Simucube ActivePedal vs Asetek Invicta vs Heusinkveld Ultimate

Does the type of sim racing pedal affect your performance and immersion while sim racing? In this guide, I'm comparing three premium pedals to find out how much price matters.

Simucube vs Asetek vs Heusinkveld

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Sim racing pedals are often considered one of the first pieces of hardware you should look to upgrade. If you are serious about improving your lap time or consistency, a good set of pedals can help. Much more so than a more powerful racing wheel.

However, sim racing pedals are the often forgotten part of a sim racing setup. You rarely see or look at them as they are tucked away towards your sim rig’s floor and rear. And they can cost a fair bit of money to upgrade.

Choosing premium or budget sim racing pedals

A good set of load cell pedals will dramatically improve your experience over a set of budget pedals. This style of sim racing pedal is relatively affordable. When you want to invest in more premium sim racing pedals, deciding what type of pedal and brand to choose gets a little more challenging.

This is often an easier decision when buying a racing wheel, as you increase the strength of the direct drive wheel or buy a nicer-looking steering wheel with more functionality. Sim racing pedals aren’t quite as cut and dry as this.

In this sim racing pedal buyer’s guide, I will compare three of the best high-end sim racing pedals, each with its own distinct style, technology, and price point. I’ll look at the mighty force feedback pedal, the Simucube ActivePedal, comparing it to the hydraulic Asetek Invicta and the most premium Heusinkveld pedal, the Ultimate+.

Below is a quick overview of how these three premium sim racing pedals compare.

Simucube ActivePedalSimucube ActivePedalFFB€2398 / $2299
Asetek Invicta sim racing pedalsAsetek InvictaHydraulic€950 / $759
Heusinkveld Ultimate+ PedalsHeusinkveld Ultimate+Hydraulic€1169 / $975

Price comparison

The first area I want to compare with the three premium sim racing pedals above is price. Price is one of the most important factors when shopping for new sim racing hardware.

There is no escaping from the fact that sim racing can be expensive. Direct drive racing wheels often carry high price tags, with the best direct drive wheels commonly costing over €/$1000. Sometimes, this price doesn’t even include a steering wheel rim. Sim racing pedals can be similar in terms of higher price tags, with the best load cell and hydraulic sim racing pedals costing up to and over €/$1000.

Heusinkveld and Asetek pedals both use hydraulic systems

The Heusinkveld Ultimate+ pedals and the Asetek Invicta pedals utilise load cell sensors to detect the input force applied to the pedal. Then, both pedals also dampen the pedals using hydraulic cylinders, much like a real-world car would. This approach allows for immersive sim racing with the pedals feeling close to a real-world car.

Simucube ActivePedal uses an internal motor

The Simucube ActivePedals approach everything a bit differently. They don’t include traditional springs and elastomers. Instead, they replace these mechanical elements with an electronically controlled motor, not too dissimilar to a direct drive racing wheel.

The internal motor emulates the same sensations that a spring and damper would by providing resistance. The real trick of the ActivePedal is that the motor can also generate force feedback effects, just like a racing wheel.

These force feedback effects include ABS vibrations, traction control feedback, g-forces and motor rumbles. Each effect can translate different information, letting you adjust your braking to improve your on-track performance and consistency.

Difference in price

When we compare the three premium pedals from Asetek, Simucube, and Heusinkveld, there is a pretty big price difference, especially between the hydraulic pedals and the force feedback ActivePedals. It is important to distinguish the difference between each pedal set, which will help us understand the pricing better.

  • Asetek Invicta (2 pedals) – €950 / $759
  • Heusinkveld Ultimate+ (2 pedals) – €1169 / $975
  • Simucube ActivePedal (1 pedal) – €2398 / $2299

Asetek Invicta price

The Asetek Invicta pedal set is the cheapest, at €950 / $759. It is important to note that the price in the EU includes VAT, whilst the US price does not include sales tax. For this price, you get a two-pedal set. Only the brake pedal includes a hydraulic cylinder. You can also upgrade to a complete three-pedal set.

Pedals – Asetek Invicta Pedals
Compatibility – PC
Price – €756/$899
Where to buyBuy from Asetek

Heusinkveld Ultimate+ price

The Heuinkveld Ultimate+ pedals increase the price of the Asetek pedals by a reasonably significant amount, up to €1169 / $975. For this price, you get two pedals, with both pedals including hydraulic damping. This is an improvement over the Asetek pedals, which only include hydraulic damping on the brake pedal.

Pedals – Heusinkveld Ultimate+
Compatibility – PC
Price – From €/$900
Where to buyBuy Heusinkveld Pedals

Simucube ActivePedal price

The most expensive pedal is the ActivePedal. A single pedal costs €2398 / $2299, with the cheapest two-pedal bundle costing around €2928 / $2889. This price is extremely high compared to the Asetek and Heusinkveld pedals, but thanks to its force feedback functionality, it is in its own class.

Pedals – Simucube ActivePedal
Compatibility – PC
Price – €2398 / $2299
Where to buy – Buy from Simucube

Load cell vs hydraulic pedals

The big difference between the Asetek and Heusinkveld pedals is the approach to hydraulic damping. The Asetek Invicta pedals use a hydraulic cylinder on the brake pedal but not on the throttle. The throttle uses a wireless Hall sensor instead.

In comparison, the Heusinkveld pedals have hydraulic damping on each pedal, which gives each pedal a much more realistic feel.

