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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 10-14-09, 10:06 AM   #1
oldacura
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Paketa

I notice that Paketa is now a sponsor of this forum.

I have seen only one of these in person. I don't know that the owners frequent this forum. They have had the bike only about 2 - 3 months. They came from a steel tandem (wrecked in an accident). They seemed to really like the Paketa.

Most forum members who go high-end go carbon fiber. For those who have, did they consider the magnesium Paketa? If not, why not? If so, why did they choose CF over mg?

Anyone on this forum try or own a Paketa?
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Old 10-14-09, 10:16 AM   #2
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Talk to Rick at Gold Country Cyclery. He is a Paketa dealer and can give you the pros and cons. Paketa is a beautiful bike.
http://www.tandems-recumbents.com/tandem.html
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Old 10-14-09, 10:36 AM   #3
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Don't know about them personally, but they do look nice and we've heard that Paketa sales are reportedly booming...

I also see that it is the "Fastest Tandem in the World".













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Old 10-14-09, 11:33 AM   #4
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Magnesium as a material has been around awhile, but has never taken off as a bike frame material, though it is undoubtedly light. The magnesium Pinarello Dogma was raced successfully (including winning the Tour de France in 2006), but never became popular. The 2010 Dogma has reverted to carbon.

Do a search for magnesium on the weight weenie forum, and there is no evidence of magnesium making any headway against other materials in lightweight bike components. A brake here, a stem there, but that's about it.

Paketa makes magnesium single frames, but these haven't electrified the weight weenie world.

The reason a magnesium tandem frame is interesting is because there isn't any Taiwan factory-made carbon tandem frames. If there was, we'd all want that, and not be interested in magnesium so much.
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Old 10-14-09, 01:31 PM   #5
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On a recent ride, a couple had just acquired a Paketa tandem. Coming from a steel Ericson, they liked the light weight of the Paketa. They didn't have a lot of miles on it and I didn't get a chance to talk at length about it.

The Paketa "factory" (big shed) is just about 2 miles from my house. I was given a tour by one of the principals. He is a metallurgist at NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) in Boulder. He claims that aside from the light weight of magnesium, the metal has an inherent damping factor that makes for a smooth ride.

Because their volumes are so low, I assume all tandems are built to order.

They buy extruded magnesium profiles (of their own design), cut them with a tubing cutter, cope the ends to fit together and weld them up - just like any other custom made aluminum or steel frame.

I did not take the opportunity to test ride either a single or a tandem.
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Old 10-14-09, 02:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by oldacura View Post
I did not take the opportunity to test ride either a single or a tandem.
FWIW, there is a review at Road Bike Review:

Quote:
Paketa Bikes V2 Racing Tandem

Favorite Ride:
Paketa V2

Bike Setup:

Large V2 frame with Campy Record 10 speed triple shifters and derailleurs. FSA carbon cranks, zero gravity brakes, Amercian Classic 420 wheel set, Gates carbon belt drive.

Summary:
Our V2 is our second tandem. We'd been riding an Aluminum framed C'Dale Ultegra equipped bike for about 7 years, and looked to upgrade to something faster when our C'Dale started to get tired. We looked at many top of the line tandems, including carbon frames. Being a Materials Engineer by education and profession, everything I read on the Paketa web site about their Magnesium framed bikes sounded appealing, and made sense. With Mg tubes, you get all the benefits of carbon, even more so (light weight, stiffness and vibration damping) with the addition of ruggedness. The Mg tubes are thick, stiff and almost dent proof, so no fear of breaking this frame. So we took the plunge and purchased a yellow V2. We test rode the bike in CO, before Paketa shipped back to us in TX, and we were blow away by the speed (+2 mph cruise speed over the C'Dale) and comfort. The bike rides like it's floating on air with absolutely no buzz from the road. This was one of those few situations where the actual experience exceeded the hype. At a finished 25 lb on the road weight, together with the unbelievable frame stiffness, it climbs and accelerates like a single bike. I'd also like give a shout out for David Walker of Sixties Cycles who spec'd and performed the build for us. If you going to buy a V2, I'd highly recommend trying to contact David Walker through Paketa to see if he will be willing spec and build it for you. If you want the utlimate in tandem bike performance, you can get it with zero sacrifice in comfort with the Paketa V2. Catch us if you can!!!

