Heusinkveld Ultimate Pedals


  • Gold standard for realism and adjustability
  • Precision load cells with robust metal construction
  • Superb hydraulic damper feedback technology
  • Interchangeable elastomers to customize brake feel
  • Angled slots enabling tweakable geometry
  • Intuitive SmartControl software integration
  • Industrial grade quality with premium components


  • Premium pricing puts it out of reach for some
  • Throttle spring can bend if off center
  • Brake preload knob difficult to turn by hand
  • Optional baseplate adds further cost

Heusinkveld Ultimate+ Pedals Review

I’ve been sim racing for over 5 years now, testing all kinds of hardware from entry-level gear to elite components for high-end setups. As an avid sim racer looking to maximize realism and performance, a good set of pedals is one of the most important investments. After hearing lots of hype around the new Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Ultimate+, I was eager to get my hands on them and take them for a thorough test drive.

Having used a number of pedal sets over the years from brands like Fanatec, Thrustmaster and others, I was curious to see if the Ultimates lived up to expectations. Heusinkveld has crafted an excellent reputation in the sim racing world for quality and innovation. But could these new flagship pedals deliver next-level immersion to justify the premium price tag?


Overview of Heusinkveld as a Company

For those unfamiliar with Heusinkveld, they are a Dutch company founded in 2013 by two avid sim racers. Frustrated by sub-par equipment, they set out to engineer pro-level racing gear designed to blur the lines between simulation and reality. Laser focused on research and development, Heusinkveld has earned devoted fans worldwide thanks to hard work and attention to detail.

Partnering with elite racing teams like the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports squad and Williams Esports, Heusinkveld also supplies top drivers like Max Verstappen. With a proven track record of success catering to the most demanding sim racers, hopes were high for their new flagship pedal set.

Purpose and Scope of the Ultimate+ Pedal Set Review

The Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Ultimate+ represent the latest evolution of their Ultimate pedal line first released in 2016. Promising redesigned internals with a focus on feel and adjustability, they carry a steep price tag aimed at hardcore enthusiasts.

In this detailed review, I assess the full package – from unboxing to installation, setup and extensive testing. Key areas of examination include:

  • Materials and construction quality
  • Adjustability and configuration options
  • Individual pedal design and performance
  • Software calibration process
  • Realism and driving experience

After several weeks of daily use across various racing titles, I share my final verdict on whether these ultra-high-end pedals justify an upgrade or new purchase.

Materials and Construction

Straight out the box, the Heusinkvelds exude quality craftsmanship with rock solid all-metal construction. Weighing in at over 7kg including the optional baseplate, their heft inspires confidence for precision and durability.

Base Plates, Frames and Finishes

The pedal internals consist of 3mm thick stainless steel components laser cut and bead blasted for durability. Their angular shapes featuring honeycomb cutouts manage to appear both rugged and refined simultaneously.

With perforated foot plates adjustable over 3 height levels, you can fine tune positioning. The curvature and grip tape provide excellent comfort and stability even during heavy braking.

At the rear, slots offer flexible mounting with adjustable tilt up to 15 degrees to accommodate many rigs. Integrated locations allow inverted configurations as well.

Adjustability and Mounting Options

Offering extensive flexibility is a hallmark of Heusinkveld, and the Ultimates deliver with versatility in spades.

The baseplate provides pre-drilled mounting points and neatly houses the controller underneath to hide wires for a clean setup. Included sturdy brackets can handle horizontal positioning or 15 degree angles to adapt the pedals based on your rig constraints.

Whether you crave a formula style tilted pedal position or sit reclined needing a flat orientation, the Heusinkvelds fit the bill beautifully right out of the box. Their solid construction gives confidence that they can handle vigorous inputs lap after lap.

Hydraulic Dampers

A standout feature that contributes to incredible realism is Heusinkveld’s proprietary hydraulic damper technology integrated on all three pedals. Life-like sensation stems from these compact dampers adding smooth resistance in both compression and rebound phases rather than just rubber or springs alone.

Meticulously tested to remain maintenance free over 1 million depression cycles, the throttle unit provides one-way damping while the brake and clutch employ two-way damping effects. By fine tuning leverage and resistance levels, engineers achieved unparalleled responsiveness and accuracy. The consistency inspires confidence to push hard while enabling finesse in tricky sections.

Load Cells and Electronics

Precision machined aluminum load cells from Mavin capture input on each pedal individually. Their sturdy metal construction and sensors are built to last while capturing nuanced pressures from your feet.

Outputs feed into Heusinkveld’s SmartControl system via an updated control box with all-metal casing rather than plastic. Wire management proves simple running cables neatly along the baseplate underside connected by sturdy RJ ports. The circuit boards containing top-shelf electronics passed strict electromagnetic compliance testing for uninterrupted signal integrity you can count on.

