Wheel stands offer a great opportunity to upgrade your sim racing setup without spending the money or sacrificing the space, that is needed in order to set up a complete sim racing rig.
Wheels stands are an affordable way to get your pedals, wheels, and shifter mounted in a consistent and ergonomic location, and remove a lot of the annoyances that come with sim racing from a desk. We’ve all had our wheelbases start to slip mid-race, and the frantic tightening of the clamps when you’re on the straight isn’t much fun.
The best wheel stands for sim racing are:
- Next Level Racing Steering Wheel Stand
- Next Level Racing Wheel Stand Lite
- Next Level Racing Wheel Stand DD
- GT Omega APEX Racing Wheel Stand
Next Level Racing Steering Wheel Stand
The Next Level Racing Steering Wheel Stand is a tried and true wheel stand that will fit just about everyone’s needs, providing that you don’t plan on using a direct drive wheel in the near future.
The minor drawback to this wheel stand, if you’re looking for something that is compact enough to be stored easily in a closet when not in use, is its size. Unlike its direct-drive compatible sibling, the Next Level Racing Wheel Stand does not have any lockable roller wheels to enable easy moveability. Whilst you do get a sturdier wheel stand without any feet, the lack of portability may be an issue for some that are planning on storing their wheelstand in a different location when not in use.
Overall though, if you can live without a couple of wheels to help you maneuver the wheel stand around, the Next Level Racing Wheel Stand is going to be, in my opinion, one of the best bang-for-your-buck wheel stands on the market.
In addition to it just being a wheel stand, you are able to buy several add-ons through Next Level Racing to transform their wheel stands into a rig, and whilst it may not be as sturdy as a traditional sim racing rig, it is a viable option for many of you out there that are reading this.
If you have a direct drive sim racing wheelbase then you will need the direct drive version of this wheel stand, which I talk about later on in this article.
The Next Level Racing Wheel Stand is compatible with all major wheel, pedal, and shifter brands including Fanatec, Logitech, and Thrustmaster.
The Next Level Racing Wheel Stand is not compatible with direct drive wheelbases.
Next Level Racing Wheel Stand Lite
Best Budget Alternative – $145.85
The Next Level Racing Wheel Stand Lite is another budget option if you like the looks of the Next Level Racing Wheel Stand but don’t like the price.
The sturdiness of the Next Level Racing Wheel Stand Lite will not be the same as its big brother, however, it still provides an excellent base that is fully adjustable to ensure an ergonomic fit.
Where the center pole style of wheelbase beats out the more expensive options is its ability to fold up flat and be stored in an out-of-sight location. Let’s be honest, a sim rig sitting in the middle of your living room is not exactly the most attractive of things (ask me how I know…) so the ability to be able to pack up at the end of a session and conveniently fold it away in a closet makes a huge difference.
The Next Level Racing Wheel Stand Lite is compatible with all major wheel, pedal, and shifter brands including Fanatec, Logitech and Thrustmaster.
The Next Level Racing Wheel Stand Lite is not compatible with direct drive wheelbases.
Next Level Racing Wheel Stand DD
Best Direct Drive – $299.99
If you currently have a direct drive wheelbase, or you think you will be upgrading to one in the future, then the Next Level Racing Wheel Stand DD is what you’re going to be after.
Whilst the price of the direct-drive version of this wheel stand is slightly more, the materials that it is made out of are rock solid which translates to a wheelstand that does not flex or bend under the forces that direct-drive wheelbases can output.
Storage of the Next Level Racing Wheel Stand DD is slightly better than the standard Next Level Racing Wheel Stand that was previously discussed. Whilst they are compact when compared to a full-size sim racing rig, they do not have the same abilities as the GT Omega APEX wheel stand to fold up flat with your gear still attached.
There are front lockable wheels on the Next Level Wheel Stand DD though, so transporting it from one location in your house, or room, to another is relatively easy.
If you don’t like the idea of front lockable wheels, then the wheel stand comes with a pair of normal feet that can be swapped in to provide the most stable environment possible.
I currently use the lockable roller casters on my sim racing rig and have noticed very little movement from them, for what it’s worth.
The Next Level Racing Wheel Stand DD is compatible with all major wheel, pedal, and shifter brands including Fanatec, Logitech, and Thrustmaster.
This is the only wheel stand on this list that is compatible with direct drive wheel bases.
GT Omega APEX Racing Wheel Stand
Best Budget – $129.95
The GT Omega APEX Steering Wheel Stand is the cheapest suggestion on this list and therefore provides a good option for those of you not wanting to spend a significant amount on a wheel stand.
With full adjustability wheel, pedal, and shifter locations, there is plenty of room to find a comfortable fit for sim racers of all different shapes and sizes, and with an included shifter mount you won’t be stuck having to empty your pockets again for extras later on.
One of the major selling points for me for the GT Omega APEX Steering Wheel Stand was the ability to have it fold away in a compact form with all your gear still attached. This is the perfect solution for those that live in smaller apartments or those that don’t have a lot of room for a sim racing rig to be out on display 24/7. The GT Omega APEX Steering Wheel Stand can easily be stored in a closet when not in use and can be set up again in seconds when you’re ready to race.
The GT Omega Apex Steering Wheel Stand is compatible with most major wheel, pedal, and shifter brands, including Fanatec, Logitech, and Thrustmaster.
This GT Omega Apex Steering Wheel Stand is not compatible with direct drive wheel bases.
I’ve recommended three Next Level Racing wheel stands in this article and that’s because they offer a good quality sturdy platform at a reasonable price. I currently use the GTTrack rig and have been using that consistently for the past two years with no complaints.
The only real consideration that you will need to take into account when selecting a wheelbase is if you have a direct drive wheel or not. If you do have a direct drive wheel then your only option out of this list will be the Next Level Racing Steering Wheel Stand DD version. It is important to get the DD version as the others will flex and bend under the forcers that a direct drive wheel can produce.
If you’re want something on the cheaper end then the GTOmega APEX is a great alternative that has good reviews and is slightly cheaper than its Next Level Racing counterpart. It has the advantage over the Next Level Racing Lite in its ability to be able to fold flat with your sim gear still attached, which provides a simple an easy way to store things in a neat and tidy way.
No matter what you end up choosing, wheel stands are a great way to start upgrading your setup.