FYI: links to Acelith from this post, include my referral info. This allows Acelith to award a small percentage of any purchases that are made because of this. If i get any, i hope to use it for a give away.
I have done a few posts about Smart Sim Shopping, and about being honest to one self when considering upgrades because I do believe that most of us can have a lot of fun without having to spend money that we don’t need to on games, software and equipment. Have a read through the two links above and let me know what you think!
In line with that thinking, i really like what this small company in Italy does. They are called Acelith, and they use 3D printers, and materials such as Aluminium and Steel, to make upgrade kits to all sorts of wheels, including the affordable and hugely popular Logitech G29/G920 and the classic Thrustmaster T300rs/T500rs.
They don’t sell complete rims to the wheels, but simply kits that will change your standard G29 or similar wheel, to a fancy looking wheel with a more racy feel, better ergonomics and a much cooler look. They don’t add any more functions or features, because you’ll be using the same electronics than already are in the wheel. That said, simple changes can have huge effect on your driving. Personally, the open top wheels, allow me to see much more of the in game dashboard and give me a much better view. Better grips make it much more comfortable to do especially long races and simply slightly larger or smaller wheels can suit you much better than what these bases come with .
It’s still the early days for Acelith, and many of their mods on the page are either made to order, not on stock, or still being developed. You may need to be prepared to allow for some production time, or a bit of conversation between you and them. They are very helpful and supportive though, so it really won’t be a huge hustle for you.
First of all, these are mod kits to your current wheel. They are not complete rims. You will need to take your current rim apart, and mount the new one on to it. This may sound complicated, but it really isn’t. You can watch how quick and easy the assembly is on the Thrustmaster T300rs Ferrari GTE wheel, in the video below.
Acelith ship their mods world wide. They are located in Italy, so shipping within Europe is arguably the most affordable. Even though shipping to the USA can be pricy, you still get good value for your money.
The handles of the wheels are made of PLA straight from the 3D printer. This is a material that needs some protection against the humidity from your hands. If you use gloves, that may be alright. It really is worth spending some time to cover these though, with some sort of grip tape (the type used for cycling, tennis, hockey etc). This may take some tries, so do make sure to buy enough of it, for a few attempts. You can also cover the grips with some sort of fake alcantara or similar fabric. This is more complicated, but depending on how handy you are it could be a great finishing touch!
Steel or Aluminium?
Curretnly, you can choose between Steel or Aluminium plates for the mods that you buy through Acelith. To get the best performance off your wheel base, you will need as light wheels as possible. This is especially true for budget versions, that are not as strong as the higher priced bases. The mods from Acelith are averagely much lighter than the original wheels, but there are two strong reasons to pick aluminium instead of steel. Aluminium is the lightest option (aproximately 30% lighter than the steel version) and will let your wheelbase perform even better. The other reason to choose aluminium is, that it doesn’t oxidate/rust in the same way as steel may do, over time. Both options come with a carbon style vinyl, so they look equally beautiful with any choice you may take.
Acelith is run by two guys in Italy. Andrea Cugnata and Francesco Cugnata are graduates in Industrial Design from the University of La Sapienza in Rome. They are brothers, motorsport and simracing enthusiasts and seem to have a natural love for beautiful styling, practical solutions and an eye for details. They are passionate about this project, and have plans to expand their range with more mods for fellow sim racers.