Here is our review of the Heusinkveld Engineering Sim Pedals Pro!
I’ve been an advocate of a higher end racing pedals, even more so than a high end wheel. While the principles of a sim wheel usually remain the same as you climb up the ladder, a high end set of pedals will result in a more authentic system, similar to a real life race car. Once you move up to a Load Cell or Hydraulic pressure based system, it is a significant improvement over potentiometer based pedals.
I got in contact with Heusinkveld Engineering, and they offered to send me a set of Sim Pedals Pro to review, which I gladly accepted. After a couple months of driving, I wanted to share my thoughts on this premier set of Sim Racing Hardware.
Starting at $650 USD for a 2 pedal set, or about $790 USD for a three pedal set, the Heusinkveld Engineering Sim Pedals Pro are definitely a step above the mid-range consumer offerings from Fanatec or Thrustmaster. The pedals are constructed from CNC Machined Stainless Steel, and have some serious weight to it. Also featured in this review is Heusinkveld’s pedal base plate, which I’ll get to later in this video.
One unique element in this set of pedals, as well as the Heusinkveld Engineering Ultimate Pedals, is that all three pedals use load cells to measure the input. With other mid-to-high-end pedal sets, they just use the load cell for the brake, because it gives solid measurement of force.
The gas and clutch pedals utilize a load cell that is rated for approximately 14 kg (31 pounds). The brake utilizes a load cell rated for 55 kg (or 120 pounds). Heusinkveld claims that the pedal requires 15 times the amount of force of competing pedals, which I could say is a pretty true statement.
However, I want to clarify something that may confuse some people. If you look at the consumer-grade alternative, the Fanatec Clubsport Pedals V3, you will see Fanatec uses a Load Cell rated for 90kg, which is close to 200 pounds. However, with the hardware, you will never use the full 90kg with the pedal set. In my experience, I used about 30% of the brake’s load cell, which would equal around 28.5kg, or around 62 pounds. That’s about half of the force for the brake, compared to the Heusinkveld set. That extra 60 pounds can make a big difference, and then compared to other consumer pedals, such as the Potentiometer-based Logitech or Thrustmaster pedals, I can believe that “15 times” figure.
In my First Look video, I had many people comment saying that they felt the decision to utilize a Load cell in the gas and brake was a poor choice, but I’m inclined to disagree. While it is true that a load cell measures force in the form of pressure, the more important factor is the way the force is applied to the Load Cell. A load cell IS capable of generating a linear force curve, just as it is capable of a non-linear curve. If you have a single spring like how the gas works in the HE Pro Pedals, then the force applied on the load cell will be linear.
However, if you have different methods, like how the brake in the pedals work (with bushings, springs, etc), then that will result in a non-linear force curve, which is similar to a real life car.
With that out of the way, now I want to talk about the pedals, and how they work. When I first pulled out the pedals, I was surprised at actually how compact everything was. You could truly see the effort that was put in the pedals. You didn’t really see any “excess” in the pedals, they were made to function well, but they still look beautiful.
However, I will have to mention some things that I had issues with, and the first one was the mounting solution. A great thing is that these pedals are fully modular, but they are intended to be mounted on an 80/20-like setup. In addition, the pedals’ cables are pretty short, so you don’t have too much versatility with the pedals, unless you get a longer set of cables.
I recently moved to the GT Omega Pro cockpit, which doesn’t have the compatibility with these pedals in the standalone configuration. Also, the GT Omega Pro has a fixed pedal plate, which also conflicts with the pedals upright angle.
Fortunately, Heusinkveld Engineering also sells a Baseplate which allows you to compensate for the pedals’ angle. It also utilizes Logitech’s pedal mounting holes, so I was able to use the Heusinkveld Engineering Sim Pedals Pro with the GT Omega Pro cockpit. HOWEVER!!! the clearance between the pedals and the center poles is MINIMAL, and is definitely less than ideal. If you’re looking into these pedals, I highly encourage looking into an 80/20 based cockpit, or something higher end.
When I first used these pedals, I was simply blown away. It felt so smooth, so fluid, and extremely precise. In all my years of Sim Racing, THIS was the product I adapted to the EASIEST. The simplest reason I could think of why was because this felt very similar to a real car. I was able to just hop in, and handle the pedals well.
After a few laps, I did come up with some minor gripes, with the most glaring one being a very short gas pedal throw. However, a couple minutes with a wrench, and I had brought the pedal throw to something further, and more to my liking.
…and that’s one of the great things with these pedals. You’re able to tweak and fine tune them to fit what YOU need. If you don’t like the clutch, adjust the strength, digression point, or throw. If you want a weaker brake, simply put in a softer bushing. You can set these pedals to what YOU want.
Another thing I wanted to touch on is configuring the pedals. With these pedals, there is no automatic configuration utility, so you will need to manually configure these using DIView. The exception to this rule is iRacing, which uses its own calibration utility.
I will provide a link in the description to a Calibration Guide provided by Heusinkveld Engineering, so if you’re looking to get these pedals, you can get an idea of what is needed to calibrate the pedals.
After some tweaking, I was already starting to draft up my eulogy to my other pedal sets. These AREN’T perfect, but MAN they’re close.
Now, let’s get to my pros and cons.
- Incredibly adjustable
- VERY smooth feeling in the pedals
- Compact, but well thought out
- Load Cells feel good on all three pedals
- Very similar to real life
- Cost slightly less than other pedals
- Tall, and Upright only
- NEEDS Pedal Plate to work with consumer-grade cockpits
- Short pedal cables
- May require some tinkering at first to get to your liking
- May be a little loud for some environments
- Not plug-and-play, needs some manual calibration to properly work.
My bottom line for these pedals is that I give them a 9.2 out of 10. These really are a great set of pedals, one of the best I’ve ever tested. It instilled more confidence in me as a driver, even with it’s minor hiccups, which ultimately came down to my setup more than anything.
If you are looking for a great set for under $1,000, these are my new recommended set. However, it does sound like we may have a good contender in the near future, as plans are also in place for me to review the ProtoSimTech PT1 Pedals in the near future.
What are your thoughts on Heusinkveld Engineering’s Sim Pedals Pro? Let us know in the comments!