Meca Sim Hardware is a small business located in the Czech Republic whose goal is to produce high quality simracing hardware. CEO and founder Rotislav Meca designed and built his first pedal set called the Meca P1/L in 2019. He continued to develop the pedals with valuable feedback he received from V8 Supercars, Buggyra racing engineers and Bugyrra drivers. As a result the loadcell-based pedal set that is now known as the Meca CUP1 was brought to life. Soon afterwards Rotislav engaged in a partnership with All4SIM.CZ’s Martin Vid’ourek who is a distributor of simracing hardware, and together founded Meca Sim Hardware. The business currently has five staff members, plenty of external suppliers and dozens of partnerships, one of which is Buggyra Racing whom they continually consult for product development.
The Meca CUP1 pedal sets are available through the Meca Sim Hardware webshop. Prices start from € 630.- for the 2-pedal set to € 870.- for the complete set including pedal baseplate. We’ve been in contact with Meca Sim Hardware for some time and when we were asked to review the Meca CUP1 pedals, we naturally couldn’t say no. After saying yes it all went pretty fast, before we knew it the doorbell rang, UPS was at the door, we were able to unpack and it was time to test.
Packaging & Contents
The first thing we see is the contents of the box being very organized and well cared for. This is what makes us happy and reflects how you should deliver a pedal set in our opinion. The brown outer box contains a beautiful white box with the Meca logo on it, inside you’ll find lots of contents. It’s great how complete the box is, you’d almost expect a toolbox being included too. Everything has been thought of; pedal set, pedal plate, bracket to mount the controller housing, extra base plate with grip, bolts, nuts, 2 extra types of medium and hard polyurethane bushings, stickers and a manual. UPS has neatly delivered the 15kg heavy package to us from the Czech Republic within just a few days.
Technology & Quality
The construction of the pedals consists of a 3mm thick stainless steel shot blasted central base where specific parts have been produced for each type of pedal. This means that the part that rests on the pedal plate is the same for each pedal and the rest of the pedals are unique. All 3 pedals are equipped with a load cell module, of which the brake pedal is equipped with a 200 kg module. A load cell measures the actual force exerted on the pedal instead of the distance traveled. The pedal plate is an 8mm thick steel plate with a powder coating and therefore quite wear-resistant. The overall finish is a real plus with this pedal set.
The pedals are controlled by a 16-bit Leobodnar Loadcell USB board which is neatly concealed in a plastic 3d printed housing. In the box we also find a nice stainless steel bracket to mount the housing to the pedal plate. The pedal set is USB powered, so you don’t have to connect any extra cables in addition to the USB cable. We can adjust and calibrate the pedals with the supplied manual and the Leobodnar DiView software.
All three pedals are steplessly adjustable at an angle of 17 degrees at the back of the pedal. You can adjust the height of the foot plate to three different positions on the clutch and accelerator pedal, and four different positions on the accelerator pedal. The clutch pedal is equipped with a mechanism with a double spring that simulates the bite point. By adjusting the angle of the central axis you can adjust the pedal force. The brake pedal is the largest and the heaviest of the 3 pedals. Included are three types of polyurethane bushings with which you can set the hardness of the pedal. The black (soft) bushes are included as standard and you will receive a set of blue (medium) and orange (hard) ones. You can achieve 7 different hardness’s by combining them. The manual contains a diagram for this. Striking in the design we find the stainless steel holders in which the polyurethane canisters fall, they are always neatly in place and are easy to change. It’s important if you use a combination of polyurethane bushings that you always put the hardest one behind the others. The accelerator pedal feels light and has more options to be adjusted. The spring allows you to set the pre-load (amount of force needed to move the pedal) on the pedal, and by adjusting the angle of the central axis you control the pedal force. On the right side we find a small brass eccentric disc with which you can set the travel (how far you can press a pedal).
