In a perfect world, all of us would enjoy our favorite driving games in the comfort of a purpose-built virtual cockpit. Unfortunately, practical limitations like space, cost, and wives prevent most virtual racers from achieving this ideal. Although such circumstances may inspire creative solutions, nothing is more frustrating than spending $250 on a Logitech G25 or Fanatec 911 without a proper place to enjoy it. This is the problem the Wheel Stand Pro aims to solve – read our full review to see how it stacks up!
The Wheel Stand Pro manufacturer is based out of Poland, but it did not have an impact on delivery time. Tracking information was provided after the unit was shipped, making it easy to monitor its progress. The box arrived in good condition, and all of the contents appeared safe inside. Here’s what it contained:
- Instruction sheet
- G25 shifter plate
- Wheel Stand Pro unit
- Package of tools and small parts, containing:
- Zip-ties (2) for managing wires
- Allen keys (2)
- Wing bolt
- Screws (4)
- Metal bar
Customs had taken a peek at the contents, but nothing was out of place. The instruction sheet was professionally laminated – a minor touch, but the attention to detail did not go unnoticed. The wheel stand itself was very heavy and appears to be made of smoothly finished, high quality materials.
The simplicity of the Wheel Stand Pro means that there is virtually nothing to assemble, and the actual setup time simply involves attaching your steering wheel to the unit. You begin by releasing one of the heavy-duty latches which controls the movement of the wheel stand on the base. At first, the latch was a bit stubborn. However, a quick adjustment of the bolt opposite the latch solved the problem and provides you, the user, with the option to control the strength of the latch as you see fit.
Next, the Logitech G25 pedals are attached to the base of the unit. As indicated by the instruction sheet, the included metal bar and wing bolt do an excellent good job of holding them in place. The only downside to this mechanism is the awkward method of installation. As you may know, the G25 pedals are quite heavy, and you must find some way to hold them and the bar in place while turning the bolt. I later discovered the bar is not entirely necessary, as four adjustable rubber sheaths on the base of the wheel stand are more than capable of holding the pedals in place. However, if you are going to move your wheel stand around for storage, it’s worth the additional effort to lock everything down.
The Logitech G25 version of the Wheel Stand Pro comes with an additional metal plate used to mount the gear shift module. Unfortunately, because this plate is not attached to the wheel stand itself, it introduces a layer of difficulty to attaching the steering wheel, and you must find some way to hold the wheel and bar in place while feeling for the necessary holes with the screw. Of course, once the wheel is on, mounting the shifter is quick and easy. As with the pedals, it’s best to do all of this while the unit is laying on its side. The holes in the wheel stand and G25 attachment plate do line up perfectly with those on the steering wheel, and the provided screws are the correct length and easily adjustable by hand.
The Wheel Stand Pro can be adjusted in three different ways: the tilt of the steering wheel, the height of the steering wheel column, and the position of the column itself. The tilt is controlled by using the wrench and Allen key to tighten the wheel plate. Be careful here – if you loosen up this bolt too quickly, the wheel quickly swings down. The same warning applies to the latches that control the height and position, so always keep one hand on the wheel itself to prevent any surprises. Once you’ve got everything set, though, the adjustment controls can be securely locked, and you probably won’t have to touch them again.
The Fun Part
At first, I was a bit skeptical of the wheel stand. Would it be tall enough? Would the support column get in the way of breaking and heel-toe downshifting? Will it actually be sturdy enough? After the first lap, all of these questions were long gone – the height was perfect for my couch, I was heel-toeing without thinking, and only the most deliberately aggressive counter-steering could shake the support column. Previously, I had used my G25 attached to a sturdy large table with a contemporary seat made of wood and metal, and I was not expecting the Wheel Stand Pro to provide the level of stability that I was used to. I was quite happy to be wrong, and the driving position on my couch was much more comfortable than the wooden chair. After just a few laps, I was setting top 30 times around Eiger in the tuned 350Z. Thick, rubber coating at the edges of the base prevented the stand from sliding around on the carpet. Here’s a quick video I put together which shows it in action:
As good as the driving experience was with the Wheel Stand Pro, I did not fully appreciate its convenience until I was finished playing. Once folded and unplugged, the unit can be picked up and moved around without a fuss. You can lean it up against the wall, slide it into a closet, and forget about it – aside from the dangling USB and power cords, the wheel is completely self-contained on the stand. This enables it to be put up and taken down quickly. If you have the space in your own vehicle, it can easily be transported to a friend’s house.
Coming in at $179 (for the G25 version, $149 without the shift plate) you are going to be hard-pressed to find a better way to get the most out of your $250 steering wheel investment. You don’t need me to tell you that the Wheel Stand Pro is not going to provide the same experience as a large, purpose-built racing seat – that isn’t the point. Instead, it offers a practical, affordable solution to a problem that has plauged living room racers for over a decade. Despite a slightly awkward setup, the stand’s usability and convenience make it a no-brainer for anyone on a budget. Highly recommended.
Where to Buy
Visit WheelStandPro.com to purchase the stand directly from the manufacturer. They offer free shipping to anywhere in the world and provide a “no questions asked” full refund (minus return shipping costs) for up to one week after the date of purchase.