Posted on , by Rob

Next Level Wheel Stand Review

I've been on the lookout for a cockpit to hopefully improve my times, but definitely improve my overall enjoyment.  I toyed with the idea of getting a model with an inbuilt seat but there's both the high price and the size factor.  I've got an L shaped desk and I had just been clamping my G27 wheel and gear stick to that, with the carpet providing some resistance to nearly hold my pedals in place. 

It doesn't quite work though and often during a racing I'll be trying to drag the pedals back to their optimal position, or worse yet, trying to very quickly reattach my steering wheel to the desk after I yanked it free in a hard bout of opposite lock.  I play a fair bit of games that use the H-shifter and I'd also like to have it in a more natural position, down lower near my leg, rather than on the same level as the wheel.


NLWS EntireMy solution to this problem, given all the parameters, was the Next Level Racing Wheel, a sturdy frame that provides mounting points to screw in a G27 kit, wheel, pedals and shifters.

The package arrived via rather large cardboard box, almost fully assembled.  The out of the box experience was great and the frame was of high quality solid construction with an attractive pearl black enamel finish. 

The only work on my part was fixing the gear shift lever on my preferred side (left) and then attaching the G27 components using the supplied allen key screws.  All hole lined up perfectly and all screws went in with minimum of fuss, a positive sign of a quality build process.  Another bonus, which I found thoughtful, was the inclusion of four velcro strips which I used to tuck the various cables of my G27 into the frame.  After about 15 minutes of assembly I was plugged in and doing laps in my favourite racing simulator.

The first few minutes of driving were spent adjusting the pedals, sliding them further back, and raising the height of the wheel, which also raises the height of the gearshift.  The wheel height extension arms have holes at regular intervals into which you can screw a bolt, but I found it possible to still have a sturdy setup with the screws firmly screwed in against the metal. 

A few laps of hard driving later and I was impressed. The entire structure is solidly planted to the ground, a combination of the weight of the unit and rubber feet preventing movement on my carpet floored 'study'.  I was also able to be very aggressive with all of the pedals, gearshift, and wheel without them moving; the hand screw adjustable pedal base remaining locked.

When I'm not playing racing games I simply unplug the USB cable from my PC and drag the frame off of the side. It also folds up vertically so it can be stored in a cupboard (or under a bed?), for those people who have their PC's in a more open space or use it for a wheel on a console plugged in to their lounge room television.

Overall I give the unit 4.5/5 and I've got no complaints with what was supplied.  If I could do anything to improve the package it would be to provide a way to secure the wheels on my chair to the frame, at a positioning of my choosing.  This would ensure a perfect driving position. 

 

Rating: 4.5/5

 

NLWS GearstickNLWS Bottom Attach

Pros

  • Easy to assembly
  • Sturdy
  • Meets functional requirements

Cons

  • A mess of cables if you want to pack it up against a wall (not really a con, but I had to mention something)
  • Doesn't have a mechanism for locking your office chair in place.

 

Update (09/09/2014): For about 12 months, from start 2013 to start 2014 I used the Fanatec Clubsport V1's  with the wheel stand (I now use V2's).  These pedals are too wide for this stand.  My solution was to drill a hole in the checker plate for the right side of the pedals and fasten the entire right side.  The left side was right over the frame and couldn't easily be fasten, so I did not.  I have been using the Fanatec pedals now since Jan 2013 like this and haven't had a problem.  They feel secure.  It may not be the neatest solution but it works.  I contacted Pagnian Imports / Next Level about supporting a Fanatec Clubsport pedals in the future and their response was that, understandably, they couldn't support every pedal set available.

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