Looking at new Sparco seats

Discussion in 'Corner Carver Racing Tech Discussion' started by Wolf302, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. Wolf302

    Wolf302 Junior Member

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    So I'm in the market for new seats. I've just about made up my mind on the Sparco GRID II or the Rev/Rev II. Any inputs on other seats or comments on either of these? Side mounts..Sliders? both? (BTW for size reference I'm 5'6" 150lb)
    I've also considered the Corbeau sportline RRX as they seem pretty similar to the Recaros in the GT350. (Not comparing quality just fitment).

    And does any one have any experience with either of these sites? Prices on top racing shop seem too good to be true and shipping is supposed to only be like $12. The demon-tweeks site seems a little more legit but shipping is kind of a killer at $250.

    https://www.topracingshop.com/
    https://www.demon-tweeks.com/us/

    Any input is welcome and appreciated!
     
  2. Vorshlag-Fair

    Vorshlag-Fair Official Site Vendor

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    I am replying to this because race seat purchases are critical - there is nothing else that attaches your body to the car than the seat (well, the pedals and wheel do, a little). Its a huge driving impediment to have a terrible seat, but a big plus to have a driver strapped into a properly mounted, properly fitted 1-piece racing seat. Not to mention the safety aspects, which are not insignificant. So I spent a few minutes writing this detailed response below - not just for the OP, but for anyone in this Corner Carvers section that does track events or autocrosses and is thinking about adding seats/harnesses.

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    We also talk about racing seats and specifics to the actual seat mounting, in detail, in this post.

    I'm going to start with the selection of overseas seat suppliers first, because I am painfully aware of their pit falls. Look, they aren't supposed to be able to sell into the USA because they do not follow the pricing policies set by Sparco USA. I don't know how they can sell seats so cheaply, because the list prices they have are way below my wholesale cost. Its a mess.

    But... they often make up for it in shipping costs. They often charge a LOT, but the damages that occur are even more significant. For about a year we bought a lot of seats from the UK - those price discounts were hard to ignore - but I found that there is no real savings in the long run. After dozens of seat shipments we noticed that 1 out of 3 shipments were damaged in some way - sometimes we had to pay to ship them back and get a full replacement, other times we had to repair the fabric ($) and discount the seat to a customer ($). Fighting with the supplier was always an utter nightmare with 8+ hour time zone differences.

    1 out of 10 shipments never arrived... I mean never. It always took weeks or months of "shipping investigations" and fighting with the UK suppliers to get the replacements or our money back. And on the ones that did arrive, the boxes they used to ship seats in were a total joke - thin boxes with little to no padding inside. Then they were shipped halfway around the world, so the damage was bound to happen. And actual costs/payment was always a mystery (the amount online rarely matched what we were charged, once converted to USD), as was customer support. You can buy from these guys but you are rolling the dice, big time. I won't deal with that crap anymore - you've been warned.

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    Now I get seats from the Sparco supplier here, and I can drop-ship a seat for $10 in the 48 states. Ten dollars. And they ship them well.

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    We've worked with all of the major brands for years - Cobra, Sparco, OMP, Racetech, Corbeau, Momo, and others - and have settled on Sparco for almost every seat that we sell, and all seats that go into my personal street/race cars. This change to Sparco was based on first hand experience on track, on the street, and from dealing with the various suppliers. If you want to deal with a real US supplier that is in the same part of the world, that knows a lot about these seats, call Vorshlag.

    I'm going to start with the painful fact of this: you need to test sit in any racing seat. This is absolutely not a great item to buy over the internet... its not like buying shoes, there are lots of body and seat measurements you need to consider - you cannot just "measure yourself" and hope for the best. Go to a local speed shop that has seats in their lobby and ask them to help you get fitted. Someone your size likely won't want the "II" version of any of these seats, but you need to be fitted.

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    We used to do this and it really helped people find the right seat - but then half of those peasants bought them online to save $10. :mad: This is part of the reason I gave up on a "customer facing shop" and moved our business out to the sticks. There is NO customer loyalty anymore. Anything to save a buck, right? You know it is expensive to stock seats that have a build date on them (they "age out" after 5 years and lose their FIA certs), just for people to sit in them and buy them elsewhere.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I've also almost stopped selling seats over the internet because people aren't getting fitted properly. You cannot just look at these measurements and get the right fit. A percentage of seats we sell over the 'net get returned because "it didn't fit me". Invariably they don't ship it back as well packed as it went out... Do you want to know what a hassle that is for a shop? and the customer? Its a catch 22 - you need to be fitted into a seat, but then you need give that shop your business to that shop, or they will stop having any seats in stock to sit in, and then nobody can be fitted properly. You cannot go to "amazon" or these overseas cheap seat shops to test sit seats.

