- Good overall design
- Motorsport spec materials
- Extremely well built and durable
- A lot of customisation
- Slightly pricey
- Base plate not included
Heusinkveld overview and product lineup
Heusinkveld is extremely well known for designing and manufacturing some of the best sim racing pedals on the market. The company was founded in 2013 and was truly built from a passion for sim racing.
Founders Niels Heusinkveld and Svend van der Vlugt grew up racing the best simulators of their time and developed a love for sim racing. This passion was realised when founding Heusinkveld.
Fast forward to 2022, and Heusinkveld now have a team of 27 engineers and produce a wide lineup of sim racing products. They’ve developed a speciality for sim racing products with more of a professional vibe.
The products that Heusinkveld produce, including the Sprint pedals which I’m looking at today, all bridge the gap between sim racing as a hobby, and professional motorsports. They utilise extremely high-quality materials and technology to produce some of the best hardware available for sim racers today.
Introducing the Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals
The Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals which I’m reviewing today are the company’s entry-level pedal option. They sit underneath the Ultimate and Ultimate+ pedals that Heusinkveld also produce.
Calling the Sprint pedals entry-level should not be taken the wrong way. While being the entry point into the Heusinkveld ecosystem, these Sprint pedals still sit above most sim racing pedals from other manufacturers in terms of price and quality.
I’ve been racing with these Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals for around 6-8 months now, so this Sprint Pedal review will be my thoughts over that entire period.
In that time I’ve been lucky enough to experience other pedals such as the Ultimate+ pedals, also made by Heusinkveld. The top-level Fanatec ClubSport V3’s, and much pricier pedals such as those by SimTag and SimCraft.
Throughout this review, I’ll be mentioning some of the competition to give you a true feel for where these pedals sit within the whole sim racing sphere.
How much do the Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals cost?
The Heusinkveld Sprint pedals start from €495 for a two-pedal set and go up to €580 for a full three-pedal set, plus taxes and shipping. The full price breakdown is below.
- Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals (two pedals only) – €495 / $560 – Buy from here
- Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals (three-pedal set) – €570 / $655 – Buy from here
- Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals (clutch pedal only) – €120 / $135 – Buy from here
This is pricier than pedals such as the Fanatec ClubSport V3 which come in at €/$360. Although the price difference is very apparent once you jump into the Sprint Pedals specs.
It is also worth noting that the price of €495 for two pedals and €580 for three pedals doesn’t include a base plate. All Heusinkveld pedals are sold this way allowing you complete control over how you mount the pedals. You can purchase a base plate if you prefer, or if you need it for mounting purposes at an extra cost.
The design and build quality of the Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals
When you first look at the Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals, you can immediately tell that they have been designed to emulate real-world race pedals. They have a very industrial feel to their aesthetic and they certainly wouldn’t look out of place in a real race car.
The entirety of the Sprint Pedals construction is made from laser-cut steel, with the pedal arms being finished in an anthracite grey. This dark grey powder-coated finish allows the bare steel of the pedal plates and the base to really stand out.
The pedal plates themselves come in bare steel with each pedal having a unique design. The brake pedal is the widest, much like in a real-world car. While the throttle pedal is the longest of the three to allow for ultimate precision when applying the throttle.
Around the back of the pedals you will find three load cells (if you’ve picked up the three-pedal set). Every pedal utilises a load-cell rather than potentiometers like many manufacturers. This is very welcome as it gives both the throttle and clutch a true linear output which isn’t the case with potentiometer pedals.
The added bonus of using load cell technology is the lack of wear over time. The durability of a load cell pedal is much higher than a standard potentiometer pedal, giving the pedals the same feeling over time. I’ll touch on this topic a little more in my durability section below.
In terms of adjustments when you are setting the pedals up, there is a huge amount available.
Due to each pedal being separately mountable, you can create an almost endless combination of pedal placement. You can space the pedals however you like to master your heel and toe technique. There is a maximum spacing of around 12cm apart due to the length of the connection cable, but this was more than enough for me.
At the rear of each pedal are eight different holes allowing you to completely adjust the angle of each pedal. I found this really helped me during setup as due to my low seating position on my formula style sim rig, I had to increase the pedal angle.
You can also fully adjust the brake to suit your own style. There is a coil spring that you can move to adjust the pad to the disc gap. And then there are six different brake stiffness settings you can use. This is adjusted with a selection of rubber stacks. I opted for the rubber stack labelled L which sits pretty much in the middle of the available brake stiffness presets.
The brake features a load cell rated at 120kg which equates to around 65kg of actual braking force. You can completely adjust this within the SmartControl software to suit your requirements.
What they’re like to drive with
Now that I’ve covered the setup and pedals themselves, I’m going to jump into how each pedal feels to drive with. Ultimately this is at the core of whether you will consider buying the Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals or not.
The throttle pedal on the Heusinkveld Sprint’s utilises a load cell which improves the realism compared to a potentiometer. A standard potentiometer creates throttle output based on the distance the pedal is being pushed. In comparison a load cell pedal measures force.
Over time this improves consistency as you learn how to stomp on the throttle pedal to produce the amount of force you are after.
