A few months ago now we took a look at Asetek Simsports first product, their Hydraulic Invicta sim racing pedals.

We were very impressed with them and are still running them on the Boosted Media daily driver rig at the time of writing this article. Now it’s time to take a look at a prototype of their latest product, the Forte Load Cell pedals, which employ many of the same design principles and philosophy found in the Invicta design, but come in at a much cheaper price point.

These pedals are available for pre-order now, so let’s take a detailed look and see if they are the right pedals for you based on our experience with the prototype unit we’ve been sent. We will follow up with a review of the full retail model ASAP.


We hope our first look of the Asetek SimSports Forte Prototype Pedals has helped you decide if this might be the right product for you. If you’ve found the video helpful and would like to help support Boosted Media at no additional cost, the following affiliate links will send a small commission our way which helps keep us running. Thanks a lot for your support!

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THROTTLE & BRAKE

USD/EURO 499.00

ORDER HERE

CLUTCH ADD-ON

USD/EURO 249.00

ORDER HERE

A few months ago we had the opportunity to interview André Eriksen, founder and CEO of Asetek, and discuss their plans for entering the sim racing scene. You can check out that interview here:

You’ll notice much of the design of the Forte pedals is carried across directly from Invicta. You can check out our full review of the Invicta pedals below:

PRODUCT SUMMARY

If seriously considering purchasing this product, we highly recommend you watch the videos above in their entirety. They take you through every aspect of the Invicta and Forte pedals from construction and adjustment to the driving experience and comparison to other pedals within a similar price bracket.

Pedals are rarely a one-size-fits-all piece of hardware, so we’ve done our best to arm you with all the information you need to reach your own conclusions on whether the Forte pedals will suit you.

The video also runs you through what we know will change between prototype and final production.

THROTTLE AND CLUTCH

As with the Invicta pedal set, Asetek SimSports have set out to replicate the experience you would expect from a real-life race car first and foremost. Hydraulic mechanism aside, the clutch and throttle utilize a relatively simple design that provides smooth operation. Where other manufacturers sometimes opt for hydraulic dampeners, Asetek have taken the approach of simplicity. While other pedals we’ve tested which do use hydraulic dampeners for the throttle and clutch do feel slightly smoother, we didn’t feel this significantly impacted the driving experiences.

It should also be noted that in some (not all) cases, hydraulic dampeners can cause a slight delay in the pedal return when you lift off your foot which can be detrimental to throttle control.

The optional clutch utilizes a two-stage system which does a good job at replicating the bite point felt in many real-life clutches where the clutch plates engage with the flywheel. This is adjustable through various ranges from quite defined to an almost linear feel. We felt this adjustment provided more than enough variance to suit the majority of drivers regardless of your preference.

Both the clutch and throttle utilize hall effect sensors for input. When compared with potentiometers, hall effect sensors have the advantage of no moving parts which means less risk of wear induced failure or variance in input over time. It should be noted that the majority of high-end pedals utilize automotive grade potentiometers that are dust sealed and we have never seen a case where they have failed.

Input for both the clutch and throttle was smooth on the software side with no signal bounce or flickering whatsoever.

The throttle, brake and clutch all employ tool-less adjustment for angle and feel, which makes on-the-fly tweaks easy compared with other pedal sets we have tested within this price category.

BRAKE

All three pedals are tested past 1 million cycles to ensure long-term reliability.

The brake also features a somewhat unique “bell housing” design which houses the elastomer springs. This limits the available travel to the maximum tolerance of 10mm, which in theory should stop the elastomers from being over-stressed and becoming damaged over time which is something we have observed on multiple other pedals we’ve tested.

At its default setting, the brake feels very similar to that of the Invicta hydraulic pedals in that the brake is by far the stiffest I have ever used, with minimal travel essentially meaning the driver must rely on modulating pressure rather than movement to control their braking as is the case in most real-life race cars.

While the feel is adjustable via an assortment of soft, medium, and hard elastomer inserts, even on the softest setting, this brake is still very stiff.

Asetek have made no excuses for this, claiming that that’s the way it is in real life race cars, so that’s the way it’s done here, and they will have other products in their ecosystem down the line which allow for more adjustment and a softer overall feel if that’s your thing.

I was initially not sold on this concept as I’ve always set my pedals up on the softer side, however the Invicta pedals changed my mind about this and the muscle memory I developed on them transferred across to the Forte pedals seemlessly.

Importantly, the brake can be adjusted to simulate what I’ll refer to as uptake in the pedal, which is the small amount of travel you often feel in a brake pedal where there is a gap between the pad and the rotor, and both Tom and I found this very valuable in gaining more control over the car and in particular, balancing the car through a corner and aiding rotation without washing off excessive speed.

RACEHUB SOFTWARE

Asetek SimSport’s software will prove to be a vitally important part of the overall user experience moving forward as it forms the interface for all the products they will be introducing in the future.

The version of Racehub we had access to was still early and there were still some missing features. Most notably the ability to save and share cloud-based profiles. However, the software was very clean and user-friendly.

Notable features include an easy calibration tool with the ability to add a maximum and minimum deadzone on each pedal, as well as adjustable non-linear response curves to aid input in different styles of cars.

Our favourite feature however is the fact that calibration and response curves are flashed back to the pedals themselves, meaning you don’t need to worry about the calibration varying between different sim titles, or the need to re-calibrate when changing other peripherals. Something which can be particularly frustrating in iRacing.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

Having been so impressed with the Invicta hydraulic pedals, we had high expectations for the Forte load cell pedals. But we weren’t expecting them to feel this close. Asetek SimSports have been very open to listening to feedback and this with proven with small changes to the design for final production.

The throttle and clutch have no particularly remarkable features beyond their tool-less adjustment, but do what they need to do well whilst keeping the design simple.

The brake is stiff. In our experience despite my initial concerns, this was actually a good thing when it came to gaining better control over the car, however not all people will like this.

Because of the limited adjustment available on the brake, we wouldn’t suggest these pedals to those who spend the majority of their sim-time driving streetcars. This is one for the more hardcore racers and hot lappers. As mentioned earlier, Asetek SimSports make no excuses for this and promise us there will be other products down the line which will be more suited to a wider variety of driving types.

It should also be noted that due to the stiffness of the brake, you will need to ensure you are mounting these to a very solid cockpit. Even the smallest amount of flex will likely interfere with many of the benefits of running these pedals and introduce potential inconsistencies.

As with the Invicta pedals, overall we love the Forte pedals, particularly for the price. While they certainly aren’t a one-size-fits-all product, they achieve what they set out to do exceptionally well and at a price point that will likely cause a stir in the market.