BJ SimRacing is a Spanish company that focuses on high-end peripherals for sim racers, such as pedals, shifters, handbrakes, et cetera. The company recently released a new series of entry-level pedals, the ‘steel series’. These pedal sets are available in two variants. As 2-pedals Formula Steel, available from € 380.-, or as 3-pedals GT Steel, available from € 460.-. Optionally, you can purchase a matching 8mm thick steel pedal plate for an additional cost of € 40 (€ 65 separately). BJ SimRacing shipped us the GT Steel series with the accompanying pedal plate for us to put them to the test. Very nice and we are definitely looking forward to it!
Packaging and Contents
In our case, the packaging was simple and consisted only of a cardboard box with 10kg of contents. Everything was very neat and tightly wrapped in the plastic wrap. We were informed that the final packaging was not yet ready for the review samples and we therefore received the set in a simple cardboard box. No problem, of course, it is all about what’s inside.
The package was sent via Correos Espress to the Netherlands, after which the package was taken over by TNT in the Netherlands for delivery. This was still a thing because the parcel had been stationary in Amsterdam for more than a week before it was delivered. The tracking of Correos Express was also not much wiser at that time because everything is in Spanish and is also quite cryptically described. Fortunately, there is Google Translate and BJ SimRacing was also very helpful in finding out a few things. In summary, the package has been on the road for a total of 3 weeks but ultimately delivered to us nicely.
As mentioned, it is ultimately about what’s inside. This consists of the pedal plate, a clutch, brake and accelerator pedal, a small cardboard box with some mounting material and a USB cable. A quick guide and/or manual was missing in the box and we could not find it on the website. We have checked this and it was indicated that the manual
will be available as soon as possible is available right now. The pedals are calibrated out of the box, but as a sim racer without a lot of technical knowledge, it does leave you hanging a bit. After all, how should you recalibrate when adjusting the pedals? We also miss some tools to adjust it and some extra rubbers to adjust the hardness of the load cell brake pedal. These things are present with other brands that we have tested.
Technology & Quality
A 3mm thick stainless steel central base has been developed for the pedals. This means that the basic parts are the same for all 3 pedals. These can then be dismantled as a clutch, brake and accelerator. A clever idea, because this makes a significant difference in production costs, which in turn benefits the price for the consumer.
A frictionless magnetic hall sensor system is used for both the clutch and accelerator pedal. In the brake we find a 200kg load cell module which is placed at an angle of 45 degrees. A fairly striking, but simple construction. All this is controlled by a 16-bit Leobodnar Loadcell USB board which is neatly concealed in a plastic 3d printed housing. Because this housing hangs loose, and it is probably the intention to mount it on your rig, we have drawn a simple holder and printed it in 3d so that it can be mounted as one beautiful whole on the pedal plate. We can set and calibrate the pedals with the manual, the Leobodnar LC-USB tool and the Leobodnar DiView software.
As mentioned, the set consists of 3mm thick stainless steel parts and this makes it feel very sturdy. The parts are laser cut and couldhave been slightly better finished in our opinion. If you sweep your finger past it you will feel a slightly sharp edge. This is not bothersome and you do not cut it. The stainless steel parts are finished with a brushed look, but only on the outside of the parts. We don’t know if you can expect this for this price, but a little more attention in this area would have given a huge boost in the quality and appearance of these pedals.
It all speaks for itself and you don’t really need more words. Mounting the pedals on the pedal plate is simple. You will find enough bolts and nuts to mount the pedals on the pedal plate. There are square recesses in the pedal plate in which the bolt stays in place and you only have to tighten the nut. We have put an extra ring between pedal and nut ourselves, but that should not be necessary. Connecting the cables is quite simple and speaks for itself. The housing is marked with ‘throttle’ and ‘clutch’ and the connections can only be inserted in 1 way. Tighten the rings of the connectors and it’s ready to go.
Assembly in its entirety on our Sim-Lab GT1 Evo does require some adjustments. However, because the GT1 Evo already has a good fixed pedal plate, we have decided to mount the pedals directly on this pedal plate. This is quite easy because the Heusinkveld Sprint pedals are also mounted on our rig in this way, and you can use the same slots. For example, if you have a rig with a t-slot aluminum profiles as pedal holder, such as the Sim-Lab P1-X, then the BJ Simracing pedal plate can be mounted on it in its entirety. Because we mainly drive open-wheel classes, we tested the set with and without clutch pedal. For this you only have to disconnect the clutch pedal, you do not have to adjust anything in the software.
