Presenting the JCL To Be Faster Sim racing chassis review. The To be faster (which I’m going to call the TBF) was designed by two French sim racers, JC Godard and Ludovic Lacaud. JC and Ludovic are avid iRacers and part of the team JCL SimRacing.
They came up with the design when JC ordered a cockpit with triple monitor support and was disappointed with the quality and lack or a realistic driving position. After 2 years of research, he finally found aluminum t slotted extrusion aluminum profiles, fasteners, brackets, and had parts specifically machined for the TBF.
The TBF is shipped unassembled and nicely packaged and it can also be assembled and ready to race but I believe that is for local residents only. It’s available in two colors: black and aluminum and is made of anodized aluminum profile with 80×40 and 40×40 millimeter sections. The cockpit also comes with cable routes and pieces that fit into the slots of the profiles.
The profile is assembled using 8mm screws and 6mm hollow heads and are connected using these “nuts”. They have are equipped with a spring-loaded ball that prevent them from slipping under their own weight and can be directly inserted into the groove. These help aid in the assembly and I’d have to say are the best I have ever used for profile.
Now if you’re not familiar with T Slot aluminum like this, it basically allows you to configure it any way you want as long as you have the pieces cut to the right lengths and the brackets to put them together in a proper configuration. I have been asked many times about the old rig I used for many years and it’s dimensions. It was put together from a variety of parts and lengths of T Slot to make it work but it wasn’t close to what the TBF is and how it’s been designed as a sim racing chassis.
Besides the TBF cockpit, JCL offers individual pieces of profile if you want to add a peripheral or design that they don’t have. You can get them cut from 100mm up to 1200 mm.
Mine came shipped in pieces and nicely packaged, it can also be assembled for you but I believe that is for local pick up and or delivery. It comes in two colors, black and aluminum with the black being slightly more expensive.
Pricing can vary depending on what options you get and where you are located. Right now they have a special where all items are marked down 10% through the end of June 2015. The exchange rate of Euros to US dollars is pretty close right now so for example the base chassis I have here goes for 436,50 € which equates to $477 and that’s with the 10% discount. That doesn’t include the wheel mount. You need to add that as an option based on the type of wheel you own.
The base chassis comes with:
The frame, Mouse Support, Pedal bracket for FANATEC DSD and Heusinkveld all the hardware to assemble, cable routing pieces and end caps.
The options I was sent include:
Tilt SUPPORT for Thrustmaster
TRIPLE SCREENS Mount with separate LEGS
Audio 5.1 Support
Gearboxes Support and that Comes to: 942,75 €
Total shipping 313,26 €
TOTAL 1 256,01 €
1367.86 US Dollar
If you have it Shipped to the UK it was
102,50 € (tax incl.)
And if you’re in France, you can pick it up for free or have it shipped for
I ended up not using the keyboard tray because I had one from a Gamepod chassis I used to have and it fit perfectly where I wanted it. I also added a wheel deck plate from an old rig I had to add some stability to their attachments. Since I run a Thrustmaster base, the pieces they sent have a little deck wobble. By adding this plate, it added the stability I needed.
Mine came without a seat but you can purchase a package with a seat and they even have a turn key solution as well that includes a PC and wheel and pedal set.
Right now their website is still partially in French, so if you try to find United States for the shipping options, it’s listed as États Unis. I suggest using Google Translate to read those portions in English.
It comes with assembly instructions that includes pictures. The set I received were a little hard to follow and they have since improved them to add more detail based on some feedback I provided. I was able to look at the pictures on their website to aid in my assembly.
Since I mounted mine to a base, it took about 8 hours for the main cockpit plus the accessories and then another 2 or 3 hours to add the triple screen stand.
I have been using the TBF for four months now. I originally had it configured with the GT Omega triple monitor stand as I waited for the full leg setup that JCL provided me. I raced in the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and a lot of other races recently. I have figured out a way to mount my buttkicker under pedals and in the back of my seat, I have my button boxes mounted with extra pieces I had from my previous rig and the great thing about JCL us that you can have them send you custom cut pieces as well.
They also sent me a cool mount for my Sim Instruments dash.
Something about the triple monitor stand I’d like to mention is that they originally sent me the pieces to only install it to the wheel deck uprights. Based on one of their videos, I had a feeling it would inherently move a bit due to it being mounted like that and the side to side forces that the wheel creates. They sent me the extra pieces for the legs and it worked awesome and I was able to attach it at the base of the frame.
Now on to some Pros and Cons.
- Solid as a rock both at the wheel deck and pedal deck and has very little wobble with the monitor stands bolted to the base chassis.
- Infinitely configurable – Can add on to it and or reconfigure it to fit you.
- Very Adjustable
- Ergonomically correct – Wheel, pedal and seat arrangement are all proper and again with the infinite adjustability, you can fit it to how you want it.
- Support for all major wheel and pedal sets
- Comes with all the hardware you need to mount everything plus extras.
- Modular, can start with the base and add on to it later.
- Looks cool, I bet even cooler in black.
- Hardware is easy to work with and allows you to reconfigure things due to the spring loaded nuts. Without it and the materials I used in the past, you would have to unassemble portions of your chassis to reconfigure things.
- Wheel deck pieces needed to have this plate added for stability.
- Can be expensive depending on how many options you get but you get what you pay for.
- Shipping is expensive here in the US
This is probably my favorite chassis of all the ones I have ever tried and there’s been a lot. Most of the chassis you buy are manufactured a certain way and may not work for someone that’s tall, or short. Some may have some wobble, some may not be adjustable, the To Be Faster does it all and can be tailored to fit you.
It was developed by sim racers and it shows. Sure it uses aluminum extrusion tubing that anyone can purchase, but these guys have designed it to be stable and versatile and have also fabricated parts specifically for a sim racing application. I rarely switch out my main PC racing chassis due to the complexity of it and that should tell you how much I like the To Be Faster. You will most likely see this as my main racing chassis for a long time to come.
I’d like to thank JC and Ludovic for sending me the To Be Faster and being patient with me to get this review up. Im actually glad as I have put a lot of miles on it. To check them out for your self or potentially order one, head over to http://www.jcl-simracing.com/ and tell them that Darin from ISRTV sent you !