A few weeks ago I decided to replace my pedals and my old and non very functional Playseat which attach them. I got in contact with northwsim people to order HE Pro Pedals and a new cockpit and only three days after I received the package in my front door.
As you see, direct to the point. So, why these pedals and no others? Well, there is no many real good alternative to my tuned Logitech G25 pedals. I had GTEYE spring and hall effect potentiometer replacement so I needed to go higher and better than a commercial usual alternative. Here in Europe you have only two possible choices; Fanatec and HE. For me HE was the logical choice because they are in a superior category.
I ordered pedals without plate and brackets, so package box was fairly compact and light. Pedals are entirely build in aluminum which make them appear like a very solid and sturdy structure. No other simracing component has similar aspect to these. He Pro pedals are the cheaper choice in the HE Pedals catalog and their electronics and springs are relatively simple, easy to replicate at home with a DIY project but HE added some improvements mainly based on its long experience and customer requirements.
Every pedal uses a load cell finishing in a Bodnar board, very common element in many simracing products. Stiffness and feeling are achieved through elastomer, spring and moving parts. Ultimate’s are far better in electronics and components but their price also doubled these, and at the end of the day, while driving, maybe there is no such difference. Will we see them in a future review? Who knows.
Pedals are engineered to adjust many possibilities.
- Height: moving front plates
- Stiffness: two simple nuts to adjust
- Inclination: up to 20 degrees in the Pro model
- Travel: it is possible to shorten length of the travel
- Brake stiffness: customizable with different elastomer combinations
Many customization options also means more physical job adjusting and testing. Every small change needs dozens of laps to try and to feel, so in order to say something valuable I restrain myself from doing subjective observations about customized pedals and I will tell you what I felt in a default “out of the box” state.
Throttle has a long travel being completely lineal, with a moderate stiffness which feels perfect to modulate and understand what throttle (car) is doing in every moment. Though Ultimate pedals has better precision this throttle is far better than the rest of commercial pedals I’ve tested before.
Clutch has a moving part behind which does a small trick. This moving element is the key to give us feeling of a real clutch. Again, not Ultimate clutch feeling but almost as good as that one and for the first time a fun and useful pedal.
Brake is by all means the most worked element in the pack. It has a very short travel spring which ends in a row of three elastomer which are also sensible to customization. HE includes an small extra kit to play with a combination of these components to achieve what we think a pedal brake should feel. Default installation stiffness is about 55kg and you should push very hard to reach a possible high performance.
As far as I know and experienced over these years, muscular memory is better and more effective when it has to work against stiffness instead travel and movement, but anyhow as any other new hardware you installed in your simrig, it takes time to get used to it. However this time I barely had two days using it before I reach my lap times again which seems a very good sign.
Pedals calibration is done through DIView for every PC game but iRacing. This is a negative point to iRacing staff because it is a pain to get dead zones in the beginning and in the end of the pedals but you can solve it easily with patience and practice.
With three weeks of use, I can say pedals are completely noiseless, at least at this stage. In case of spring noises, you can add few drops of olive oil in the problematic moving part. For the rest maintenance is 0. Pedals are build to last and survive three atomic bombs and in any case if anything bigger than that happened, HE has an extremely supportive customer service, with doubts solved in few hours or a replacement part in your front door in a couple of days. Anyhow reliability is not a problem, closer friends with years of use had 0 issues.
More good things, pedals keep their value in a hypothetical second hand market and HE guarantees its customer support to this new owner. You never know where the life will take you.
In the next weeks I’ll try to customize to my own taste pedals with a very well known mod: brake northwsim mod. At this moment I am completely satisfied with the pedals. There is no doubt about I did a good choice.