Review: Clubsport Pedals (vs T500 RS)

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by LogiForce, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. LogiForce

    Netherlands Groningen, Netherlands

    Yay... it is here! My ClubSport Pedals. ^_^

    They arrived today 20-10-2011 at 12:30 and I ordered them on 18-10-2011 at 21:30. Damn, what a fast delivery. Didn't get a track&trace code in the mail though, even though it was promised when it would leave the warehouse. =/
    I hope I will get one when I order an even more expensive CSW.

    Tuning Kit:
    Anyhow, first impressions. The tuning kit was the first thing I opened and saved the best for last. The springs are of good quality and tried the tension out in my hand to feel the difference for future reference if I wanted to change something. As in that way I can better estimate if a 30% increase/decrease would be too much or not. One thing I questioned myself while looking at the extra pedal in there though. What if you order a color kit, does it come with an extra colored normal pedal as well? Cause otherwise you either have to buy 2 color kits or just can't use a normal pedal in the same color as the rest on the gas pedal. So I head over to the Fanatec store to look at all the colors and what these packages contain. To my relief I found out that the colors come with 3 normal pedals (like the ones already on the gas and brake pedals) and a bigger gas pedal plus a nice heel rest. To my surprise I also get a allen key to replace it all with. So the answer to the question is a definitive "yes!", you can get the different pedal colors and still be able to convert from a big gas pedal to a smaller or normal one. So the one in the tuning kit is only there for the current aluminum grey color. Besides, it would've been quite silly if we had to buy a whole set of those pedals just to replace one, wouldn't it?

    The Pedals:
    Well, after taking a quick look at the tuning kit I couldn't resist but to look inside the box of the pedals themselves. They were boxed with lots of air and foam surrounding them that even in the worst of shipments they would still survive. Unless it ended up in the sea or in a fire or something like that.
    In the box was a little paper saying I should get the latest drivers from Fanatec (which everyone should always do with any product anyway). A bag of cables. One being the PS/2 one for connecting the pedals to the wheel and the other a normal USB cable (some like to call it a USB printer type cable), and also there were 6 small screws included. As I understood from Thomas these are for when you want to remove the small blocks from under the pedals. And of course the ClubSport Pedals were in the box. It would be a shocker if Postman Pat stole them, right? Although I wouldn't blame him seeing how nicely build this pedals are.
    When I took the pedals out of the box the first thing I noticed was their weight. They were much heavier then I imagined and felt just as heavy as my T500 RS pedals. This for me was a direct comfort as I knew the pedals wouldn't move under any circumstance, unless you would want to push the pedal through the load-cell maybe? Anyhow, the pedals are a bit lighter when I compared them 5 kg vs 7 kg for the T500 RS pedals. However, this doesn't make much of a difference due to the construction of the Clubsport Pedals. You have to use about the same about of force to kick either of them away in a panic moment when slamming on the brakes.
    After having removed the foam I tried the pedals out by hand and then by foot. The clutch is really nice and feels like it gets weaker all of a sudden at around 3/4 of the way to fully pressing it. Just like how you push the clutch in a real car and suddenly feel that the clutch has been disengaged and then the pedal gets a bit lighter. Although this does differ per car and wear of the clutch plates a lot!
    The gas pedal felt far too weak in my opinion just by hand alone, and it was even worse when I pressed it down with my foot. It doesn't even feel that weak in my Lancia Delta HPE. So I started to play a bit with the adjustable spring tension nuts of the gas pedal and ended up setting them as far as they could go. Now they feel a bit better but I still have a slight "meh..." feeling with it. I might replace the spring with the +30% one from the tuning kit at some point, for now I just wanted to try the pedals out as stock as possible.
    Another thing I noticed was the huge throw of the gas pedal. I feel like I have to stretch my foot completely and have to push the pedal down on the ground (although thats not the case). I wish I could just have about 1 cm less throw, but I dunno if that's possible. I'll have to watch Thomas's video again about tuning the pedals.
    When I compare these two pedals (gas and clutch) to the T500 RS pedals there is a noticeable difference. The biggest and foremost being that the pedals of the T500 RS for the gas and clutch are identical. It is true that this will make them easier to switch around, but I do feel that Thrustmaster could've made a bit more effort into making it possible to have different feel in both pedals and making them switch.
    The throw on the T500 RS pedals are a little smaller. I reckon about half a centimeter difference between the two clutches, and almost a centimeter from a feeling point of view for the gas pedals. I haven't actually measured this so be aware these are just my estimates.
    Another point I want to talk about is the angles of the pedals, the ClubSport Pedals are about 3 to 4 degrees more upright then the T500 RS pedals. Which depending on the height of your seat can make a difference. I used a normal desk chair with a seat height (so from the floor up to your buttocks) of around 44 cm. At this height my legs were at about 135-140 degrees measured from my buttocks till my feet with the knees as the center point of the arc. My feet were at a 90 degree angle with my lower legs when resting on the pedals (not pressing them) of the T500 RS. On the ClubSport Pedals they were at more of a 75-80 degree angle (so the tip of my feet point up more). I don't know how much this will matter when racing including endurance races, but I thought I'd mention it for future reference.
    The other comparison and final one I will do is the use of magnets (ClubSport Pedals) versus the potentiometers (T500 RS) that I believe were used by Thrustmaster. Both are accurate as the potentiometers used in the T500 RS are also of good quality. However! The biggest difference between the two would be the dead-zone. The T500 RS pedals have a dead-zone of around 4-5 mm (half a centimeter!), where as the ClubSport Pedals don't have any dead-zone at all. Also the accuracy is of the ClubSport Pedals is almost if not twice as high as the T500 RS pedals. I noticed this by hooking both up via USB to the PC and going into the configuration panel of both. Whereas the ClubSport Pedals were smooth with no dead-zone from start to finish, the T500 RS pedals seem to start at 5% when it starts detection of pedal movement and then ups this in noticeable on screen little steps.
    One thing extra I noticed which was not in any of the videos i've seen online, and heard some remarks about in said videos, is that they now have fitted aluminum caps over the magnet sensors to protect them from breaking off somehow. This was a huge reinsurance that I wouldn't have to be afraid to break off a delicate PCB/magnet sensor.

