As sim racing continues to gain popularity, more peripherals are needed to improve the driving experience and satisfy user needs. While some will shell out for full cockpits, others either just don’t have the money or space to dedicate to a full rig. Thankfully, Next Level Racing (NLR) has thought of that with the release of the Wheel Stand 2.0, and we’ll be checking it out today in this review.
Combining the durability of the Wheel Stand DD with the portability of the original Wheel Stand, the latest iteration from NLR may be exactly what any sim racer is looking for. It’s a stable stand that makes you feel like you are behind the wheel of your favorite car while also keeping the clutter to a minimum.
Assembly made easy
Putting together the NLR Wheel Stand 2.0 is simple enough. The instructions are clear and everything is laid out for you. The positioning of the pedal and shifter mounts are completely up to you. You may find yourself doing a bit of trial and error to get the best positions, so just be prepared to spend a little extra time making everything right.
The Wheel Stand 2.0 sits at a max height just over 31 inches when fully extended. The Pedal mount can be tilted up to 15 degrees for the best position. For the shifter mount, it sits on the extension risers of the wheel deck, allowing it to be as high or low as you’d like, depending on the height of the wheel deck, obviously.
I think the best part of putting the stand together is that, unlike other offerings, the kit includes M6 bolts and washers. Rather than having to find or buy your own, NLR gives you everything you need to mount your wheel, shifters, and pedals to the Wheel Stand 2.0 for the most secure setup.
My one critique about putting the Wheel Stand 2.0 together is in regard to the grease. Each screw is heavily greased, which is good for assembly. Not so good for clothing. I made a mistake of wearing a white shirt while building it, meaning it wasn’t white by the time I was done putting it together. It’s more annoying than anything, but still something to be aware of.
This isn’t going anywhere
Once built, the sturdiness of the Wheel Stand 2.0 is immediately noticeable. Because of its carbon steel framing, you never feel like the stand will tip or slide. There was never a moment where I felt loose when racing, even in the most aggressive racing environments that require rapid shifting and heavy braking.
To help with that feeling is the attached chair cradle. It’s a nice addition that anyone will appreciate, since the cradle allows you to place the front wheels of your chair right into it to reduce any movement. This helps greatly when hard braking. Now, it doesn’t eliminate movement entirely, but, man, does it make a world of difference. Lastly, the cradle can also be adjusted for those with different leg lengths.
In between uses, the Wheel Stand 2.0 allows for simple folding. Just unscrew the fastener at the pedal mount and loosen the two side fasteners. Once you do that, fold it up, retighten the fasteners, and stow it away. When folded, the Wheel Stand 2.0 sits at 29.5 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and about 47 inches tall. That allows for storage in even the tightest of spaces.
Word to the wise, when fully assembled, the stand weighs just over 48 lbs. Add your pedals, wheel, and shifter(s), and you’re looking at over 50 lbs. So, it’s not the easiest to move freely. But that’s the compromise you make when you want the most reliable material possible.
Wheel Stand 2.0 review verdict
It has been over a decade since Next Level Racing released the original Wheel Stand. And, while good, it wasn’t a great option for the more serious racer. At $249 USD, the Wheel Stand 2.0 takes all of what was great about the original and improves on it in every way.
It’s straightforward to assemble, durable for even the best mid-range racing hardware with direct drive, and portable enough to put away when not in use. The Next Level Racing Wheel Stand 2.0 really is a jack-of-all-trades. With the option to expand it to a full cockpit with the GT Seat Add-on, anyone looking to get right into the sim racing ecosystem won’t be able to do much better than the Wheel Stand 2.0.