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Heusinkveld produce some extremely high end sim racing products. In this guide I'll run through the entire Heusinkveld ecosystem, highlighting all of their products so you can make a decision on which, if any are right for you.
If you are currently sim racing with a set of Logitech, Thrustmaster or Fanatec pedals. You may be looking to upgrade your pedals to something closer to real motorsport hardware. If you do fall into this category, Heusinkveld could make a fantastic choice.
Heusinkveld is the result of two sim racers, Niels Heusinkveld and Svend van der Vlugt. Both Niels and Svend had a passion for producing professional level sim racing equipment. Their goal was to create sim racing hardware that was as close to the real thing as possible.
Heusinkveld products fall into the cross-over market where sim racing pedals meet professional hardware.
Currently, at the time of writing, Heusinkveld has three different pedal products, along with a sequential shifter and a handbrake. Although Heusinkveld does offer a shifter and handbrake, they are most well known for their outstanding sim racing pedals.
The three different pedals that Heusinkveld offers are the Sim Pedals Sprint, Ultimate and Ultimate+. With each product increasing in both performance, quality and price as you travel from Sprint to Ultimate+.
Below is a quick overview of each pedal and how each one differs from the other.
The Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Sprint are the most accessible pedal kit on offer. They are perfect for bridging the gap between casual and professional sim racers. The stand-out figure is the braking force of up to 65kg which outperforms a lot of other sim racing pedals on the market.
The Sim Pedals Ultimate used to be the benchmark for sim racing pedal performance. They offer up to 136kg of braking performance and come with a hydraulic damper which the Sprints do not.
The newly released Ultimate+ pedals are a revised version of the original Ultimates. They feature a slight upgrade in braking force to an eye-watering 140kg, which is more than enough to simulate the real-world brake force of an F3/F2 and F1 car.
As mentioned above, the Dutch engineering company offer more than just pedals.
There is also a sequential shifter, which emulates a real-world shifter much closer than some sim racing shifters. This shifter uses a ball spring to emulate the feeling of a real car. You need to put in an initial large amount of force to start the shift, with the resistance dropping after that initial input.
The final product in the Heusinkveld lineup is the handbrake. Again, this product tries to replicate the feel of a real handbrake with a progressive feeling and up to 22kg of force.
To help you choose exactly which Heusinkveld pedal is right for you, we have produced a complete comparison between the Sprint vs Ultimate vs Ultimate+.
While Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Sprint is designed as the entry point for anybody looking to pick up a set of Heusinkveld’s, they do still come in at €495, and that is without the clutch. If you want a full three-pedal setup, you are looking at €580.
This is pricey when compared to the next best thing, the Fanatec ClubSport V3 pedals, which are only €360. This is a jump of over €200. Although when you start to compare them you soon realise why there is a price difference.
The Fanatec ClubSport V3 pedals are made of sturdy machined aluminium, however, the Sprint pedals are even more industrial. They utilise precision laser-cut steel which gives you a true motorsport feel.
While the ClubSport V3 pedals do still look like a piece of sim racing hardware, the Heusinkveld Sprints wouldn’t look out of place in a real-world race car.
They also don’t come with a base plate by default, although one is available to purchase separately. This gives you complete autonomy over how you configure and mount these pedals. Something which is lacking in the majority of sim racing pedals.
Moving on to the brake pedal. The Sprint pedals come equipped with a 120kg load-cell, which is capable of producing up to 65kg of braking force through the pedal. This is a mighty amount of force. And in comparison, the Fanatec ClubSport V3’s include a load-cell of 90kg.
To put this braking performance into perspective, a real LMP3 car will allow roughly around 80kg of actual brake force. This means the 65kg found in the Heusinkveld Sprints isn’t far off!
There is also a load of adjustability in the brake pedal. You can tweak the springs by adding or removing individual rubber stacks making the brake firmer.
On top of the physical adjustments you can make, you can also adjust your brake input curves using the SmartControl software. I’ll talk about SmartControl a little later, but it is a hugely helpful tool that lets you fully customise your Heisinkvelds to fit your own preferences.
The clutch is probably the second most important part of these pedals after the brake pedal. It utilises a load-cell and a hinge mechanism to simulate a real bite point, and it does this quite well.
There is a larger amount of initial force required when you start to push the clutch, followed by a reduction in resistance, not too dissimilar to a real-world road car. In practice, this works well, as you can really learn where the bite point is, however it doesn’t go the full way to mimicking a real-world car.
Sitting as the entry point for sim racers, the Sprint pedals come with the lowest cost across the entire Heusinkveld product lineup. They start from €495 for 2 pedals including a brake and throttle. This is all you need if you are racing open-wheeled or most GT cars as you won’t need a clutch. However, if you do fancy the complete 3 pedal setup, that will set you back around €570.
The Heusinkveld Ultimate pedals sit above the Sprint pedals in both terms of quality and price. They are a much more premium product but come with a variety of improvements over the Sprints.
For most sim racers the Sprint pedals will be more than capable of replicating the performance of a real race car. However, the Ultimate pedals really step it up a gear in comparison. They improve on a variety of aspects over the Sprints, most notably in terms of braking performance.