    Load-Cell vs Brake mod:
    Now then, on to the brake pedals. In the left corner we have the Fanatec ClubSport Pedals with the load-cell brake, in the right corner however we have the Trustmaster T500 RS with the brake pedal with brake mod (in standard position). Who will win?
    First let me talk about the ClubSport brake. After having tried the pedals when I got them out of the box it felt really comfortable, although I had no clue as to how they would respond. So first thing I did was hook both pedals up to the PC (getting the latest drivers before hand).
    After opening up the configuration screen I was made at ease by the fact that the load-cell didn't have such a huge dead-zone as I expected at first. I thought that I had to push it down all the way first until I felt some real pressure first. But in reality it doesn't have more of a dead-zone then my T500 RS brake pedal's potentiometer (maybe a 1 mm or so more, but as I said... these are estimates of mine). So that is about 5 mm of dead-zone for both. With the difference of nothing in that department, I felt quite confident in the fact that I could handle a load-cell equipped brake pedal. Putting the longer brake bar in might make the dead-zone a bit smaller of the load-cell, as the throw is shortened. So you'll put faster pressure on the load-cell. As of yet, I have not used the tuning kit, so I can't give you an answer in that department. To me though, that sounds logical.
    After fiddling a bit with the load-cell adjustment knob I started to get it to feel a bit more like a real car, and didn't have to push idiotically hard to achieve maximum braking force. And I think this knob is a must have for every load-cell equipped pedal out there, as not everyone likes the same pressure needed.
    Now when I compare the brake pedals, they both brake differently. I tried C.A.R.S., LFS and Dirt 3 so far. The T500 RS brake with mod (standard position) has the disadvantage that when you have a car that needs little pedal pressure to lock the brakes, that you don't even hit the brake mod before you actually lock them. Making them in fact useless as you still need to find the right point in the "air", cause simply the pedal without mod is only a little stiffer then the other two.
    The load-cell on the other hand lets the pressure build up slowly from the earliest point it's actuated, so you'll never have to guess much how much pressure you need to give. But the load-cell has a whole different amount of pressure built up, so getting a feeling for it will still take me a bit of time.
    The T500 RS's brake mod only hits the spring about half way in. So first there is a bit of standard pressure and then there is a wall. This spring is about 1cm long and as stiff if not a bit stiffer then the +30% clutch spring from the ClubSport tuning kit.
    Also with both of these brake pedals there is the same difference as with the gas and clutch pedals. The load-cell beats the potentiometer of the T500 RS by accuracy, even though there is no difference in dead-zone. Actually the load-cell doesn't have a dead-zone since it simply doesn't feel pressure right away, it doesn't register anything.
    One thing I forgot to mention is a negative point of the T500 RS brake pedal with the brake mod. If you plugin your wheel with the pedals into your PC or PS3 the brake pedal will automatically use the full range of the pedal. Only if you stand on the brake so that the wheel registers a certain resistance range from the potentiometer in the brake pedal, it will give you full braking with the brake mod. However that was not the negative yet, standing on the brake alone to make it register the mod. It is the fact that after you enter a race and you brake really hard with more force then you stood on the pedal in the beginning after you plugged in the wheel to register the brake mod, then the upper limit will shift. This will increase the range/throw of the pedal. So when you come to the next corner and want to brake light, you brake too light since the braking point has shifted due to the range increase.
    Or in simple terms you now have to push harder on the brake pedal to achieve the same amount of braking force that you did in the previous round.

