More than 6 months ago we upgraded from the Fanatec CSL Elite Pedals (with CSL Loadcell kit) to a set of Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Sprint. Normally we do testing and review almost always immediately after receiving the hardware, but we have done that a bit differently this time. Since we intended to use this Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Sprint for a longer period of time and because we were curious how the pedals will hold up after using the pedals intensively after a long time, we deliberately postponed this review.
The Sprint pedals are available from € 599.- for the 2-pedal set and € 699.- for the 3-pedal set. Because we usually drive open-wheel cars and don’t use a clutch, we opted for the 2-pedal set. You can also purchase an optional baseplate for € 89.-. We are going to place the pedals directly on the pedal plate of our Sim-Lab P1-X and therefore do not need the base plate from Heusinkveld.
Packaging and Contents
The Sprint Pedals are packaged in a striking red box with the text ‘The winner isn’t the one with the fastest car, it’s the one who refuses to lose’. We like this kind of slogans with a good dose of motivation!
When opening the box, we immediately had the ‘wow feeling’ and we see a box full of Heusinkveld quality and craftsmanship. The content consists of a gas- and brake pedal, a small box containing extra rubbers to adjust the hardness of the brake pedal and some tools to adjust your pedals. An almost complete set, because unfortunately there were no bolts, nuts and washers in the box. We have heard from Heusinkveld that they should now supply these neatly with the pedals.
As we already mentioned, the Sprint pedals radiate quality and craftsmanship, when we take the pedals in our hand you will feel this immediately. The base part, with which you mount the pedals on the pedal plate, consists of 3 mm thick stainless steel. The inner part is constructed from 3 mm thick laser-cut steel with a gray powder coating. The quality control at Heusinkveld is very good, there are no sharp edges and everything is neatly finished and secured. There is no slack anywhere and that reassures us. Both pedals are equipped with a load cell module, a reliable technique that you see with many brands. The brake pedal is equipped with a somewhat heavier load cell of 120 kg which measures up to 65 kg maximum actual braking force.
Installation and configuration
We have the Sim-Lab Pedal slider baseplate on which the Sprint pedals can be mounted properly. With 8 pieces M5x20 bolts including the necessary washers and nuts, that job is a quick one. Because the connector cable of the accelerator pedal is not very long, you can only place the pedals a maximum of 12 cm apart (center to center). As far as we are concerned, this could have been at least 2 cm more in terms of flexibility.
Configuring (adjusting) is a personal thing for everyone. We recommend that you read the manual carefully, in addition, we have benefited a lot from this video where Niels Heusinkveld explains the possibilities per pedal type. Take your time to try things, but always do this in small steps. We ourselves have been trying for over a week to find the right settings for us.
In the end we both raised the pedals 4 holes. On the accelerator we have shortened the travel and the spring a bit so that accelerating does not feel too heavy. On the brake pedal we opted for ‘stiffness settings’ M (see image) and some pre-load. We continued the rest of the configuration in Smartcontrol.
Driver installation is not required out-of-the-box, the pedals are plug-and-play. If you connect the supplied USB cable, the pedals will be recognized as game controllers in Windows without having to install separate drivers. To configure, adjust and calibrate the pedals, you can download the Smartcontrol software and possibly some presets from the Heusinkveld website. The software is very user-friendly, everything can be adjusted visually and settings are stored directly in the pedals without having to recalibrate them.
We have started from the basic settings in the software and only set dead zones on the pedals. We think this is a bit more pleasant because the car does not start to brake or accelerate as soon as you gently touch the pedal with your feet. But here as well, there are a lot of possibilities to adjust the pedals to your own liking. The max force at 65 kg ensures that you still have to push firmly to brake properly. Something that goes well with open-wheel cars.
The Heusinkveld Sprint pedals do very well what they are supposed to do, being accelerate and brake! Good pedals don’t necessarily make you faster, but they can make you more consistent. In the field of braking (muscle memory) and acceleration (dosage and sensitivity), the Sprints perform very well. The resistance on the pedals gives a good feeling and therefore control while driving our virtual race cars.
We have now used the pedals intensively on our Sim-Lab P1-X for more than 6 months and we only notice very little wear and / or play on the pedals themselves. The only part that shows a little bit of wear is the resistance rubber (stiffness settings) of the brake pedal. However, this is the most logical part that will wear out and is also a replaceable part. In the beginning we also had some problems with a squeaky spring on the accelerator, but it turned out that it got loose when we were adjusting the pedals. In the meantime we have not made any adjustments to the pedals, only some maintenance such as blowing it clean with compressed air and a little bit of WD-40 PTFE Dry Spray on the moving parts. The WD-40 PTFE Dry Spray is prescribed by Heusinkveld in the manual and is a dry lubricant spray that does not attract dirt or dust and ensures that your pedal set continues to move smoothly.
After more than 6 months and racing almost every day, the pedals still look very good. We are reasonably careful with our stuff and also regularly spray the pedals with a mini compressor so that they are nice and dust-free again. Maintenance of the pedals is easy. In addition to regular dusting, the occasional spraying of the moving parts with WD-40 PTFE Dry Spray ensures that your pedal set remains nice and smooth.
The price of the pedals is considerable, but you do get a piece of fine craftsmanship, service and very good and user-friendly software in return. As far as we are concerned, the pedals are still worth every penny after more than 6 months of use. Heusinkveld is a Dutch company which makes it a lot easier in terms of service for us (since we are Dutch as well). The Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Sprint are really next-level and offer a lot more precision, which brings a big positive change in the driving characteristics of our virtual race cars.
Although we are very satisfied with the Sim Pedals Sprint, we have become curious what a set of Sim Pedals Ultimate has to offer. We have read on the Heusinkveld social media channels that some interesting developments are coming in that area. Hmmm, who knows what will happen in the future ?!
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