SimLab Push-Pull Rally Shifter
The feeling, the immersion we say in Greek, is a very serious factor in simracing for my opinion.
I have been looking for a long time to buy a Push-Pull shifter that would give me the feeling of an era very important in the history of the WRC rallycars since 2002 when an electro-hydraulic gear selection system first at the Peugeot and the 206 WRC. This system was essentially 2 rings, above and below the steering wheel rim, with which the driver could select the gears. The reason presented is obvious… The hunt for absolute time at the SS!
This system evolved through racing experience and came to have a unified form until the appearance of the Hybrid WRC cars in 2021-2022 when stopped temporanly until today.
Enough with the “real” story and let’s see my “own” story.
The German simracing company named Ascher Racing (a very serious and quality company for my opinion), presented a very good construction years ago, the best and the only at that period, which very quickly entered to my target for purchase.
I don’t purchaced it becsause for the one hand the cost was high(it was cost over €300 the all set), and for the other hand because that my equipment at that period still had serious shortcomings, so I ended up losing the product which was discontinued and never come back from Ascher Racing.
After I “built” my equipment to a good level for my own needs, a “relentless” search began to buy or even self build by 3d printing such a same push-pull shifter. Also I was sending emails to Ascher asking if he have plans to reproduce the Push-Pull sifter, and also I was search all the forums with informations for sale of second hand simracing equipement with no luck.
Last year I found a “serious” Chinese proposal (http://www.simdid.cn/WRCPush-PullPaddleShifter/) and after the usual research, I bought it. Very good construction, with some minimal ergonomic issues but still below for my expectations.
SimLab launch the Push-Pull shifter and I didn’t get to buy it because very quicly the product it’s out of stock.
Also at the same period I have buy from a Polish simracing shop and manufactor called SimLine, a clone of the Ascher Racing system (https://simline.eu/en/ product/push-pull-shifter-wrc/) but again is out of my flavor and my expectations genarelly.
Incidentally, a friend of mine, Nikos (aka Racingsimulationgames), told me in a chat that he found in stock and he bought from a Dutch simracing eshop, the SimLab Push-Pull shifter.
Of course I immediately ordered one of the eight available pieces he had on stock !!!
After 10 days I received and from the first look and the packaging I understood that the contents would be very good!
The all construction has a very high quality (the base is metal and includes 3 different lengths so it can work with almost all wheel base extension lengths on the market, the 2 switch system is made of aluminum, the trigger is made of thick carbon and the cable USB is quite long and has an angle connection on the controller. Finally there have also and a manual but also you can easily find all what you need on YouTube, Google, Forums etc.).
The installation was done immediately and relatively easily, although at my own setup (Simcore wheel base system for Simucube DD wheels) I had to make some additions and changes in the way it is supported and linked with my rig.
But no one will need more than 10 minutes to install and adjust the shifter in their rig (and if they have a SimLab P1-X it won’t take even 5 minutes).
Also everyone can very easily and quickly finds it’s ideal position for the Push-Pull shifter, in relation to your hand and your steering wheel, as the package includes everything needs inside.
After the installation, the Push-Pull shifter is almost plug & play at my system and was immediately recognized by my pc. All that was needed was a calibration which is done very easily.
Going into “action” and RBR the Push-Pull shifter was just perfect! Ideal length of the carbon trigger, gear changes by pressing on the entire length and width of the large carbon trigger, including the ends of the trgger, silent gear shifts and generally delivers everything it promises as I had read and seen at the reviews. For me, the comparison of all mine Push-Pull shifters was inevitable, since as I mentioned above, because I had the driving experience of the other 2 Push-Pull shifters who I had own, with SimLab Push-Pull shifter being the clear “winner”! The Immersion was great and as soon as your brain gets used to the difference between of pulling and pushing, from just pulling with both hands, the enjoyment and the good performance accompanied by competitive SS times!
I use it aprox a month and I’m even more satisfied than the first day of duty. Finally and for my opinion anyone willing to pay the money it costs (€200 or so), they will be rewarded with all the experience they will get from that nice Push-Pull shifter by SimLab!