In this review we will analyze 3DRAP's "LZ3" chainring, made entirely of carbon and designed for Logitech steering wheels
If you are a lover of the world of video games and four wheels it is obvious that, at least once, playing with your pad in a car racing title you have thought: "But how cool would it be to go to the next level and buy a steering wheel?". And if you have taken this step, you will surely have noticed how the experience totally changes, bringing your gaming sessions closer to a much more immersive atmosphere and transforming your station into a cockpit.
Fans of steering wheels and simulators know it well: buying a steering wheel with pedal unit is just the tip of the iceberg. Sec with a steering wheel the feedback improves substantially, by modifying the various components we will be able to get even closer to a realistic experience.
That's exactly what we did with ours Logitech G29, thanks to the very Spanish 3DRAP. The company specializing in real simulators realizes, among other things, even mods for commercial steering wheels like ours. What we will review in the next few lines is one of their "Plug & Play" crowns to replace the basic one. Being made entirely of carbon, 3DRAP LZ3 promises us to improve the feeling and increase the response of the force feedback. If the crown has managed to keep its word, you will find out only by reading!
Specifications | 3DRAP LZ3 Review
Before leaving, we must make some premises. On the 3DRAP store there are several crowns to choose from and each of these is customizable. The price will obviously vary based on what we choose. Here are the variants that we can choose:
- Crown material: Aluminum / Carbon fiber
- Handle Material: Lightweight Plastic / Rubber / Hand Stitched Coated
- Seam color: Black / Golden / Yellow / Red / Blue / Green / Orange
The price varies and part of € 89,00 for basic customization, with aluminum body and plastic handles, up to € 159,00 for the carbon fiber variant with coated handle. We will refer to the latter since the sample we tested is composed in this way. Now let's move on to some technical specifications:
- Maximum width: 279mm
- Maximum height: 262mm
- Handle width: 35mm
- Handle height: 34mm
- Weight: grams 237
The product arrives in a simple brown box branded with the company name. Inside, in addition to the crown well wrapped in cellophane embedded in the polystyrene, we will find: the plastic installation base, the screws, stickers to customize the steering wheel buttons and other stickers to change the color of the crown itself .
A Closer Look | 3DRAP LZ3 Review
Let's talk about the 3DRAP LZ3 crown, analyzing it before the actual assembly. As we have previously stated, the model we tested is the "maxato" one composed in carbon fiber and hand coated. Already lifting the box you can see how the weight is really low. The lightness is obviously given by the material that makes up the skeleton. Carbon fiber, however, is not only a lightweight but also strong material. The plate does not get to be even 0,5cm thick and, despite this, it really flexes with difficulty.
The laser cuts made on carbon fiber, both to define its shape, and to allow the keys to pass through, they are practically perfect. The carbon is enriched on the front by some pre-applied stickers in blue, gray and orange colors which (in our case) match the stitching of the upholstery. When they are not to our liking, we could easily replace them with others in a predominantly blue and black or blue and red color.
Let's move on to the point that made us turn up our noses a bit, or the handle, not for the material that covers the body, but rather for the finishes. We liked the material since it resembles an opaque eco-leather that allows us to keep the steering wheel firmly in our hands, avoiding sweating. The company recommends a pair of gloves to combine with this type of upholstery. Even using it with your bare hands, however, the experience is great. Let's come to the part we didn't like: the seams. The upholstery is spread and sewn by hand by an upholsterer outside the company and this can be considered a plus for the proponents of unique products. What we found, However, they are not so precise seams with points where the coating is not very well spread and that in the long run we are afraid it can be damaged and unfortunately opening up: not ideal for those who decide to spend a large sum for a crown.
One of the points in favor of this product is certainly the ease in replacing it with the original one. The process will essentially take about ten minutes. If you are already used to repairing the pads it will be even easier since the actions to be performed are quite similar to those you would do on a Dualshock. Once the screws have been removed and the crown has been lifted, all we have to do is disconnect a cable that connects the crown to the body of the steering wheel. After that, we will have to remove the motherboard from the Logitech crown and then install it on the 3DRAP LZ3 with the plastic hub underneath. To make you realize the simplicity of everything, here is a mini video tutorial made by the guys of 3DRAP:
Actual use | 3DRAP LZ3 Review
We now come to the real gist of the review. Initially, however, there is a small comparison between the two crowns. What changes are not only materials, aesthetics and design, but also the weight. Thanks to carbon, the saving is 77 grams. This results in a force feedback more present. Let me be clear: the situation does not change radically but it is definitely a plus.
Our proving ground was the very title this crown was developed for: F1 2022. The shape of the steering wheel, once 3DRAP LZ3 was installed, convinced us practically from all points of view compared to the original. The comfort has increased a lot and the upholstery is far better than the faux leather of the original. We used the LZ3 without gloves and, despite this, it never happened to us that it slipped or that we lost our grip. While with the original we had a strange feeling on our hands after use (as if we had passed them on dusty surfaces), with this no problem.
Aesthetically it may appear fragile, but it is not. Having used it for a long time, we were able to appreciate the carbon fiber which, while making the steering wheel very thin in the body, manages to give an excellent feeling and will make us realize that we have a high quality product in hand.
All keys, then, are easily accessible, including the gearshift levers on the back. This underlines the excellent work done by the guys in creating the 3D model and cutting the carbon fiber. Obviously, the pro of having a crown very similar to those found on Formula 1 cars increases immersion. However, it is not a type of crown that we would recommend only to those who want to play F1, but also to those looking for a solution that generally improves the experience even on titles such as Assetto Corsa, Forza Horizon, Gran Turismo and so on. Even driving roads on other titles, we've never regretted Logitech's original crown. This essentially means that 3DRAP LZ3 is a versatile product and (although its aesthetics may be misleading) absolutely far from being one-sided.
We draw conclusions
3DRAP LZ3 proved to be a winning product, suitable for those looking for a more realistic driving experience on their Logitech G29 / G923 / G920. The possibility of being able to decide the type of handle and material used for the skeleton is excellent since it will allow us to take advantage of the basic aluminum version for € 89,00. But we admit it: the € 159,00 for the “maxata” version seemed to us a bit 'tantini. This is not due to the carbon fiber but to the finishings of the coating that leave something to be desired. Let's be clear, we know that they are made by a craftsman, but when you spend a high amount it is right to expect a lot. Obviously you can decide to combine carbon fiber with other types of handles and, to do so, we refer you directly to the page in their shop.
We thank 3DRAP for the support and remind you to keep following our pages to stay updated on the videogame world and much more!8 Get on the track
Points in favor
- The lower weight manages to make the force feedback stand out more
- Aesthetically very beautiful
- Comfortable handle
- Practically perfect crown shape
- Slightly inaccurate seams and upholstery finishes
- High price for the maxed version