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Upgrade Brake or Upgrade Technique?


Here's my stupid issue, love some feedback from those more experienced then I.

When I really get immersed and into a race, I get harder on the brake pedal. Basically, the force my leg applies tends to go up. I know this is not good technique. I still seem to be somewhat smooth applying the brake, but the pressure I push when at 100% is more then is needed to register 100% on my Fanatec CSL LC brake pedal on the stiffest bushings.

This leads me to looking for a pedal set that has a higher LC rating as I wish I could turn it up how hard I need to push to register 100%. I need to step back though and be honest with myself that this is really a me issue and not a gear issue. If I had better technique, this would not be an issue.

Thing is, I'm having fun pushing harder. It is what feels natural to me and it takes me out of it when I lessen up and pay attention to having delicate inputs.

What do you think, should I go for some Meca Cup 1s with a 200KG load cell or work on my technique?


I can relate oh so well, the closer the racing gets the harder/faster I am on the brake pedal.

Of course it would be best and cheapest to adjust our technique and learn not to get carried away.
Thats where i have a long way to go :mad:

I helped myself by ramping up the force needed for the brake in the software settings. Since we have loadcell brakes its possibe for me to adjust the necessary force in Content Manager.
I just increased the lower deadzone, so the brake needs more force to react.
For you there should be a setting for that in the Fanatec software.

Another possibility could be a little program called DIView which allows to adjust the input ranges of the controllers. Not the most userfriendly but simple to learn. There are tutorials for it out there.

MFG Carsten
Its never a bad idea to work on technique, or applying the proper braking force at the proper time. Not every corner is a threshold braking corner. But, 100% pedal force should NOT equate to "threshold", that should equate to4 wheel lockup, unless you have ABS engaged. In which case it should be 4 wheel ABS. But, maximum braking force is accomplished JUST BELOW ABS activation. So, for best threshold stopping, you should NOT be activating ABS.

But, a real car under threshold braking requires 80-100 lbs of force at the pedal. So, if you're CSL pedals are significantly less than that (like 30-40 lbs)...then you are fighting two different learnings (sim driving vs. real car).


If you want to research technique a little more:

I have his book " Ultimate Speed Secreets" as well and find it well written and understandable.
To practise what he preaches is the hard part :(

And for your understanding:

the force rating of the loadcell is NOT the force necessary to achieve 100% braking.
It depends on the mechanical advantage of the pedals.
According to a review I saw the overal braking force necessary can be set when inialising the pedals in the fanatec software.

From what I can see online this cannot be adjusted on the CSL pedals.
Most higher end pedals do offer this adjustments of course with a price attached to it.

Have you tried the softer pu bushings if a longer travel helps you feel and adjust the brake pressure?

MFG Carsten
I have his book " Ultimate Speed Secreets" as well and find it well written and understandable.
To practise what he preaches is the hard part :(

I have a "couple" of his books in my library. Although it seems that a couple are missing. I thought I had seven total.



Funny you should mention the Speed Secrets series. I read some a while back. Actually, I was a driving skills coach for a few years for Ron Langford, the co-author of Inner Speed Secrets: Mental Strategies to Maximize Your Racing Performance, which I spy on that bookshelf. We had a private driving skills range and would teach threshold braking on and off a skid pad to teach how to stop a car as quickly as possible. In a real car, the brakes is my greatest skill level. Back then, I needed to and did jump in any car and instruct how you can stop the car shorter with a good threshold brake before ABS activates then you could stop with ABS.

I fully know what I should be doing with the brake but actually doing what I would couch myself to do is another thing entirely. I can talk the talk, I just can't manage to walk the walk just right if that makes sense.

For me, the brake is a bit of a disconnect in my sim set up. I defiantly prefer the load cell to the potentiometer I started with which I think driving is a whole different skill. Placing pressure is much more natural feeling for me and with the rubber bumpers I have in my CSLs there is probably around two inches of travel, which kind of feels like the end of the brake pedal. Close as I have come in a sim rig setup so far anyways but I have never tried anything nicer so I don't know what I'm missing.