During my time with the Sprint’s, the throttle behaved exactly as I wanted it to. I made a few adjustments when first setting up the throttle to the spring preload and the force curve. But once I’d achieved the feeling I was after I left it and forgot about it.
From that moment on, I rarely thought about the throttle again and that is a compliment. I didn’t have to think about the throttle pedal again as it gave me the throttle input and output that I needed every time.
This is one of, if not the most important part of any pedal set. Ultimately the brake pedal is where you will find or lose time. The goal for any sim racing brake pedal is to find a level of consistency. You want the braking to feel the same every time you stomp on the pedal.
To start with I found the brake pedal felt a little too stiff and too sensitive at the same time. Heusinkveld does a very good job of making each pedal in this set customisable, and they have included six different brake stiffness settings which are customised using the included rubber stacks.
Once I had played about with the setup and customised it to how I liked I felt a much stronger connection with the brake. I had to change the rubber stack to the one marked “L” and I then shortened the spring slightly to reduce that initial push distance. Finally, I increased the braking deadzone and reduced the overall maximum braking force to around the 30-35kg mark.
For me, this custom brake setup achieved what I was looking for. A brake pedal with a reasonable deadzone when you initially press, just like a real car has. Then a shorter, more progressive feeling under heavy braking.
After finally finding the sweet spot, the brake pedal provides a good amount of consistency over time. You can really start to feel the brake pedal in a similar way you would a real-world car.
The load cell does a good job of getting close to how a real-world car pedal feels. However there are limitations to how good a load cell can be, and I feel Heusinkveld has run into these limitations. Without a true hydraulic brake, like the one found on the Heusinkveld Ultimate+ Pedals, you won’t be able to achieve the most realistic brake feeling.
Despite the limitations of the load-cell pedal, the brake on these Sprint Pedals still feels better than any other load-cell I’ve raced with, including the upgraded Fanatec ClubSport V3’s.
The clutch itself features a load cell just like the throttle and brake, however, it also features a unique spring mechanism aimed to replicate the bite point. This felt good as you do feel the bite point stiffness with a falloff curve once you are past it.
This unique solution worked well for the applications I have used it in, namely lower-powered track cars. I have to be honest in saying that I haven’t spent too much time with the clutch pedal due to racing mainly formula and GT cars, but the times I do count on it, it performs admirably.
Durability – The long term review
Having raced almost exclusively with the Sprint Pedals for over six months, the durability of engineering really stands out. The pedals themselves, other than being dustier than when I started, barely show any signs of wear.
There is some minor scuffing on the pedal plates, but only very minor. And after six months of pretty heavy use, I am surprised there aren’t more marks.
To ensure these pedals have remained in good working order I have followed Heusinkveld’s recommendation of adding a touch of dry lubricating spray to the moving parts.
The only part of the pedals which has changed over time would be the stiffness of the brake spacers. These are made from rubber so it isn’t any surprise that they soften slightly over time. You can order replacement rubber stacks directly from Heusinkveld for around €20. I haven’t felt the need to do this just yet after some pretty heavy use.
Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals compatibility
Being a much more professional sim racing product, it is no surprise that the Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals are only compatible with PC. Unfortunately, they cannot be used with Xbox or PlayStation consoles.
The good news is that the Sprint Pedals, just like the Ultimate+ Pedals are completely plug and play. Simply connect them via USB, and they should pop up as a recognised input.
You don’t need to worry about installing drivers when you first connect these pedals. You will however need the SmartControl software installed if you wish to make any changes to how the pedals behave and feel.
SmartControl is the name for Heusinkveld’s configuration software. This Windows 10 software allows you to jump into your pedal’s configuration and adjust a lot of settings.
You can completely adjust settings from pedal dead zones through to pedal output curves and brake pedal force. I found the software very user friendly with a very appealing UI. This made navigating around and adjusting the settings I wanted to adjust very easily.
In terms of the sheer amount of adjustability on offer from SmartControl. You can adjust the output curves and deadzones for each pedal individually. There are six pedal zones, with each dictating how much input you are applying to each pedal. You can customise the amount of output for each zone for each pedal.
Once you are finished tinkering and creating your perfect setup, you can save your settings to a profile. This profile can be loaded up for certain games such as iRacing. Due to being able to create an unlimited amount of profiles, you can create individual profiles for different cars, and games.
If you find this sort of thing overwhelming don’t worry, there are a selection of presets available from Heusinkveld directly.
Conclusion – Should you buy these pedals?
Overall the Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals are a fantastic piece of hardware. They certainly look the part with a motorsport pedigree, and they do perform better than the competition within this price range.
And the price range is potentially the main drawback of the Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals. At €570 / $655 the full three-pedal set is quite expensive. The quality during use is worthy of this, but I question how many sim racers would be willing to pay the large price tag.
I would essentially consider the Sprint Pedals the perfect gateway product. If you are feeling the limitations of your Fanatec pedals, and want something with more of a professional esports edge, the Sprint’s will fill that void.
While missing some features of more expensive pedals such as a true hydraulic brake, the features they do bring are the best in class.