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Seats for Fatso's

Hi ya'll,

I'm planning an aluminium profile rig and trying to figure out what seat to get. As it happens, I'm built like a powerlifter with a love for burgers and beer. Some would say I'm just fat, I say I'm big boned. Whatever. I'm around 5'9" and 260lbs.

I know common wisdom is to just get a regular car seat from the junkyard. Where I live, however, junkyards are expensive. You can get a used seat that looks as if someone died in it for a hundred bucks. Only thing I've found that could be reasonably priced and possibly a nice seat are MX-5 seats. I've seen them as low as 250 Euros in good conditions (but most often they cost more than double that).

I would like to stay below 350 Euros, if possible.

Bucket seats seem like a bad idea. I could probably squeeze into a larger one but how comfortable is that after two hours? But hey, feel free to recommend me one if you know of something you think will fit.

For reference, today I use a Noblechairs Icon with a wheelstand. I sit comfortably in it but I do fill it out. You can see the measurments here:

Oh, and one last thing. It has to be available within the EU.

Thanks for your time and I appreciate any tips you can give me.


I recently got lucky and caught a, as far as i can tell unused, Simoni SRS seat from some "we buy and sell everything" ebay warehouses for just 50€. So maybe try looking for one of those, they buy clearance sales of car and motorcycle shops and from my experience have no idea about prices :D

I'm wide hipped and tall too, and a real car seat is definitely better than the cheapo Amazon "bucket seat" I had before.
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I've always assumed tubular frames have some sort of plates in them. Are you saying that's an erroneous assumption? In that case I'll have to reconsider (also strike the OMP TRS-E XL from the list).
The ( few) seats I disassembled varied, but none of them had a plate big and sturdy enough to bolt a substantial exciter to it.
For tactile feedback a composite bucket seat is often prefered, the problem with fitment is alrady mentioned here.

For comfort and rigidity ( HSV pedals !!) I wouldn´t use a cheap reclineable seat, they often flex quite dramatically.
I still think a used passenger seat of a premium manufacturer would be the best option since you can "testfit" and rigidity test it before taking it out of the car. Be aware that OEM seat mounts most often are not symmetrical and may need some fabrication to fit onto your rig.
So do a little "bone yard tour" which can be fun in itself. Here you even can lend the necessecary tools to strip parts from the car.
Most probably four bolts and some electrical plugs.
( spontanious thought: go for older models WITHOUT airbags in the seat!!)

Mailordering a seat is much more risky than ordering shoes because returning will leave you with substantial shipping costs.

MFG Carsten
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FIA seats are only certified for a period of 5 years (max 7 with re-certification after 5). As such, you may be able to find a used one from a local track or garage for much less. Will require some sanitization/new cover, but should save quite a bit vs. new.
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I have no ideas about sizing, but you might look into Bimarco seats from Poland. Relatively inexpensive for EU buyers, but shipping is prohibitively high to the U.S.
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I will probably try the Beltenick RST 800 large (just waiting for the store to get back to me with some additional measurments). Inside of the seat is 16 inches, which would make a tight squeeze, but it tapers out to 17.5 inches (45cm). It's the biggest fibreglass seat I've been able to find at a more reasonable price . larger than the Sim-Labs Speed 1 XL. It's obviously difficult to know how it will fit by measurments alone but I would expect it to be a tight fit for the first couple of months (luckily I know how to shave off weight).
The shop has a good return policy and shipping cost was low, so I can always send the seat back if it doesn't work.
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Have a look here:


doesn`t sound too confidence inspiring.

Especially the "chemical smell" part puts me off.

I spend hours in my seat, sometimes heavily sweating.
Enough to take in (possibly dangerous) chemicals over the skin.

I know that doesn´t make the decision any easier, but in the most cases its better to
do it right the first time.

Even if that means to wait until you have the funds again.

MFG Carsten
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I just got the Beltenick seat and....

I can't fit all the way into the seat. My butt sits a bit too forward. It's not uncomfortable though, and this is just testing the seat on the floor. Mounting it a bit tilted will be better. Back rest is comfy but would obviously be better if I could get my butt in properly.

The shoulder pads are a bit narrow too - or maybe it would be proper for an actual race car? In a driving position with shoulders rotated it's all good and I could lean on it for support. Trying to sit with shoulders back for a better posture doesn't work though, but I suppose I won't be sitting in the rig for office work.

It's easy to flex the seat when I twist in it. Is that normal for these types of construction? I mean, it is FIA-approved after all (though I suppose it isn't Fatso-approved). Don't know it'll be a problem or not. Too much flex under braking would be annoying but I can't test that until it's mounted.

All in all I think it will work and I'll keep it. I reckon if I drop 20lbs, which would take a couple of months, I would fit properly. Meanwhile I think it will be comfortable enough to live with.
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Return the seat and get one that fits you properly/doesn't flex. You will quickly develop back and leg issues from an ill fitting seat which cuts off circulation/has pressure points. Do it once, do it right, don't do it again.
I think my back will be fine and there's enough space to add lumbar support if want to. Legs... we'll see. It's alright to sit in for a little while on the floor, which isn't the most comfortable position. I can also get deeper down in the seat if I remove the cushions, which actually was surprisingly comfy. Flex seems to be from leaning on the shoulder bolsters - the weight and leverage twists the back. It's fine if it's limited to that - can't really test it until it's mounted.