Strengths:
Speed, stiffness, comfort

Weaknesses:
Price, but you get what you pay for.

Hey, that bike sounds like the description of the Paketa shown at the RMBS, which is owned by one of the principals at Paketa. This may be a review is of their own bike. I think a little bias might have slipped in here.


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Old 10-14-09, 02:27 PM   #7
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Although they did say "yellow", which I take to mean the colour of the frame...
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Old 10-14-09, 03:46 PM   #8
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"Paketa Bikes V2 Racing Tandem

Summary:
Our V2 is our second tandem. We'd been riding an Aluminum framed C'Dale Ultegra equipped bike for about 7 years, and looked to upgrade to something faster when our C'Dale started to get tired. We looked at many top of the line tandems, including carbon frames. Being a Materials Engineer by education and profession, everything I read on the Paketa web site about their Magnesium framed bikes sounded appealing, and made sense. With Mg tubes, you get all the benefits of carbon, even more so (light weight, stiffness and vibration damping) with the addition of ruggedness. The Mg tubes are thick, stiff and almost dent proof, so no fear of breaking this frame."

Well, unfortunately friends of ours broke a seat tube. They sent it back and it was repaired but I don't think you can say "no fear".
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Old 10-14-09, 04:07 PM   #9
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There might be a question of fatigue life. Aluminum and magnesium share the property of not having a "fatigue limit." That means there is no loading below which these materials do not fatigue. Steel and titatium have fatigue limits, meaning it's possible to engineer frames in these materials which will last indefinitely. Calfee says, "Carbon fiber also has a better fatigue life than steel, titanium, or aluminum, and the resins typically used to bond the fibers offer extremely good vibration damping."
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Old 10-14-09, 04:11 PM   #10
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Although they did say "yellow", which I take to mean the colour of the frame...
Correct. And that they are shipping the bike to TX, not staying in Colorado. So, maybe it is a real customer. If so, this customer should be contacted, so he can tell us all about it here on the tandem forum.

It could be that the RBMS show bike is equipped just as they sell to customers. However, ZG brakes, with their literal, not figurative, neck-snapping performance, hardly seem like typical tandem spec.
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Old 10-14-09, 05:34 PM   #11
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My wife and I own the yellow Paketa tandem under discussion. It was a custom build by Sixties Cycles in Lafayette, CO. I'll be happy to answer any specific questions on the bike.
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Old 10-14-09, 05:45 PM   #12
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Yellow Peril

Here's a picture of us taking the bike for a test ride in CO before we had it shipped home to TX . . . . .
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Old 10-14-09, 06:10 PM   #13
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Welcome to the BF Tandem Cycling subforum, JgNav!

A couple of questions:

So, your magnesium frame has neither corroded to powder, nor burst into flames?

The ZG's provide sufficient stopping power?

And, might I suggest two threads?

Pictures of happy tandem couples?

What's your tandem weigh?
[yours may be setting a record here]
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Old 10-15-09, 03:09 AM   #14
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Just to scotch a rumour, it's actually very difficult to get bulk magnesium (like a bike frame) to burn, since it's a very good conductor of heat so just conducts localised heat away. Experiments on a Kirk Precision (injection moulded magnesium frame) showed that a lighter or match won't do it.

Regarding the Paketa, what spacing are the dropouts?

I'm also interested to see people using new CR420 wheels on the tandem. How much do they weigh? Is it a tandem specific hub? On my single bike I found they were OK, but with a really poor rear hub (too narrow flanges, difficult to adjust, bearings either loose or on the way to self-destruction as just too small). On my own single wheels I've replaced the rear hub with a far far superior Goldtec (UK made) and they work nicely now.

