It’s hard to believe it was November 2010 when I first wrote about the Maddock Machine drag brake development project in this blog entry.
The goal was to develop a direct replacement for the venerable Arai drag brake (at right) that had been serving the market for the past 30 years or so, but which QBP was no longer interested in producing. OEMs like Co-Motion and tandem speciality dealers like Mel Kornbluh at Tandems East bought up the last production lot several years ago and have been supporting customers who truly needed a drag brake on their tandem while keeping their fingers crossed that the replacement unit would be available before their inventories were fully consumed. In some respects, the outstanding performance and consumer acceptance of single/rear and dual-disc brakes on road tandems mitigated some of the consumer demand for the Arai drums which helped to extend those last buys. But, disc brakes still can’t do what a drag brake does so it was with great anticipation that the tandem community was eagerly awaiting that replacement for the Arai.
Well, today I received a note from Tom Maddock wherein he announced the Maddock Machine “Mad Dog Drag Brake” (MDD brake) is now available for purchase.
About: Pictured above, the MDD brake is functionaly the same as the Arai, but bears a more close resemblance to the “shaved” Arai drum brakes that were developed by and are still offered by Tandems East. The removal of the large heat sink surrounding the Arai brake drum or, in the case of the MDD brake, designing a new drum without that heat sink results in a drag brake that’s 40% lighter than an original and unmodified Arai.
Cost: The MDD brake has an MSRP of $350.00, which is on par with the cost of the Arai drag brakes. I’ll post a link to the owners manual later today once I have time to upload it to my web server.
Sources: The MDD brake is available as the “Maddox Drum Brake” from Tandems East. Consumers can also buy the MDD brake directly from Maddock Machine by sending an Email to Tom Maddock using the following address: email@example.com. Additional dealers will be announced as those relationships are finalized.
Bear in mind, this is a pretty specialized piece of kit so production volume will likely remain somewhat limited, consistent with demand. Anyone who needs a drag brake and who has not been able to secure an Arai may want to contact the folks at Tandems East or Tom Maddock at Maddock Machine sooner rather than later.
SEPTEMBER 25 UPDATE:
I’ve posted a follow-up blog entry on the Maddock Drum Brake that includes some feedback from a member of the tandem building and retail community on their experience with a few customers who were early adopters of the brake. You can find it HERE.