The best sensations
✅Excellent build quality
❌ Crankset sold without pedal bracket
Fanatec ClubSport Pedals v3
The best value for money
✅Excellent build quality
✅Load Cell on pedals
✅Compatible with all platforms (PC and consoles)
❌No pedal travel adjustment
Sim-racing is a discipline that has gained much momentum in recent years thanks to major players who are passionate about the field and take the sector in which they operate very seriously. As you all know, sim-racing often straddles the line between reality (motorsport) and simulation, sometimes very blurred. At least, that’s how I feel when I use certain brands’ peripherals.
Speaking of peripherals, we’ve all faced situations where it wasn’t easy to choose between a steering wheel, a pedalboard, or a base. Racers tend to choose a pedalboard to complete their setup, and that’s a big mistake. Many sim racers believe a crankset is not the most crucial element of a sim-racing arrangement when it’s just as essential as a Direct Drive.
In what follows, I will introduce you to two popular pedalboards in the rather premium segment of sim-racing peripherals: the Heusinkveld Sprint and Fanatec Clubsport Pedal v3. I’ll tell you about their strengths and weaknesses and help you make the right choice.
- Premium crankset
- Excellent build quality
- Highly advanced sensations
- High price
- Crankset sold without pedal bracket
Heusinkveld is well-known for high-end sim-racing peripherals, mainly pedalboards and shifters. Many racing drivers choose peripherals from Heusinkveld for their training setup, which says a lot about the quality of the brand’s products.
Heusinkveld was created by two Dutchmen several years ago. Since then, they have devoted themselves to premium peripherals made from noble materials such as stainless steel, often at very high prices.
Heusinkveld’s product catalog includes the Sprint, the “entry-level” pedalboard from the Dutch manufacturer. We’ll soon see that there’s nothing entry-level about this device. The Sprint uses laser-cut steel to extract all its parts, and it’s simply magnificent. Unlike other cranksets, the Sprint comprises individual pedals in a Load Cell, available in kits of 2 or 3 pedals.
The load cells of the pedals are different because the behavior of the 2 or 3 pedals is not the same. Let’s start with the brake. This Load Cell can produce up to 120 kg of force, which is quite enormous. The pedal is highly responsive, providing ultra-precise braking control in all situations.
In particular, the Load Cell allows data to be read off as a function of braking pressure. It is even more precise for sim-racing sessions and adds an extra layer to immersion, as it’s practically like being in a race car.
As for the feel, it’s simply surreal. I didn’t feel any dead zones when using the Sprint. This is mainly due to the brand’s software and the pedals themselves. As soon as you put your foot on the brake pedal, the car starts braking immediately, and the harder you push the pedal, the more influential the braking, with more bite. It’s simply exhilarating, especially if you’ve already had sessions in a racing car.
As for the gas pedal and clutch pedals (if you opt for the latter), the feeling is identical to that of the brake pedals, but to a lesser degree, particularly as regards the force absorbed by the pedals, which is around 13 kg.
Let’s move on to the “faults” of the Sprint. To begin with, this Crankset is sold without a pedal bracket, which means either mounting them directly to your cockpit/chassis or buying the frame sold separately. This looks cheap coming from Heusinkveld, not to include the Sprint support, especially when considering the price of this cranket at over €635 for the 3-pedal kit. For the 2-pedal equipment, expect to pay almost €100 less. And that brings us to the second flaw in the Heusinkveld Sprint. This is still an expensive pedalboard, especially if you have to buy the bracket, which costs over €100.
All in all, you can expect to pay almost €740 for this pedalboard, and that’s expensive. However, the Sprint remains, as far as I’m concerned, the best Load Cell in its category. But if you’re not convinced, you can read my full review of this pedalboard by clicking here.
Fanatec ClubSport Pedals V3
- Excellent build quality
- High-performance crankset
- Load Cell on pedals
- Compatible with all platforms (PC and consoles)
- No pedal travel adjustment
Fanatec is a very famous brand in the world of sim racing, thanks to its high-performance products that often push the boundaries between realism and simulation. By the way, Fanatec was chosen by BMW to equip its cars with steering wheels—GT of this season.
The German manufacturer’s catalog is vast, with products for every rider. You’ve got steering wheels, chainstays, cranksets, shifters, handbrakes, and many hubs. Everything is configurable, and everything works perfectly with the ecosystem. Fanatec is the market leader in terms of sim-racing peripherals and ecosystems.
One of the German manufacturer’s peripherals is the famous ClubSport Pedals. This is a relatively mid-range product with excellent features. Let’s start with its design: the ClubSport Pedals V3 is made entirely of metal and is available in 3 pedals. The pedal dress is all black, with a few red accents. It’s beautiful and very sober. I love it, anyway.
Like the Sprint, the ClubSport Pedals V3 has a Load Cell on all three pedals, with a maximum force of 90 kg on the brake pedal. This is less than the Sprintbut Fanatec’s device is also less expensive. So… Unlike the Sprint, the ClubSport Pedals V3 is delivered in one piece, and this pedalboard can be mounted on a cockpit or used on the floor. Already, this is a plus compared to the Dutch manufacturer’s pedals.
There’s nothing to say about manufacturing: it’s premium, made from steel and aluminum. It’s solid and designed to last long, with pedal customization options to suit your preferences.
Let’s talk about the most crucial element of all: the feel. Well, it’s great. Of course, it’s not on the same level as the Sprint, but the ClubSport Pedals V3 is still an excellent premium pedal unit. The clutch is degressive, just like in a real car: as the stroke increases, the pedal becomes softer. It’s perfect. The gas pedal is standard: spring-loaded pedal with vibration. Braking is ultra-realistic, with vibrations to simulate ABS interventions. And I love that, especially with the 90 kg Load Cell. It’s just what you need for excellent sim-racing sensations.
Now for the price. The ClubSport Pedals V3 is sold for almost €400 on the Fanatec website, which puts it in an ideal position to satisfy both amateurs and fans of sim racing. You can learn more about my opinion of this pedalboard by clicking here.
Which one to choose?
- The budget. First, the two cranksets are not sold at the same price. The ClubSport is almost €240 cheaper than the Sprint in identical pedal configuration, without the bracket. Otherwise, it’s a difference of €340, which is expensive.
- Platforms. ClubSport Pedals V3 is compatible with all platforms, enabling it to reach a broad audience. Sprint will only run on PCs, which limits the user pool to this platform alone, and I think that’s a shame.
- Ecosystem. I’m not lying to you, but I find Fanatec’s ecosystem richer than Heusinkveld’s, with many products working together. You can have a base DD Podium, which will work perfectly with an entry-level pedalboard from Fanatec.
- Sensations. On this point, the Heusinkveld Sprint surpasses the Fanatec ClubSport Pedals V3, and not just a little. The Sprint has no dead zone on the pedals, which is present on the ClubSport, but in small doses.
- Availability. Both pedalboards are relatively easy to find online, whether in the manufacturer’s stores or other retailers.
I hope this article has been helpful to you; if not, I invite you to discover my opinion on the best cranksets for Sim Racing by clicking right here.