Racing Wheels


We’re looking to buy a racing wheel for our new team. What racing wheels do you guys use?


Define “racing” wheel.

If you want sheer speed, slightly deflated pneumatic wheels should do the trick.

The first question to ask is: What do you want these wheels for?

“Racing” is not a usual descriptor for most FRC wheels. Usually traction and maneuverability at low to medium speeds are more important than maintaining control at high speeds, or than raw acceleration from a stop. Also, you must consider what surface(s), irregularities, and slope(s) you may encounter. Most teams have used nearly as many different types of wheels in competition as they have played seasons. For example, 3946 has used:

  • 2012 Rebound Rumble: 6 @ 6" Wedgetop (planned to play defense)
  • 2013 Ultimate Ascent: 2 @ 6" solid rubber and 2 @ 6" omnis
  • 2014 Aerial Assist: 4 @ 6" Mecanum
  • 2015 Recycle Rush: 5 @ 4" DuraOmni (H-drive)

In none of these cases was “racing” a top goal. If you do want to race, you still need to consider the surface and the turns in the track; Drag racing, Formula 1, and NASCAR all use very different tires for pretty obvious reasons.

Ok, I’ll bite…I have some old aluminum slot racing wheels on my old Chevy race car.

Do you mean a racing wheel for your driver station?

Do you mean wheels for a robot or usb wheels for a driver station?

We should take bets on whether the OP meant a game controller style racing wheel, or a fast wheel for a robot that is going to race. I originally thought the former, but it looks like the latter have some support :smiley:
Communicating your questions clearly is a valuable skill. It just takes some practice.

Sorry I wasn’t clear.

I meant a USB game-controller wheel for the drivers station.

Why do you want a usb driving wheel. As a driver who has a wheel at home I can tell you driving an frc robot with that would be difficult. They are made to have you feel like your driving in a car but I always found controllers easier. Wheels are fun but your driver will probably be able to perform better with a joystick or an Xbox controller.

I’ve seen them at target and gamestop occasionally. Try searching on amazon or ebay.

Someone should tell that to 16…


A good application for the racing wheel would be a turret shooter. The mechanism could turn to the desired location and return to center when you let go.

…or you could just use a potentiometer.

Yeah, having the bigger wheel helps with precision. and having other buttons attached is useful. No need to reinvent the wheel! Pun intended!

I personally don’t like the idea of the buttons’ positions changing as the wheel rotates, but to each his (or her) own.

Our team is strongly against using racing wheels to drive the robot, however I’ve talked to a couple teams (846 and 1538) that used racing wheels to drive their robots. From what they said, using that as a controller takes a bit of getting used to, especially if your driver is used to the simple tank layout. It’s definitely worth playing out with different control schemes. Remember that just because you bought yourself a wheel doesn’t mean you should necessarily use it for every single FRC game.

Or 971

I’m pretty convinced that an RC style controller is about as good as it gets. We did an experiment a few years ago where all the potential drivers tried to use the RC controller vs the traditional dual joystick approach, and everyone preferred the RC controller. It’s hard to go back to tank drive after you use a wheel.

Any suggested models? I’m game to try it as they aren’t terribly expensive but I’d like to cut up one that might work instead of just getting plastic shards all over the place for no reason.