Follow the guide and you’re done. Yes, it’s actually that easy. The pedals can be mounted on the pedal plate with the supplied bolts. There are square recesses in the pedal plate in which the bolt stays in place and you only have to tighten the nut. After this you can mount the bracket for the controller on the pedal plate. Connecting the cables to the controller is also self-explanatory. The housing is marked with ‘brake’, ‘throttle’ and ‘clutch’ and the pedal connections can only be inserted in one way. Tighten the rings of the connectors and the set is complete.
Since owning a Sim-Lab P1-X, mounting another pedal set has become a lot easier. You can mount this pedal set directly on the aluminum profiles of the P1-X. Included are 4 aluminum spacer tubes which you place between the aluminum profile and the pedal plate. Again the correct M8 bolts are included to do the job. You can mount the pedal set as 2 pedals (gas and brake) and 3 pedals (clutch, gas and brake). For use as a 2-pedal set, you only need to disconnect and disassemble the clutch pedal, you don’t have to adjust anything in the software.
Adjusting & Usage
As mentioned earlier in this review, using the manual is useful. DIView is not the most simple piece of software, but making adjustments using the manual is easy to do. In Windows it is completely plug-and-play, when connecting the USB cable the pedals are recognized as a “MECA CUP1” device under Game Controllers. If the drivers have been installed automatically by Windows, you can start DIView to make adjustments to your pedals. The pedals are calibrated by default, but as soon as you start making adjustments to the pedals you have to recalibrate them. With DIView you can (re-)enter the calibration values and possibly set a deadzone and/or saturation.
In the DIView software 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 without having to close your racing game. 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!
Just like with most pedal sets, you can also fine-tune everything with the Meca CUP1. Take your time to do this. You have to make adjustments according to your own touch and through “trial and error” you will have to find your correct settings. Once you have set them correctly, you’ll have more in terms of comfort and ultimately better performance during your online races.
Normally we race with the Heusinkveld Sprints which we are very fond of, at the same time the Heusinkveld Ultimate pedals are on our wish list. The Meca CUP1 makes us wonder whether this upgrade will still be necessary, since these pedals can certainly compete with the Ultimates. Good pedals don’t necessarily make you faster, but they do make you a lot more consistent. Certainly in the sense of braking (muscle memory) and accelerating (dosage versus sensitivity) you can save a lot (time). The resistance on these pedals provides a natural feel and control. We have now used the pedals intensively for about 4 weeks on our Sim-Lab P1-X and have not encountered any weird quirks in this period.
Maintenance of your pedals is also important to enjoy them for as long as possible. WD-40 PTFE Dry Spray is recommended in the manual. This is a dry lubricant spray that does not attract dirt or dust. Spraying your rubbers and moving parts every now and then is more than enough to enjoy your pedal set for a long time. We found the throttle not moving as smoothly and the spring making a bit of noise. After spraying it with some PTFE Dry Spray, this quickly improved and we have not experienced this anymore.
The Meca CUP1 pedals are built entirely from laser-cut stainless steel and feel like a high-end pedal set. Using them feels natural and you can kick them down hard without breaking a sweat. There is no flex or play to be discovered when using this pedal set. All pedals have their own load cell of which the brake pedal has a maximum load of 200 kg, which is more than enough braking power for most simracers. The adjustability is very good and easy to do. You do need a proper cockpit to use them properly.
The pedal set is not cheap, but the sim racers who spend this amount of money on these types of pedals often do not regret it. The completeness of the set is really great, everything you’ll need is included. The DIView software is not very user-friendly, but with the help of the manual, in which all steps are well described, you will certainly get there. As indicated earlier, the accelerator pedal was not very good in the beginning, but with some PTFE spray in the right place this problem has not occurred anymore at all. As mentioned, we are enthusiastic and the pedals are still mounted on our P1-X as we write this review. It’s nice to see that a small company in the Czech Republic can produce such a solid and complete pedal set with a great finish.
Do you want to stay informed about SimRaceBlog content, news, announcements and (future) give-aways? Follow us on Instagram @simraceblognl