Every sim rig has three points of contact between the driver and the car these being the wheel, pedals and seat. For those of you new to Sim Racing, it can definitely be said that the pedals are what can make some of the biggest differences to driving ability and consistency. A consistent and precise pedal feel can allow the driver to control the braking performance of the car without second-guessing what the car will do. This doesn’t just improve braking performance but also tyre wear and overall car control as pitching and instability can be better controlled.
So, it is clear pedals can make or break a drivers ability to be consistent and perform at their peak level, making choosing the right pedals key. Here we have broken down the five best sets of pedals ranging from more budget-friendly options to premium sim racing gear.
What are Sim Racing pedals?
Sim Racing pedals are a core part of any sim racing rig. They are the very basis of your rig and are essential to any form of racing as they allow you to control the brakes, throttle and often the clutch in your car. The feeling they provide allows for the precision racing that everyone looks for, as it gives you superior control over your car. Followed by Sim Racing seats, they up there as one of the areas in a rig that allows for the most improvement.
Sim Racing pedals come in multiple forms: potentiometer, load cell and hydraulic. At the cheapest end of your budget, you will find pedals that relay information to the game via a potentiometer, giving you the weakest and least accurate feel. Next up, we have load cells, which are the best consumer-grade option when it comes to pedals. They are found in the majority of pedals on this list, as they are affordable yet allow for a high level of precision. Hydraulic pedals are much rarer as they are highly expensive but do allow for the highest form of accuracy – often being found in race cars.
Quick pedal rundown
|Thrustmaster T-LCM Load Cell Pedals||Load Cell||£219.00||– Affordable load cells|
– Interchangeable springs
|– Flex under load|
|Fanatec Clubsport V3 Pedals||Load Cell||£287.00||– Part of Fanatec ecosystem|
– Vibration motors for added immersion
|– Brake performance kit not included|
|SimCraft PRO Sim Racing Pedals||Load Cell||£709.00||– Real-life racing pedal construction|
– Load cell that provides real-life levels of immersion
|– Difficult to set up|
|Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Ultimate||Load Cell||£942.00||– Superior build quality|
– Most accurate load cell
|– Occasional mounting issues|
|Simtag Hydraulic Simulator Pedal System||Hydraulic||£1744.00||– Very accurate hydraulic system|
– Real-lie adapted build
|– Out of many racers’ budget|
|COST: £219.00||STYLE: Load cell||BRAND: Thrustmaster|
The T-LCM Pedals are Thrustmaster’s first move into the load cell pedal market. However, they still bring their reasonable pricing and high-quality design.
The pedals have a metal material construction for the pedal head and arms ensuring limited flex on the main stress areas of the pedals. There is also a textured metal base plate that can be used to rest your feet on while still giving a high-quality look and feel.
In terms of features, the main area of interest is the new addition of the loadcell on the brake pedal. The load cell can take up to 100 kg of pressure, allowing you to get lots of force through the pedal just like a real-life brake pedal. With the load cell, six different springs can be swapped out to ensure you can get the pedal feel that suits you best and works best for the sim rig the pedals are mounted in. With this, the throttle and clutch also come with magnetic HallEffect sensors that ensure that the pedals are long-lasting while still maintaining high-resolution input measurements.
One key advantage these pedals have over many others is that if paired with a Thrustmaster family wheel, then these are compatible with almost all devices ranging from consoles to PC. So if you are looking for an entry-level set of pedals while not losing out on the great feel of a load cell then look no further than the T-LCM Pedal set.
|COST: €327.00||STYLE: Load cell||BRAND: Fanatec|
If you are in the Fanatec ecosystem or looking for a set of pedals to improve a starter sim racing setup, then the Clubsport V3 pedals are a great choice to consider.
The pedals come with a striking black coloured metal finish that blends in well with most sim rigs, allowing you to focus on the performance. The metal structure keeps the pedals stiff and secure when racing and are sure to last you for many sim racing sessions.
The set comes with a host of adjustability features giving you the ability to tweak the pedals to your liking. The pedal faces can be adjusted into many configurations allowing all different styles of drivers to find what fits them best. In addition, the load cell brake, capable of handling 90 kg of force, can be adjusted to give you the firm feel of a formula car or the progressive feel of a road car pedal. If optioned when purchasing, the pedals also can have a hydraulic damper added to the throttle giving a more realistic feel.
The Fanatec Clubsport V3 pedals are a great choice for those looking for that new next step into the sim gear world. If you already have a Fanatec wheelbase, you can be sure these will be a happy addition.
|COST: £709.00||STYLE: Load Cell||BRAND: SimCraft|
If more custom made to order gear is what you love to spend your hard-earned cash on, then the SimCraft PRO Sim Racing Pedals are the ones for you. These pedals are made to take the real-life feel to a whole new level.