Individual Pedal Design and Performance

Ergonomics and feedback replicated my racing experiences closely thanks to focused engineering consideration given to each pedal’s purpose and design.

Throttle Pedal

The beautifully constructed throttle pedal looks nearly identical to the previous generation Ultimate at first glance. Utilizing a compression spring and new linear ball bearing pivot points directly inspired by F1 pedal technology, its motion proves buttery smooth.

Reduced stiction coupled with the one-way damper creates a wonderfully responsive pedal encouraging modulation. An adjustable preload ring helps customize resistance preference from light to firm. While the redesigned cam follower linkage deftly minimizes dead zones enabling better throttle control.

My only complaint is that the compression spring has a habit of bending sideways if not aligned properly, so be sure to periodically check its centered position. Overall though, the throttle pedal performs wonderfully facilitating smooth momentum and confident turn-in response.

Brake Pedal

Where Heusinkveld’s obsessive pursuit of perfection shines brightest is undoubtedly the brake pedal redesign. Already highly regarded, their engineers still managed significant enhancements in both adjustability and realistic feedback.

At the heart sit specialist progressive elastomer inserts purpose-built to mimic actual hydraulic racing brakes with a firm bump and rebound character. Three interchangeable sets of different hardness allow customization ranging from extremely stiff to quite soft. I preferred the softest configuration as it better exposed nuances from the damper technology.

A knurled adjustment knob easily controls preload letting you tweak initial travel stiffness. While a separate spring at the base of the pedal determines total travel length before maxing out. Together they empower finding an ideal firmness replicating your favorite vehicles whether dainty prototypes or brutish GT racers.

Smoothness and precision reign supreme lap after lap making trail braking confidence inspiring. While the wide grippy pedal plate gives ample stability to consistently hit exact marks. Feel gradually firms up the deeper you dig in contrast to cheaper designs losing tactility at peak loads.

Clutch Pedal

Rounding out the controls, Heusinkveld complements its siblings beautifully with a wonderfully crafted clutch pedal. Angled slots let you fine tune engagement geometry to simulate nearly any transmission linkage. My preferred configuration felt amazingly close to my BRZ daily driver in terms of friction zone and grab sensation.

The wide grippy plate with curved design allows solid leverage when feathering out launches or hustling through quick shifts. While a large damper lever arm generates nuanced damping forces giving that tactile flywheel engagement connection. With the cam follower getting lighter the lower you push, modulation becomes intuitive facilitating buttery smooth starts.

Contrasting cheaper sets with vague undefined bite points, the Heusinkveld clutch coddles you with the confidence inspiring precision only possible from premium components. Whether easing off the line or rapidly swapping cogs under braking, it transforms drivetrain management from distraction to delight.

Setup and Calibration

Installation proves delightfully simple taking under 30 minutes to securely mount the pedals and plug everything in. Heusinkveld’s gear works straight out the box on Windows 10 requiring no proprietary driver downloads.

Physical Installation

Using the optional baseplate, I first secured the pedals together with included hardware tightened firmly to eliminate motion under hard driving. Their modular split design with separate frames for each unit meant nothing interfered despite sitting tightly packed.

Next came mounting the baseplate onto my Sim Lab GT1 Evo rig using the sturdy 15 degree angle bracket putting the clutch slightly lower than brake and throttle. Cable routing underneath kept wires out of sight giving a factory built racecar visual.

Total tool requirements were limited to 4mm and 5mm hex keys adjusting angles or swapping brake elastomer stiffness if desired. But honestly the default settings felt great once dialing in preferences digitally so I skipped getting the spanners out.

Software Calibration

Unfortunately Heusinkveld’s own SmartControl software does not directly interface with some major racing titles I spend considerable time with. So instead I utilized robust calibration tools within iRacing and rFactor to optimize response.

The process simply involved capturing idle and maximum pedal throw readings to set boundaries defining output curves tailored to individual titles’ torque requirements. I prefer a gentle response rather than extremely stiff out of the blocks, so lightened up initial brake pressure ramp rates until turn-in matched my driving style.

Adding tiny deadzones on both ends of throttle travel helped ensure any resting foot weight didn’t cause false inputs down straights. While lowering peak output by 5% gave a touch more room at full depression before clipping improving finesse and consistency.

Driving Experience and Performance

Awakening inner greatness behind the wheel, the Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Ultimate+ set a lofty new standard I’ll judge future hardware against. Their immersive realism directly translates driving skills honed offline into reduced lap times and big smiles.