Just a quick tip - the only way I found to get the rear hub adjusted correctly was to buy two (19mm IIRC)cone spanners then adjust the hub while mounted on the bike to avoid the axle rotating then tighten and lock down until there's 0.5mm play at the rim. In my case this needed to be done monthly, and if you over tightened it at all then you were looking at installing new bearings as they're too small to take any pre-load. Basically the hub is crying out for a split-nut with allen key like Campag hubs use rather instead of its silly double locknut design.
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Old 10-15-09, 08:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by JqNav View Post
My wife and I own the yellow Paketa tandem under discussion. It was a custom build by Sixties Cycles in Lafayette, CO. I'll be happy to answer any specific questions on the bike.
How does it compare to the Cdale with regard to frame flex/stoker wag?
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Old 10-15-09, 08:48 AM   #16
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Just to scotch a rumour, it's actually very difficult to get bulk magnesium (like a bike frame) to burn, since it's a very good conductor of heat so just conducts localised heat away.
If we're derailing the thread... aluminum and even steel also burn quite well, if in either fine powder (dispersed in air) or thin enough wire form. The key is getting the oxygen to the fuel fast enough.
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Old 10-15-09, 02:16 PM   #17
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Flaming yellow . . . .

Nope, has neither corroded to powder, nor caught on fire . . . . however, we're hopeful with more training, a decent downhill and a tail wind; the latter will be achievable . . .

The ZG's are significantly better than our Cannondale's XTR setup, but not quite as good as the Cannondale after I retrofitted it with front and rear Avid mechanical discs. By the way, the Avid retrofit was motivated by a "his and hers" hospital visit due to not being able to stop in a timely manner . . .
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Old 10-15-09, 02:31 PM   #18
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If we're derailing the thread... aluminum and even steel also burn quite well, if in either fine powder (dispersed in air) or thin enough wire form. The key is getting the oxygen to the fuel fast enough.
I would think that magnesium would corrode fairly quickly if left unpainted or if the paint were scratched. Is this the case?
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Old 10-15-09, 02:36 PM   #19
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Steel and titatium have fatigue limits
The fatigue limit is a myth.
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Old 10-15-09, 02:39 PM   #20
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I would think that magnesium would corrode fairly quickly if left unpainted or if the paint were scratched. Is this the case?
Unpainted magnesium oxidizes so quickly in air that the magnesium oxide coating itself protects the rest of the metal. There are no worries about it turning into dust. Many high end compound bow risers are also machined from magnesium.


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Old 10-15-09, 02:42 PM   #21
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Paketa V2 spec

Bulk Mg does not ignite that easily, but if it does, it's pretty spectacular. I'm a materials and metallurgical engineer, and my first job was in a foundry that cast magnesium components for the aviation industry. Molten magnesium exposed to air is pretty spectacular to say the least . . . Mg get's a bad reputation primarily from the aviation and motorsport arenas. Mg alloys have been the materials of choice for race car wheels forever and up to about 10 years ago when other alloys have been developed. They have excellent strength to weight ratio, good toughness, and display some "memory". This "memory" is quite interesting, but wheels would often come off race cars slightly "out of round" due to impact (especially rally cars), and left for day would return to their as cast shape. There's plenty of impressive footage around of Mg wheels burning, but the car is on fire first, and the Mg wheels catch on fire later. Even driving just on the rim with sparks spewing off the rim, they wonít catch on fire. Any case, getting side tracked, yes it will be very difficult to get an Mg frame to burn, but if you ever did, stand back as it will disappear in a spectacular white flash . . . . . .

