- Good level of customization
- Full metal construction feels great
- Adjustable loadcell brake feel fantastic
- Options for slippy and grippy pedals
- Overall aesthetics are rather simple
- Throttle and clutch not overly adjustable
2022 Update – The Fanatec CSL Elite pedals are coming to the end of their life. The new CSL Pedals are the new and improved pedals to replace these. Read our full review of the Fanatec CSL Pedals with Load Cell kit here.
Unboxing the Fanatec CSL Elite LC Pedals
When you first unbox the Fanatec Elite loadcell pedals, you will be greeted with the pedals in a few parts. There is a little bit of basic construction required to assemble the pedals.
But trust us, the work you have to do isn’t hard. We are not that practical here, and we had them together in less than ten minutes.
You are given all the tools you need to assemble the pedals. It is simply a case of bolting the pedals on to the base, and attaching the power pack to the bottom of the base.
While assembling you will find that the pedal base allows you to attach the pedals in various different positions. This gives you full control of how close, or far apart you want to mount your pedals. A nice feature, which allows those who heel and toe to position the pedals right in the sweet spot.
Once assembled, the pedals can simply be hooked up to your PC or to your wheel base, depending on how you want to approach cable management. Then you are ready to race.
Are these pedals easy to mount?
Mounting these pedals is extremely simple. There are eight mounting points underneath the pedal base, and these are situation in the same pattern as all Fanatec pedals.
We didn’t find any mounting screws included with our pedal kit, so we used some we had laying around. Bare this in mind if you fancy mounting it to your sim rig as soon as they arrive. You’ll need 8x M8 screws.
There are a set of stabilizer bars also included in the kit. These are designed to stop any sway or flex at the rear of the pedals. Because the pedals are attached individually, there isn’t actually any structural support at the rear of the pedals.
These stabilizers are designed to give that extra support, and they worked a treat for us. We didn’t encounter any flex once the pedals were stabilized and hard mounted to our sim rig.
You will notice while assembling the pedals, that the materials used are of the highest quality. The whole pedal set is made from 100% metal, and you can feel it as you are holding the various elements.
The weight of the metal makes these products feel premium, just like the rest of Fanatec’s product range.
However, unlike a lot of Fanatec products, which tend to be a little bit on the flashy side. These CSL Elite LC pedals are very understated and simple in their design.
The full metal pedal base is simple without any real flourishes or design features. And the pedals themselves are made from a single piece of smooth metal.
This can look a little cheap in some of the marketing images, but when you see it and feel it in real life, you get a true sense of the quality.
This smooth metal on the pedal plates can be hit and miss as it is extremely smooth. If you are a sock racer like us, and you don’t use racing shoes, you’ll find these very slippy.
If they are too slippy for your preference, you can install the optional rubber pads. These are supplied with the pedal set, and give the pedal plates a much grippier feel. Do you like your pedals grippy or slipper?
How good is the loadcell brake pedal?
One of the main reasons for purchasing these CSL Elite LC pedals is for that LC. The loadcell brake transforms the way you approach braking in any sim game.
Rather than standard pedals, which judge the braking pressure via how far the brake is pressed. A loadcell brake pedal, uses the force you put in to the pedal to dictate the braking pressure. Essentially, if you stamp on the brake with a lot of force, you’ll brake harder than someone who pushes the brake lightly, but to the same point.
Adjustable braking force
The brake pedal is fully adjustable, both mechanically and digitally. You can change the physical stiffness of the brake pedal, by adjusting the Elastomer springs that are underneath the pedal itself.
The springs can be adjusted without the need for tools, giving you the ease of setup. And then ease of fine-tuning the correct brake pressure for your style of driving.
To adjust your brake stiffness, it was as easy as simply lifting the brake pedal rod at the rear of the pedal. Then swapping out the various springs for different springs, or re-arranging them into a different combination.
The adjustable springs are designed in such a good way, they allow you to incorporate a softer spring as a physical stop point. What we mean by that is, that if you push lightly on the brake pedal, you can brake until the softer spring fully compresses.
The brake pressure will then increase as you push harder. We set the soft spring in a position that allowed us a soft limit for trial braking. Then the rest of the brake pedal travel was reserved for harder braking.
This worked brilliantly as we could feel the difference in stiffness, which allowed us to trial brake consistently.
Calibrating the CSL Elite LC pedals
When you are running through the initial setup and calibration, you get the option to adjust the amount of braking force required. This is an option that flashes up when you are completing the pedal function test.
You can adjust the amount of required force to reach 100% pressure. Personally we like to bring it down to around the 70% mark. This, combined with the way we set up the adjustable springs gave us the best braking feel.
Are the Fanatec CSL Elite Loadcell pedals the best sim racing pedals you can buy?
If you are upgrading from a Thrustmaster or Logitech wheel setup, and looking to jump into the Fanatec ecosystem. Then these CSL Elite LC pedals are a great starting point.
They offer a lot of adjustability that you don’t find with many other pedals. Although a lot of that customization is focused around the loadcell brake pedal. You don’t get the same level of adjustment for the clutch or throttle pedals.
Despite this, these loadcell pedals give an amazing feeling for what is a relatively reasonable cost. If you do fancy a little more customization in your pedals, like the ability to adjust the throttle inputs. Then the ClubSport V3 pedals are the next logical step up.
But for any sim racer who is looking to spec a complete Fanatec sim rig, the CSL Elite LC pedals are a great starting point. And they are good enough to see you through your sim racing journey for a good number of years.