The Sprint pedals offer up to 65kg of braking force. To put this into perspective, 65kg of braking force is just below the forces required to fully apply the brakes in a real-world GT4 car.
In most applications this is more than enough, however, if you fancy replicating a real-world race car’s braking force, the Ultimate pedals have you covered.
The Heusinkveld Ultimate pedals utilise a hydraulic pedal combined with a load cell to produce up to 136kg of braking force. That puts the Ultimate pedals in the range of a Formula 3 and Formula 2 car.
I mentioned above that the Ultimate pedals use a hydraulic damper in their brake pedal, which the Sprint pedals do not. This essentially gives the brake pedal a much more realistic feeling during use. As well as allowing the application to be much smoother, more adjustable and more accurate.
Just like the Sprint pedals, the Ultimate’s are highly adjustable. Due to the addition of the hydraulic dampers on each pedal, the Ultimate pedals do sit higher from the mounting plate than the Sprints.
This shouldn’t cause much difference as the height increase is only minor. And you do get around the same level of height and travel adjustability.
The Ultimate pedals are adjustable up to 26mm in height, while the Sprints are only adjustable up to 20mm. And the travel of each pedal is adjustable up to 100mm. This should be more than enough for you to find a natural driving position, especially considering each pedal can be mounted independently, allowing you to position the pedals however works best for you.
The Ultimate pedals also look even more race-ready than the Sprints. Each pedal features a wider arrangement of holes, just like a real race car, and they are finished in a super industrial stainless steel material.
As I mentioned the Ultimate pedals are much more impressive in terms of performance compared to the already impressive Sprint pedals. And this increase in performance does also come with a more premium price tag.
While the Sprint pedals start from €495 for the 2pedal set. The Ultimate pedals price starts from €675 for 2 pedals. This isn’t a small price jump. However with the addition of hydraulic dampers to each pedal, and other improvements, this price isn’t at all bad.
The bottom line is that if you want to make your sim racing setup’s performance as close to a real-world race car, then the Ultimate pedals are the way to go. Well, that would have been the case if it wasn’t for the Ultimate+ pedals, which I’ll talk about now.
The Ultimate+ pedals have been introduced by Heusinkveld to replace the older Ultimate pedals. They bring with them some small improvements over the old Ultimates and take their place at the top of the Heusinkveld product lineup.
When you first look at the Ultimate+ pedals, you’ll notice some small design changes when compared to the older Ultimate pedals. These include a new precision cut laser engraved logo on the face of each pedal, along with a tweak to some components including a new black hydraulic and spring assembly.
Other than these design tweaks, the Ultimate+ features a few quality of life changes, along with new technical features and a small boost in performance when it comes to the brake pedal.
Starting with the most significant changes first. The Ultimate+ comes with a re-worked brake pedal rubber stack assembly. This new and improved assembly features brand new custom made brake elastomers, which allow the pedal to have a much improved progressive feeling. You can quickly spot the upgraded brake stack by its colour, which is now black.
Then there is the new controller box. The original Ultimate pedals used a calibration software called DiView which was rather limited. The new Ultimate+ pedals feature Heusinkveld’s SmartControl software. This new software gives you an impressive amount of digital customisation to your pedals, including access to custom output curves, dead zone changes and pedal forces.
There are also a few quality of life improvements such as new bearings which reduce noise during use and improve overall durability.
With the improvements, the new Heusinkveld Ultimate+ pedals do cost slightly more than the original Ultimate pedals. The Ultimate+ pedals start from €890 for 2 pedals and can go up to €1,100 for 3 pedals.
SmartControl is your best friend when you start to configure your new Heusinkveld product. SmartControl works with the newest Heusinkveld products such as the Ultimate+ to allow you to configure your pedals to work exactly as you need.
Within the software, which runs on Windows 10, you can create completely custom non-linear output curves. As well as creating custom output curves, you can also fully configure the dead zones and pedal forces.
The beauty of SmartControl is that you can save multiple profiles. This allows you to set up your pedals for different racing disciplines or sim racing software. Rather than reconfiguring your pedals when you switch between rallying and GT racing, simple flick between your saved profiles.
If you don’t fancy creating your own custom output curves, you can choose between a selection of presets, each designed for a different pedal feel.
Heusinkveld products are extremely high performing products and aren’t really designed for casual sim racers or console sim racers.
If you want to run the most high-end sim rig you can, you really need to sim race on PC. PC is the most widely compatible platform for sim racing products and this does extend to Heusinkveld products.
All Heusinkveld sim racing products are completely compatible with PC.
Unfortunately, because Heusinkveld is designed to be used with the more high-end sim rigs, they are not compatible with PlayStation consoles.
This also applies to Xbox consoles. Heusinkveld is not compatible with any Xbox console.
I hope this guide has helped you through the Heusinkveld ecosystem. The great thing is, Heusinkveld, don’t have too many products. This means it is much less tricky to find which product works best for you, especially compared to other sim racing manufacturers that do sometimes have hundreds of individual products and varients.
If you are still in doubt, have a look at our complete Heusinkveld product comparison above, where I highlight the main differences between each pedal on offer.