Spacing on the dropouts is 130mm. This was the toughest call for us to make, as at a combined 330lb rider weight, we're pushing the envelope on wheel durability. It was a tossup between a greater selection of higher performance wheels to choose from at 130 mm, vs heavier, slower less available tandem specific rims to gain better durability. As it stands, I'm not completely comfortable running the AC420's. We have had no problems yet, but also havenít posted that many miles. David Walker of Sixties Cycles is building us some Zipp 808's onto White Industries hubs. These will be bomb proof, and I'll be passing the 420's onto my single bike . . . . and keeping them as "back up" wheels for the tandem.

The 420's are not tandem specific, and I believe AC has done a redesign on the hubs???? Remember this coming up in conversation with the builder, but canít recall the details. I think the weight is about 1650g for the set . . . . It's on AC's web site.

Thanks for the tip on maintaining the rear hub. I need to check it out to see if the supposed "new design" is different to that which you describe.
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Old 10-15-09, 02:50 PM   #22
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Paketa V2 frame flex

Zero frame flex on the Paketa . . . it's unbelievably stiff. That's the weird thing about Mg, it's super stiff, but yet displays excellent vibration damping at the same time. The first couple rides are a little surreal because it feels like the bike is "gliding" over the road. You get zero buzz from the frame, and we don't exactly have the smoothest roads in Houston.

The C'dale was actually also pretty stiff, at least as compared with my Litespeed Ti single. Watching the BB on the Litespeed can be hypnotizing. It did have a little "BB wag", but completely livable. The C'dale was way more "buzzy" on the road though.
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Old 10-15-09, 03:42 PM   #23
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. . . . . .

Spacing on the dropouts is 130mm. This was the toughest call for us to make, as at a combined 330lb rider weight, we're pushing the envelope on wheel durability. It was a tossup between a greater selection of higher performance wheels to choose from at 130 mm, vs heavier, slower less available tandem specific rims to gain better durability. As it stands, I'm not completely comfortable running the AC420's. We have had no problems yet, but also haven’t posted that many miles. David Walker of Sixties Cycles is building us some Zipp 808's onto White Industries hubs. These will be bomb proof, and I'll be passing the 420's onto my single bike . . . . and keeping them as "back up" wheels for the tandem...
We had the same dilemma, deciding what rear spacing. Our decision was to compromise and build 132.5mm spacing, then we could use either a road or mountain hub depending on availability. Still hoping to build a set of carbon wheels with either a DT or WI MTB hub. If we do we will certainly use more spokes than what is in the AC420's.

BTW, beautiful tandem!
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Old 10-15-09, 05:07 PM   #24
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Quote:
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The ZG's are significantly better than our Cannondale's XTR setup, but not quite as good as the Cannondale after I retrofitted it with front and rear Avid mechanical discs. By the way, the Avid retrofit was motivated by a "his and hers" hospital visit due to not being able to stop in a timely manner . . .
By ZG's, you must mean Ciamillo's more robust Negative G's, and not the lighter but wimpier Zero Gravity calipers.

The Negative G's are one of the stronger light brakes, according to the Velo News Review. I entered their data into a spreadsheet. Then I made a scattergram with Excel (and that not very well).

Anyway, the scattergram shows that there are two relatively strong (deceleration >8 m/s/s) light brakes. The eebrake and the Negative G.

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Old 10-15-09, 05:51 PM   #25
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My wife and I own the yellow Paketa tandem under discussion. It was a custom build by Sixties Cycles in Lafayette, CO. I'll be happy to answer any specific questions on the bike.
My wife and I purchased a 2007 C'dale a year ago (Sept '08). We love the ride it is stiff, fast and straight and I find it very responsive. Back in July I saw and got to lift a Paketa tandem, I was amazed. With 3 kids in college right now the price is a bit challenging for now... but in the future....

Realizing you don't have a great deal of miles on it:

1. Which do you like better?
2. What are the significant differences?
3. What does the wife think, worth the money?
4. What was you motivator to step up to the Paketa, does it offer something the C'dale does not?
5. Are your rides on the Paketa similar to the C'dale rides or do you find yourselves riding maybe further?

Thaks, look forward to your response.
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