Following a bike accident which saw a friend go over the bars after a front wheel lock-up, Bud Nilsson decided that there must be a solution to the problem of braking imbalances on two wheels. And the solution he came up with is the BudBrake - a mechanical modulator that balances the braking forces between front and rear wheels, which BudBrake claim results in less wheel lock ups and better overall braking performance.
So what is it? well, it's an oval shaped plastic widget that goes into your brake lines, taking a feed from each lever and delivering the brake input to the callipers. Inside the BudBrake there's some manner of mechanical contrivance that takes the input from either lever (or both levers) and distributes it to the brake callipers in a controlled manner. It activates the rear brake first and then the front, always with the braking force higher at the rear.
The benefits to the rider, say BudBrake, are many and varied. As well as stopping you from binning it over the bars, there's less likelihood of a rear wheel skid too, and you don't have to remember which brake does what: just haul on the anchors and the stopping power is diivvied out to front and rear in the prescribed way whatever you pull.
The BudBrake has undergone CPSC safety testing in the US, and, apparently, 'The test results show shorter stopping distance when bicycle brakes are equipped with BUDBRAKE™ ABS Modulator'. Presumably this can only happen if the bike doesn't skid when otherwise it would have – after all, the modulator doesn't actually create any braking force – but for a town bike or commuter the BudBrake looks like it could be a handy addition, especially if you habitually carry your shopping home one-handed or yabber on your mobile phone. We'll see if we can get hold of one for a play, and if we do we'll be sure to report back the results.