There are many types and quality levels of simracing pedals. Are the cheap SIMJACK pedals from Aliexpress for about 150€ convincing despite their price or are the drawbacks too great in the end?
Ordering and shipping
Ordering and shipping are somewhat different here than with most other simracing products. The pedals tested here were ordered from Aliexpress from one of the various suppliers. Since the price including coupons (there are usually vouchers with different values) was just under 150€, the import sales tax in Germany was collected directly by Aliexpress. If you are over the customs limit or ordering from another country, the situation may be somewhat different and additional taxes and customs duties may be added.
The following prices are currently valid (without coupons and possible taxes and customs duties):
- Brake + Throttle: 168.34€
- Brake + Throttle + 1 x hydraulic rod: 179.75€
- Brake + Throttle + 2 x hydraulic rod: 191.17€
- Brake + Throttle + Clutch: 217.35€
- Brake + Throttle + Clutch + 1 x hydraulic rod: 228.77€
- Brake + Throttle + Clutch + 2 x hydraulic rod: 240.19€
- Brake + Throttle + Clutch + 3 x hydraulic rod: 251,61€
- Base Plate: 83.42€
Scope of delivery
The scope of delivery of the 2-pedal set is reasonable, but in addition to the controller box and the matching USB cable, it also includes screws with matching nuts for attaching the pedals to the rig:
- Controller box
- Screws + nuts (4x per pedal)
- Allen key (M3 + M6)
- USB cable
The compatibility chapter is quickly ticked off. By default, the pedals can only be used on a PC. However, the elastomers, among other things, can be exchanged and, because they are designed as loadcell pedals, other controllers can also be used if necessary. Hobbyists have already become active here and there are reports about various approaches to solutions.
The pedals have almost continuous slotted holes on both sides. This puts them ahead of many high-end pedals, which (presumably for design reasons) often offer much less space here. This should allow the pedals to be mounted on almost any baseplate. With the supplied screws and nuts, mounting is done in a few minutes. For mounting on aluminium profiles, only the matching T-nuts are additionally required.
The pedals are made almost entirely of 3 mm thick stainless steel. All in all, they are surprisingly high-quality for the price, even if they definitely don’t come close to pedals in the €500 and up range in terms of quality of workmanship. But if you consider the price again, you can probably more than live with the few points of criticism in many cases:
- The pedals have a slight lateral play due to the slide bearings used, especially when there is no preload. However, this was not a problem at any time during the ride.
- When you receive the pedals, it is important to check the individual screw connections. In the case of the set tested here, several screws had to be retightened.
- Some edges are not 100% clean.
The throttle pedal works with a loadcell that measures the movement of the pedal via the pressure of a spring. The pedal can be adjusted in different ways:
- Angle: The inclination of the pedal can be adjusted through five different holes on the back of the mounting plate.
- End stop: The rubber end stop on the underside can be used to limit the pedal travel. This is done in a few easy steps, but the screws have to be tightened very firmly. As delivered, they were too loose and the end stop jumped to the maximum position during the first test run.
- Height. The pedal height can be slightly adjusted via the pedal plate.
- Firmness: Without the additionally available damper, only the preload of the spring can be slightly changed here.
The throttle pedal felt very solid during the test laps and was in the midfield of all pedals tested so far in terms of hardness.
The large pedal plate means that there is always enough contact surface with the pedal.
The brake pedal is equipped with a 200-kilogram loadcell on which the pedal exerts pressure via a combination of three rubber elastomers and a steel spring.
Fans of brakes with low force requirements will get their money’s worth here; for everyone else, the elastomers chosen are far too soft. They already reach their limits at around 50 kilograms of brake pressure and deform significantly. However, due to the simple construction, it is relatively easy to use third-party elastomers here and make the pedals significantly harder.
During the first test laps, it quickly became clear that the brake pedal was too soft for high settings (in KG) due to the preassembled elastomers. So the elastomers were quickly exchanged for harder ones and it was possible to brake with hard brake pressure again, as one is used to from the otherwise much more expensive Loadcell pedals.
The other adjustment possibilities of the brake (preload, angle and height) correspond to those of the accelerator pedal.
Controller box and software
The SIMJACK pedals use an STM32 microcontroller housed in an aluminium casing. Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not supply its own software, so you have to resort to the DiView software, for example. Here, the pedals are calibrated manually and parameters such as dead zone and maximum brake pressure have to be set via raw values.
The pedals provide a solid basis, but offer a lot of room for improvement. The first starting point should certainly be the elastomers which are used. For as little as 20€, a significant added value can be achieved for comparatively little money. Alternative controllers or different software also significantly enhance the pedals. For those interested in tinkering, the pedals are certainly a very good starting point.
The SIMJACK PRO pedals are quite a surprise. For about 150€, you get probably the best value currently available on the simracing market and the pedals therefore offer the best price-performance ratio at the moment. Buyers should only be aware that the general quality of workmanship and especially the elastomers supplied cannot compete with pedals in the 500€+ class. For the price, however, this is more than acceptable and can be corrected with comparatively little effort if necessary. Especially for the DIY-interested simracer, you get an incomparable value here.
- Price/performance ratio
- Solid construction
- Scope of delivery (except for elastomers)
- No software
- Elastomers too soft
- Quality of workmanship