Once I've got the rig and the seat is mounted I'll make a final decision.

Problem is, there are very few options out there. Seats from the scrapyard are expensive and I also don't like how high they are. Seats like Sparco Sprint L are a little bit larger but tubular frames. Then there are seats like Evo XL that would likely be a rather good fit, but they're just too expensive

Thus the situation is that I'll have to find a good compromise. The compromise I'm going for here is a seat that works for now (hopefully) and will be a good fit once I've cut some weight. It'll work as long as the seat is good enough for now - a couple of months will make a big difference.
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If your butt doesnt fir back then you may be losing lower back support. Always an issue over time.

The other thing is it being too narrow at the shoulders, I am assuming you are meaning the bolster, stick out bit near the top? This sounds like the first seat I got. Butt got in OK, the bottom popped in and out though, it seemed weak there and the shoulders felt a little tight but I didnt think about it. That was until I used it for a number of hours and got red shoulders, it started to feel like it was rubbing the skin off.

I had to get rid of it and got a sparco evo 2 which fits like a glove. I am pro using a bucket seat set up right for sim racing but they can make you or break you if they dont fit well.

The sparco was expensive but that fact I can sit in it for a long time, comfortably makes it one of the best buys I have done. I was a hold out for a while, I couldnt imagine spending that much $$ on a seat but it lets me use the gear I spent > 10x as much on.
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It´s your personal decision, but I´m with @Fennario with this one.

It has numerous advantage to loose wheight ( could shed with some myself) but in my opinion its better to fit the rig to the man and not the other way around.
An illfitting seat could not only have medical repercussions but also "drive you away" from simracing.
A very small minority needs pain for a hobby.

So better to do it right once.

MFG Carsten
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I ignored the playseat challenge back pain problems it was causing too long and crippled myself for months when it finally caught up to me. Getting the seating position correct is really important. I stand by the GT Omega XL being the right choice, it works great for me. It flexes a little but its not noticable and all the seats flex somewhat, its a cost effective solution which fits bigger people and can be reclined for more comfort and doesn't unduly try to hold you against horizontal G forces that don't exist in a sim rig.
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Guys, I hear you but there really is no ideal solution. Given a little bit of time I think this seat could be the "buy once" solution. I'd have to mount it to a rig before knowing for sure, but I've placed it on the sofa and sat in it for a while. It's not perfect but it works. If I could get down a little deeper it would fit like a glove.
My back will be absolutely fine - it's probably better than what I have right now. Shoulders wont be rubbing against the bolsters when I drive, it's more like I can't pull my shoulders all the way back. Biggest problem is that I'm a little too wide at the hips and the extra padding on my ass doesn't help. That's a problem I know exactly how to solve (I've spent a great many years in the gym and both cutting and gaining weight). I think some momentary discomfort could be worth it.
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Check dimensions on Corbeau FX1 Wide if it fits you.

Return the seat and get one that fits you properly/doesn't flex. You will quickly develop back and leg issues from an ill fitting seat which cuts off circulation/has pressure points. Do it once, do it right, don't do it again.

Tried to order FX1 Wide but it was out of stock, said yes when they offered an LG1 reclining seat before I got addicted to eliminating flex. As far as the LG1, other than the flex that you get with any other reclining seat, it's phenomenal. When they say wide, they mean wide. I would highly recommend sticking with fixed back though. I just got a Simlab P1X and am now realizing that I can't lean the seat back for a proper seat position unless I get a side-mounted fixed-back.

Currently struggling to keep my wallet afloat after all of the damage from the P1X+Prosim H Pattern torpedo...FX1 Wide with side mount brackets is in cart and that checkout button is probably getting clicked at some point today.
-Fellow Fatso
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Guys, I hear you but there really is no ideal solution.

For what it's worth, here's what I'm considering: "Has anyone tried Mirada, OpenWheeler, or Mineer Seats?"

I'm still also considering a real car seat. My 2004 Corolla (stop laughing) has great seats. I think car seats are really closer to what sim racers need than racing buckets. We don't wear helmets, don't have G forces to contend with, and actually spend more time in our rigs than most racing drivers do in their cars; comfort should be a higher priority than safety. I measured the seats in my Corolla today and was surprised to find that they're actually rather narrow, however, the lower bolsters provide plenty of room for spread in comparison to racing seats.

I have also considered adapting an Ikea desk chair by simply bolting the chair part to the rig and trashing the base.
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Agreed, comfort is what you should go for.

Having said that, my bucket seat is the most comfortable seat I have had because it fits me like a glove. You can't cheap out on a bucket seat, buy one sight unseen and hope its going to be OK. Its a gamble.

Other things that dont hurt with a bucket seat is that tactile and motion if you ever go those routes will benefit from the hard shell.

If you can't find one that doesnt work for you then get something that does, whatever it is, out of a 20 year jag, doesnt matter.

My point is that a bucket seat is not like a helmet, a helmut would be an inconvenience while a bucket seat that fits you is comfortable, can add immersion and as i mentioned, if you add other things it can enhance those by transmitting vibration better as well as conveying motion better.
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