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    If you don't have a speed shop that has seats in stock nearby (they are often located at road race tracks) then the next best thing is to go to a track event and ask folks to sit in their seats. Look for hip room, leg support, shoulder support, head support (halo), and shoulder slot placement relative to your shoulders. Any racer who is familiar with race seats should be able to tell you if you fit or not, if you can find a good variety at the track that are current designs.

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    Now the Sparco models you are asking about are... unusual. The "Rev" is a much watered down version of the EVO (see above), which is a toned down version of the Pro2000 (see 3 pics up). There are some new seats shown above I've never even heard of, like the QRT-R and Alpha, but I suspect the Alpha is just a renamed EVO III that fits the Big Boy crowd. They like to rename things every few years, for some reason.


    The Grid is... one of the ugliest seats I've ever seen in person. Looked cool in pics, but when we ordered one and it arrived, it was hideous and uncomfortable. It appears that Sparco USA doesn't show the Grid anymore (which means it is being "phased out", after only a few years of production). I can't get it and wouldn't sell it if I could.

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    The Corbeau RRX is just a cheaper (and watered down/less racey) version of the Corbeau Forza Sportline RRB, above. We have sold a number of these for predominantly street cars that occasionally get tracked, and it works for that. This is a reclining seat but with real harness pass-thrus (the RRX has less side support and no lap belt pass-thrus).

    Its unusual that you are comparing Sparcvo 1-piece racing seats with a reclining Corbeaus. What are you really doing with this car?
     
  3. Wolf302

    Wolf302 Junior Member

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    Thank you for the detailed response! I appreciate the feedback on the hassle of overseas distributors and the details about the Grid being an ugly/crappy seat.

    Now to answer your questions...
    I was comparing the Sparco's to the Corbeau's because of the cost savings I was anticipating from ordering overseas. I have tested a few seats which is also where I gathered my selections. I've sat in a Pro2000 and liked it a lot, and also the Corbeau FX1 Pro which seems like a decent budget seat. I'd think its somewhat comparable to the Rev in dimensions and comfort? (Please correct me if I'm wrong) but not of the same quality of course. Like you mentioned the Rev has very similar dimensions to the Pro2000/Evo and I saw that it was for the smaller driver which also appealed to me, but the Grid seemed to look more comfortable (Prior to your response lol). I've also sat in a couple Cobra seats but for the price I'd prefer Sparco's. I won't be doing many long drives in the car but having a comfortable seat would be a nice bonus. I've also sat in the GT350 Recaros and the RRX (RRB) which are very similar as far as fit and comfort and although they're not one-piece racing seats they would hold me in better than stock, still be comfortable and I could have a pair for the price of one Sparco. I know seats aren't something I should cheap out on but for now Sparco's will no longer be an option, unless I can find a cheap used one in decent shape, maybe someone that needs to get a new seat due to FIA expiration? I know a couple guys who have the FX1 Pro and RRX's for HPDE use and are happy with them. So I'm thinking those or the RRB might be a good option for now.
    And finally, the car will be used only for HPDE events until I feel I'm ready to race competitively.

    Also I noticed the schroth harnesses in the pictures above..what is your opinion on their ASM 4 point vs other 4 point harnesses?
     
    mrfatride likes this.
  4. modernbeat

    modernbeat Jason McDaniel @ Vorshlag

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    Terry started using the Schroth harnesses at my request. Their combination of belt material and latches made for the easiest adjustment, and ability to get them tighter, easier. And they made some custom combinations for us to fit some specific seat and car setups that their off-the-shelf belts didn't fit.

    Though I'm NOT a fan of using 4-point belts on track, and won't put them in any of my personal cars, I've had customers that loved them. And Schroth's tech on the subject is sound. But, the mounting has to be accurate for it to work, which means that you have to consider seat position and belt routing when installing the seat. I'd rather use the stock 3-point for street use and a 6-point for track use.
     
    Wolf302 likes this.