Next Level Racing Wheelstand Review

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Next Level Racing Wheelstand Review

Post by iWolf on Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:51 am

Hey guys,

As you know, our sponsor Pagnian Imports has very kindly donated a prize for OZFM's current V8 Supercar Series.
That prize is a Next Level Racing Wheel Stand valued a $299.00

You will find the product information HERE, it has excellent pictures of the stand and the adjustments available. It also details the full list of features on the stand.

This is my review of the wheel stand and prize that some lucky player will receive at the conclusion of OZFM V8 Supercar Series VI.
As background, I've been racing Forza Motorsport for 3 years and have used a number of home made race rigs during that time. Originally using a Microsoft wheel and now a Fanatec GT2 wheel with clubsport pedals.

Delivery was by courier to my door, the stand was safely packed in a cardboard carton.
Packed size is 64 x 15 x 74cm which is quite compact for a wheel stand.

Unpacking took seconds, inside the carton was the wheel stand and a box of small parts.
The parts included wheel mounting plates, gear shift adaptor, assembly parts and an instruction manual.

First impressions
This is a nicely built stand, construction is steel tubes and plates, except for the aluminum pedal base plate.
The main frame is painted in a black metallic finish and carries some Next Level Racing stickers, the height adjustable wheel supports are chrome plated.
All screws are plated and all adjustable parts are located and retained with hand tightened locking knobs.
The stand is well braced and feels rock solid to handle, it weighs around 12kg.

Assembly
A quick look in the instruction manual and you know assembly will be almost too easy.
The wheel mount plate is pre drilled and assembly parts are supplied to mount Logitech G25/G27 wheels, pedals and gear shifter. Also the Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel and pedals and all Fanatec wheels and pedals.

The stand is pre-assembled, so you only need to swing the base into the open position.
Then mount the steering wheel base plate to the top bar of the stand, (2 bolts).

If you're using a Logitech wheel and shifter for PS3 or PC gaming you can mount the gear shift adaptor supplied on the left or right side of the stand, in a fairly natural H pattern gear lever position.

Mounting your wheel and pedals
The Fanatec GT2 wheel bolts directly onto the base plate using 4 screws supplied.
The Fanatec clubsport pedals sit loose on the pedal base plate and are held in position by a pedal stopper plate.
The gear shift adapter on the stand is not compatible with Fanatec gear shifters, so I used the standard Fanatec shifter mount.

I also checked my Microsoft wheel and found the wheel clamping assembly is compatible with the wheel base plate on the stand. A packer under the wheel clamping bolt would make clamping quicker, or you could use the included T500 RS adaptor plate for this if you like.
The Microsoft pedals sit loose on the pedal plate and could be held in position using the Fanatec pedal stopper plate.

Setup adjustment
I think most players could find a comfortable driving position in anything from a lounge chair to a dining chair, I tried both.
When using a low chair I ended up with a high pedal position which was more like an open wheeler than a sports sedan. It was more sedan like when using a dining or office chair. Adjustment of the stand was easy with both the chairs I used.

Firstly, adjust wheel height and lock it in using the locking knobs. There is about 36cm of wheel height adjustment to handle a range of chair heights.

Next adjust the pedals. There is about 20cm of length adjustment in the pedal base plate which is inclined at about 15 degrees.
Place the pedals in the desired position and tighten the pedal stopper bolts to keep the pedals in position on the base plate.
Now loosen the pedal length control knobs and adjust the base plate to a comfortable pedal position and lock it in using the locking knobs.

The kit includes velcro ties to keep your cables tidy, so once you're happy with the driving position, run your cables and hook everything up.

Job done, you're ready to race.

NB. If using Fanatec or Microsoft pedals you would need to drill holes to bolt or tie the pedals to the stand base plate once you have them adjusted. So they stay on the base plate when in the stored position.


Using the stand
I found the stand to be absolutely solid in operation, there was no shaking or wobble from force feedback or from my wheel handling. The open frame design of the stand makes it easy to heel and toe as there is no centre pole to get in the way.
There are rubber pads under the base to keep the stand from moving and it stayed in place while I was using it.

After use you can fold the stand for storage in seconds.
Just unplug it, loosen the wheel stand lock knobs, lift the front of the pedal plate and the stand will fold to its storage position.
Getting it ready for use is just as easy.

Possible Improvements
The only things I could suggest that might improve the stand were minor.
- It would be good to be able to set the pedal base plate to any angle 0-15 degrees. To suit different setups.
- Include clamping plates to lock down Fanatec clubsport pedals on the pedal base plate when the stand is folded for storage.
- There were a couple of rough edges on the pedal base plate that could have been smoothed off.

