Sim racing rigs, well, about them? Do you need them? It depends, but my personal opinion is that as with everything in life, you progress, you tend to evolve, you crave for those more finite things, so there’s going to be a point in your life where you, as an avid sim racer, are going to need a sim racing rig, and your life partner is not going to approve it. So let’s see what you could use in your defence for justifying this purchase.
I’m going to focus on the mothership of the standalone sim racing rigs, that being the extruded aluminum profile rigs, as I currently use one, but this can be also applied to other categories, like racing stands, and even those more portable solutions like PlaySeats Challanege or Formula. Although I already had one before, one from GT Omega, in the meantime, I got my hands onto SimLab’s P1X model, which is probably one of the most talked-about extruded aluminum profile sim racing rig out there, so I was really all jazzed up in checking out what’s all fuss about, especially having tried the Prime. So getting through that experience, you can check it out later on if you want to, I was more or less prepared on what was about to follow.
First in line was of course assembling the whole thing, which is a pretty involved task in itself. And a point in itself. Space, you’re going to need. Being it just for putting it somewhere, and especially when assembling it, because moving it around is kinda, impractical.
Speaking of practice, one pro-tip – get a non-coated silver rig, dust nowhere near visible on it as on the black ones.
Assembling the Sim-Lab P1X
Building it up was easy, although time-consuming, but if you have experienced any with Lego bricks, yes, I do, you could do it even without a manual. It was a level easier building P1X as they use the ball spring type of guides compared to GT Omega’s fin spring ones. As per usual the extruded aluminum profiles are interconnected with each other using those little guides, screws and right-angled brackets. Again, all you need here is a couple of hex keys and an around an hour or two of free time. Later on you’ll also probably need a buddy to move this thing into its position because assembled like this it’s really heavy, pull-back guaranteed, or you can slide it around by putting a paper underneath it.
What I like the most is the fact that we have this separated sort of like small flaps on the side and significantly raised feet that have a nice thick damping material on them. Besides enabling to adjust the overall height by about 10 centimetres and ads another level sound/vibration insulation from the floor, in case you have downstairs neighbours that done like your pedal river dancing. Who doesn’t like that? This is where we come to our second point.
Another point that goes in favour of adjustability, making your setup more cozy or just more cool looking, is that you can basically attach any seat onto it, due to the modular profile system nature that’s more or less standardized with these aluminum railing and what can go onto it. I’ve put the GT Omega RS 7 seat, and as you can see you can adjust as any other regular car seat, and you can put something like a Recaro seat onto it.
The same goes for the wheelbase mounting option and how it is done. We have two big three-wide aluminum profile towers that interconnect across with the option of flat or front mounting base. This is also applied to shifter or handbrake mount on the side, you’re options are pretty much endless here, especially if you’re a more handy person. This is where most of the standalone sim racing rigs come to life, being able to adapt to what you need.
Furthermore, in the case of the SimLab P1X, the pedal position is completely adjustable in that regard, it uses a couple of shorter profiles to create an installation floor so to speak for the pedals, and you can move it up or down based on these two side bracket, as well as jump across. It’s not the most starigtforward solution when you want to adjust something on the fly, but once you adjust it, it’s as rock as solid as it gets and doesn’t move an inch.
You’ll also see that I have a couple of other straightforward add-ons like the keyboard stand and cupholder, everything will be listed down below, but the main upgrade here was the monitor / TV stand, with which I eventually progressed from the Samsung G9, to now LG’s 48 C1 OLED, which I have back there, doing a cool video on it too. So modularity is the name of the game, especially with sim racing rigs which these extruded aluminum profiles, but there’s more.
So, Should You Get a Sim Racing Rig?
And that’s the main theme of this model, not budging at all. So it comes as no one surprise that everything is extremely sturdy with these types of sim rigs, which is a big plus when you want to go ham on it with experiment and use. Want to slap a 30 Nm wheelbase on it? Go ahead, he dears you. Want to accedindentaly hit it and not get any scratches on it? Just go ahead, he’ll get you back. Want to do jumping jacks on the pedals? Sure, no problem. It can take any kind of excessive use, and after all that good and bad you go through together, it will always be there to take you in and not judge you.
What? Cons? What about cons? Nah, who needs them.
Will it make you faster? No? Will it make your bank account go “Hey man, why are you doing this, I thought we were friends”? Yes. Will it make spend less time with your family…? Who wrote these?
OK, OK, kidding aside. Like with everything else, there are pros and cons to making this purchase, but honestly, if you know that this passion of yours is here to stay, try to make this move as early as your budget, and, khm, everything else.
As for me, I’m going to use this as my long-term solution, I’ve been actually using it for the pass couple of months, mostly with the Simucube’s 2 Pro Direct wheel, be sure to check that one out, and currently the Fanatec’s CSL DD, which I’m just about to try out, so be on the lookout for that. I’m planning to get a couple of more different ones for comparisons, currently, I have a Trak Racer in line next, it’s being build up as we speak, but I would like to hear your suggestions in the comments down below.