Their rig is every sim racer’s pride, no matter the shape, size or form. It may not be an absolute necessity – you can be fast even at your desk – but a proper setup can improve the experience immensely.

After years of using a combination of a wheel stand and an IKEA Poäng chair, I recently switched to a Sim-Lab GT1 Evo and learned a few things that I did not think of beforehand. Those points that stood out the most I have written down for you – here are eight things that I learned when I switched to a rig.

Building a rig is easier than I thought
If you have never worked with aluminium profile before, building a rig using the extrusions can seem complicated. However, the opposite was true for me: Theoretically, it is possible to build the rig by just using different size allen keys and no other tools – I do recommend having a toolbox handy, though. For me, a ratchet with the proper bits made assembly much easier, also because you can secure the bolts more tightly. This makes everything more stable in the end.

Washers are your best friend
Sim-Lab includes an enormous amount of bolts, angles and washers – more than you would need to assemble the GT1 Evo. That way, you have lots of accessories in reserve for later upgrades. Most connections are made via T-Slot nuts and bolts, but for some, washers make all the difference. The wheel deck is a great example for this: Without washers, there could be some flex to it, but with them in place, everything is much more secure.

Be careful with your phone!
As mentioned, aluminium extrusions are very sturdy – which is why you should keep an eye on your smartphones or other mobile devices during assembly. Sim-Lab does not provide printed build instructions but rather offers them as a download, which is why my phone now has a permanent souvenir from when I put everything together after putting down a piece of extrusion while not being careful enough. Might have been smart to print the instructions before getting started, but I did not think of that.

You can adjust it just the way you like
Aluminium profile is extremely flexible to adjustments. The position of anything you bolt on to it can be changed relatively freely, be it the position of the seat or pedal plate. There are no pre-drilled holes for bolts to fit into on the GT1 Evo itself, only on the pedal plate and the wheel deck to ensure compatibility with various hardware. This also means that you should be very precise when you build your rig so the bolts are just where you want them in the to prevent anything from being bolted on crooked.

It is less of a hassle
Every time I wanted to turn a few laps, I had to rearrange half the living room while still racing on a wheel stand: TV, coffee table, wheel stand and IKEA chair had to be moved to get set up and race. This was one of the things that was most annoying to me with my previous solution, but with a permanent rig, things are much more relaxed now. Switch on the PC, sit down and go racing – that is all there is to do now. That way, even short sessions are worth it now.

Better body position
A big advantage of the adjustability of the rig: It can easily be set up in a way that is comfortable to its user. Using the wheel stand and IKEA chair, I had always been sitting a bit stretched, my lower back did not touch the backrest. Moving the stand closer to the chair was not possible, as the position of the shifter on the stand made contact with one of the armrests. From time to time, I got out of the chair with a slight pain in my left knee, which had been pressing the middle pedal to brake and was, therefore, not straight, unlike the right leg. After switching to a rig, I have not had this problem once.

No flex means better FFB
On the wheel stand, I have used a Logitech G920 for a long time before upgrading to a Thrustmaster TS-XW. While the difference was very noticeable on the wheel stand already, mounting the TS-XW to the rig was night and day once again: Due to the wheel stand flexing horizontally, a lot of FFB detail was muted – which gave the wheel an entirely new dimension on the rig. Also, quick counter-steer movements work better when everything is firmly in place all the time – if that was not the case, my most recent upgrade to a Fanatec Podium DD2 and Venym Atrax 3 pedals would have been unthinkable.

Better overall driving feel
Thanks to being able to position a monitor close to your POV and the increased FOV this makes possible, vision during racing is much better, especially since I switched to an ultrawide monitor for the rig, so the effect basically doubled. It is easier to see apexes now, awareness is higher in general. Additionally, it is a great feeling to have when you know you can really mash the brake peal or that everything will remain exactly where it should be even after quick counter steer measures. This inspires a lot of confidence, too.

What were your observations when you first got a rig? Were there other surprises than the ones I have listed? Let us know in the comments!

Interested in getting a Sim-Lab GT1 Evo yourself? Take a look at the RaceDepartment Store to find the rig and other hardware for all your sim racing needs while supporting RD with your purchase!