When putting together a sim racing rig, you’ll find that there are quite a lot of options to do so, especially when mounting the rig. I have often been asked whether or not it is worthwhile to get a wheel stand.
So, what are the benefits of using a sim racing wheel stand? The benefits of a using a sim racing wheel stand are increased realism and immersion. Everything will be in a place that replicates a real racecar’s cockpit. Also, attaching the wheel to a desk with a clamp won’t provide as much stability.
I’ll be going over all facets that will be beneficial to you as a sim racer, no matter your experience level or aim, so keep reading!
Sim Racing Wheel Stands Keep It Steady
One of the biggest and most common reasons why sim racers make the switch from desk clamps to a wheel stand simply comes down to stability. The stands are all constructed with some form of metal or metal alloy, which will give it far more structural integrity than your trusty old desk that’s been in your bedroom for over ten years…!
Not only that, but the bases are designed to sit firm on the floor and won’t have the risk of sliding around, like your pedal set might do if it isn’t properly secured with carpet grips or the like.
Many sim racers who don’t want to keep a permanent set-up in their room or the living area are hesitant to buy wheel stands, because they can’t be packed away. The common misconception is that they’ll be a permanent addition to the space in which they’re assembled, but fear not, sim racers everywhere!
Manufacturers such as Next Level Racing and WheelStandPro understand your woes. Their products are fully collapsible, with your wheel and pedals not having to be moved an inch. Their wheel stands can then be wheeled into a closet or otherwise out of the way in the corner of a room until you next want to use it, making the biggest reservation about wheel stands a non-issue.
It really helps that most of the manufacturers who make sim racing products are also avid racing fans, because the innovations they make are simple yet effective for the normal sim racing enthusiast.
Sim Racing Wheel Stands Allow For More Comfort
Due to the way in which most racing wheel stands are made, you’ll be given full control of how it will feel for you to race with. Using the sliding metal components, you can easily adjust the wheel stand height, position of the gear stick shifter, and even where the pedal set will sit. This makes it perfect for any seated position, even the couch!
Sometimes we can worry that products won’t accommodate for how we race, but that simply isn’t the case with racing wheel stands. If you run a set-up with a standard desk clamp as many do when they start out, you’ll never quite be comfortable as you strain to sit closer or further away; depending on how it all aligns once it’s set up.
It can be a merry dance that involves shifting your desk backwards and forwards repeatedly, and even then, you’ll always just settle for what’s ‘okay’.
Sim racing wheel stands mean that you won’t have to just grumble and deal with the ‘close, but not quite close enough’ feeling that desk clamps bring!
You might just be a ‘casual’, or somebody who breaks out the wheel and pedals for the occasional race at the weekend, but there’s no doubt in my mind that you will want to improve and get better. Sim racing is the closest thing that we have to actually being able to drive race cars, and motorsports (even Esports) have an uncanny knack to bring out our competitive side.
Whether it’s matching your friend’s time on Spar or actually taking part in your first sim racing competition, you’ll find that a desk just won’t be cutting it anymore when you want to improve on your driving.
After all, a desk (no matter how swish!) just doesn’t have a purpose-built pedal support, nor does it have an adjustable, extendable stand in which you can rig your stick shifter of choice. Having all of these things in the places where they should otherwise be in a car’s cockpit will do wonders for your overall sim racing skill.
It’ll add to the realism and immersion that your wheel will already provide, and before long, you’ll be lapping better and better each time with a wheel stand that you can rely on. You can get as involved in sim racing as you wish, with the option to attach a real sim racing chair to the stand and even an extra stand function where you can put a keyboard and a PC.
Even if you aren’t practicing daily, having a stable, realistic base to race with will start benefitting you and your driving skills immediately. And with a lot of manufacturers offering stands for $200 or less, it isn’t exactly a huge stretch to invest in, either. It’s an affordable way to guarantee not only improvement and added competitiveness, but even more fun and enjoyment!
Choosing The Right Sim Racing Wheel Stand
A personal favorite feature of mine when it comes to wheel stands is how versatile they are with which sim racing products you can use. Manufacturers that build racing wheel stands know just how wide the market is, and how many different products sim racers will use to put together their personal rig.
As such, the racing wheel stands they make are designed to fit with a variety of wheels, pedals and stick shifters to make it adaptable for anybody and everybody!
There are specific stands for specific brands, of course, such as WheelStandPro designing unique stands for all of the major sim racing manufacturers out there. They have stands for ThrustMaster, Fanatec, Logitech and even more besides, meaning that you can pick and choose dependent on which brand of racing wheel you have.
And if you read the product specifications, chances are that there’ll be some leeway in the specialization. For example, the Wheel Stand Pro for ThrustMaster is also compatible with Logitech products, and even the Porsche GT2/GT3 wheels.
You won’t ever be restricted or have to purchase specific wheels for specific stands, because there’s an option out there for you to pick something that fits with your rig for no extra cost. Most wheel stands are also just generally universal, so you can decide between that option and something specifically made for your set-up.
What Wheel Stands Are Out There?
As I mentioned previously, there’s a real variety of manufacturers who make sim racing wheel stands now, and it means you can most likely buy them from almost anywhere! However, to narrow down the search for you readers a bit, I’ve made a list of some of the best wheel stands I’ve found:
- Next Level Racing Wheel Stand
- Wheel Stand Pro for ThrustMaster
- CINGO Wheel Stand
- GT Omega APEX Wheel Stand
- SmarketBuy Racing Wheel Stand
Simply put, a sim racing wheel stand isn’t only a practical part of your rig, but it is also a real game changer for your ability as a driver and will provide extra comfort where a desk rig will fall down every time. You won’t be having pedal slippages or wheel turns shifting the whole piece of equipment anymore, that’s for sure!
Stability plus comfort plus an immersive set-up will always equal amazing fun, so truly, a wheel stand is an essential piece of equipment to complete your rig!