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Thread: Paketa

  1. #1
    BudLight
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    Paketa

    Anyone out there riding or has ridden a Paketa tandem? Is this rocket worth $9200?

    Just got my multi-million dollar year-end bonus from Goldman Sachs, you see, and am working hard trying to figure out how to spend it. [Just kidding folks. Even if I did, I'd be too ashamed to admit it.]

    But seriously, what's the skinny on this steed?

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    Captain - 2nd in Command djsincla's Avatar
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    What chance have we got to ride one of these?

    Just too exotic for me and I am personally not fused about the frame geometry. The geometry may reflect the limited range of Mg tubing available to the frame builder?

    I like my Ti and Carbon bikes and would wait until Mg was more commonly used and wait until more people were riding the bike to get feedback.

    Its the same price as a Ti bike and cheaper than a carbon bike so its not a cost issue.

    IMHO - I honestly believe the strongest/lightest bikes will continue be (Carbon) Fiber/Resin based so exotic metals such as Mg have been superceeded.

    Some other thoughts -

    I have read that Mg has some corosion issues and although the frame can be coated/treated, this implies that mixing metals with Mg would be a problem - Now we need Mg S&S couplers, etc.
    Last edited by djsincla; 12-21-06 at 10:56 PM.

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    Senior Member
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    There have been reports of weld failures on them. To the best of my knowledge, there hasn't been anyone here who has actually given us a test drive report.

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElRey
    There have been reports of weld failures on them.
    Can you elaborate? I hadn't heard that before and would be interested in more details.

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    I think it was in a thread at T/Hobbes I read it.

  6. #6
    BudLight
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElRey
    To the best of my knowledge, there hasn't been anyone here who has actually given us a test drive report.
    It might just be a great winter project here on this forum to have test drive reports on various tandem models and components. The collective real-time expertise and experience embodied in this forum is truly astonishing. It could be a great service to newbies and manufacturers alike. I wonder how it could be organized, Pros / Cons / I wish it had.......

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    Hi there rjberner, I haven't actually ridden a paketa, but I was in the garage of the man and his' wife who designs them out in bolder CO this past summer. A fellow club member know's them and both of us went out there this past July for the triple bypass ride. We were there for a week and visited them during that time.

    They are extremely light, 23 pounds with pedals, it's just amazing. I would love to ride one of them, but the day we were there visiting we didn't have our cycling clothes or shoes so we didn't do that. I am going back out there this coming July for a week to ride the TBP again, I would gather that if you really wanted to ride or purchase one, and you were out there when I was, I could probably get you over to their house to see it and test it. They are nice people and I would think they would allow that...Let me know, I'll be out there from the 7th of July thru the 15th.

    Take care,

    Benjamin

    P.S. My sister is considering a carbon tandem also and I mentioned this to her also, so she's looking into one also.

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    half man - half sheep Doggus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.paketabike.com/tandems.htm
    Paketa is the only manufacturer to produce magnesium tandem frames! Arguably the lightest tandem in the world.
    It either is or it isn't. There isn't much arguing to be done when it comes down to simple weight measurement.
    "The cycling community is so small that it is nearly inbred." - Steve Tilford

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    BudLight
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    Thanks Caadman, may just do that.

    This from the Precision Tandem website:

    paketa5strippedscale.jpg

    22.92lb w/o pedals, so add 3lb for pedals. Weight isn't everything, I know. So we've got to have some input from some riders.

  10. #10
    BudLight
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    Oops, lousy arithmetic -- add 1.1lb (DuraAce) to 1.5lb for the pedals. Puts it some rarified company.

    Need a showdown between the best and the lightest a la Motor Trend's faceoffs. Four to five fit teams, stock bikes, same wheels. 50km course, every team rides each bike and grades them at the end. If they can do it for $60K motors, why can't it be done for $10K tandems?

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    The geometry may reflect the limited range of Mg tubing available to the frame builder?

    Ugh, keep guessing.

    Part of their approach is to "remove" one of the tubes to save weight. This generally requires making the remaining tubes slightly beefier, but the net gain is reduced frame weight overall.

    Almost all of the high-performance tandem makers are exploring this design... here is a little gallery.

    -Greg

    Paketa:


    Co-Motion:


    Calfee:


    Arizona Tandems (Zona):


    Santana... oops, not yet!
    Last edited by gregm; 12-22-06 at 11:33 AM.

