Best Aluminium Profile (8020) Sim Rigs 2023: Buyers Guide
Aluminium profile sim rigs are among the best sim rigs you can buy. In this guide I run through the best aluminium profile (8020) sim rigs available in 2023.
What are the best 8020 sim racing rigs?
There is a good choice of aluminium profile sim rigs (also known as 8020 sim rigs) available on the market. Sim Labs produce some of the most widely used and most popular 8020 sim rigs. These include the budget orientated GT1 Evo and the professional P1-X. Both of these sim rigs are among the best aluminium profile sim rigs you can buy in 2023.
What is an aluminium profile rig?
An aluminium profile sim rig is often known as an 8020 sim rig. This refers to the size of aluminium profile that is used. Despite the name 8020, most sim rigs actually use a wide variety of aluminium profile sizes. These included 40x40mm, 40x80mm, 40x120mm and even 40x160mm.
40x80mm is one of the most common sizes of aluminium profile used in sim rigs. The sturdiest 8020 sim rigs such as the mighty Sim Labs P1-X use both 40×120 and 40x160mm aluminium profile to ensure maximum rigidity.
Aluminium profile sim rigs are among the most sturdy sim rigs available on the market. They are often used to eliminate any flexing when racing with powerful racing wheels.
Sim racing with powerful direct drive wheel bases can often make sim rigs vibrate and flex during heavy use. When your sim rig flexes, it introduces movement which can interfere with the force feedback that the wheel base is producing. This can lead to the force feedback being slightly watered down. It’s also not good for your sim rig, as constant flexing can cause structural weakness over time.
8020 sim rigs almost always come packaged as simple lengths of aluminium, making the construction of your shiny new sim rig a bit of a DIY project.
8020 sim rig pros and cons
8020 sim rigs are incredibly popular with a large number of sim racers, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t without their drawbacks. As with all products, there are a variety of pros and cons to weigh up before purchasing an 8020 sim rig.
- Extremely sturdy
- Can handle almost any amount of force feedback torque
- Very adaptable and highly configurable
- You can attach add-ons to your sim rig as your requirements grow
- Compatible with most racing wheels, pedals and sim racing seats
- Can be heavy due to the amount of aluminium profile used
- Take a while to initially set up and build
- Generally cost more than pre-built sim rigs
- Often takes up more space than a more compact sim rig
Top 3 aluminium profile sim rigs for 2023
TL/DR – If you are short on time, the below three 8020 sim rigs are our top 3 recommendations. All of these aluminium profile rigs are extremely well built, have great product support and work extremely well during use.
I have written about each one of these aluminium profile rigs in more detail below. So if you fancy learning more about these sim rigs as well as seeing a few other recommendations keep reading below.
The other aluminium profile sim rigs that I’ll look at in this best 8020 sim rig guide are;
- Next Level Racing F-GT Elite
- GTOmega PRIME Cockpit
- Sim Lab GT1 Pro
- Sim Lab P1-X
- Trak Racer TR80 Mk5
Sim Lab GT1 Pro
The Sim Lab GT1 Pro is one of our most recommended budget to mid-range aluminium profile sim rigs, and for good reason. This redesigned cockpit is an evolution of the older GT! Evo, and it is often seen as the little brother to the more expensive Sim Lab P1-X or P1-Pro, but it brings the stability of other 8020 sim rigs on a budget.
The Sim Lab GT1 Pro opts to use 40x40mm and 40x80mm aluminium profile instead of larger 40x160mm that the P1-X uses. This does keep the price of this budget 8020 sim rig down, but it does introduce the potential for flexing.
Despite the smaller aluminium profile, the GT1 Pro doesn’t exhibit any of the flex that is often found in cheaper sim rigs. It is an incredibly impressive 8020 sim rig which is capable of handling very strong forces.
It comes with a wheel plate that can mount almost any wheel base to from the bottom. The wheel plate is pre-drilled to accommodate wheel bases from brands such as MOZA, Thrustmaster and Fanatec so mounting shouldn’t be an issue.
The wheel plate is also extremely strong, so you shouldn’t encounter much movement if any. And it can be adjusted to change the angle of your racing wheel.
