To get the most authentic experience from racing simulators such as Assetto Corsa, a steering wheel is recommended. The tactile feedback from a racing setup is unsurpassed as you can feel the grip and gauge how much throttle to use. However, these rigs are far from practical and require a large room to mount the wheel and pedals in a comfortable position. Furthermore, to keep the pedals steady, you need to screw them into the floor or use some strong adhesive. So what alternatives are there? One option is a play seat which allows you to mount your steering wheel onto a fixed chair. This isn’t a cheap substitute and I find it to be very unappealing if you already use an expensive office chair. Racing seats have a lower and more relaxed profile meaning they are horrible for normal PC use.
If you simply want a base to compliment your existing office chair, then the Wheel Stand Pro is a viable consideration. Manufactured in Poland, this accessory can support a wide array of mainstream wheels including the Logitech G27, Thrustmaster T500RS, Thrustmaster F430 and more! This is particularly useful if you own a number of wheels like myself and like to alternate depending on the type of racing formula being played. It’s also significantly cheaper than a playseat which retails at £240/$400 whilst the wheel stand pro can be bought for only £95/$164. The attractive price point means you can purchase this stand and a decent office chair for less than a playseat.
Let’s move onto the item itself and the level of service from wheel stand pro. I was staggered by the delivery time of only 3 days via international shipping. The packaging was a little disappointing as the product was protected by a basic cardboard box with no information about key features or company logo. However, this may not be the case for consumer models as I received a press sample.
Included in the box is a doubled sided laminated set of instructions, the stand itself, 2 heavy-duty hex/allen keys, metal mounting bar, screws with washers and a 13mm combination spanner. Interestingly, unlike most products these days, the accessories are of a very high quality and constructed from hardened steel. It’s important to note that the instructions rely on diagrams and can be a slightly obtuse if you aren’t technically minded. This shouldn’t be a major cause for concern as the installation process is foolproof once you know what steps to take.
Please note that the installation guide below only applies to the Logitech G27 wheel. Firstly, you need to align the pedals against the wheel stand pro logo and ensure its fitted in a flush and straight position. Then you have to loosen the upright stand by undoing the claw grip and placing it on top of the clutch pedal. I would personally cover the clutch with a small piece of bubble wrap to avoid any scratches occurring during this install process. This will ensure that the wheelbase doesn’t move around before hard mounting. Rotate the unit into a vertical alignment and line up the metal bar’s screw hole with the base. All you have to do then is gently screw the metal mount onto the base but don’t tighten it with an hex key just yet. Now, place the G27’s power brick between the metal bar and pedals before tightening. The reasoning behind this is to keep the cable management tidy and reduce clutter.
Now that the pedals are firmly in place, it is time to attach the H-Shifter which can be used in either a left or right handed location. Pick up the flat S shape mounting bracket and feed it under the gear stick whilst aligning the bottom 2 screw holes. Then screw the plate into position and you will be left with an elongated square piece which fits underneath the main base. This particular piece has 3 holes and you must ensure that the top 2 screw points are used. Hold the base firmly while you gradually screw these points in an even manner. If you screw either points too much whilst leaving the other loose then the base will come away and you have to re attempt the process. This can be quite awkward since the screws didn’t seem to thread into the holes very well. I fixed this error by using the including nuts and this made the screws bottom out.
The next phase is to fit the main wheel using 2 screws which tighten underneath the base. This is pretty self-explanatory but you must connect all the cables and feed them neatly before tightening the screws upwards. Using cable ties and the G27’s routing will allow you to achieve a clean build and prevent wires from getting in the way during those intense racing moments. Fixing the wheel is relatively simple and only takes a matter of minutes to complete.
So what other beneficial attributes does the Wheel Stand Pro have? First of all, the unit is extremely portable and folds away by slackening the horizontal clamp and pushing flat. Once complete, the product can be stored in a corner without taking up too much room. On another note, the assembly and disassembly is so quick that it is perfect for gaming parties at other people’s houses. You can also customize the wheel height but I would have preferred to see a slightly higher maximum threshold. The adjustable metal bar sits between your legs and is fairly comfortable but consumers above the 6 foot range might feel overly restricted. I was pleased to see that the H-Shifter clamp is optional and the stand even supports other wheel models like the T500RS. This means if you upgrade your equipment, the Wheel Stand Pro will still be a viable option. In terms of performance, the product is almost faultless due to its exceptionally high quality steel construction which makes it incredibly solid. I tried a plethora of games including F1 2013, Dirt 3, Assetto Corsa, Race 07 and attempted to use an overly aggressive driving style on tight, twisty chicanes to see if the stand would falter under heavy load. I am pleased to say that the pedals never moved and the wheelbase was resilient against quick changes of direction. The main reason behind this rigidity is the durable rubber feet which stick to the floor and makes it virtually impossible to slide the unit around.
The only downside has to be the H-Shifter which feels a little bit flimsy for my tastes. It works perfectly fine and it may be more down to Logitech’s original design, but I never feel comfortable changing gear in a harsh manner. This is especially the case in rally games which require a lot of sudden, sharp gear changes. I would say that this is more of a personal bias since my expertise is in Formula 1 racing which revolves around paddle shifting.
Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?
The Wheel Stand Pro is without any hesitation, a definite recommendation due to the solid weight, superb steel frame and customizability. I was also amazed by how simple the installation process was and should only take you around 10-15 minutes at most. The stand is portable, functional and surprisingly affordable for a sim product. At £95/$164/€119, the Wheel Stand Pro is a must-buy for any racing enthusiast.