The first headline you can find with these pedals is that they are constructed with a set of Tilton pedals, which are used across many different types of race cars. This all spawned from the SimCraft team developing a custom pedal for an Indy Lights team’s custom driver training simulator. With this, SimCraft set out to produce a pedal set that felt as close to reality as possible, and all this learning has been translated into the SImCraft PRO consumer pedal.
The pedals and frame are constructed from forged aluminium that provides a lightweight but stiff construction to the pedals. Each pedal face can also be adjusted or completely swapped out for your preferred faces, as they are a modular set-up due to the race-derived parts. The pedal pivots are constructed with wave washers that reduce lateral pedal movement and an oil-impregnated bronze bushing that reduces friction within the pivot.
As expected, each pedal has its range of adjustments to truly tweak the feel just to your taste. The throttle comes with a torsion spring so that there is a precise feel, whilst it can also have the total travel adjusted with just a few tweaks to some screws.
The brake pedal has a vertically mounted load cell that comes with a cylinder on top that contains a spring and sponge material construction that allows customisation of the force and pedal feel. Some adjustments can be made to precompress this load cell to give either a more squishy GT car feel or a firm feel of a formula car. The clutch is unique to the SimCraft pedal set, which has gas springs that provide resistive force and also another that simulates the clutch bite point. Also, the clutch throw can be adjusted to give a long throw like a road car or short just like a race car.
It is clear these pedals are another step up from the other pedals mentioned in this list but with this comes a real-life feel simulation. If you are truly looking to get that exact feel to a real-life car you may have driven or are training to drive, this is the pedal set you are looking for.
|COST: £942.00||STYLE: Load Cell||BRAND: Heusinkveld|
If you’re looking for a more high-end feel with some racing pedals, then the Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Ultimate are a sure-fire choice.
The design of the pedals is done using CAD design software, allowing the pedals to be tweaked in every detail to ensure a high performing pedal set. These designs are then used to laser cut stainless steel, thus, allowing the weight of the pedal to be kept to a minimum without compromising the performance or feel.
The same amount of attention has been given to the performance features, with each pedal having adjustable hydraulic dampers. This level of control gives the sim racer the ability to fine-tune the small details into the feel of each pedal. As with all the other pedals in this list, these are also fitted with a load cell brake. The load cell has a two-phase braking feature, with a spring to simulate brake pad feeling and rubber adjustable stoppers to tweak the pressure feel. The clutch has also had the same love, with a regressive spring added to give you adjustment of length, feel and pressure.
If you are in the market for some of the most adjustable high-quality pedals on the market, then the Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Ultimate are a great choice. Plus the great look of these pedals adds a wow factor to any sim racing rig.
|COST: £1744.00||STYLE: Hydraulic||BRAND: Simtag|
If you are looking for the money no object ultimate sim racing pedals, then look no further than the Simtag Hydraulic Simulator Pedal. These are as close to reality as you could get in any sim rig.
The construction of these pedals starts with the well known Tilton pedal set, used in race cars all over the world. This is of the highest quality forged aluminium, really adding that purpose-built design and strength a race-ready pedal set requires.
Despite modifications, the adjustment of the pedal set is as would be on any Tilton 600 series set. The pedals feature an adjustable ratio (5.29:1, 5.44:1, 5.75:1) and the original brake balance bar.
The pedal set also contains a hydrology system, ensuring the most consistent and precise feel across any pedal, which is paired with oil impregnated bronze bushings at the pedals pivots, giving a smooth and consistent feel. The throttle comes with a Bosch positioning sensor that is of the highest quality possible when performance is key.
In addition to this, all the sensors are produced by Cosworth and have an anti-dust and moisture-resistant coating to ensure the accuracy and precision never fades. Adjustments can also be made to the pedal pads or replaced if preferred.
All of this comes together to bring a pedal set to the market that is straight out of a race car with some more improvements made that benefit the driver in the sim world. If you really want to throw down some cash and pull out all the stops on your sim racing rig then the Simtag Hydraulic Simulator Pedal are definitely one to consider.
Coach Dave Academy’s Top Pick
The choice for Coach Dave Academy would have to be the Thrustmaster T-LCM Load Cell Pedals. The pedal set hits all the needs for a highly experienced sim race, whilst not breaking the bank. The high build quality and great use of materials with the addition of the load cell makes this a winning choice for anyone.
In addition to this, the compatibility with the huge range of Thrustmaster wheels means you can take these pedals with you as you upgrade, saving you money down the line. This makes it the easy choice for any sim racer on a budget but still looking for a top-performing set of pedals