The GT1 Pro features a very similar way of mounting racing seats to your rig, making it widely compatible with most sim racing seats.
As a whole, the GT1 Pro is one of the best value 8020 sim racing rigs you can buy in 2023. And it is a rig that I would recommend over and over to those who are looking to buy their first aluminium profile sim rig.
- Brand – Sim Lab
- Price – From £500
- Link – Buy now
Next Level Racing F-GT Elite
Next Level Racing is a very well known name within sim racing, producing some of the finest mid-range sim racing equipment around. With the F-GT Elite they have stepped up into the world of aluminium profile sim rigs for the first time. And it is an incredibly impressive sim rig.
The first thing you’ll notice is how racy it looks. Unlike many traditional 8020 sim rigs, the F-GT Elite features a swept-back look. This both looks good and serves the purpose of bringing your racing wheel closer to your body while keeping the vertical supports further away. This allows you to get in and out of this sim rig easier.
Customisation is a key selling point of the Next Level Raving F-GT Elite. You can adjust every part of this sim rig to find the perfect racing position. This starts at the pedal mount, which can be mounted directly to the vertical supports for a flat approach. Or it can be mounted lower down to angle the pedals.
The F-GT comes with a few options when it comes to wheel base mounting. You can opt for front mounting or side mounting. These options can accommodate the most popular direct drive wheel bases such as the Fanatec DD1 and DD2 as well as wheel bases from SimuCube.
If you purchase the F-GT with the ES1 sim racing seat you will have endless combinations when it comes to your seating position. The ES1 seat is a fixed bucket seat, but using the side mounts, you can recline the seat right back to achieve a Formula 1 style seating position.
If you are more of a GT sim racer, you can prop the seat back up using the side mounts to achieve a more traditional seating position. Read our best budget sim racing seat guide for more information on why the ES1 seat is one of the best sim racing seats you can buy in 2023.
- Brand – Next Level Racing
- Price – From £900
- Link – Buy now
GT Omega PRIME Cockpit
The GT Omega PRIME cockpit is the company’s newest sim rig, and first 8020 sim rig. It features a combination of 40×120 and 40x160mm aluminium profiles to create one of the sturdiest 8020 sim rigs on the market today.
The PRIME is GT Omega’s attempt at competing with the heavy hitters within aluminium profile sim rigs. It sits towards the top of the 8020 sim rig tree by using aluminium profile that is among the largest on the market. The only two sim rigs in this guide that use 40x160mm aluminium profile are the PRIME and the Sim Labs P1-X.
Modular design is at the heart of GT Omega’s PRIME cockpit. This sim rig has been designed to be adaptable and is ready for the future. You can add elements to this sim rig as your sim racing requirements grow over time.
The large aluminium profiles that have been used in the PRIME cockpit ensure that there is zero flex when sim racing. This is true even for the most powerful direct drive racing wheels.
You can purchase the PRIME cockpit with a racing seat directly from GT Omega however, they only offer reclining seats. With a sim rig this sturdy, you may want to be using some strong load cell or hydraulic pedals, meaning you should look at sturdier bucket racing seats. We have created a guide for the best budget sim racing seats which you can read for our recommendations.
- Brand – GT Omega
- Price – From £700
- Link – Buy now
Sim Lab P1-X
The Sim Labs P1-X is often seen to be the best aluminium profile sim rig on the market. It is used by a huge number of sim racers and is recommended by most. It features large 40x160mm aluminium profile to ensure there is absolutely zero flex during use.
Sim Lab has partnered with a range of professional racing drivers, including Sergio Perez and the Mercedes AMG F1 team. Those accreditations alone should be enough for most sim racers, and the P1-X is Sim Labs’ most professional-focused sim rig.
Some 8020 sim rigs use standard off-the-shelf aluminium profile, but not Sim Labs. Every piece of aluminium profile used in the P1-X is laser-cut for precision. This precision ensures there is no movement between parts once constructed.
There is a lot of adaptability available when it comes to the P1-X. You can attach a wide range of accessories including shifter mounts, keyboard trays and monitors including the option of a triple screen mount. The P1-X is even motion-ready, allowing you to add a motion platform if you ever fancied it!
