Fanatec Clubsport Handbrake V1.5


  • Superb full metal construction for exceptional durability.
  • Realistic lever feel and satisfying clicks thanks to its well-designed mechanism.
  • Foam grip prevents hand from slipping, providing a secure and comfortable grip.
  • Flexible mounting options on 3 sides allowing for customized installation in various simulator setups.


  • Relatively expensive versus competing handbrakes
  • USB adapter is a separate purchase if needed
  • Lever throw could feel more realistic

Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5: The Ultimate Handbrake for Sim Racing


As a sim racing enthusiast, having a high-quality handbrake can take your driving experience to the next level. Handbrakes allow much finer control in rally, drift and circuit racing sims by enabling techniques like left-foot braking and trail braking. After testing numerous handbrakes over the years, I can confidently say the Fanatec ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 is simply the best consumer-grade unit you can currently buy. It’s not cheap, but the exceptional build quality, precision, adjustability and compatibility justify the premium price tag. Read on for my detailed review of the ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 after several months of ownership.

Hardware Overview

Build Quality and Design

The ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 is built like an absolute tank. Weighing in at 1.3kg, this is by far the heaviest and most solidly constructed handbrake I’ve used. The all-metal body and stainless steel lever give it a premium feel that’s clearly meant to last. Unlike cheaper handbrakes made mostly of plastic, you never get the sense that this thing could break or deform with aggressive use. The lever has a great tactile clickiness when pulled that’s reminiscent of a real car’s handbrake. Fanatec also added a grippy foam layer to the lever so your fingers never slide off during intense braking moments. Overall the fantastic build quality is apparent the instant you take it out of the box. This handbrake looks and feels like proper racing hardware, not a toy.

Mounting Options

A major advantage of the ClubSport Handbrake is the flexible mounting options. The device has threaded holes on both side plates and the bottom, allowing permanent installation to rigs via bolts or clamps. Fanatec includes additional threaded plates in the box so you can easily bolt the handbrake to the side of a rig if needed. The handbrake can also attach directly to any Fanatec shifter without extra brackets, giving you a perfectly positioned duo of shifting and braking controls. For a temporary setup, Fanatec sells an optional table clamp and adapter plate that secures the handbrake vertically or horizontally to just about any desk or table. Overall, the V1.5 can be mounted in whatever position works best for your rig and driving style.


The ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 is cross-compatible with PC and major consoles. When using it with Fanatec wheel bases, the device plugs directly into the wheel base. For non-Fanatec setups or console use, the handbrake includes a RJ12 to USB adapter. This lets you connect via any USB port on a PC. One limitation is that the USB adapter does not work on consoles like Xbox and PlayStation. But the handbrake remains fully functional when connected to a compatible Fanatec wheel base on those platforms. So compatibility is not an issue as long as you use Fanatec electronics. The handbrake works perfectly with all modern sim racing titles that support analog handbrake input. Overall, the ClubSport Handbrake provides versatile connectivity for most setups.


Analog Sensor

The ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 utilizes an analog positional sensor, not a simple on/off switch. This enables you to gradually apply or release brake pressure for techniques like left foot braking and trail braking. The analog input gives you much finer throttle and brake modulation than a digital handbrake. It allows initiating drifts even when the wheels are still spinning rapidly after acceleration. Overall the analog sensor makes the braking feel ultra-precise and natural.

Adjustable Resistance

A small hex bolt on the side of the handbrake lets you adjust the lever resistance. This affects how much force is required to pull the lever and engage the brakes. Being able to customize the required lever force is a nice feature, as personal preference can vary. For my setup, I found that increasing the default resistance made the lever feel more realistic. This prevents accidental brake activation while the extra force required provides satisfying feedback. The adjustable resistance is really useful for dialing in the perfect level of lever weight.

Vertical or Horizontal Lever

The ClubSport Handbrake can be configured with the lever in either a vertical or horizontal position. Having the choice is great, as the optimal angle depends on your driving discipline. Horizontal works well for rally sims where you grab the handbrake in car-like fashion. Vertical is ideal for drifting where the lever typically sits higher in the cockpit, within easy reach. Swapping the orientation just takes a minute – you simply detach the front plate, reposition the lever, and reattach. This small detail makes a big difference in replicating the proper lever angle for your sim rig and driving preference.


Realistic Feel

The all-metal construction and grippy foam lever combine to provide an exceptionally realistic handbrake feel. Unlike plastic handbrakes, you get impressive resistance when pulling the ClubSport lever thanks to the sturdy build. This tactile feedback enhances immersion and replicates the firm lever found in real race cars. The lever motion has a pleasing mechanical click but zero looseness or wiggle. Whether configured horizontally or vertically, the lever angle looks and feels spot on. These elements work together to make the Fanatec handbrake feel like an authentic race car component.

Precise Inputs

In my testing, the analog sensor proved capable of registering subtle lever movements with precision. There is zero unwanted stiction hampering the brake modulation. Small brake inputs translate perfectly from lever motion to software input. The sensor never jumps or stutters no matter how gradually you move the lever. You can pulse the brakes rapidly with one finger and each quick dab registers cleanly. Such precise lever tracking truly elevates brake control versus a cheaper handbrake. It gives you the finesse needed for techniques like trail braking without any sensor oddities interfering.

Durable Construction

It’s obvious that Fanatec designed the ClubSport handbrake to withstand serious abuse. The full metal body exhibits no creaks or weak points when manhandling the lever aggressively. After months of frequent use, my unit looks and performs as good as new. There is simply no plastic to fatigue or break compared to lower-cost handbrakes. I have no doubt that the V1.5 will easily last many years of heavy use given the overbuilt construction. This handbrake was engineered for longevity, ensuring it’s still braking hard long after a cheap one dies.

Setup Process

Overall, getting the ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 operational is quick and painless. Here’s a brief overview of the setup steps:

Connecting the Handbrake

How you connect the handbrake depends on your hardware:

  • For Fanatec wheel bases, use the included RJ12 cable to plug into the wheel base.
  • Without Fanatec gear, use the RJ12 to USB adapter to connect to a PC USB port.
  • Optionally purchase the ClubSport USB Adapter for using the handbrake with other wheel brands.

Installing Drivers

Visit Fanatec’s website to download and install the latest driver package for your gear. The handbrake will appear as a controller and automatically calibrate its inputs.

Calibrating the Handbrake

Simply pull the lever all the way back, then release to center position. The handbrake auto-calibrates its range of motion.

Adjusting Settings

No software settings are necessary. You can optionally adjust the physical lever resistance via the hex bolt if desired.

That’s all it takes to get rolling. The plug-and-play nature of the ClubSport Handbrake makes installation hassle-free.

Fanatec Clubsport Handbrake V1.5