About four years ago, we reviewed a version of the XLerator wheel stand and referred to it as “the couch rig”. I’ve had the new XL-20 for a few weeks now and have put it through it’s paces using the Thrustmaster TX Racing wheel and pedal set. I ran a bunch of Forza Motorsport 5 in rivals mode and invited a friend of mine Jason to come check it out as well.
Going to start with the price – $179.99 and it’s compatible with just about every wheel on the market. Logitech G27, Fanatecs Porsche and CSR wheels and the Thrustmaster T500 and Tx which is what I installed. It’s available from their site at http://www.xwstands.com which then points you to Amazon or Ebay to purchase it. Both options offer free shipping. Mike also has the older version that we reviewed for as low as $115 for the Logitech DFGT wheel and pedal set.
I originally tried it with the stock TX pedals but then switched to the T3PA pedals which it’s also drilled for and worked great.
Their were also extra parts that came with it that were for the G27 and or Fanatec shifters. So you can run just about any configuration.
I used an office chair to test it with which ended up being a good solution and more stable than I anticipated.
Being 6’4″ I was concerned with the size and it not working for me because there’s also an XL-21 that’s called the “Big Boy”, but that wasn’t the case. Due to the way you can adjust it, it works great and my long legs don’t touch any of the stand.
The way I setup was to sit in the chair, and then work the stand toward the TV to give me a more proper field of view. Almost like a walker for the elderly. Once in place, I was ready to race.
So, how does it compare to other wheel stands on the market? I’ve tried quite a few over the years and I have to say, this thing is very stable. One of the things I don’t like about other wheel stands is that your feet have to keep it in position for it to remain in position. The way this stand is designed, it has very little wheel or deck wobble, if any at all. I almost forget that I’m using a wheel stand once I got it set up.
One of the problems I encountered was that my chair was just wide enough to support it and one of the legs ended up sliding off my chair during one session. I just had to make sure it was firmly planted in place and it didn’t happen again. Also would like to point out that I’m glad he didn’t send the big boy version as it wouldn’t have worked with my chair. I would have had to move my couch over to accommodate or get something to sit on that was wide enough to fit the stand on.
If you’re curious about the dimensions and or width for your setup, this version is 18 1/2 ” wide where as the big boy is 20 1/2″. That extra two inches would have been too wide for my chair. Something I thought of though if I did need to go that route or if my chair wasn’t wide enough, would be to get a piece of plywood that’s about 22″ wide, sit on it, or attach it to the chair somehow and then place the stand on that.
So it worked for me at 6’4″ and I had a friend Jason try it out who’s 5’8″ and also happens to be a local sim racer. His impressions were pretty much the same as mine. He was pleasantly surprised at how stable the platform was and how he was able to drive without worrying about the wheel flying away from him.
Great for someone just getting into sim racing
Portable – Fold up and put into the closet
Can use on the couch or a desk chair (as long as it’s wide enough)
Compatible with most wheel and pedal sets on the market
Keep desk chair from moving
Need a chair wide enough to support it
If racing on the couch, you’ll be too far from the screen to get a proper field of view
Revs Scale: 8 of 10
Also asked Jason to score it from 1-10 and he gave it an 8 as well and that was before I gave him my score.
Final thoughts: When we originally reviewed this stand, or a variation of it, we scored it a 7 out of 10. This version offers more compatibility and ended up being more adjustable and provided a stable platform. Would I run it with iRacing during a hardcore / official race. Probably not since I have my custom sim rig. For doing some rivals mode on Forza 5 and due to the fact that you can just fold it up and put it in the closet, I felt an 8 was a very fair score.
I have to say though..Before I built a rig and before we launched the show, I could have seen myself using this at my desk as a nice stable platform. That versus attaching it to the desk and having your desk chair move all over. Due to the design, it helps keep your desk chair planted.
I think if Mike came up with a rig that incorporates this design, it would make for a very stable rig or chassis setup. Maybe he should figure out a seat platform that he can sell with it separately or as an add on where you could attach the stand to.
Thanks again to Mike for sending me this stand and if you’re interested, go to his site at xwstands.com and check out the XL-20 as well as the other variations he has.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this review.