I'm going to look into some of those programs to see if I can modify the signal to allow for more pressure to register 100%. Maybe I can get to a higher load that would make me happy with the gear I have now. That would be great.

I know that the total load cell rated amount is not how hard you actually push on the pedal, however, I struggle to understand how different pedal sets compare outside of that rating. From my understanding, a 200KG load cell would allow for more range of what I could set then a lower 60KG would allow if the levers were the same, which I know they are not. If what I really enjoy is driving with a higher pressure, to make that work I will need a software solution or a different pedal set I think. Or, like you guys have told me fix my technique.

If I'm being honest again, I was kind of hoping people would just have told me to go for the All4Sim Meca Cup1s or Heuskinveld Sprints and helped me justify them. I just dropped a good chunk of money upgrading to a DD and a stiff rig and triples, and now I find the brake pedals as my weak point. I had told myself that I did not need new pedals since just having a stiff pedal deck was a big improvement over the ~2" of flex I would get in my old rig.
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The HE Sprints with their software for
setting up will solve your problem, I found a lot in time and technique when I upgraded to them.
But as you say, it does sound like your technique needs improvement, but that may be because of your hardware.

I’ll give you your easy answer, get the HE Sprints, it will give you what you want. :roflmao:
But it would be better to fine tune your technique on a proper set of pedals, that are raved about across the entire sim
Racing community.
I know that the total load cell rated amount is not how hard you actually push on the pedal, however, I struggle to understand how different pedal sets compare outside of that rating. From my understanding, a 200KG load cell would allow for more range of what I could set then a lower 60KG would allow if the levers were the same, which I know they are not. If what I really enjoy is driving with a higher pressure, to make that work I will need a software solution or a different pedal set I think. Or, like you guys have told me fix my technique.

Acording to the CSL Elite Load Cell kit fact sheet...it can be setup for up to 90KG of pedal pressure, that's about double the pressure of my racecar with racing slicks and over 2g decel, which is about 2x a street car. So....you should be able to get real car pedal pressures with your CSL pedals. I don't have them, so I can't help you, in "how" to adjust it.

After that...practice what you preach. Have you raced in real life? Red mist is a real thing, not just in Sims, either. Technique class, track driving (HPDE), and w2w racing in real sheet metal are all VERY different things. :)


I've done a lot of track time but never actual wheel to wheel racing. Hopefully someday. I've never had a car certified for it actually. Still, I know the red mist. Even just at track days, other cars around me impacts my driving, especially my eyes. No doubt that time working on this would be beneficial to me. I guess at least I am aware of it. That is the first step right, admitting you have a problem.

When I focus on my technique and having smooth inputs, it kind pulls me out of the experience some in a sim. It is actually when I started focusing on being better on the brake, I noticed that I was pushing too hard which makes it challenging to trail brake. When I am applying say 120% of the needed force, and start to back off the brake as I turn in, I need to back off 20% before it really starts lessening the amount of brakes I have applied in game, which I need to fix. If I could train my brain not to push so hard, that would be ideal. Muscle memory is a hard thing to change and now that I have bad habits, I am going to need to work harder to fix them.

That is part of what this comes down to. My ingrained muscle memory has me applying more force then I need. Going outside of my muscle memory requires me to focus on my inputs and when I focus on them, I'm not immersed in racing. At least until I can retain my brain.


Red mist??
Never heard of that ( "get out of my way, you cheeky ba.....")

Almost the same for me, track driving and hotlapping was okay for me,
I was always cool enough to anticipate the "interesting moves" other could pull.

But in an online race I find myself slamming the brakes at corner entry like it was an emergency stop to not kill a deer. ( Which i have done a lot off, the woods around the Nürburgring are testing you with that quite regurlarly.

To set the brakes to a higher pressure level helped a little, but the biggest step forward is practicing the "squeeze and ease"

To be a spoilsport I´d advise you to try the electronic adjustment first.
If the fanatec software doesn´t offer enough room to get the pedal hard enough ( Barry said something about him feeling the pedal flexing) maybe try the software I suggested. ( DIView) is the programm used by Huysinkveld for their Sprint pedals and its free.
I use it on my Frankenstein T3PA pro.