Adjust & Use
In Windows, it is completely plug-and-play, when connected, the pedals are recognized as a ‘Load Cell Interface LC-USB’ device. If the drivers have been installed automatically by Windows 10, you can optionally start LC-USB and DIView to make settings for your pedals. LC-USB and DIView are not the simplest of software packages, but with the manual it is fairly easy to do. In LC-USB you can set the correct values of the pedal and with DIView you can enter the calibration values and possibly set a deadzone and / or saturation. In DIView the pedals are recognized as the accelerator pedal (Z Rotation), brake pedal (Y Rotation) and the clutch pedal (X Rotation). The settings are immediately stored in the pedals and can be adjusted in the meantime. After calibration, we only set a dead zone of 5% on the accelerator and brake pedal. This prevents the pedal from starting to work as soon as you lean your foot against it. After this you can start your racing game, make any in-game adjustments and then start racing!
Physically all feels very sturdy and you can “abuse” the pedals in the good sense of the word. You can also adjust everything on these pedals. The pedal plate on which the bottom of the foot rests can be mounted in 2 different heights. The angle of the pedals can be adjusted in 5 positions at the front and rear. You can further set travel (how deep can you press a pedal), force curve (how much force you have to apply to press the pedal to 100%) and pre-load (amount of force needed to move the pedal). This is a job that you can often enjoy for a few hours through “trial and error” until you have found the right feeling. Settings are personal and it takes some time and patience to find the right settings for you. Once you have set them correctly, you will achieve more in terms of comfort and performance during your races.
Because we drive with Heusinkveld Sprint pedals ourselves, we can adjust the pedals reasonably quickly as desired. We have raised all pedals one hole at the rear, this has to do with the angle on our pedal plate of the GT1 Evo. We have also put the travel one hole forward on all pedals so that we do not have to push the pedals too deep. We have not made any adjustments to the clutch pedal in terms of settings, out of the box this is good enough. The brake pedal, on the other hand, had to be adjusted for us, the same applies to the accelerator. We put more pre-load on the pedal on the brake pedal. We also put a few more teeth on the accelerator and adjusted the force curve by making the inclination of the spring more horizontal. This means you don’t have to put a lot of force on the pedal and you can dose more easily.
The pedals do what they are supposed to do! Good pedals do not necessarily make you faster, but they do make you more consistent. Especially in the field of braking (muscle memory) and acceleration (dosage versus sensitivity) they do this very well. The movement is extremely smooth and progressive. The resistance on the pedals gives feeling and therefore control, we notice that we can dose very easily. We used the pedals intensively for about 3 weeks on our test rig and we certainly enjoyed it. We did not encounter anything noticeable in these 3 weeks and the pedals function as they did on day 1.
Although BJ Simracing is not yet widely known in the Netherlands, these pedals offer great value for money. For under € 500 you have a very solid pedal set. The pedals have left an overall good impression on us. However, we do think that the finish could have been a little better. The digital (English) manual is very extensive and clear, with which you can fine tune and calibrate the pedals. Provided your rig allows it, you can press the pedals quite hard and they feel very firm. For the brake pedal we miss some extra resistance rubbers in the box. We would have preferred softer resistance rubbers because in the beginning we really had to get used to the extra force that we had to exert on the brake pedal. The clutch pedal gives you that direct punch and has great resistance for smooth pressing. The accelerator pedal is very precise and ensures that you can accelerate very nicely and comfortably. A big plus are the longer cables, something that is often a limitation with other brands. The longer cables make it possible to mount the pedals further apart. All in all, it is a very nice and complete set which has surprised us positively. There are some minor disadvantages, but for us they do not outweigh all the positive points that this pedal set has to offer.
If you are interested in BJ Simracing’s pedals, you can order these pedals and much more simgear through their webshop.
Do you want to stay informed about SimRaceBlogNL content, news, announcements and (future) give-aways? Follow us on Instagram @simraceblognl