  12. #12
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caadman
    They are extremely light, 23 pounds with pedals, it's just amazing
    I have not seen, ridden or heard of these until this post, but it is interesting.

    According to the US Department of Energy, December 2005, magnesium is 35% lighter than aluminum. The context is reducing automobile weight to increase fuel efficiency.

    The main barriers for technology implementation are the following: • a need for casting processes that yield high-integrity, ductile, structural castings that are cost-competitive with aluminum; • a need to better understand the science of magnesium galvanic and atmospheric corrosion behavior ; • a need to identify commercially viable alloys; and • a need to improve casting quality assurance and develop component and vehicle level testing. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehicles.../magnesium.pdf Paketa may have rights to intellectual property or access to alloy tubing that solve these problems.

    I looked in Santana’s brochure and their aluminum small frame is claimed to weigh just over 7 pounds which I assume is without a fork. If we assume the value added by Paketa tandem is the magnesium frame (I assume a third party tandem carbon fork, standard tandem carbon parts, shifters, derailleurs and wheels), how much lighter can the magnesium bike with wheels, components and the frame be? Let us assume a lateral weighs 1 pound. Therefore, an aluminum frame without the lateral would weigh 6 pounds. A magnesium frame would weight 6 times .65 or 3.9 pounds. The weight reduction for magnesium without the lateral would be approximately 3 pounds compared to aluminum.

    Or more simply stated, the use of magnesium and the removal of the lateral brace may reduce the weight of small tandems by approximately 3 pounds.

  13. #13
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElRey
    I think it was in a thread at T/Hobbes I read it.
    The only reference I could find to a magnesium frame failure was in a "Eurobike" trip report from Bill McCready in 2005 wherein he noted, "Two years ago Reynolds showed a magnesium tubeset that could be TIG-welded. This year they admit to a disappointing legacy of magnesium weld failures."

    Dave Walker noted in a subsequent post, "I honestly don’t have any knowledge of the Cannondale Raven, but in the case of Reynolds, I agree they blew it with their weldable magnesium tube set. We’ve fatigue-tested a Reynolds magnesium frame alongside a Paketa, and the Paketa survived more than 150 times as many load cycles. While the Reynolds frame was indeed substandard, the Paketa’s result is right in line with current bicycle industry standards."

    Nothing about a Paketa tandem frame failed weld that I could find...

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregm
    Almost all of the high-performance tandem makers are exploring this design...
    Exploring or re-discovering? Open frame tandem designs are hardly new and date back to the original safety bike tandem designs of the late 1800's. Poaching from one of Dave Walker's posts to Hobbes...

    From Jan Heine's Vitage Bicycle Press Website: http://www.vintagebicyclepress.com/image-archive.html
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjberner
    Oops, lousy arithmetic -- add 1.1lb (DuraAce) to 1.5lb for the pedals. Puts it some rarified company.
    I do not think so. Math is based on frame only. Pedals or components do not come into the calculation. In general, we can have any components on any bicycles for which we are willing to pay. In this case, the value added and corresponding weight reduction is in the frame design and material selection. And keep in mind that with the removal of the lateral, the other tubing has to be beefed up to make up for the structural loss of the lateral such that the elimination of the lateral and resulting weight reduction is not one for one. I took an educated guess to get an idea of what the weight reduction might be.

    Here is a link http://www.bike123.com/new_items.htm that shows the Paketa, frame, fork and head set at 6.3 pounds. My estimated calculation of 4 pounds seems reasonable based on this info (assuming we believe the advertising).

  16. #16
    BudLight
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    If these beasts perform as well as they are priced, why the hell aren't they dropping the sloped reinforcing tube on all the premium tandems? Less material, less fab labor, should add up to less cost, with the added benefit of less weight.

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    IfLess material, less fab labor
    I wouldn't be surprised if the material and labor costs are more. For example, are some of these bikes made with very specialized tubing? Are they more difficult to weld or build? I have the impression that there is a bit more to it than just deleting a tube.

    -Greg

  18. #18
    BudLight
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    Point taken, as CoMo's pitch for the Macchiato attests:

    "While outwardly simple, the compact design of the Macchiato represents a reinvention of virtually every tube in its construction. Our new ACMUltra7 tubes cannot be found elsewhere. The Macchiato’s impressively sized bi-oval downtube intersects with a deeply machined headtube, radically profiled zonally-butted top tube, and optimally ovalized seattubes, forming a muscular, compact stature."

    And, certainly the Mg tubing is exotic, as well.