If that doesn´t do the trick either well then you have no choice but to upgrade.

But to be the spoilsport again, Im afraid nobody can buy skills.

MFG Carsten


Did you try to set the maximum higher? You have the brake force setting in the fanatec rim. 3 digit wheel =BRF I think.

Put that to 100 and you shouldn't really be able to get to 100%...
Squeezing the PU bushings: did you put the hard ones in? They are like bricks lol :roflmao:

Now to the last part which is sad but might help you this time:
Press the brake pedal at a lower position.
Due to the idiotic design of the CSL LC pedal, the leverage changes quite a lot.
Pressing it 3cm lower should give you about 20% headroom of force.

Here's an explanation about this and why I sold my CSL LC and got the V3 pedals:
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.. but one can buy crutches
  • set a brake pedal haptic for ~ 90% braking
  • get belt tensioners, to simulate braking forces.

You're absolutely right. Its a big deficiency of sims in the lack of braking-G feedback. In a real car, you feel the decel-G (which can be a detriment, as people often over-slow due to the sensations), and you can feel when the tires-lock (and hear it)...or ABS kick in. In the sim you get nothing but audio cues. I always find the audio "lacking". Without decent feedback it becomes and exercise is repetition, and rhythm. "Brake-1-2-turn-release-throttle" That works ok, until something changes.

I very much like the idea of the belt tensioner (and G-seat for that matter). But, just tactile helps tremendously (and I've only got 4 exciters on my seat, right now). Having the long-G effect setup really make a big difference in being able to feel the decel of the car. As soon as I finish building my pedals, I'm going to put an Dayton exciter directly on the brake pedal shaft.
Ther´s no chance ( this year) that I can add another expense :(

:) Sorry. Exciters are cheap, and very effective.

That is a good collection of books, pretty much the top recommended titles. Carroll Smith`s books are my favourites.

The Skippy book is pretty good, too. The ones that I enjoy most are the ones that address approaching to testing, learning new tracks quickly, and providing feedback on car handling for tuning, and separating driver created problems from chassis ones. Bently's books are good at that. But, honestly I think his video seminars do a better job than his books. The books tend to get wrapped around the "selling yourself as a professional driver" topic, and spend about 50% of the pages talking about marketing, sponsorship, comportment, interviewing, etc...the non-driving part of being a pro-driver.

Not pictured is "Racecar Vehicle Dynamics" which is a hardcore textbook, with lots of formulas and math-y type stuff. It's an excellent book, but its very heavy college type reading.


Well... I think I have decided to work on my technique a keep the CSLs for now. I will probably try some of the software options mentioned earlier in this thread. As much as I would like new pedals, I just spent a lot of money already(P1-X, SC2, triples) with a specific budget I had given myself.

The moment of clarity came when I was talking to my wife about it. She told me to just get nicer pedals and said, "I remember buying you your last set for Christmas and thinking they were cheap, it does not make sense to spend so much on the rest and then have cheap pedals does it?" I immediately felt guilty. The CSL's are relatively cheap compared to some of my new gear I guess but I don't consider the HE Sprints or Meca Cup 1s as cheap. She was not trying to make me feel that way, I'm just not accustomed to spending this kind of money on myself. My dad never got himself anything except for books when I was growing up and I guess that shaped how I feel about buying myself stuff as an adult. I took a step back and looked at how much I have already spent and realized this was all "want" based and is more then I need already. Helped me put things in perspective a bit and realize just how fortunate I am right now. I happy for what I have and I am going to work on enjoying that instead of just wanting the next great thing.

Plus, I need to work on my technique.
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A very "grown up" attitude, Sir.:thumbsup:

After mentioning it earlier I just played around with Diview and CM settings, you can change the feeling of the pedals quite a bit
with them.
You´ll be happy to have built a rigid rig with a solid seat, you can make the pedal feel quite stiff.

Have fun and success

MFG Carsten