Speed system pulleys for paragliding
by Had Robinson
Miniplane continues to sell the poor quality, flimsy, Viadana pulleys for PPG speed systems, including those found in the starter systems. Alternately, the Harken small blocks are superior quality and cost about the same. They have stainless steel bearings, are low friction, and will last indefinitely. The current batch of Viadana 22m blocks have significant friction issues because they do not even have ball bearings. The Viadana blocks used for the starter pulleys have plastic ball bearings which fail after a hundred pulls on the starter. A major point of failure in the Flash starter system used in the Miniplane Polini paramotors is this nearly useless pulley which self-shreds.
The 16mm Harken small block comes with a (7) year warranty (but it should last indefinitely in the benign environment of a harness speed system). These blocks are designed to be used in a salt water environment with extreme loading from sheets and halyards. Cost is less than $15. APS has the best price with free shipping for (4) pulleys.