Building a sim racing rig is a highly personal, exciting process, and what can be better than bringing it all together? Sim racing wheel stands are purpose-built to support steering wheels and pedals, so let’s look at what their average cost equates to for your budget.
So, what is the average cost of a sim racing wheel stand? Entry-level or ‘budget’ stands typically range from $60 to $120, mid-range stands are in the realms of $120 to $200, and premium stands can be found for around $200 to $400, with some exceeding that upper range.
There will be some variations in price within all of these categories. For example, if you’re a handy sort, you can buy materials and make your own stand for cheaper than $60; it all depends on what you’re looking for in terms of features and quality! Keep reading to find out more.
Entry-Level Sim Racing Wheel Stands
Often dubbed to be the budget option of anything sim racing related, the entry-level products are ideal for those of you out there who are just dipping your toes into the past-time. For some people, entry-level will be used throughout their time invested in sim racing, and other others, it’s a springboard to upgrade their gear as they get better at racing.
It doesn’t matter which of these people you are, dear reader! Everybody has different wants and things to be taken from sim racing, so I’ll be gearing this whole article as such so that I can cover as much ground as possible.
When browsing the market (online or otherwise), you’ll start to notice a pattern of what features are offered with entry-level wheel stands specifically. Here’s a quick cheat-sheet so you can start to make comparisons down the line:
- Adjustability: Possible but limited; only a couple of positions that can be manipulated
- Material: Metal alloy, some kind of rubber grip on the base
- Upgrade capacity: Highly limited/ non-existent; depends on the brand
- Stability: Relatively solid; better than desk clamps
Most of these entry-level options can be found on Amazon by typing ‘sim racing wheel stands’ into the search bar, and you’ll get some great deals on price. For as little as $60 you’ll be making a worthwhile upgrade to something purpose-built to enhance your sim racing experience and to add more immersion.
As you can imagine for something nicknamed the ‘budget’ range, however, there are a number of areas in which the entry-level stands will be lacking. First and foremost, you’ll only have a couple of different ways to adjust the positioning of the stand; likely with some kind of slider or bolt. This isn’t ideal if you like to hook up to game in the living room, or other places in the house in general.
The frames are mostly made of tubing, which is fantastic for being lightweight and therefore easily portable. You can pack these stands away with ease which is great for those of us who don’t spend every day gaming. This is, of course, both a positive and a negative point depending on how you look at it. Lightweight can translate to flimsy, and it’s common for entry-level stands to break prematurely.
If you start looking at the higher prices in this bracket, however, the quality will begin improving and you can actually shop at name-brand websites. One such example is Next Level Racing, who offer a stand that can oftentimes be found at an entry-level price. It boasts a lot of features usually seen on mid-range stands.
Unlike most stands in this category which don’t allow for upgrades and additions, the wheel stands from Next Level Racing provide the option to attach a sim racing cockpit seat and allow a whole cockpit to be built around it. This makes it a fantastic option for enthusiasts out there who don’t want to break the bank on a rig, but will still be getting quality gear that will last and grow with them.
If you’re looking for a great deal, Amazon is the place for you! Just be wary of the products you find and take some time to read reviews from other customers before committing to a purchase. Most sim racing wheel stands here will be imports from China, so the build quality will always be a guess until it arrives for you to use.
Mid-Range Sim Racing Wheel Stands
Moving up the rankings, mid-range wheel stands are where you’ll start getting more features and better quality for your money without spending an outrageous amount. They’re a must for sim racers who are seeking ways to improve their driving with more consistency, and they make great bases with which you can build a complete cockpit.
Manufacturers to look out for in this range include GT Omega, Next Level Racing and Wheel Stand Pro; solid companies who have a good grounding in the sim racing market.
As with entry-level products, there are certain features that are common among the mid-range varieties that see a steady increase in quality and usefulness. Here they are:
- Adjustability: Multiple adjustment options for comfortable gaming
- Material: Solid metal, has weight and sturdiness
- Upgrade capacity: Good; can attach/remove sim racing seats & extra brackets
- Stability: Heavier and therefore sturdier, special non-slip features
A very common feature on mid-range stands compared to entry-level is the extra bracket you’ll find installed on them to support a gear stick shifter. The biggest benefit of this category of stands is this added boon of having a customizable set-up that you can adjust to your liking, that’s for sure!