    So after that technical talk let's sum it up a bit.
    Having looked, hold and played with these pedals for a bit I can honestly say that both pedals are really well build. Both are heavy and sturdy with anti-slip feet that won't let them get anywhere in a hurry. However since Thrustmaster is so proud about putting their H.E.A.R.T. technology (magnetic sensors) into their wheel, one would think they would have done the same with their pedals. Oddly enough... they didn't!
    This results in dead-zones being present and the accuracy that the wheel does have, not being there with the pedals. It's a real shame, especially since they had the greatest example of all in front of their noses for a while already, the ClubSport Pedals from Fanatec.
    This doesn't mean that the pedals of the T500 RS are rubbish, they are still very accurate. Also they are far better then any Logitech set of pedals on the market (I personally own a G25 wheel which I can compare them with). Where as a Logitech G25 pedal feels squishy with the same force all the way, there is a little but noticeable increase of pressure with the T500 RS. This means you can feel out your increase in throttle much better. So much better in fact that the G25 pedals and the ones of the T500 RS are worlds apart in driving experience.
    Coming back to the ClubSport Pedals the load-cell is seemingly better then the brake mod on the T500 RS, simply because the load-cell is something that acts on increasing pressure and that darn spring of the brake mod is just there in a rather unexpected instant.
    The fact that there is a difference between the clutch and the gas pedal and the pedals being fully tunable to your liking, makes the ClubSports Pedals a superior beast overall.

    My advice:
    My advice to people who play a lot of Gran Turismo 5 on the PS3 and barely any sim on the PC, don't get these pedals unless you have too much money. If you're more of a Sim Racer then by all means, these are the pedals to get for any rig you might have (unless you have hydraulic systems on your pedals).
    If you have a Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel then I would recommend you to not upgrade to these pedals, unless you are convinced that you have the 200 euros to spend on just pedals alone and play more on the PC then on the PS3.

    Now if only I could hook up the ClubSport Pedals to the T500 RS wheel so I can play Gran Turismo 5 until the ClubSport Wheel is out there...

    p.s. I thought I just wanted to write a mini first impression, but in my enthusiasm it became a full review. :dunce:
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
    Kalem likes this.
  2. Coxis

    Online Now!
    Mexico GTP_Coxis

    I don't think comparing the T500RS pedals and clubsports is a fair comparison.
  3. LogiForce

    Netherlands Groningen, Netherlands


    Besides I only own and ever used the Logitech Formula Force GP, Logitech G25, Thrustmaster T500 RS and now I got the Fanatec ClubSport Pedals in anticipation of the ClubSport Wheel.
    So that is the only material I have I can comparing to. Someone in the Fanatec thread asked for me to review and compare, so I did out of courtesy.
  4. hampus_dh


    Because they are superior in every department except the fact that you can switch from GT to F1.

    I have both and used my T500 pedals for around 10 seconds before i put them back in the box. The brake mod is a joke in itself as is the pedals considering the technology they had available for the wheel.

