There are many different flavours of seats to install on your sim rig. When you’re upgrading from your desk chair or Playseat, the choice for a new seat might be difficult. In here we’ll try to explain what’s available, and which seats fit on an aluminium sim racing rig.
GT VERSUS FORMULA POSITION
When looking for a new seat, the first thing you’ve got to decide for yourself is which position you want to drive. There are mainly two positions. The first is the most ‘normal’ one. Sitting with your back straight up like you do in a normal road car. We call this the ‘GT position’, because this is used in GT3 cars, but also rally, NASCAR, and other non high-tech racing series. The second position is called the ‘formula’ position. This is a more laid back stance, where your lower legs are much higher compared to the GT position. Sometimes even horizontal. This position is used in formula cars, such as F1, F2 and F3, but also LMP1’s and 2’s.
If you only fancy the F1 racing games, the formula position might be something to go for. If you’re racing a lot of GT3 and other touring cars, we recommend the GT stance.
SWITCHING BETWEEN THE TWO POSITIONS
When using an aluminium sim racing rig, we recommend going for only one position. Not switching between the two. Changing the setup of your pedals, seat and wheel is not a short job (20+ minutes). You might also scratch and wear out the aluminium parts of your rig while doing so. We think you’ll be happier in a perfectly set up sim rig, in which your body also gets used to the same position. The muscle memory of the force to apply on your load cell brake also changes when switching between different angles of your legs. Settling for only one position nullifies this problem.
You can however use seat and pedal sliders to make a ‘family rig’ of your GT position. With these accessories you’ll slide your seat or pedals forwards and backwards, without the need for tools. You won’t mess with the angle of your seat this way too.
GT RACING SEATS
There is a huge range of GT seats available. These can either be fixed position bucked seats, or recliner seats. Bucket seats are something you’ll find in real race and rally cars. These are made from one mold of glass fiber (or carbon fibre for the more expensive ones) and are usually very sturdy and stiff. These seats ‘clamp’ your body, giving you the impression you’re in a real car. That’s why there’s a wide range of models available in terms of size. A bucket seat will clamp too much and cause discomfort if it’s too small. All bucket seats available in our web shop therefor have a sizing table. Check for yourself if a small, medium or bigger size fits best.
BUCKET SEATS VS RECLINERS
Most road cars use recliner seats in which you can change the angle of the backrest. Something that isn’t possible with a bucket seat. We believe the choice between one of these is based on immersion versus comfort. Race cars usually aren’t that comfortable! They’re pretty stiff and hard. They’re designed to feel every bump in the road, unlike recliner seats that are mostly build for comfort and long trips. A bucket seat gives you the feeling of being in a real racing car. A recliner gives you more comfort for the long run. Recliners are also less sensitive to body width.
Compared to GT seats, the choice for a Formula position seat is much slimmer. Sparco offers it’s GP Gaming chair. And of course we offer our in house designed Formula Seat, which mounted on the Treq Formula gives a very cool gaming position for racing formula cars. It adds a ton of immersion racing F1 or F3 cars in this leaned back position.
I’M QUITE LONG. IS THAT A PROBLEM?
Length is never a problem when choosing a seat. Width of the body is a much more important factor for choosing the right seat.
A lot of the bucket seats we offer, have an official FIA homologation. In simple terms, this means you can use these seats in real life racing events. Our Sparco, Sabelt and LTEC all have these. Our Treq ST1 is designed for gaming, and doesn’t need this official mark.
MOUNTNG A SEAT TO A SIM RIG
We offer two mounting options for seats: Seat Brackets and the Seat Slider. All bucket seats that feature side-mounting are in need of Seat Brackets for mounting it on a rig. And since we offer all bults and nuts with it, that’s all you need extra. For seats that have bottom mounting (holes underneath them), the best way to mount these is using a seat slider. First mount the slider to the seat, than mount the slider with the seat to the rig. You can also use both the slider and the brackets. This way you can slide your side mounted bucket seat back and forth. An instruction of how to mount this is feature over here.
DID YOU KNOW?
If you’ve just upgraded to one of our rigs from your Playseat Evo or Revolution, you can also use that seat as a step-up to a real bucket seat later on. The Evo seats are a fine fit when using the steel plates underneath them.
Sometimes you can also use seats from scrap cars. They are usually fitted with a slider already underneath.