Overall, this is without a doubt one of the best 8020 sim rigs you can buy and is the go-to professional sim rig.
- Brand – Sim Lab
- Price – From £700
- Link – Buy now
Team Redline TR1 Chassis
Update – This TR1 chassis has now been discontinued by Sim-Lab and can no longer be purchased directly from Sim-Lab’s website. I would highly recommend the Sim-Lab GT1 Pro as an alternative.
The Team Redline TR1 chassis by Sim Labs throws the rule book out the window. Many see 8020 sim rigs as overly industrial and not great to look at, but the TR1 is a fantastic-looking 8020 sim rig.
This sim rig is an evolution of the Sim Labs GT2 sim rig and brings the sturdiness of an 8020 sim rig with a compact form factor. The overall design of the TR1 is compact yet strong enough to support high-powered direct drive racing wheels.
The TR1 takes a similar approach to the Next Level Racing F-GT Elite with the slanted uprights. This brings a good amount of accessibility in and out of the sim rig. And you can make a wide variety of adjustments to find the perfect racing position.
The wheel deck which is included accommodates a wide variety of bottom-mounted wheel bases including those from Fanatec and Thrustmaster. And it can be fully adjusted allowing you to find the right height and angle. Check out our best budget sim racing wheels for 2023.
If you are looking for a strong sim rig but don’t like the traditional appearance of 8020 sim rigs, the TR1 chassis is for you.
- Brand – Sim Lab
- Price – From £380
- Link – Buy now
Trak Racer TR80 Mk5
The Trak Racer TR80 Mk5 is an extremely capable aluminium profile sim rig that won’t break the bank to buy. Its construction features strong 40x80mm aluminium profile and is compatible with all Trak Racer seats, some of which are excellent!
The Trak Racer TR80 looks fantastic with its red accents but isn’t all style over substance. The rigid 40x80mm aluminium profile connects to create a sim rig that is incredibly capable.
There is a wide range of wheel mount options, 5 in total! These allow you to mount your sim racing wheel base in a variety of ways. As standard, it comes with a pre-drilled wheel mounting plate that can accommodate all popular racing wheels.
But you can upgrade to a sturdier wheel deck for better rigidity with direct drive wheel bases, or one of the other mounting options. There is front mounting for wheel bases such as the SimuCube, and even an option to directly mount the Simagic M10.
The pedal plate has some of the best mounting patterns, allowing it to be able to accept almost any sim racing pedal on the market. And it can be adjusted to fit a Formula 1 or GT racing position.
As standard, the TR80 comes with an adjustable sliding racing seat mount. This will allow you to quickly and easily find your ideal driving position.
The TR80 is one of the most adaptable sim rigs available in 2023, and is a solid buy for anyone looking to buy an 8020 sim rig.
- Brand – Trak Racer
- Price – £499
- Link – Buy now
Frequently Asked Questions
Is 8020 the same as aluminium profile?
8020 is the name that is commonly given to sim rigs that are constructed from aluminium profile. It is a reference to the profile that is used which was often 80x20mm.
Why are 8020 rigs not always using 80x20mm profile?
Despite being called 8020, sim rigs often use different sized aluminium profile to increase stability. Sizes such as 40x80mm and 40x120mm are common among sim rigs. However, 8020 has been the go-to name for any sim rig that is constructed from aluminium profile.
Are aluminium profile rigs hard to build?
Aluminium profile rigs generally come packaged as a box of individual aluminium parts, and it is up to you to construct your sim rig. Building an aluminium profile rig does normally take longer than a sim rig which comes with pre-installed parts.
However, building an aluminium profile rig doesn’t necessarily need to be hard. Most come with very clear instructions, and the construction methods used are relatively simple.
The great thing about aluminium rigs is that you can mount certain parts in a wide range of configurations. This makes 8020 sim rigs very adaptable to a variety of seating positions and mounting positions.
If you are not a big fan of DIY, you may want to stay away from 8020 sim rigs, or ask nicely for a friend to help you build it!
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