    CSP all day, everyday.
  5. LogiForce

    Netherlands Groningen, Netherlands

    I agree and if you've read my review you know I came to that same conclusion and also stated the exact same things you mentioned.
    Hence also the reason I put in the advice section. Cause when you play GT5 a lot then you have to get the T500 RS with its pedals, or wait for the CSR Elite Wheel or ClubSport Wheel and combine either of them with the ClubSport Pedals. At least if you want a high-end wheel. And I personally consider the G25 and G27 to be mid-range and being far less comparable to those high-end products.

    So yeah, to people who don't know either product this review is I think a fair comparison noting all the differences there are. As you've hopefully read. ;)
  6. Caz


    Nice write up logiforce.
  7. Energizerrr


    Great review. :tup:

    And about the brake deadzone on CSP - it's there for a reason, so you use brake pedal as a footrest (no need to get your foot off the pedal when brake isn't needed). Great feature.

    I own CSP and I have to argree. I just love the ability to mod whatever you want on them.
    I didn't like the resistance of the throttle and clutch pedals and I found that clutch and brake are too close together and also I had to remove that aluminium spacer under the throttle pedal - but all that is sorted out thanks to CSP's amazing tuneability.
    Best pedals on the market for sure, I mean only thing better would be FREX or ECCI but that's professional equipment.
  8. nice review. :tup: damn it's almost a novel
  9. sandboxgod

    United States Texas

    Excellent write-up. Couldn't ask for more. :tup:

    Well I could ask for more..... I wish we had lap times with T500rs pedals vs Clubsport Brakes.

    I'm not sure if CSPs are the way to go for me atm only because all I've been doing mostly is Ovals so I never really use my brakes anymore! Plus I love my t500rs in GT mode.

    It's tough making this decision cause $200 is a lot of money I could put towards other things. I pay $200 I want my Road lap times to come down dramatically yo. Like from 1.50s to 1.43s for example. Maybe if I examine my Telemetry I can use that to determine if I could benefit greatly from CSPs


    I want to be clear on one thing. Let's say I always drive the same car. You're saying I will always be able to tell how much force will lockup my brakes? That's amazing. You don't even need the brake vibration- you just know? Hm, wish i could trial the brakes to see how much they make me improve w/o unloading so much

    Even better- if they could be plugged directly into the USB port on the PS3 so it could work with any wheel.
  10. swiftwilly


    guys, i am about to get the CSP as well - but i was really worried about all the load cell issues (I am a noob at electronics and i dont have spare time to fix things, just want to plug and play). I put up a poll to see how often people have changed it. Not trying to hijack this awesome thread (great read by the way, thank you). But if all the CSP users could vote to help a guy out before he takes the plunge.
  11. Caz


    Sandbox: yes the csp brakes are accurate enough to be consistent with the same car use after use, speed variable of course)
    With the use of the loadcell adjuster you can set it softer or harder for the amount of tension till 100%. I ran nurb4hr in the tuscan and with my adjuster at about half way it took a pretty significant amount of force for 100% but the brakes would lock up at about 60%. The adjuster makes it possible to stomp on em without over braking.
    Having them inverted is a whole other level of awesomeness. Take the plunge. ;)
  12. LogiForce

    Netherlands Groningen, Netherlands

    Well, you might be overestimating me. I am in my opinion not constant enough in other games then GT5 at the moment.
    C.A.R.S. is something I just got into and I don't even know the tracks yet.
    LFS drives funny, as in brakes that don't seem to brake and speeds that don't match up. Plus a delay between controls and actual action within the game. And no, it's not my computer (i7 2600k, vengeance 8GB kit, GTX480, X-Fi titanium champion edition).
    Dirt 3 is something I need to get used to again a lot after having played GT5 for weeks every day now.
    Anyhow, besides getting used to the games I also need to get used to the pedals. I'll try to post some lap times when I get a chance and a decent feel for a certain game. If you have a preference for a game and I have it by chance, i'll try to come up with some times in there. (don't have iRacing, i'll tell you that in advance)

    Hrm... ovals huh? Well, I never raced on ovals much but I reckon this involves precise throttle adjustments? And being the more precise the better it is? If that is the case, the CSP's are definitely more accurate in sensing the throttle adjustments. If this alone would make it worth putting down 200 euros... for just the gas pedal. In my opinion it does not. However, if you do more technical circuits in the future then you will also benefit from the brake which will make it worth it a lot more. Still, do think it over well though. I mean, it is still 200 euros and eating good Sushi with a couple friends at a Japanese restaurant is cheaper for example.
    Personally if I didn't need to get a second good wheel, I wouldn't have got the CSP's at all, unless I ever got to a point where the accuracy of the T500 RS pedals didn't feel good enough anymore. Like hitting a technical wall of the equipment itself, rather then my own ability to be more accurate with the pedal control itself.


    When you drive the same car for a long time, you obviously get to know the car better and will know the position of the pedal by pressure alone before lockup. As in you train your muscles over time to get to know how much force you apply to your brakes, due to the pressure the pedal gives off. This happens with any set of pedals and is really nothing different. However, what I meant was that due to the fact that there is space between the pedal lever on the T500 RS brake and the brake mod, you will not know when your brakes lock up during a long period when this happens before you hit the brake mod's spring with the pedal. Of course you will know it after driving such a car long enough, but then it will be still hard to control the braking force at that point. And besides that, it would make the brake mod useless.
    With the CSP's however the pressure output by the pedal gradually increases, instead of hitting a sudden spring that increases the pressure. So in a way you have just 1 pressure zone instead of 2 different pressure zones on the T500 RS, making the pedal more predictable and accurate to control. This means you'll learn the braking lockup point faster as well. The ABS motor on these pedals is nothing more then a tool to let you know you've hit this wall, letting you learn the point by pressure faster and improve the response time a bit more earlier on this learning curve.
    The reason why you don't need ABS is the same reason you don't need ABS in a real car. If you learn how the car reacts then you'll also learn where the lockup point is at which pressure point of your pedals. Also the point of lockup differs a lot depending on how the weight of the car is shifted over the four tires. So this means setting up a fixed ABS motor actuation point through the Fanatec wheel isn't always as ideal as it seems. If however the lockup of the tires is pulled from live telemetry from the game for the actuation of the ABS motor, this changes things.
    Anyway, this doesn't mean that ABS isn't a good system to have, especially on slippery surfaces. But sometimes it is also better in some situations or certain cars to have more manual control over if the tires should lockup or not, which could mean making a tight corner or not.

    Also I am of the personal opinion that learning how to drive without ABS first, makes you better at knowing how to more properly implement the ABS function in real life or in game (not talking about the ABS motor on the CSP). Cause since the ABS system detects a halt of the rotation of a tire, it let's go of the pressure of the brake on that tire. And this it does on and off, lockup and loose. And when you do some left foot braking with ABS on, when the ABS puts less braking pressure on the tire causing it to roll again, it will also put a sudden jolt of torque and momentum on the tire. Which can cause the car to go straight even though you have ABS. Without ABS you can control the roll of the tires yourself, and after mastering this going to ABS will result in knowing how far you can push the ABS system better before it starts showing unwanted results. Of course this is mostly theory in my head, but learning things without will simply said teach you and the muscles in your leg and foot better control over the brake. Which simply results in better control with aids like ABS. Although people with great brake control can get faster through a corner, then people with ABS. Or so i've heard...

    Sorry... I'm starting to rattle on and on without thinking. :dunce:
  13. swiftwilly



    I sent you a PM, can you help?

    Thank you
  14. LogiForce

    Netherlands Groningen, Netherlands

    I replied. Hope it helped, but I just got these so I wasn't able to tell you much about durability yet. Maybe others can add to that in here?
  15. hampus_dh


    Relax, i just answered the letters "Because?"
  16. sandboxgod

    United States Texas

    yeah in iRacing they only let rookies use ABS. But I've never used that feature myself (when I was a noob they didn't have that feature for rookies). Hard to know how much the load cells will help me w/o giving them a try. I do know I am losing lots of speed around the corners when I road race. Cause I noticed on events when I don't need to brake into a corner (dirt racing, ovals, etc) I can put up times much closer to the leaders. But if its any course with corners I have to brake into I'm pretty much screwed.
  17. LogiForce

    Netherlands Groningen, Netherlands

    Lol! I am relaxed mate, don't worry. I just tend to write too much. One of the complaints my teachers always gave me. Haha. Guess I never learned. :p
    Anyhow, to each his own opinion anyways. Else we'd all be using the same stuff and doing the same stuff, how boring right? ;)
  18. hampus_dh


    Keep writing, we need more people like you in this world.