    But Trek is doing amazing things with optimized alum. tubing shapes on their mid-range bikes, thanks no doubt, to dynamic finite element analyses and simulations. If they can do it so can the rest. Maybe it's just a matter of time, and will.

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    Captain - 2nd in Command djsincla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregm
    Ugh, keep guessing.

    Part of their approach is to "remove" one of the tubes to save weight. This generally requires making the remaining tubes slightly beefier, but the net gain is reduced frame weight overall.
    My compaint about the geometry was focused on what appears to be a lack of frame and very long seat posts and not on the loss of the laterial tube.

    I did like your pictures and certainly love the carbon frames - You can see that all three frames did not have such an aggressive drop off at the rear like the Paketa.

    Whats your beef with Santana?

  20. #20
    BudLight
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    That would be my concern with the Paketa also, But it would all be illuminated in the golden light of Truth, IF WE COULD GET SOME RIDER'S FEEDBACK! Maybe the seatposts have to be structurally designed to the bike also.

    (Damn, that CoMo is a sexy beast.)

  21. #21
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Just have to chime in a bit on this one . . .
    While we can understand skepticism of folks regarding a 'new' frame material for tandems, just look back to the 1980s when C'dale introduced heat treated aluminum singles, and then tandems. Folks were skeptical, but the proof is in the riding.
    We have been fortunate to have been able to test ride 30+ brands/models of tandems through our 32 years of tandem riding, including several prototypes.
    We've ridden steel, alu, titanium and carbon fiber tandems. Have not yet gotten our butts on a magnesium Paketa, but would love to! Did see, and heft one, at Interbike. Nice? You bet!
    While any material 'can' fail, nobody is going to put something on the market that 'will' fail. Lots of research/testing is done before these hit the marketplace.
    Have you personally broken or seen a broken tandem frame? Or is it just hear-say?
    Have personally broken a steel tandem (twice!) . . . once at 50,000 miles and once again at 56,000 miles. Have also broken an experimental steel fork, at 15,000 miles. And have seen a well-known brand's steel fork blade separate from the crown.
    So are you now hesitant to ride steel?
    Nobody is pushing anyone to ride/buy exotic light weight tandems . . . although we have done so ourselves through the years.
    We were told carbon fiber would 'inexplicably break' . . . geez, we've got only 13,000+ miles on our ariZona c/f tandem now, should we hold our breath?
    Both c/f and magnesium are utilized in aerospace/high tech industties and have proven their mettle.
    Open frame designs are not something new; but combining the open design with oversize tubing, that is new!
    Have we ridden open frame designs? Yes. In the old days the frames were like cooked spaghetti. Remember the Gitane?
    Have ridden several of the 'new' open frame designs (ariZona, Bruni, Co-Motion). Great ride and didn't miss that lateral tube.
    The open frame designs use less material/tubing and are less labor intensive for the builder. Also when using S&S fittings, fewer couplers are needed. And yes, the reduction in price is noticeable too! Quality of the ride was not affected for us.
    There are advances in materials and designs; we can reject them, but eventually may accept most of them.
    Heck, if Wilbur and Orville had stayed in the bicycle business they'd never have flown at Kitty Hawk!

    Pedal on TWOgehter!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  22. #22
    Captain - 2nd in Command djsincla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Just have to chime in a bit on this one . . .
    Have ridden several of the 'new' open frame designs (ariZona, Bruni, Co-Motion). Great ride and didn't miss that lateral tube.
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
    zonatandem - As I have already said, I personaly do not like the geometry of the Paketa because of the aggressive rear cutoff - It has nothing to do with Mg, Al, Steel, or CF. Based on the published picture the rear rider would be riding on a tall stick of carbon fiber. Look at the picture and see where the rear and front seat tube clamps are. Your Carbon Fiber tandem looks great.

  23. #23
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    I think any informed cycling enthusiast would agree that the aesthetics of different frame designs, as well as the pros and cons of their technical merits, are about as subjective as the justification for the value-added of a high-end bicycle.

    As already stated, an open framed tandem is hardly a new concept; they've been around since the 1800's. Compact geometry with the associated sloping top tubes on singles and tandems are also not anything new and one of the reasons they are attractive to builders (noting there are several) is pretty straight forward... they allow the builder to build a bicycle or tandem frame that resists torsional flex more efficiently than a taller frame. Yes, they also allow a wider range of cyclists to straddle the frame, and in certain designs the amount of frame material and frame mass is also reduced. This is clearly the case with the open framed tandems where, at least with the carbon and aluminum frames, the tubesets are more robust than they are on frames with internal tubes which nets-out to provide a lighter frameset. However, you'll notice that they have upper weight limitations.

