I was able to order an arai drum brake from co-motion who still has a stock of these things. It seems that neither co-motion or Santana plan on offering a drum drag brake after the current stock is depleted.
I heard that QBP owns the rights to the Arai name and the design. Does anyone know if the Arai will ever go back into production by QBP or anyone else?
I just had the disk tab cut off my co-motion since I wanted to add proper rack mounts. I had been using the avid mech disc. I did a trip to France a few years ago in the Pyrenees and I think the performance of the disk was marginal. Granted the roads out there require extreme braking. The disc would fade, often accompanied by noise and vibrations. I also melted the front rim shoes and had to replace them a couple times during the trip. Our team is also pretty light (260 without bike and no big load).
Anyhow, it just kind of sucks that the proven technology is discontinued and all we are left with are marginal solutions.