Review from caradisiac
please find hereafter the link for the review from Caradisiac a french on-line car magazine and its translation in english (you can also use direct translate directly with your browser)
Test: FSIM Tech Line Cockpit, a new French manufacturer In Leisure / Video games MasterLudo December 19, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.
In these times of confinement and especially during the first when the majority of motor sports have entered the pits and virtual motor racing championships have taken the opportunity to continue their development. The eSport (Esport? E-sport?) Calling for precision, the steering wheels have become more democratic and the chassis for simulators also called "bucket" have found themselves on the wish list of players. Steering wheels and buckets are to the car simulator enthusiast what forged rims and 8-piston calipers are to the weekend circuit enthusiast. It is at the same time completely useless for those who do not have the talent to exploit it but also completely obligatory for those who want to have fun and can afford it.
No longer attaching a steering wheel to your desk: the Zen choice Not fixing your steering wheel anywhere is a serious first step for any simulator player. This is not necessary to chase the times but it is very pleasant for the gain in sensations, the pleasure of not having to redo your installation each time and take advantage of the force feedback to its maximum without having to tighten the steering wheel on the ironing board that vibrates like never before. In far too many years behind a controller and a steering wheel, I have had the chance to test dozens of different simulator bucket solutions:
dubious palliatives around 100 € inflatable, foldable, ridiculous that it is better to flee like the plague
original, folding solutions, under 200 € such as the wheelstand which we briefly mentioned in an article on a Fanatec steering wheel in 2011 ( here )
entry-level tubs, which already allow you to have fun but cost barely less than a real quality tub while imposing far too many compromises, they are at a strategic price of 200 to 400 € but are lacking rigidity (steering wheel, pedals), positioning of the steering wheel and the pedals, the seat is of poor quality, too many compromises for the amount spent
the heart of the interesting range with tubs from 500 to 2000 € which allow more or less pleasant assemblies, options, personalization and finishing, it is here that the choice is played for those who want something correct, we can tighten the budget by limiting the superfluous but benefit from an achievement that meets the expectations and the investment
and finally the great luxury, the tubs with jacks, finish worthy of a sports car, many options of sound, screens, vibrator, which sometimes require complete electrical cabinets or even a dedicated PC in addition to the PC which is used to play
At this point there are no more price limits and you sometimes end up with a coach by your side watching your shameful declining braking and the erratic way your eyes roam the screen anyhow while the system eye tracking wonders what's going on. In short, the subject is fascinating. But testing the heart of the interesting range is a real priesthood. Receive an XXL package, place it in the play room, assemble the assembly, make room for it, disassemble the equipment from the current bucket, mount it on the new one, spend a week playing and re-adjusting the position of each element (steering wheel, shifter, handbrake, pedals) it's a punishment that I rarely impose on myself, especially at the end of it is complete disassembly and rear machine to retransfuse the material on my usual bucket. So you saw the wheelstand, the Rseat RS1 and the Atomic Joy Ride and that was it. FSIM a little new French on the market Today the FSIM tech Line Cockpit is added to this list for a few banal reasons which made me want to tell you about a new kid. First of all the company is French, near Saint Etienne and if it is very pleasant, let’s not kid ourselves. The bulk of the equipment comes from Asia but the stock is in France and this affects transport, speed and the ability to easily discuss with the manufacturer in case of problems. And talking about French companies that are getting into esports is also a pleasure. Then I finally have the place to maintain two complete configurations side by side without it being annoying, it's silly but it simplifies the handling and allows me to jump from one to the other to better check the differences. Finally this seat included several technical details to which I was sensitive, which are limitations of my current one, so I wanted to see if it was as interesting in real life as on paper. FSIM Tech Line Cockpit: the technical choices Here we have access to a bucket that fully fulfills its role, at this price it is the least of things. Rigid, adjustable, no bar that gets between you and the equipment, mounting holes compatible with the most common brands (Thrustmaster, Fanatec, Logitech) and easily drilled in thick steel that is safe, you can without worry about making it your simulation chassis. And this like all tubs at this level of quality. What makes you choose one seat more than another are the little extras, the differences in technical choices, which appeal to or speak to the player in us who spots the small details he deplores on the models tested or the model owned. Here is an exhaustive tour of these little extras and specificities. The frame is entirely designed around 80mm x 40mm profiles with 8mm grooves, painted black with epoxy. The profiles are totally oversized and the groove system allows you to mount what you want where you want, with a simple "T-nuts" washer, without even going through the manufacturer. This is a strong point compared to the frame beams of square section but smooth or tubular which are less easily modifiable for your exotic desires. We often say bucket for the whole instead of the chassis, but there is a bucket that mounts on it. Several good news, the grip height despite the slide is low and that is a strong point. Then the system is compatible with commercial buckets (that's classic), adjustable in height and inclination and of course on rails for the depth. Finally, the tub itself is classy (that's subjective) with its ear cups, comfortable (important) and does not squeak. On the other hand it is neither fiberglass nor carbon, it is a simple plastic. The feet that support the tub are numerous, easy to adjust, move and customize (my irregular old wood floor says thank you), you can easily customize this with rollers, buffers, decrease or increase all that, fix jacks to it , in short thank you once again the aluminum profiles. Practicality, assembly, tightening, adjustments You may have noticed the kind of red nose / front cover in the photos? Apart from the aesthetic aspect which gives it a nice finished side, it is a heavy cover and which settles in one second chrono. Under this hood is an XXL trunk (the dimensions are on the site for the most precise) which hides two low inputs (above the crankset) and two high outputs (at the level of the back of your steering wheel base) which allow you to put your arrival USB and electricity, to pass the cables from the pedal to the steering wheel, to hide a USB hub, to power the steering wheel, to power your screen (s), it is an excellent idea well executed. Only the covers (very nicely finished and made of steel) that allow the openings to be closed are not practical at all, they have a hard time staying in place. Finally you can use a hub at the top of the hood, USB, audio headset, everything can go through this hub depending on your configuration. Convenient ! Here it is pictured below with an extension 220, the Thrustmaster turbo-shaped transformer now known, USB hub, USB connection to PC, plus the 3 cables to the steering wheel, a simple config which leaves the cover almost empty as it is. tall). The steering wheel is adjustable in depth and height, four screws to loosen, it slides perfectly, you adjust, it's off again. Nothing but classic. If you need a more original steering wheel adjustment (accessibility, comfort, special driving position) the profiles are there and allow all the personal follies. Small zoom on the screws while black screws 10.9 (the second highest grade out of ten!), 8mm T-nuts, everything is done to be tightened and loosened at will without fear that things will move so much all this can withstand loads intended for much rougher professional use than your simulator. I dismantled exhaust lines that had much lower quality screws. We feel the special attention to robustness. The crankset is easily attached again thanks to the standardized holes and slides on a rail like a car seat. If it seems incidental to be able to adjust it, it is very pleasant when guests want to try and especially when you doubt yourself and try a new posture. Only the steering wheel requires taking out a key. Seat adjustment, when the key is installed, the seat trim is adjusted then via a classic auto linkage the depth which makes it possible to switch easily from a rally-style arm position to an F1 position (without the feet above the basin of course) according to your desire of the day. Classic and efficient, this is the minimum expected at this level of the range. Aesthetics and comfort On the aesthetic side, the chassis is painted in epoxy, less classy than the metallic paint of your car but more solid in the event of an impact or assembly / disassembly of options on the side (keyboard, shifter, etc.). The quality of the paint is there. The red painted hood made me want to modify it to stick a martini or other livery, too bad it has to be returned. For the most competitive who are streaming their game, it's an opportunity to sticker it or paint it in your team's colors. And for the more resourceful, it can be repainted to match your furniture or your obsession with cars in midnight purple for example. The two side plates which connect the lower part to the upper part of the frame, which make the link between the aluminum profiles are nicely made and once again oversized to offer total rigidity. For the rest, this chassis exudes solidity more than aesthetic finesse, but the finish, the red hood, these side plates and the very GT seat give it a really nice look and if not customizable if you want it different. FSIM: first successful attempt? Now that we've talked about all the little tips, cool points, and standard features of this chassis, it's time to get down to the painful. The price. Count 1250 € for a minimum set (low frame, trunk, high frame, the two slides) but with the bucket and the price quickly rises to more than 1500 € by adding any keyboard or screen supports (single or triple), shifter, etc. VAT and delivery costs are also added later in your basket, I prefer to warn you. If you are the target of these toys, you know what they cost. Is this FSIM revolutionary? No. Does he beat his opponents flat on the price? No. On the other hand, it offers several solutions, finishes and features that are worth a look and you have surely not heard of them yet. It's done, you now know the product, it's up to you to see if the proposed solutions are those that resonate with your needs or not. For my part, the versatility of the 80x40 profiles, their rigidity, the finish, the attention to detail and the clever hood I really liked, as well as the seat fixed lower than on my current bucket. Bravo for a first achievement and good luck to this new brand which offers a first successful product which will see more and more options being added over the course of 2021. Too bad, when we play we can hardly see the hood which is tilted.
The chassis with the lower frame and the upper profile frame which then allows to fix (very) firmly what you want where you want it and this even without manufacturer accessories
The rigidity of all the components, nothing loosens without having to force tightening, everything is totally oversized, the expected quality considering the price is at the rendezvous
The comfort of the bucket seat over long sessions
French manufacturer, effective stock in France
Adjustable and rigid crankset
The ingenuity of the hood and its custom potential
Multiple feet, movable and adjustable, practical for distributing the 45kg of the cockpit + the equipment + the screens and your own weight over many points
Caradisiac did not like
The wire covers of the hood which are not practical to close
The site is only available in English for the moment (the French version is coming)