One of the first things you might consider buying for your sim racing setup is a sim racing wheel stand. You may be used to using your desk to hold your wheel, or maybe you want a portable alternative to your usual rig. This may leave you wondering if you need a sim racing wheel stand.
You don’t need a sim racing wheel stand, but they can offer far more stability and immersion than using a desk to mount your wheel. They’ll also be more comfortable to use, although the best option is definitely to use a dedicated sim racing rig if you can afford one.
The 4 benefits of using a sim racing wheel stand are:
- More stability
- Added Comfort
- Increased immersion
Below, we’ll go into more detail about each of these benefits and discuss why a sim racing wheel stand could be the upgrade your rig needs. We’ll then talk about the things you should look for when buying one, so that you can make the right choice.
The 4 Benefits Of Using A Sim Racing Wheel Stand
1. More Stability
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. Good wheel stands are constructed with some form of metal or metal alloy, which will give it far more structural integrity than a plastic clamp attached to your desk.
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 wheel stands have built-in pedal mounts, and you can hard mount them and the wheel with screws, which makes for an all-round stable setup.
Many sim racing stands are also fully collapsible, with your wheel and pedals not having to be taken off to do so in some cases. These 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 them very ideal for sim racers that don’t have room for a permanent setup.
3. Added 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 if you’re on the couch!
If you run a setup 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. This can lead to a very suboptimal – and uncomfortable – racing setup.
Sim racing wheel stands give you far more flexibility, allowing you to create a versatile and more comfortable sim racing setup that you can adjust to your current position.
4. Increased Immersion
You might just break out the wheel and pedals for the occasional race at the weekend, but you’ll likely still want to improve and get faster on the track. Sim racing is the closest thing that we have to actually being able to drive race cars, so you likely want your setup to resemble this as closely as possible.
Whether it’s matching your friend’s fastest lap around Spa, or actually taking part in your first sim racing competition, you’ll find that a desk just won’t cut it anymore when you want to improve your driving.
A desk just doesn’t have a purpose-built pedal support, nor does it have an adjustable, extendable stand to which you can attach 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, and how immersive it feels.
Even if you aren’t practicing daily, having a stable, realistic base to race with will start benefitting you and your driving skills immediately. It’s also a reasonably affordable way to guarantee not only improvement and added competitiveness, but even more fun and enjoyment!
How To Choose The Right Sim Racing Wheel Stand
Check For Compatibility
Most sim racing steering wheel stands are designed to fit a variety of wheels, pedals and stick shifters, but you will still need to double check that the one you plan to buy is compatible with the rest of your gear – or the gear you plan to upgrade to. This is particularly true for direct drive wheels, as most wheel stands won’t offer a strong enough base to support the high torque of these wheels.
Size & Weight
If you’re buying a wheel stand in particular for its portability, you’ll want to pay attention to its size and weight, as this will dictate how easy it is to move around and store. Some wheel stands will come with wheels on them for easy transport, but many don’t, and they can get pretty heavy once you attach your wheel and pedals to them!
We always recommend opting for the best quality that you can afford no matter what sim racing gear you’re buying. It’s important to pay attention to the price of wheel stands as they will usually dictate the quality of materials they’re made from. You want something sturdy that will last a long time, so it’s best to opt for a known brand rather than simply buying the cheapest one you can find.
The Best Sim Racing Wheel Stands
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 over using your desk. There are lots of options to choose from, and many are very affordable, making them great for beginner sim racers.
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