Realistic Pedal Feel and Response

Having spent countless hours drilling through apexes in real racecars, the Heusinkvelds capture subtle nuances and sensations mirroring track experiences remarkably well. From initial turn-in bite transitioning weight forward to how smoothly compression fades when trailing off for corner exit…they transport your conscious mind trackside freeing instincts to flow faster.

That lifelike precision inspires attacking corners with confidence pushing braking points deeper and holding throttle earlier. Racing turned tangible shrinking the perceptual gap to reality unlike anything I’ve tried.

Smoothness and Precision

Complimenting unrivaled realism, the Ultimate+ pedals empower finding rhythm easier through remarkable consistency. Inputs translate into direct yet measured responses enabling delicate steering inputs and throttle modulation adjustments lap over lap.

Heel toe downshifting becomes almost trivial as superb damper feedback clues you on optimal lift and blip timing. Gentle trail braking eases turn initiating weight transfer letting suspension compress increasing mechanical grip without disturbing the chassis.

Whether navigating twisty technical sections or hustling top speed runs, the pedals perform brilliantly. Their taut dampened precision coupled with adjustable progressive resistance across wide grippy plates makes finding the limit predictable. Saving costly spins from over driving while unlocking speed from exploiting maximum attack angles lap after lap.

Customization and Adjustments

Appeasing diverse preferences and driving styles, Heusinkveld grants extensive flexibility fine tuning configurations. Swapping brake elastomer stiffness takes mere minutes with the ingenious quick release spring assembly to radically transform sensitivity and effort.

Damper leverage ratios cater to subtle needs, for example preferring initial bite over peak power or vice versa. My 6’2” frame appreciates the wide spectrum of tilt, spacing and height adjustments accommodating my size 45us shoes comfortably.

While compact dimensions ensure compatibility with rigs having tight clearances to the wheelbase or center posts. I especially valued the ability to invert pedals when using an F1 style seating position.

Conclusions and Recommendations

In closing, Heusinkveld’s Sim Pedals Ultimate+ clearly justify their hefty price for serious sim racers demanding the very best. Their unmatched driving experience transports you trackside unlike anything I’ve tried triggering those magical flow states where you become one with the car.

Summary of Pros and Cons

If budget holds you back, their Sprint pedals offer 90% of the performance at half price. But for well-heeled enthusiasts seeking maximum tactile fidelity to shave seconds, the Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Ultimate+ belong on your wish list.

Comparison to Other Products

Comparing head to head with mid-tier sets from Logitech, Thrustmaster or Fanatec, the Heusinkvelds deliver night and day improvements feeling leagues more realistic. Nuanced feedback and customization unlock a deeper connection enhancing vehicle control rhythm.

Upgrading from Heusinkveld’s own Sprint pedals or the classic Ultimate models, differences prove more incremental though still worthwhile. Redesigned internals with hydraulic dampers across all pedals plus extensive brake adjustments make an excellent product even better for perfectionists.

Evaluating rival high-end sets from Simtag, Pro-Sim and others…the Ultimate+ earns a narrow victory edging out ultimate bragging rights as current class leader. Their unrivaled R&D pedigree focused purely on elite simulation hardware gives them an edge lesser players struggle matching.

Upgrade Considerations and Advice

Current Heusinkveld owners may rightfully ask whether the Ultimate+ upgrades warrant ditching their existing sets. As an analogy, making the leap mirrors progressing from a G29 to a Clubsport wheelbase. Is it necessary? Not really if funds feel scarce…but oh so worth it long term!

My guidance to fellow enthusiasts rests on a simple question – can you handle the brutal honesty of such precise equipment revealing every driving deficiency? If chasing every hundredth matters or inspiration reignites passion, the Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Ultimate+ deliver soul stirring performance placing podiums within reach!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How difficult is installation and setup?

A: Mostly plug and play apart from minor physical mounting. Calibration happens inside your racing sim menu adjusting sensitivity curves.

Q: Do they work with all PC racing titles?

A: Yes they are fully compatible with iRacing, rFactor, Automobilista along with newer titles too.

Q: Can I mount them inverted like F1 pedals?

A: Absolutely, the separate frames and baseplate accommodate inverted positioning with some adjustment.

Q: Will cheaper Sprint pedals suffice for casual users?

A: The Sprints offer around 90% of performance at half the price, so definitely recommended for more casual budgets.

Q: Are replacements parts available if needed?

A: Heusinkveld sells replacement springs, elastomers, hydraulic cartridges and other components via their website.

Hopefully this detailed breakdown gives ample insights into whether the Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Ultimate+ belong on your holiday wish list! Let me know if any questions pop up in discussions below. Enjoy the journey no matter what gear you use keeping those wheels on track!

Heusinkveld Ultimate Pedals