- 180kg load cell allows for a lot of adjustability
- Easy to adjust without tools
- The design is fantastic
- Both brake and throttle performance is excellent
- Alternate elastomers and springs included
- Cannot change the distance between pedals
- Cannot be individually mounted
- Strange cable management
What are the Asetek pedals?
Sim racing pedals are a strange enigma. They’re never the hero of a sim rig, always mounted at the lower rear of a sim rig, and rarely on show. And despite cool-looking racing wheels and branded wheel rims often stealing the show, the sim racing pedals are often the one piece of hardware that can actually help you become faster.
Upgrading to a good set of load cell or hydraulic sim racing pedals can be like night and day when compared to budget sets. In this review, I’m going to be looking at one of the more impressive sets of load cell sim racing pedals, the Asetek Forte throttle and brake pedal set.
But before I delve into the review, I just want to disclose that this set of pedals was sent to me for review by Asetek. As with all of our reviews, this does not impact the outcome of this review in any way.
Who are Asetek Sim Sports?
Asetek made a splash into the sim racing world with the launch of their Invicta hydraulic pedals, shortly followed by their partnership with supercar manufacturer Pagani.
Despite a long history in PC liquid cooling, Asetek transitioned into the sim racing space with these exciting new sim racing pedal sets. The Forte pedals were announced a little while after the hydraulic Invicta pedals, and since having them on our rig have quickly become our pedal set of choice.
The Forte pedals don’t use hydraulic technology, instead, they sit in the premium load cell pedal market. Priced at $550 or €460, they are about as premium as you can get for a load cell pedal before stepping up to a hydraulic set.
But, with a load cell pedal that looks to simulate a hydraulic one thanks to its unique brake cylinder, you may not need to spend the extra money on a full hydraulic set.
It is worth noting that this price will only get you the two-pedal set without a clutch. Like many high-end sim racing pedals, the clutch is an optional extra and costs around $300 for the Invicta clutch addon.
For me, this wasn’t an issue as I spend 99% of my time sim racing in GT or F1 cars. But it’s worth accounting for that extra price if you do want a full three-pedal set.
- Buy the Asetek Forte Pedals – $549.99 / €462.18
The design of the Asetek Forte Pedals
And that leads me nicely to the design of this pedal set. And I have to say, I’ve not really seen a set of sim racing pedals that look quite as good as these Forte pedals do.
Generally, in sim racing, pedals come in two forms. You’ll have your standard three-pedal sets that make up the majority of sim racing pedals. These are your Fanatec, your Thrustmaster, and your MOZA-style pedal sets. They normally feature very safe design choices and are aimed at the budget to mid-range market.
And on the flip side, you’ll have hardcore, bare metal sim racing pedals, that look like they’ve been ripped right out of a GT3 car just before it goes out on track.
These Asetek pedals don’t really fit into either of those categories.
Instead, Asetek has really opened up the style playbook which allows these Forte pedals to stand out from the crowd. The design is very sleek with thin, elongated pedal arms and face plates.
There are RGB LED lights built into the base of the pedal which are fully customisable. You’ll find heavy use of orange accents all over the primarily all-black pedals, and the two-pedal set looks like it’s been on a hardcore diet by just how slim its overall form factor is.
You can tell just from looking at these sim racing pedals just how much they stand out from the crowd. And that for me is a very good thing. These Forte pedals are making sim racing pedals cool and sexy, and not something that should be hidden away at the back of your sim rig.
Asetek Forte Pedals Build Quality
Almost all areas of these Forte pedals are constructed from aluminium that has been powder coated in a soft black colour. This adds a lot of rigidity to the pedals, which is certainly needed.
The only pieces of plastic on this whole pedal set are on the underside of the pedal plate and towards the rear of the throttle which houses some electronics. The rest is completely constructed from metal.
This results in very little flex between components. Neither pedal really moves or flexes from side to side, and the pedal arms are completely solid as you’d like to expect.
One small niggle with the overall build quality is there are a couple of cables on show. There is a small cable that pops out of the rear of the brake cylinder, which I’m not sure why Asetek didn’t route through the underside.
Then there is the USB cable that connects the pedals to your PC or wheel base. This is located at a strange angle coming out of the throttle towards your feet.
This is situated behind the pedal arms so you’ll never make contact with it, but it does look a little messy. Many other pedal sets have this cable coming out of the side or rear of the base which does look somewhat tidier.
Mounting and adjustments
One area where these Forte pedals really shine is when it comes to making adjustments. Now, you may not need to make adjustments all that often to your brakes. Ultimately, you’ll want a brake pedal that is consistent. But you will almost certainly want to make some adjustments the first time you mount these to your rig.
And you can make just about any adjustment you need without any tools. There are screws and thumb nuts all over the pedals that allow you to easily make adjustments to the pedal angle, the travel, the stop position and the stiffness.
Adjusting these pedals was by far the easiest adjustments I’ve ever made to pedals. Other branded pedals often require you to bring a set of tools to make these adjustments and many require you to partially take apart the pedals or unmount them to make similar adjustments.
It’s also worth noting that there are a set of different strength elastomers included with the pedals allowing you to change the resistance of the brake pedal. Changing these makes the brake pedal feel softer or firmer.
I’ve gone slap-bang in the middle with the yellow elastomer from the additional elastomer kit which is on the softer side. And that is because I’ve come from lower-powered pedal sets in the past, so am used to a brake pedal that isn’t rock solid.
