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When it comes to mounting a racing wheel, not all sim racers have the space to have a full sim rig. But this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying sim racing just as much as those with complete rigs. That’s where these compact wheel stands come in to play.
The market for compact wheel stands is in a great place at the moment. There are a few very good options available, especially from heavy hitters such as Next Level Racing and GT Omega.
In this guide, I’ll run through the three best options when it comes to compact wheel stands. Presenting you with our thoughts on each one, and ultimately which compact wheel stand we’d recommend.
If your main criteria for a compact wheel stand is the pure ability to fold the wheel stand down. And store it away, then there is only one winner. The Next Level Racing Wheel Stand Lite.
This wheel stand is the lightest on this list, and one of the lightest available to buy. However, that lightness doesn’t come at the cost of sturdiness. This is a wheel stand that can certainly handle more powerful racing wheels.
Next Level Racing actually produce two wheel stands which are ever so similar. The Wheel Stand Lite, and the Wheel Stand Racer. However, between the two, we would recommend the Wheel Stand Lite.
Both of these compact wheel stands are built using the same frame structure. Yet the Wheel Stand Lite features a more adjustable pedal plate. The Next Level Racing Wheel Stand Lite allows you to adjust the angle of your pedals, which for us is a must.
This feature alone will help you get a comfortable racing position no matter what seat you are using. The Lite also features shifter mount support, allowing you mount a gear shifter to the frame.
The main frame is built using only a single steel strut. Yet despite this, it remained surprisingly rigid during our testing. We tested this wheel stand with a Logitech G923, and a Fanatec ClubSport. And this wheel stand handled both with relative ease.
When using the more powerful Fanatec ClubSport racing wheel, there was a little frame flex. But nothing that detracted from the racing, or force feedback.
The main bonus with this wheel stand, is the ability to fold down extremely well. This wheel stand really can fold down and be hidden away almost anywhere.
Unfortunately though, you will have to detach the wheel and pedals to be able to fold this wheel stand away. And that is its biggest flaw.
Despite this, this is the cheapest, lightest and smallest wheel stand we tested. It performed extremely well, and is the most compact when stored. Definitely worth buying if you are looking for the smallest wheel stand you can find.
GT Omega are extremely well respected across the sim racing community. And that is more than enough for us to have faith in almost any product they make.
However, to make this a fair comparison, we still had to test out the GT Omega APEX Wheel Stand. And test it we did.
Just like the Next Level Lite, I used a Logitech G923, and a Fanatec ClubSport racing wheel to test the strength of this wheel stand. And boy did it hold up well!
For its size and form factor, this is one heck of an extremely sturdy wheel stand. The substantial metal frame removes almost any potential shake or flex. Allowing all of the force feedback to be felt in your hands, rather than lost into the frame itself.
This is a wheel stand which has gone for strength over everything. However, it is also very ergonomic, with adjustable wheel and pedal positions. It is hard not to find a good comfortable racing position.
Unlike the other compact wheel stands on this list, the GT Omega APEX does come with a gear shifter mount. This allows for complete manual shifting without the need for extra accessories to be purchased.
Finally, just because this is a wheel stand which is built for strength, doesn’t mean it isn’t compact. When folded away, this wheel stand is small enough to be stored out of sight, or under a desk or bed.
Unlike the Next Level Lite, you can also fold this wheel stand down while keeping your racing wheel and pedals attached. This is great for those quick race sessions, where you don’t want to spend 20 minutes re-mounting your peripherals.
Overall, if you are concerned that the other two compact wheel stands may be too flimsy. Then the GT Omega APEX Wheel Stand will put all of those concerns to rest. This is a wheel stand that does everything it needs to do very well.
Strong, sturdy, flexible, and compact. Tick, tick, tick and tick.
The last wheel stand on our list is possibly the most flexible of the lot. It is the best wheel stand of the three when it comes to adaptability, and can transform into a complete racing rig at a moments notice.
The Next Level Racing Wheel Stand follows a similar form factor to the GT Omega APEX. When you view them both side by side you will quickly notice some similarities.
Both feature a strong metal frame, both use a similar frame design, and both offer a tonne of customisation. But if you are buying a wheel stand with the intention of expanding it into a full racing rig down the line. Then this wheel stand gives you the best tools to do this.
When you’re ready, you can simply purchase the Next Level GTUltimate seat add-on, and the two connect together to produce a decent sim rig.
But going back to this wheel stand for now. Under testing it held up extremely well in terms of any vibrations or flexing. Similar to the GT Omega APEX, there was almost no flexing what so ever, even under aggressive movements.
When it comes to finding a comfy seating position, again this is a lovely wheel stand. Both the racing wheel plate and pedal plate are fully adjustable. You can adjust the height and angle of these to find the ultimate driving position.
And unlike the cheaper Next Level Wheel Stand Lite, this wheel stand folds away with your pedals and wheel still attached. Just like the APEX, that makes this a great stand for those quick races. Allowing you to set up and store away in a matter of seconds.
Of the three compact wheel stands, this Next Level wheel stand is my favourite to use. It ticks the same boxes as the GT Omega APEX, while offering much more adaptability when it comes to expanding into a full rig.
We also have an exclusive 5% discount code for all Next Level Racing products. Find out how to claim this 5% discount code here.