Fanatec Review Part 3: Fanatec CSL Elite LC Pedals

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Fanatec is one of the top manufacturers of Sim Racing hardware, with the Clubsport Wheel being one of the top upper-midrange wheels in the market. However, with the ever-growing “sub-$500” market expanding, that gap has been rather noticeable, especially since the CSR series was put to rest last year. Now, the Fanatec CSL series of products is looking to fill the gap, with the Fanatec CSL Elite Wheel Base and Pedals, as well as the CSL Steering Wheel P1 Rim. Do these new products take over as mid-range hardware king? Read on, and be sure to watch the above review!


In Part One of our CSL review, we took a look at the Elite Wheel Base, and Part Two covered the CSL Steering Wheel P1. Now, with Part Three upon us, we are taking a look at the Fanatec CSL Elite LC Pedals.

A good set of pedals can really add to the immersion factor, and Fanatec has been known for creating solid quality pedals for a reasonable price. The mid-range level CSR Elite Pedals were discontinued a couple years ago, and will be replaced by the CSL Elite Pedals.

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-7-12-06-pmThe CSL Elite LC Pedals will be available November 9th, for a price tag of $199.99. The pedals feature an all-metal construction, and weigh in at around 12 pounds. The CSL Elite LC Pedals features the option to plug directly into a Fanatec CSL/CSW Wheel Base, or to use as a stand-alone USB device. The gas and brake pedals are linked to a 12-bit potentiometer, and the brake features a 95kg load cell featuring 16-bit resolution.

Fanatec CSL Elite Pedals Bushings

The brake pedal uses a bushing based system for pressure modulation. The Bushings are made of Polyurethane, and are able to be hot-swapped to quickly change the brake force. The bushings are measured in Shore, which translates to KG of pressure like this:

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-2-54-34-pm

I did some experimentation to try to figure out what to do. I ended up learning the hard way that “the pedals are only as strong as the weakest bushing”. I set up the pedals in a configuration like 45-65-PU Foam-85-85-95, and had a rather significant failure:

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Once I tailored the pedals to my liking, I really enjoyed the feel of the brake, and was able to modulate pressure effectively, with confidence.

The gas pedal featured a pretty solid throw but, in my opinion, felt fairly light in terms of pressure. I would have liked to see an option to swap out springs or adjust pedal pressure, a la Clubsport Pedals, but it is quite solid for the price. The clutch does feel on the stronger side so, in theory, you could swap the two pedals, if you don’t mind a lighter clutch.

One of the major draws is that you can drastically adjust the spacing on the pedals, to be able to tailor it to your liking. John Sabol of Inside Sim Racing showcased this by moving the brake pedal further to the left. It is good to have the option to move things around, but I would have liked to see a little more customization (moving pedal faces, adjusting throw, etc).

The CSL Elite Pedals offer a very solid experience for the sub-$200 price tag. While they are not near as flashy as the Clubsport Pedals V3, there is a beauty in the “Form over Function” mantra. The pedals are quite attractive, in my opinion, and I like the Tilton-Inspired design.

csleplc-m_02Another thing I do like is that you have three options as to what you would like to put on your pedal face. The pedals come with rubber faces pre-installed, but you can remove them for a bare-metal face. Three pieces of grip tape are also included, if you would rather go that way. For my own personal preference, I used the rubber on the brake, and bare metal on the gas and clutch.

These are a great set of pedals, and I would highly recommend them to anyone considering upgrading their pedals to a new set. If you are looking for more customization, I’d say consider looking at the Clubsport Pedals V3, which can offer options for fine tuning whatever you want.

Pros

  • Very solid construction, high build quality
  • Great bang for the buck
  • Brake is easily adjustable, to suit driver’s needs
  • Can individually move pedals, even remove from base to mount or invert!

Cons

  • Limited adjustments in gas and clutch pedals
  • Apart from individually mounting and lateral movement, you can’t do much about pedal adjustments (I.E. pedal throw, faces, etc)

NOTE: There is a two pedal set available for $79, which utilizes the CSL Elite LC Pedals’ clutch as the brake. However, that set does NOT feature USB connectivity, so you would need the Fanatec Clubsport USB Adapter for stand-alone use. You can order the Brake Pedal for $129, and that will also add the CSL Elite LC circuit board, which DOES include the USB connection.

You can pre-order the Fanatec CSL Elite Pedals LC for $199.95 from the official Fanatec Store.