There are also adjustments that can be made in the RaceHub software where you can change the input curve and maximum pressure of your pedals. It’s just as easy to calibrate these pedals in RaceHub, change your deadzone for each pedal and customise your own pedal maps.
So you can see that you have a huge number of ways to adjust these pedals to fit your own preferences.
Mounting them is just as easy. There are four pre-drilled holes where you can mount them from the top down using M6 nuts.
If you’re mounting them to a sim rig, and I’d highly recommend you do, these four holes should line up nicely with your pedal plate. They certainly did on my Trak Racer TR8 Pro, and I had very little issue lining them up.
One thing to note is that you cannot adjust the distance between the brake and throttle as you can with many sim racing pedals. And as far as I’m aware, you can’t remove them from the base plate and mount them individually.
This didn’t affect me as I found the spacing between the two pedals about spot on, but for some, this may be an issue so it’s worth bearing in mind. If this is an issue, you can pay ever so slightly more for the S-Series Forte pedals which essentially are exactly the same pedals, just individually mounted to give you more adjustment.
Now I want to look at the performance side of this review, as this is what really makes or breaks a good pedal set. And I have to say, the overall performance I get from these pedals is incredible.
There was certainly an adjustment period when swapping to these pedals which I’ll touch on in a minute, but after I acclimatised myself to the Forte pedals, I really enjoyed them. And they are still on my rig as my pedal set of choice which says everything you need to know.
The very first thing I noticed when jumping into ACC with these pedals was the stiffness of the brake pedal. This was the first area where I had to adjust my driving style a little.
Out of the box, there is very little movement in the brake pedal whatsoever. All of the in-game brake input is dictated by pressure rather than travel.
As I mentioned earlier, there are a set of different brake elastomers included with these pedals which do adjust the overall stiffness and travel. Then there are a set of additional elastomers which you can buy.
The default elastomers that come with the Forte pedals include a dark green elastomer which is right about in the middle of firm and soft. Then there is a white elastomer included which allows for the brake pedal to feel softer and closer to what you’d feel in a regular road car.
If your favourite workout day is leg day, then there is a stiffer yellow elastomer included which increases the brake stiffness. This is ideal for those who like to feel like their pushing against a brick wall when braking.
This pressure took a little while to get used to, but after half an hour or so of hot lapping, I was able to brake incredibly consistently.
It’s worth noting that the load cell in the brake pedal is rated up to 180kg of force. Using the medium-strength elastomer had me constantly using a maximum of about 60kg of force each time I pressed the brake pedal. And this can be further adjusted in RaceHub while calibrating.
The brake pressure itself goes hand in hand with the brake pedal travel, which is very short.
You can make some adjustments to the preload which elongates the pedal distance. Although increasing this for me felt slightly unnatural as it created an almost deadzone before any real pressure was applied. This is designed to simulate the gap between the brake pad and the disc, but I felt leaving it pretty close felt the best.
While the brake pedal uses a load cell, the throttle pedal uses a contactless hall effect sensor that measures the overall position of the throttle to dictate your input.
Much like the brake pedal, there is a huge amount of adjustment available with the throttle. You can adjust the pedal angle using the front thumb nut. You can adjust the travel of the pedal by using the nut at the rear of the pedal.
And there are two nuts located behind the throttle that allows you to adjust the spring preload. This adjustment lets you stiffen or loosen the spring which affects just how much force is required to push the throttle pedal.
For me, the out-of-the-box setting was about spot on. I didn’t really adjust the angle of the pedal as it felt good once I’d mounted it correctly. More on that in a second.
And the stiffness of the throttle pedal felt pretty spot on right away. I did toy with the adjustments a little just to see if I could fine-tune it to feel any better, but it turns out the standard setting was about right for me.
There is an additional spring included which is stiffer than the default spring which is good, as the only thing I might change moving forward is to stiffen the pedal up slightly with that additional spring.
One thing that took me a little while to get used to, and caused me to play about with my mounting was the angle of these pedals. With other pedal sets, I’m used to mounting them at an angle so they felt comfortable.
With these Asetek pedals, I found that they were much comfier when mounted flat to my sim rig with zero angle. This is down to the very vertical angle of both pedals, and took a little bit of getting used to.
Of course, you can adjust the pedal arm angle, but for me, mounting them exactly horizontally was good enough to allow me to feel comfortable while racing.
When it comes to compatibility, these pedals only work with PC, and aren’t console compatible. But they can be used independently of any other Asetek products. They come with both a USB-C and USB-A cable allowing you to connect them to your PC directly, or to your wheel base if you’re running an all-Asetek setup.
Should you buy the Asetek Forte Pedals?
So would I recommend these Asetek Forte pedals? As you can tell, I think they’re absolutely fantastic, and the fact that they are still on our rig says everything you need to know.
My one concern over giving these a flat-out recommendation is the price point. Certainly, I think that the performance on offer is worth the cost, and if you have the money going spare, I’d say to buy them without a doubt.
However, nobody should ever really jump into a $550 purchase lightly, and the fact that you only get two pedals for that price may deter some sim racers. Compared to other pedal sets that are out there, you can get good pedal sets for under this price point that do include a third clutch pedal.
However, the saving grace for the Asetek Forte pedals is that none of the sub $500 pedal sets come close to the performance, design and build quality on offer here.
Yes, they may be a little pricey for just two pedals, but the performance is outstanding, as is almost every other part of these pedals. And for that reason, I can’t help but recommend them and admit, that I may be in love with this pedal set.