the hub. You can see around the back of the wheel there are various switches positioned at the top of the wheel chassis.

Simucube Wireless

The Ascher F64 V3 is Simucube Wireless only. This is of course not a problem for a Simucube 2 owner! It’s been a while since I’ve used Simucube’s Wireless Tech. I’d forgotten how good it was.

Using standard Bluetooth connections is (as other manufacturers are starting to do) not my preferred method of connection. It sometimes feels laggy (perhaps this is my particular Windows machine). The Wireless from Simucube doesn’t feel laggy at all – in fact, it’s easy to forget you’re running wire-free.

With the F64 V3 powered, head to the wireless accessories tab in TrueDrive - double click the wheel
With the F64 V3 powered, head to the wireless accessories tab in TrueDrive – double click the wheel

Setting this up is as easy as a: turning the wheel on with the slide switch at the bottom of the rear of the wheel; b: opening TrueDrive and, c: opening the Wireless wheels dialogue and double-clicking the Ascher Wheel that appears in the list.

F63 V3 connected and ready to configure in your favourite sim platform

Connection occurs immediately, with the Simucube beeping to confirm the connection. The wheel name appears on the screen and the image of the wheel updates to an Ascher wheel in TrueDrive. Aside from assigning controls in your favourite sim racing platform (we tested this in an F3 car at Silverstone in iRacing), that’s setup done!

How does the wheel feel?

This is a stiff, no-nonsense, no-flex wheel. In fact, it feels rock solid in your hands.

F64 V3 in use
F64 V3 in use

The grips are slightly thicker than some of the other Formula-style wheels I’ve tested – which is OK, there’s plenty of grip and the wheel feels like something you can really lean on in the corners. Fine adjustments to catch oversteer and fast and accurate. I really like the feel of the rotaries. There are two thumb rotaries, 4 front way joysticks on either side of the wheel chassis. This gives plenty of scope to assign controls to iRacing’s black box. Each rotary has a sharply presented aluminium knob, anodised in red or blue. They’re simple in design, work very well and I mentioned before the rotary components themselves are very well chosen for this purpose.

F64 V3 installed and in use

There are 14 momentary push buttons, two of which are shrouded to protect from accidental activation. Think: brake magic or accidental pit lane speed limited activation and you can see why Ascher has made this design choice.

F64 rear

On the rear are two very polished-looking shifter paddles which are black, anodized machined aluminium with the Asher Racing logo embossed on each one. They’re stiff to avoid mis-shifting, but overall feel very positive. There’s an enjoyable accuracy about them. The paddles are slightly noisier than the equivalent shifter on a Cube Controls wheel, though they feel snappier and more certain. The noise is not an issue at all compared to the feel which is very good.

There are also a pair of clutch pedals on the rear of the chassis – these have a nice long throw so you can make very fine clutch adjustments during a launch. In fact, I found launching with a single clutch in my F3 very easy to come to terms with. It’s a smooth, solid-feeling paddle that puts up far less resistance than the shifter paddle.

Today's setup
Today’s setup

The clutch system is a standout feature of this wheel. There’s an electronic bite-point calibration system and the clutch paddles are contactless. The bite-point calibration allows for precise adjustments in 1.0% and 0.1% increments, which can be done directly on the wheel. The contactless clutch paddles use a hall sensor and are made from anodized automotive aluminium, ensuring smooth operation and maximum control. As I mentioned earlier they feel super smooth and during a launch off the grid, they’re extremely adjustable. Very easy to get a good start with these clutches!

The accuracy and adjustability of the shifter paddles and clutch are why (at least in my opinion) you see Ascher F64 V3s in pro-sim racer setups so often. It’s smooth, communicative engineering that doesn’t need to hide behind touches like carbon face plates or RGB. Such is the confidence in the design of this wheel, such things seem like a frivolity.

Ascher Racing F64 V3 sim racing wheel

The grips are improved over the original, V1 version of this wheel and while we’re looking at updates, the 12-position rotary knob has also been enhanced to give better feedback during use.

Conclusion

There’s far more than meets the eye with the Ascher Racing F64 V3 sim racing wheel. It’s a no-nonsense, advanced racing tool designed for sim racers seeking precise control over every aspect of what’s important, their performance. The design and machine work, plus its numerous inputs, and high-quality finish give it a very high-end feel to this sim racing wheel. I also like not having a screen embedded in the wheel body – this can be distracting and I’ve got far more used to a separate DDU.

Pros:

  • Solid Build Quality: The wheel is made from sturdy aluminium, providing a solid and durable feel.
  • High-Quality Materials: Utilizes automotive-grade aluminium with a black anodized, laser-engraved finish for durability and aesthetics.
  • Extensive Customizability: Features 14 multicoloured push buttons, two 5-axis joysticks, two encoders with push functionality, and more, offering vast control options.
  • Ergonomic Design: The wheel is designed with ergonomic rubber grips for comfortable handling during intense racing.
  • Advanced Paddle System: Includes CNC machined magnetic paddle shifters and clutch paddles for smooth operation and precise control.
  • Long Battery Life: Offers an impressive 800 hours of use on a single charge, with convenient USB-C charging.
  • Simucube Wireless Compatibility: Ensures a lag-free, wireless connection for Simucube 2 owners, enhancing the overall racing experience.

Cons:

  • Limited Compatibility: The wheel is designed specifically for Simucube systems, which may limit its compatibility with other setups.
  • No Screen: Lacks an integrated display, which some users might find limiting for telemetry or other in-game data (though this is also listed as a pro due to reduced distractions).
  • Noise Level: The shifter paddles are noted to be slightly noisier compared to some competitors, which might be a minor annoyance for some users.

Aside from the DDUs we’ve already tested, it’s worth noting that Ascher themselves supply a DDU – the Ascher Racing Dashboard 5″ Edition – you can take a look at their DDU here.


Ascher Racing F64 V3 Sim Steering Wheel: Review

Topic: