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Review: Granturgismo flappy paddles gear for DFGT

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There are lots of people going around saying the DFGT pedals suck. The pedals are more of acceptable buttons rather than proper paddles. So I bought this Granturgismo pdeals (http://www.granturgismo.com/products.html) hoping it would improve performance. The product arrived in less than two weeks (from US to UK).

What you get:

Firstly, the paddles are not metal, they are perspex (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poly%28met ... crylate%29). The same material you find at the CPU chasis with window. Instructions on installing it could be found from Granturgismo's website-there is a pdf download. The items which come in the pacakged are displayed in the photos below. I must say that it is slightly different. Small differences are

- The red and black double sided tapes for Left and Right paddles

- One instead of two alcohol cleaners

- A black band between the paddles and the perspex which stick to your wheel.

- The perspex are protected well with a plastic sheet and once opened you could see some machine cut marks still attached which you can easily remove by rubbing your hands to it. More like perspex dust rather than big bits attached.

One alcohol cleaner was find as it was more than enough to get grime on your steering. After two minutes of rubbing each paddle, I then realised the small problem of which is Left and Right paddles . Since the double sided tape covers were both red (the pedal shown in the images was on the back side,) and the pedals were interchangeable. Luckily the paddles had a short and long section at the joint so the short section goes above on the wheel while the long section is below. Appearance wise, it does look the part. Those pictures really show you the pedals in its full glory. In fact it might fool some people into thinking it is made out of metal.

Usage:

I tried it using Dirt 2 as that was my staple racing game. Did the rally and time challenges (at Baja with the hairpin corners) as I wanted to focused more on the feel of the pedals rather than getting boxed up with other cars. I've used the shifter few times, and stopped using it as I drive with the shifter on the opposite site in real life. Also in Dirt 2, for me it is slightly less accurate especially when I move the wheel frantically trying to make sure the car is pointing in the right direction while shifting gears. So I'm more biased towards paddle shifters rather than the stick to begin with.

The paddles provide you a larger surface area to press the gears. DFGT owners will know that when using the paddles, you either:

- have to bend your fingers to reach the pedals if you hold your steering further up OR

- you have to hold the steering at the paddles region itself in order not to bend your finger downwards to reach the paddles.

So DFGT will usually shift with the last two or tree fingers. First problem I noticed was the shifting. Since its not metal to begin with, you can't just hold at the tip of the paddles. If you tried that, the paddles would bend. Since the material is perspex, it does allow some room for bending without breaking. Though I'm still quite afraid that would happen. Another thing is since its double sided tape mount, continuous strain on that region would make the lower portion of the mounting more easier to come off. Another thing is that you loose almost all of the "click" sensation with shifting the paddles. You will notice this immediately but after a few racers, I was able to judge back and found the "clicking" sensation, even though it was not as strong as before. I suspect the black band at the paddles joining area was specifically meant to strengthen the rigidity.

In order to address the pitfalls, what I ended up using was all four of my fingers to shift which was more of natural feel. In order to avoid the bending, only the little/pinky finger has to be on the surface where the pedals mount. Once I got that, driving was more relaxing. What this product does is it provides higher surface area for paddle shifting without voiding your warranty. That is done well. I do see an improvement in my lap times (and less instant replay being used:mrgreen:). So the product seems to work then.

Gap between the paddles and the wheel was quite small, so in the pedal region you can barely place your fingers on the wheel. Unless you hold the wheel at the top you can't get any fingers behind the wheel. If you want to shift in the optimum position meant for this product, there will be just a small portion to place your fingers on the wheel.

* I have contacted the maker and told him an alternate design prior to obtaining the product, not sure if this will be made in future :roll:

If I had my drill with me, and about quarter inch of wood, I would drill the paddles into place (after my warranty runs out). There are holes on the pedal mounts to place screws into it and place a steel plate at the joint to stop it from wobbling.

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Summary:

Pros:

+ Does not void warranty

+ Looks and feel great.

+ paddles shifting easier but at least one finger needs to be in contact perpendicularly with the DFGT paddles to stop wobbling

+ It actually works

Cons:

- Takes time to get used to

- Tight gap between the paddles and the steering

- Perspex make the material cheap to produce, but it feels slightly flimsy at the joint.

I'm still keeping the paddles on now as I only use pedals. Those who are comfortable with a stick should not get this. You should get this and do some DIY on the wheel like I mentioned (which will void your warranty) to make it better.

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Looks awesome mate! If you want something better for the paddle-shifters than plastic. I would use metal ones, they would look better and they would be stronger. But still, those are better than the buttons that this wheel came with. Are you going to make any other changes to it?

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Changes, yes-those DIY stuff I listed. Increase the pedal distance to the wheel so that people can place fingers behind it properly. Second, the flexing joint problem. The paddle itself does not bend, the joint does to the point of no gear input. The perspex material is fine as it does the job. Third, is extend the base, so that the screws overlap the DFGT screws. That way, you can get a longer screw and just replace it directly. I think it will need an additional screw at the base far end just to stabilize the design from prying off as you are loading tension on the pedals.

Once these are done, then maybe drilling/embossing a "+" (on the right) and "-" (on the left) paddle to show upshift and downshift is a nice addition. Only then we can talk about colour customization. :roll:

My initial feedback design works but cost will be more-but sturdier. This one works just needs a little tweaking before becoming a stellar product.

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Don't want to be an @ss, but plse it's paddles not pedals. I tght you where testing floppy pedals...pedals are for the feet and paddles are for the fingers :lol:

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Thanks for really in depth review mystvearn and pictures too.I will pass this addon cause actually i really got used to original paddles/buttons ,maybe cause my first wheel was logitech wingman formula gp which had similar paddles.

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Thank you so much for the review.

I might get down to the warranty voiding route since this one seems to be really close to the back of steering wheel and I don't think that would be comfortable for me.

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