    With regard to the OP's question on Paketa tandems, Dave Walked has posted a great deal about his magnesium tandems on the Tandem@Hobbes list. Rather than paraphrasing what he has said I would simply suggest anyone truly interested in the Paketa do a search of the Hobbes list on Dave Walker's Email address and "Paketa". There are a total of 53 postings that will match this search criteria. Included in these postings by Dave you find a number of other topics that he addresses regarding lightweight equipment and other tandem topics that will give you a better feel for his expertise and philosophy on bike design, etc.

    Back to the asethetics, thankfully there are many different tandems for consumers to choose from which is also the same for price points. Carbon has it's own look, as does aluminum, titanium, titanium & carbon hybrids, and even the various different steels. "Graceful" to one enthusiast can be butt-ugly to another and even the most basic frame can be brought to life with an exciting paint scheme applied by an artisan. At the same time, a beautiful frame can be diminished by a paint job that is either poorly executed or just too darn quirky for the average Joe's tastes. Frankly, I can't imagine painting a bike to look like livestock unless I made my living raising Holstein's. Recumbents and trikes are also not what I'd call attractive machines whereas others do. To each their own.

    As to the real benefits to be gained when upgrading from a $1,200 entry level tandem to a $13,000 exotic machine with couplers and all the chi-chi components, there aren't that many that will stand up to close scrutiny for the average cyclist. Like cars, motorcycles, boats, and just about everything else you can buy, the basic model in the hands of a skilled operator can usually out perform the most exotic machines in the hands of a novice. All the other "stuff" that drives the pricing are best described as "refinements, enhancements, creature comforts, or vanity fullfilment" whose value is determined by each consumer. If you have $13k to sink into a tandem, then it can all be justified if only by saying, "because I want it and I can afford it". However, if you're someone who'd rather spend $3k on a tandem and put $10 into an investment account so you can retire a year earlier, you'll be hard pressed to understand why others "need" a $13k tandem. So, like the aesthetics, to each their own.

    Speaking of their own, and getting back to the aesthetics and design heritage of sloping top tubes on tandems, here are some photos of our '98 and '02 Ericksons. Glenn Erickson has been using sloping top tubes (with an internal tube) for well over a decade, perhaps two... (time flies). Riding on a tall aluminum or carbon seatpost is also not a bad thing. After all, a cyclist or tandem team doesn't usually sit when they are making a maximum effort sprinting or climbing which, coincidentally, is when the frame is subjected to the greatest bending forces, which gets back to the "why compact geometry" works well for racing tandems.




  24. #24
    Captain - 2nd in Command djsincla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek
    I think any informed cycling enthusiast would agree that the aesthetics of different frame designs, as well as the pros and cons of their technical merits, are about as subjective as the justification for the value-added of a high-end bicycle.
    As always, a perfect response. I would also suggest that marketing sometimes gets in the way of reality - The rear seats in many of the pictures may have been left higher to give the bikes a "sexy" look.

    Reviewing the attached pictures and my own bike - my tandem, zonatandem, and the calfee appear to have very similiar stoker/captain riding positions in terms of the handle bars and the height of the seat. On my bike my stoker and captain seats are about 2-3 inches higher than each of their bars.

    As an extreme example, the Paketa's stokers bars would need to drop or the seat would need to go higher to help match riding positions. The Paketa we have been looking at may have been custom built for a small/child stoker.
    Last edited by djsincla; 12-24-06 at 11:09 AM.

  25. #25
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djsincla
    Reviewing the attached pictures and my own bike - my tandem, zonatandem, and the calfee appear to have very similiar stoker/captain riding positions in terms of the handle bars and the height of the seat. On my bike my stoker and captain seats are about 2-3 inches higher than each of their bars.
    For go-fast teams where both riders also ride racing single bikes, your observation is probably true. However, for the vast majority of tandem teams where one or both riders don't have a racing pedigree, you're more likely to find riding positions that are far less aggressive than your own.

    That said, the Paketa's riding position doesn't look all that odd to me -- other than having a fairly short stoker compartment -- noting that Debbie's saddle is perhaps .5" higher than her bars whereas mine follows suit for most racing bikes with the bars a few inches lower than the saddle.

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