Many of the entry level to mid-range wheels come bundled with a set of pedals, which is very useful and cost effective for anyone looking to get into sim racing. They all vary in feel and quality but do the job and you can be competitive.
As you improve your racing, you will most probably want to upgrade your gear, and it is said the pedals are the first piece of equipment to start with.
We will now take a look at what is available and give you our thoughts and impressions.
Thrustmaster T3PA Pro
The Thrustmaster T3PA Pro is a favourite for many sim racers. They are an excellent and affordable set of pedal, which feature an accelerator, brake and clutch. A great feature with this pedal set is the ability to change the position from an F1 style floor mounted position to a GT style suspended position.
The build quality is also very good, and both the internal and external structure of the pedals are made entirely from metal, which give them a high-end feel and look. There is good spacing too between each of the pedals, and they feel quite heavy as they use springs to give different resistance. The footrest is large and non-slip which gives good support and usability.
The Thrustmaster T3PA Pro, are a fantastic product, and a great upgrade from a standard set of plastic 'bundle' pedals.
Fanatec CSL Elite
Fanatec have become one of the biggest names when it comes to sim racing hardware, and the quality of their products are second to none.
The CSL Elite Pedals are the entry point of the Fanatec pedal range, and they come in two variants; a 2 pedal set (throttle/brake) and the 3 pedal set which includes a load cell brake pedal - more on this later.
The build quality of the CSL Elite pedals is excellent, full aluminium construction that makes them surprisingly lighter that you would expect, but the feel solid and at no point do they feel as if you will break them for being heavy footed.
Now, let's talk about that load cell brake pedal. Basic pedal sets will be controlled via a potentiometer. These tend not to be very accurate as they convert the linear motion of the pedal, whereas load cell pedals works on the pressure applied to the pedal much like a real road car.
We managed to reduce wheel lock-ups dramatically (around 80%), by using load cell brakes rather than a set of pedals controlled by the potentiometer.