Martin long tries out a lightweight, adjustable speedbar designed for use in pod harnesses.
Your new harness turns up, you sit in it a few times to adjust it and then spend two minutes adjusting the speed bar. And that’s it. Then you wonder why you struggle to find your bar when you need it, or wonder why it gets stuck on your boot as you release it. Inevitably you get in a habit of not using as much speed as you probably should.
Paying attention to your speed system gives you an incredibly useful tool and, in my experience, makes flying actually more fun! If the bar supplied with your harness isn’t working for you, why not consider investing in another one?
Two years ago I modified my Ozone Exoceat harness to take a Bullet speed bar and it really enhanced my racing performance. The Bullet may be a bit excessive for most users (it’s quite high maintenance, not the easiest to set up and top-end in terms of cost) but there are other options on the market. I’ve recently been flying the pod version of the Free*Spee XC speed bar with my Ozone Forza harness and found it to be an excellent addition.
The Free*Spee speed bar is easy to fit but also extremely easy to adjust due to a unique clamping system. When it’s well set up, the bar is really easy to find and application is usually symmetrical. It has a superior feel about it in terms of aesthetics, quality of materials, build quality and weight. The loops aren’t adjustable like they are on some of the top-end options, like the Bullet, but I’d certainly recommend this to anyone looking to pimp their speed system.
I have my doubts about the longevity of the cord supplied and I found the two rungs were a little bit too close together – an alternative Free*Spee system allows you to make your own ladder. But overall I think it’s a good product, primarily aimed at intermediate pilots but perhaps also at aspiring beginners.
Originally released in Cross Country Issue 204 (Oct 2019)