Every aspect of the stands can be changed, from the stand height, pedal plate position, and even the location of the shifter mount. As an example, the GT Omega APEX wheel stand also has entirely adjustable rubber grips on the base so that they can be properly positioned whether you place the stand on wood flooring or carpet. For that bit of an extra spend, you’ll be buying a more comfortable, stable sim racing experience.
The stands balance the right amount of permanence and flexibility, which is useful for people who lead regular lives. No matter how much time we want to dedicate to sim racing, life can sometimes get in the way! So most stands, such as Wheel Stand Pro’s TX Deluxe, are fully foldable without removing the wheel or pedals mounted to it. And the best part? You can feel its substance and weight without causing yourself injury!
What truly shines in the mid-range category as opposed to entry-level, however, is that ability you have to grow from a simple wheel stand to possessing a full cockpit; every sim racer’s dream. Next Level Racing offers the Wheel Stand Lite, to which you can attach more panels for more screens and otherwise connect a cockpit seat to it for an affordable price. Most full cockpits on sale are very expensive, so it’s highly affordable.
Just because this range of products isn’t called ‘entry-level’ doesn’t mean it excludes new sim racers, of course! You get a lot more bang for your buck if you stretch your budget to this level, and it’ll guarantee a long-lasting stand with which you’ll get a lot of racing hours. It’s the perfect mix of affordability and quality.
Premium Sim Racing Wheel Stands
Here we are, folks; the cream of the crop, otherwise known as premium-level sim racing wheel stands. They cost the most and are commonly looked at by sim racers who earn their living by sitting down in front of screens to set record lap times, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who can enjoy that luxury!
More than ever, sim racing has evolved into a market that anybody can gain entry into. If you want absolute quality, provided you have the cash, you can purchase the same gear that professionals use. It isn’t sealed away in some big secret vault! And that means some fantastic fun can be had with the best of the best products out there.
Here are the features that define premium sim racing wheel stands:
- Adjustability: Expansive options for optimum comfort and immersion
- Material: High-grade metal or carbon fiber
- Upgrade capacity: Exceptional; can expand to full cockpit with multiple options, extra brackets, etc
- Stability: Permanent; these stands are designed to stay in place and are very stable
Unlike the entry-level and mid-range wheel stands which are the jacks of all sim racing hardware, premium stands are purposefully designed to be used with high-end gear. As an example, the Next Level Racing Wheel Stand DD was tested exclusively with direct-drive technology, the best available force feedback on the market. It can withstand intense, immersive hardware that delivers high torque, a testament to its quality.
At this level, you’ll find that most stands come equipped as cockpits to avoid a poor fit between a stand and chair bought separately. OpenWheeler offer a fantastic stand with a high-level sim racing seat with high-grade materials and the ability to set it up as you wish. It offers full immersion at its finest!
If you break it down in terms of price and trying to find a good value for money, the premium-level stands are often better to purchase than entry-level variants. This boils down to what you get included, and especially if you’re tempted by the cockpit pathway, you’ll get an ergonomically engineered seat coupled with a tailor-made stand for less than buying all components separately.
But, if you’re like me and want to find the best of the best in terms of its features, reliability and competitive edge that can be gained, money isn’t really an object. It’s something nice to consider, because all of us need to budget, but it shouldn’t be a guiding factor if you’re just looking for the absolute top-level of sim racing.
If you aren’t necessarily wild about getting a full cockpit, for whatever reason that might be, premium-level stands still exist that are easy to pack away when not in use. Look at the Wheel Stand Pro Deluxe V2; it offers premium-level stability with a set-up that takes minutes to pack away and roll into a closet. It also has the ability to be expanded with more brackets, and comes with a stick shifter mount as standard.
Probably the biggest selling point of products within the premium level is the variety that exists without losing key features or build quality. You can browse for hours and still not find every wheel stand available within this price range or above! It’s simply the best for seeking out the perfect way to put together your rig and ensure it will stand the test of time.
No matter what your budget is or which tier of products you decide to consider, I really hope that this article has helped to expand on what a wheel stand will offer! Even an entry-level one will be a great way to get started and build more realism into your sim racing experience, so make sure to hop on the web and start looking.