Up next for review is the Wheel Stand Racer by Next Level Racing. In the box comes everything you need for an ultra basic racing sim cockpit. Aside from the frame you’ll receive a variety of screws and nuts and other parts needed to mount your racing wheel and pedal set along with the various tools needed. Next Level Racing didn’t come cheap on the tools either. They sent real wrenches, not those cheap flat pieces of metal in the shape of a wrench that you might get in some boxed furniture that you have to assemble yourself. They could have and I still wouldn’t have any complaint because the Wheel Stand Racer comes out of the box fully assembled. The tools are simply for mounting your gear to the stand and for making minor adjustments for sizing.
Once you remove the stand and all of the parts from the box and have verified that nothing is missing, setting it up is a snap. The foot pedal base and the center post for the wheel deck are connected by a hinge at the bottom of the post and near side of the base. Simply unfold it and lock it in the upright position with the U-bolt clip and voila, you’re ready to mount your wheel and pedal set of choice.
There are two sliding brackets for mounting your pedals on the base. After you mount your foot pedals you can slide them forward or backward before tightening the bolts on the side of the base. The steering wheel deck plate is pre-drilled to accommodate most major brands like Thrustmaster, Logitech, and Fanatec wheels. Once you have your racing wheel bolted to the deck, or in my case clamped, you are just a few comfort adjustments away from some fun times on the virtual racetrack.
While the Wheel Stand Racer is at the lower end of Next Level Racing’s catalog of stands and cockpits and thus lacks some of the adjust-ability of their higher end offerings, you still have a fair amount of adjust-ability for comfort. Pedal distance is adjusted by sliding the mounting brackets forward or backward on the frame. Wheel height is adjusted by loosening the wing nuts on the upright support post and sliding the wheel deck up or down to your desired height. Then simply tighten the wing nuts again. The wheel angle is a bit different. If you have the wheel deck in the flat and level position then you can have both bolts tightened on the mounting plate. If you want to tilt the wheel forward however, you’ll need to remove one of the bolts completely to allow for the adjustment.
I had to knock off a point here in the adjust-ability column. As I am of average height and build for a 40ish adult male, by American standards anyway, I feel that Next level Racing would have done well to make the base just a few inches longer to allow more distance in foot pedal adjustments. I have the Wheel Stand Racer set to it’s farthest pedal distance and find it to be just barely comfortable. Taller folks might have a harder time. I compromised a bit by elevating the height of my desk chair and steering wheel. If I left my chair at my preferred height I’d have had a bit of a reach for the wheel. Not a deal breaker by any means.
Just something to be aware of. I’m 5’10”, with a 32 inch inseam on my pants if that helps for size reference. Anyone with some building skills could probably fabricate some kind of add on plate to allow for more distance but let’s be real, if you’re gonna fabricate something you’re probably going to fabricate a whole rig. The rigs offered by Next Level Racing are for those who aren’t Do It Yourself fanatics. Also the center post design can make getting in and out from behind your wheel a challenge as the post sits between your legs with one leg on either side. This isn’t a problem while playing but can make getting out of your chair quickly a little tricky.
What the Wheel Stand Racer lacks in adjust-ability it more than makes up for in rigidity and overall build quality. The sleek black finish can blend in to almost any room and the fact that the stand can be folded with the wheel and pedals still attached make moving it from one room to another or even putting it in the car to bring it to a friend’s house a breeze. Folded up it can easily fit into a small closet when not in use or perhaps under the bed if you remove the wheel from the deck. I mentioned rigidity. Before receiving the Wheel Stand Racer I was playing with my wheel clamped to a small folding table and my pedals on the floor underneath.
The force feedback from my Thrustmaster TMX wheel quickly caused the table to get wobbly and squeaky. I have not experienced any wobble with the Wheel Stand Racer. A pleasant side effect of having the wheel and pedals mounted to the same frame was that the force feedback and vibration would translate through the frame to my feet on the pedals for added immersion. Once I realized this I quickly went into my settings and turned the force feedback and vibration all the way up. Even wrestling with the wheel turned all the way up is a joy compared to twenty to forty percent on that folding table. Any higher and the force feedback would rattle the whole table off the floor.
If, like me, you’ve been playing on a desktop or folding table and were considering making the jump to a full size rig but weren’t sure because of the cost or the space, then the Wheel Stand Racer from Next Level Racing is the perfect first step. At $119 it won’t break the bank and it’s easily collapsible but rigid design make for easy setup and storing. If this is the quality that Next Level Racing offers at the low end of their product spectrum then I can’t wait to try some of their higher end stuff. I almost forgot to mention that a seat add on for the Wheel Stand Racer is coming soon, giving you the option to upgrade to a full rig at a very reasonable price.
Overall I give the Wheel Stand Racer from Next Level Racing a high scoring nine. Based on value per dollar, even with the limited adjust-ability and my concern of comfort with taller drivers, picking this up as a first step into the world of sim racing is a no brainer.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.