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Although hydraulic pedals may be much more expensive than a set of load cell pedals, the hydraulic system doesn’t directly replace the load cell. Instead, most hydraulic pedals, including the Asetek and Heusinkveld pedals, use load cell sensors and hydraulic damping.

The hydraulic system allows a much more realistic feeling through the pedal, the same approach used in real-world cars. Load cell pedals can feel very good, thanks to the elastomers and springs. However, they will never truly match the feeling of a hydraulic pedal.

Which is better, Asetek Invicta vs Heusinkveld Ultimate+ pedals?

In the battle for the best premium hydraulic sim racing pedals, the Asetek Invicta and Heusinkveld Ultimate+ pedals put up a good fight. Both pedal sets are among the best options within this category, and both are around the €/$1000 price point.

The Asetek Invicta pedals have a few advantages over the Heusinkveld pedals. The first is their price point. The Invicta pedals are priced competitively, around €/$200 cheaper than their opposition.

To complement this, the Asetek pedals look slightly more appealing due to their powder-coated black finish, the customisable RGB LED light strip, and the orange accents throughout the design. Also, it is worth noting that Asetek’s RaceHub software is incredibly intuitive to use, with a nicely designed UI and easy adjustments.

In comparison, the Heusinkveld pedals offer higher performance levels, with hydraulic damping on every pedal, including the throttle. This feature is missing from the Asetek pedals, resulting in a slightly higher price tag. Heusinkveld has also opted for more industrial styling, which may not be to everyone’s taste.

Overall, both premium sim racing pedal sets are incredibly impressive and would serve most sim racers well. My pick of the two would be the Asetek Invicta pedals due to their lower price tag and better design.

Read our ultimate sim racing pedal buyer’s guide.

Are force feedback pedals better than hydraulic?

Until Simucube released the ActivePedal, force feedback sim racing pedals weren’t a thing. Other brands, such as Fanatec, have trialled similar technology by adding haptic feedback to pedals, but not to the extent that Simucube has implemented it.

The mechanical parts of a sim racing pedal, including the springs, elastomers and dampers, have all been directly replaced with an internal motor. The motor uses a screw mechanism to translate rotational forces into directional force. This is how the motor can move the pedal forward and backwards, much like a traditional pedal set.

While the motor is responsible for emulating the mechanical movements of a traditional pedal, it can also produce force feedback. These forces are artificial feedback that a normal or traditional pedal can’t offer.

This approach is beneficial as the pedal can help you decipher how your car reacts to your inputs. You can feel if your wheels lock up, whether you’re losing traction under acceleration and more. Each effect can help you improve as a sim racer by highlighting areas where your pedal inputs aren’t as efficient as they could be.

Force feedback sim racing pedals are a game changer. They provide added immersion and can help you improve your consistency and pace.

Are the Simucube ActivePedal worth the high price point

I have spent a good amount of time sim racing with the Simucube ActivePedal and throttle set. During my time and experience with them, they truly are incredible. However, I am not sure I would recommend other sim racers go out and buy them without a lot of consideration.

The extremely high price point makes the Simucube ActivePedals among the most expensive sim racing pedals you can buy. For the price of a single ActivePedal, you could get a complete three-pedal hydraulic pedal set such as the Heusinkveld Ultimate+.

The ActivePedal is innovative and improves upon the traditional sim racing pedal in ways many sim racers didn’t think they needed. However, at their extreme price point, I would strongly recommend considering other upgrades before considering the ActivePedals.

Which premium sim racing pedals are best?

All three sim racing pedals I’ve compared in this buyer’s guide are incredibly capable. Each one performs very well, and each is built to an incredibly high standard. Choosing which of these premium pedals is the best depends on personal preference and what you need from a set of pedals.

Thanks to their hydraulic cylinders, the Asetek Invicta and Heusinkveld Ultimate+ offer incredible realism. The Heusinkveld pedals’ bare metal design gives them a much more raw aesthetic, while the Asetek pedals’ powder-coated black finish and LED light bar make them look more polished.

The big debate is whether the Simucube ActivePedal is worth its price and whether I would recommend it over the Asetek or Heusinkveld pedals. If money was not an issue, I would recommend the Simucube ActivePedal every time. Its force feedback is revolutionary and incredibly impressive, and the design and build quality are among the best in sim racing.

However, the issue with the ActivePedal remains its high price tag, and this will put it beyond the reach of most. The best performance to value certainly doesn’t lie with the Simucube pedals. Instead, I’d opt for the cheapest pedals in this comparison, the Asetek Invicta pedals.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Simucube ActivePedal work?

The Simucube ActivePedal uses an internal motor with a screw mechanism to translate rotational forces into directional force. These forces then provide resistance and force feedback to the sim racer.

Is the Simucube ActivePedal better than Asetek and Heusinkveld?

Regarding functionality, the ActivePedal is the best on the market today, beating competitors such as Asetek and Heusinkveld. However, the non-mechanical approach may not be to everyone’s taste, and the extreme price tag can put it beyond reach.

Asetek Invicta vs Heusinkveld Ultimate+ pedals, which is better?

The Heusinkveld Ultimate+ pedals have hydraulic dampening on every pedal, which gives them an advantage over the Asetek Invicta pedals. However, the Asetek Invicta pedals look more appealing.

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Article written by Mjolnir

Mjolnir is one of the main setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. He has had years of experience in sim racing, both competitively and casually. After a decade of sim racing experience, he co-founded to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.
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