The world of sim racing is getting more advanced and detail oriented.
Often regarded as one of the most complex esport, many sim racers like to get very detailed when it comes to setting up a sim racing rig.
The software, followed by some of the most crucial hardware such as the driving wheel and pedals are amongst the most important factors when setting up afully fledged sim racing cockpit.
Unlike those components, a handbrake is something that you can race without when it comes to simulation racing.
Despite not being a necessity, handbrakes can drastically improve your sim racing experience.
In real life racing, handbrakes are crucial in giving the driver extra control when it comes down to rallying and drifting.
For the same reason, using handbrakes for a sim racing will provide you a much more immersive experience than not using one.
When used properly, handbrakes can help you increase your overall performance and achieve a new lap time record.
Hydraulic handbrake vs cable handbrake
In both real life racing and sim racing, there are 2 types of handbrakes that drivers can choose from, the regular cable handbrake and the hydraulic handbrake.
While both types of handbrake serve the same purpose, they are completely different in terms of the working mechanism and each have their own benefits over the other.
The following are some of the main differences you will find between a hydraulic handbrake and a cable handbrake:
As you can tell from the name, both handbrakes has different mechanism when it comes to braking. A cable handbrake utilizes a cable pulling system, which may be a little complicated when it comes to breaking a larger vehicle like a car.
The simpler example can be seen from most modern bikes that utilizes a cable pulling system.
A hydraulic handbrake has a different working mechanism, relying on hydraulic fluid to transmit the brake pedal.
In other words, a vehicle with a hydraulic handbrake will use a braking device (master cylinder) to convert hydraulic pressure, which will send the pressure to a final drum or disc caliper in order to stop or slow the acceleration of the vehicle.
Both types of handbrakes are proven to be efficient and reliable for braking, but which one is the more efficient brake?
Analyzing from each handbrake’s working mechanism, we can see that the cable handbrake relies on a simple mechanism to stop the acceleration of the vehicle.
While this means that the mechanism will be simple and reliable, it may not be as efficient and precise when it comes to braking in a high intensity simulation racing.
On the other hand, a hydraulic handbrake relies on fluid, minimizing friction that regular cable handbrakes heavily relies on. Involving less to no friction, the hydraulic fluid is much more efficient in transmitting pressure and pulling at the brakes precisely.
First of all, maintenance between handbrakes for a sim racing rig and real handbrakes for a vehicle is completely different.
There is much less to no maintenance needed at all when it comes to handbrakes for a sim racing setup.
Regardless, it is still worth discussing when talking about the main differences of a hydraulic handbrake and a cable handbrake.
The differences are simple, cable handbrakes may be harder to maintain as dirt can get into the braking system, messing up the braking performance and precision.
Meanwhile, a hydraulic handbrake utilizes a sealed fluid, meaning that the braking system will remain untouched to maintain its precision at the highest level.
The price difference is quite significant when it comes to a hydraulic brake and a mechanical cable handbrake.
A cable handbrake is usually much cheaper than a hydraulic handbrake.
Depending on which handbrake you decided to get, hydraulic handbrakes can be quite an expensive investment.
With those differences in mind, the hydraulic handbrake seems like the much better option than a mechanical cable handbrake.
If we refer to real life vehicles, using a cable handbrake is highly acceptable, as long as it is maintained regularly.
However, a hydraulic handbrake is the only logical option when it comes to a racing setup.
Whether it is just simulation racing or real life racing, using hydraulic handbrakes will provide a much more precise braking, which in turn will improve your rallying, drifting, and overall racing performance.
There are plenty of hydraulic handbrakes that you can get to improve your sim racing setup.
To make sure you buy only the best hydraulic handbrakes, we have an extensive list on the top 5 best hydraulic handbrakes based on each price, performance, compatibility, and features, stay tuned!
Fanatec Clubsport V1.5
Price : $148.752
Compatibility : Pc, Xbox, Playstation
Where to buy:
Fanatec is a household name when it comes to hardware for simulation racing.
One of their best-selling handbrakes that has been on the market for a long time is the Fanatec Clubsport V1.5, a sturdy handbrake designed to maximize your sim racing performance.
Just like any other handbrakes, it is important for the handbrake to assist the drivers when rallying in the race.
The Fanatec Clubsport V1.5 is made to be versatile, available for horizontal and vertical operation, which makes it easier for new users to adapt the braking system into their game.
Similar to a real car, the analog sensor will help initiate a drift even when your wheels are rotating rapidly
As mentioned above, the lever can be operated both vertically and horizontally, this makes it much easier for new users to adapt the braking system into their game
Full metal construction with foam grip
Allows sturdy and ergonomic handbrake
Flexible mounting option
There are several mounting position for you to place the Fanatec Clubsport V1.5 conveniently
Thrustmaster TSSH Sequential Shifter & Handbrake SPARCO
Compatibility: Pc, Xbox, Playstation
Where to buy:
The Thrustmaster TSSH Sequential Shifter & Handbrake SPARCO is a 2 in 1 product that integrates a handbrake and shifter into one hardware.
What we like from this product by Thrustmaster is that they provide the best from both worlds all in one device.
The handbrake is on progressive mode which allows better control when turning and drifting. Moreover, the shifter is available in a sequential mode for a controlled and responsive gear shifting.
Stands for HallEffect AccuRate Technology, a technology supporting a contactless magnetic sensor that ensures longevity and ultimate precision
2 handbrake mode
According to your game configuration, you can switch to a horizontal position for GT mode or the vertical position for rally mode
Where to buy:
Hailing from Czech Republic, Meca is one of the best handbrake manufacturers for sim racing.
Since they are not a large scale manufacturer, their products tend to be relatively more expensive compared to a similar product by producers such as Thrustmaster and Fanatec.
The Meca handbrake is a high quality stainless steel handbrake that is equipped with a 200kg load cell unit, with pinpoint accuracy and precision when it comes to in-game brakes.
Meca has exactly the same hand-sewed grip quality as the ones used in real racing car handbrakes
Meca control panel software
Allows you to set your own output curves and dead zones
Compatibility: Pc only.
Where to buy:
Akina handbrake is an Italian made sim racing handbrake that has been highly popular amongst the sim racing community.
Designed with a built in brushed steel cut and a fiber optic laser, the Akina handbrake has a computerized numerical control machine to guarantee precision at the highest level.
Available for vertical and horizontal operation
DEF (dual electronic feeling) system
An innovative system that allows you to modify the signal response of the handbrake
Handcrafted alcantara-like handles
Simtag Hydraulic Simulator Handbrake
Where to buy:
For our final option, we have one of the most premium handbrakes that arguably has to be one of the most realistic handbrakes you can find anywhere else.
It is definitely expensive, but it offers the highest accuracy when it comes to drifting and rallying on your simulation racing game.
Simulates the real racing car handbrakes
Industry quality brake fittings
Adjustable stiffness and handbrake lever option
That ends our list of the 5 best hydraulic handbrakes for simulation racing.
While it is true that a handbrake is not a must-have when it comes to simulation racing, having a good handbrake will make simulation racing much more realistic and also increase your overall performance.
We highly suggest you give it a try!
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