    True, agree to disagree :) it will just make it more interesting when we finally agree on something.
  19. Fanatec...


    Great review LogiForce! This really qualifies you to make a community test for the CSW but it is not the time yet.
  20. amf7

    United Kingdom UK

    WOW well done to logiForce :D :tup: :)

    Lucky :censored: LOL

    Look forward to reading that review to:cheers:
  21. Mr Latte

    United Kingdom N Ireland

    Yes excellent write up and detailed.

    Indeed the drawback with the T500RS is in the pedals and while they certainly are alot better than Logitech G25 series a set of CSP inc the tuning kit are little match.

    The offer of free "Tuning Kit" with the CSP is fantastic value and Id say more than enough incentive for some considering the CSR Elite Pedals to upgrade to.

    Still for me while small issues I always disliked seeing the cables and would preferred the CSP had a floor section that hid/protected them and with a bit more length. Additionally I think the pedal plate mounts if they had been made to a size that matched Sparco/Momo would of given users more options but still allowing Fanatec to offer their nice colour selections for personal customisation. Thats yet another nice feature with Fanatec CSP pedals.

    On the T500RS I am surprised they havnt offered their own or a 3rd party kit isnt available to upgrade the T500RS pedals.

    I would love to see some general testing if you can update us on how each pedal effects laptimes for your own personal configuration/setup. You can feel the difference and get more enjoyment from them but how does it translate into actual racetimes?

    May the forcefeedback be with you always... :tup:
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  22. amf7

    United Kingdom UK

    How much would the tuning kit be usually??
  23. sandboxgod

    United States Texas

    Well I just pulled the trigger on the CSP + tuning kit :tup:


    I'm super curious about load cells. Every t500rs owner I've read about claimed to prefer them. I wish I could have gotten a bigger sample of customer comparisons but oh well

    Thank you very much Logiforce for helping push me over the edge along with Hampus (I've queried him a few times too since hes got a t500rs + CSP)

    Wife doesn't know what I just spent yet tho! :scared:

    Edit: Prepare for detailed lap time analysis and another review when I get them. I will add my thoughts to this thread too!!!!
  24. LogiForce

    Netherlands Groningen, Netherlands

    The kit usually is 49,99 euros.

    Thank you very much, Thomas. It is an honor that you think so highly of my little write up here.
    Also I feel honored that I qualified for testing the CSW and look forward to doing so with great anticipation. I'll send you a PM to let you know more about myself and so on, so that you know who you've got in front of you and so on.

    Kind regards,
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  25. amf7

    United Kingdom UK

    Wow 49.99 euros is a lot to give away.

    Really well done on the community test.

    Means you get it before just about anyone else :)
  26. sandboxgod

    United States Texas

    Yeah grats Logiforce! Will go great with your new CSPs :tup:
  27. Simracer92

    Germany Nordenham

    Yes, well written review!
    Congrats to be a betatester :)
  28. Excellent review Logiforce. I think your Advice section is solid :)

    For those asking about Lap Times i don't think that will provide comparable data. You have T500RS wheel with H.E.A.R.T technology and it must be played with T500RS pedals. Although pedals are oftentimes said to be the biggest contributor to lap times, the wheel technology still has some impact. This would be comparable IMO which we can't do yet...

    CSW+CSP vs T500RS
    CSRE+CSP vs T500RS

    Sounds like you will have the opportunity to do this kind of review in the future as well :tup:

    edit: oops i wrote too fast. You can use T500RS+CSP on PC but not PS3. Eagerly waiting your next review :)
  29. sandboxgod

    United States Texas

    Correct, CSPs can be used with any wheel on the PC :tup:
  30. LogiForce

    Netherlands Groningen, Netherlands

    I just installed the tuning kit +30% gas spring and it makes all the difference, since now I can better estimate how much gas I am giving. The spring can be tightened up until it gives more force then the standard clutch spring not tuned/tightened.

    I'm still in the process of seeing what pressure I like more. I might hop in the car to compare with my real pedals in a few. First I want to eat some bitterballs...

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