My assessment
The features of the Next Level Racing wheel stand that stood out for me are:

- Its well designed and constructed with a good finish
- Its adaptable, being pre-drilled for Fanatec, Logitech and Thrustmaster wheels.
- Adjustment for wheel height and pedal position is quick and easy.
- There is no centre pole to get in the way, so it works well with 2 or 3 pedal systems.
- Its rock solid in operation. The stand didn’t wobble, shake or move around while being used.
- It only takes seconds to fold and pack up for storage with wheel and pedals attached. It will stand by itself when folded for storage.

While I haven’t used any other commercial wheel stands for comparison, I think the Next Level Racing wheel stand would be a good option for anyone using a racing wheel in the absence of a full race simulator.

Overall I’d rate it: 9/10


Last edited by iWolf on Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:46 am; edited 4 times in total
avatar
iWolf
OZFM Legend & Hall of Famer

Posts : 4009
Points : 4389
Join date : 2009-08-16
Location : Lake Macquarie, Australia

Back to top Go down

Re: Next Level Racing Wheelstand Review

Post by OctarineDream on Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:39 am

Great review Wolf. Made me want one. Smile My home built stand is ok though, and I'm not allowed to buy anything for the next six months, so will have to deal with my home one.

I was a bit confused by your use of the world "located" such as:

iWolf wrote:

The Fanatec clubsport pedals sit loose on the pedal base plate and are located using a pedal stopper plate.

...

The Microsoft pedals sit loose on the pedal plate and could be located using the Fanatec pedal stopper plate.

I'm guessing you mean they can be locked in place? Is that right? Later on your mention needing to drill holes if you use the MS pedals to hold them in. So maybe I misunderstood. I guess they felt no need to support the MS Wheel since it's no longer available. Smile

cheers,
Chris (OD)
avatar
OctarineDream
OZFM Legend & Hall of Famer

Posts : 3192
Points : 3449
Join date : 2009-11-06
Location : Taswegia

Back to top Go down

Re: Next Level Racing Wheelstand Review

Post by TEEROY 34 on Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:41 pm

Great review Wolfy, well done mate, hope you enjoyed the test run too mate
avatar
TEEROY 34
OZFM Legend & Hall of Famer

Posts : 6167
Points : 6582
Join date : 2009-10-22
Location : Morley, PERTH, WA

Back to top Go down

Re: Next Level Racing Wheelstand Review

Post by Dazza4610 on Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:20 pm

Top Job Wolf, I guess that means I need to get to and write up a review on the Next Level Racing GT Pro also from Pagnian Imports.


Welcome to Forza 5 - Where it is 'ok' to come 2nd or 3rd!

Dazza4610
.

Posts : 8264
Points : 9655
Join date : 2010-02-01
Location : QLD

Back to top Go down

Re: Next Level Racing Wheelstand Review

Post by iWolf on Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:22 am

OctarineDream wrote:I was a bit confused by your use of the world "located" such as:
iWolf wrote:

The Fanatec clubsport pedals sit loose on the pedal base plate and are located using a pedal stopper plate.

...

The Microsoft pedals sit loose on the pedal plate and could be located using the Fanatec pedal stopper plate.

I'm guessing you mean they can be locked in place? Is that right? Later on your mention needing to drill holes if you use the MS pedals to hold them in. So maybe I misunderstood. I guess they felt no need to support the MS Wheel since it's no longer available. Smile

cheers,
Chris (OD)

A good point OD, thanks for bringing it up. I think my words need a bit of clarification.

The pedal base plate has slotted holes which I think can be used to bolt down the Logitech and Thrustmaster pedals (which I don't own). But it isn't drilled for the Fanatec clubsport pedals because the holes in the feet of the pedals would actually overlap the adjusting frame under the baseplate and if you bolted through them you wouldn't be able to adjust pedal length. So they supply a piece of aluminium that gets bolted down on the base plate in front of the pedals. This stops the pedals from sliding forward when you use them. But it won't keep the pedals on the base plate when you fold the stand for storage. Thats why I mentioned the need to bolt or tie down the pedals for storage. It shouldn't be difficult, but its something the buyer would need to work out if he wanted to make the most of the storage feature.
This applies equally for the Microsoft pedals.

I agree that the stand isn't built specifically for the Microsft wheel/pedals because they're no longer available. I mentioned them in the review because a number of guys are still using them and I could check the fitup with my old set.

I hope that helps?

I've changed the related wording in the review to hopefully say something closer to what I meant.

cheers
avatar
iWolf
OZFM Legend & Hall of Famer

Posts : 4009
Points : 4389
Join date : 2009-08-16
Location : Lake Macquarie, Australia

Back to top Go down

Re: Next Level Racing Wheelstand Review

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum