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  1. #1
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    Paketa Mg over Aluminum?

    Does anyone have a long term review of the Paketa Mg tandems? Looking at the Paketas lately and just wondering how they hold up, especially when traveling with them. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chasn_racin View Post
    Does anyone have a long term review of the Paketa Mg tandems? Looking at the Paketas lately and just wondering how they hold up, especially when traveling with them. Thanks
    Not real long term experience. We have 1100 miles on our Paketa. I can tell you that the Mag tubing is much thicker than aluminum. The durability of the Mag is one reason we chose Paketa. I think it is the most durable frame material on the market. And has an amazing ride quality. I think this frame would travel better then Aluminum, carbon, or steel. Ti would be very similar as far as toughness.

    If you have any other questions about Paketa please feel free to contact me.

    Rick

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    Thanks swamptandem for the reply. I've heard several great things about them, but there just aren't that many out there, and even fewer to test ride. Wonder if tandemgeek has anything to add after his last blog post?!?

  4. #4
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    You can find more about magnesium frames as a road bike material by researching the Pinarello Dogma FPX, which was the only production magnesium road bike from a major bike company. There probably is a lot more information about Dogma FPX's than Paketa's, and what is true for magnesium for one certainly relates to the other.


    Oscar Pereiro won the 2006 Tour de France riding a magnesium Dogma FPX.



    The magnesium Dogma was discontinued in 2010. Now the Dogma's are all carbon.

  5. #5
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    We have around 4000 miles on our Paketa,..but no real serious travel. It has ridden on top of the car for several hours
    at a time many times,...but no airline travel. I agree with the above,...it is turning out to be quite rugged. I ride a titanium
    single bike and it has similar ride qualities. Our Paketa has a powder coating,..and even that has proven to be pretty durable. I
    was somewhat nervous about chips in the paint, thereby exposing the metal to possible corrosion,..but that hasn't happened.

    It has been a great bike!

  6. #6
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Here's a paean...er, review, from the Road Cycling subforum:

    Paketa Cycles custom magnesium frames: from design to completion

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    Here's a paean...er, review, from the Road Cycling subforum:

    Paketa Cycles custom magnesium frames: from design to completion
    Good post! Thanks for sharing it. JP also built our Tandem (I think he builds all of them now). It's nice to be able to actually call and talk to the guy building your frame.

    +1 on the powder coating. Very tough finish.

  8. #8
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swamptandem View Post
    Good post! It's nice to be able to actually call and talk to the guy building your frame.
    No such thrill with a Calfee. When we visited, we were able to talk to the sales guy, Mike Moore, and their operations guy, who sets up the tubes in a frame and everything.




    But the actual guys doing the carbon wraps, and then grinding it down were speaking Spanish, and nigh indistinguishable from the agricultural workers toiling in the lettuce field 50 yards away.


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    Wouldn't it be more relevant to compare Mg to a carbon frame as they are closer in price than Al?

  10. #10
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
    Wouldn't it be more relevant to compare Mg to a carbon frame as they are closer in price than Al?
    Yes and no...

    It can easily be argued that tandems built using exotic frame materials with comparable characteristics and pricing are best judged against other exotics for a better 'apples-to-apples' comparison, e.g., Titanium, Composites (carbon, bamboo, etc.), Magnesium, Boron, etc... In fact, most of the folks I've spoken to who have ridden and/or who have owned or current own both Paketa and Calfee tandems (and others in the same genre) will suggest that they have similar ride qualities, in terms of vibration dampening, road feel, handling, etc. For what it's worth, the edge on overall performance / fastest frame over known course is typically given to the Paketa which may have something to do with the more slender tubeset when looked at in terms of their frontal area exposure, but that's just a guess.

    On the flip-side of the coin, just about tandem fabricated from the more expensive, highly-refined aluminum or steel tubesets and built up using the same super-lightweight components and wheels will put you in the big-leagues in terms of cost ($8k - $10k and up), and once again the buyer is left with deciding which frame material offers the ride and handling qualities that best-suits their preferences. While I can't imagine anyone not finding the ride qualities of the Calfees, Paketas and Santana Beyonds to be quite nice, there are folks out there who simply prefer the way a nice Easton, Reynolds, or Columbus frameset feels in a sprint or when climbing... real or imagined.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 06-08-11 at 02:54 PM.

  11. #11
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    Thanks everyone for their info. Once again, something to think about:-)

  12. #12
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    I wonder what volume of machines single and tandem Calfee makes these days.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by swamptandem View Post
    Not real long term experience. We have 1100 miles on our Paketa. I can tell you that the Mag tubing is much thicker than aluminum. The durability of the Mag is one reason we chose Paketa. I think it is the most durable frame material on the market. And has an amazing ride quality. I think this frame would travel better then Aluminum, carbon, or steel. Ti would be very similar as far as toughness.

    If you have any other questions about Paketa please feel free to contact me.

    Rick
    I have a 5 year old Paketa V2 frameset that has serios corrosion problems. The problem started when the powdercoat pealed off the face of the captain's bottom bracket and then has spread to the entire bottom bracket shell. Once it starts, there appears to be no stopping it. When contacting Paketa, they indicated that there is no way to refinish the frameset. There is also corrosion starting on the top tube where the cable stops are fastened to the frame.

    Unfortunately, I am unable to work out a reasonable deal with Paketa on a replacement frame so I am going to cut my losses and start over. I had less than 5000 miles on the frame. There were no crashes or unusual use with the tandem.

    In the end, the frame rides great, but in my opinion, there are other framesets out there that will last longer and be more durable. I would include co-motion, calfee, and any titanium tandem in this category. I equate the Paketa to a Formula-1 car, it is meant to go fast at the expense of long-term durability and servicability. For example, does anyone know of a frameset that cannot be refinished?

    I'll provide pictures if interested.

    Fujiti

  14. #14
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post. Pictures are always helpful.

    I know that Paketa participates in this forum. I wonder if we can get their input?

    Can the frames generally not be refinished or is this a special case that would not apply to most people?

    From what I have read, Paketa uses high quality vendors to powder coat the frames. What is their take on the cause of the problem?

  15. #15
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FUJITI View Post
    When contacting Paketa, they indicated that there is no way to refinish the frameset. There is also corrosion starting on the top tube where the cable stops are fastened to the frame.



    Fujiti
    Is there something specific about Mg that prevents just stripping the whole frame and powder coating it again?
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FUJITI View Post
    I have a 5 year old Paketa V2 frameset that has serios corrosion problems. The problem started when the powdercoat pealed off the face of the captain's bottom bracket and then has spread to the entire bottom bracket shell. Once it starts, there appears to be no stopping it. When contacting Paketa, they indicated that there is no way to refinish the frameset. There is also corrosion starting on the top tube where the cable stops are fastened to the frame.

    Unfortunately, I am unable to work out a reasonable deal with Paketa on a replacement frame so I am going to cut my losses and start over. I had less than 5000 miles on the frame. There were no crashes or unusual use with the tandem.

    In the end, the frame rides great, but in my opinion, there are other framesets out there that will last longer and be more durable. I would include co-motion, calfee, and any titanium tandem in this category. I equate the Paketa to a Formula-1 car, it is meant to go fast at the expense of long-term durability and servicability. For example, does anyone know of a frameset that cannot be refinished?

    I'll provide pictures if interested.

    Fujiti
    Have you been able to talk to Dave at Paketa about this? Only 5k miles, not much at all.

    I used to own and operate an aircraft paint shop. I don't see why you could not strip the frame with a hydrogen peroxide based paint stripper and re paint.

  17. #17
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    Refinishing a Mg frame

    You're correct: refinishing IS possible, but the issue is finding someone competent to strip powder coat, clean the frame meticulously (bead blasting is best in this regard), and then refinish it. The owner of this tandem did inquire about refinishing, and I responded by saying that it's not practical to do it, and as a manufacturer, we would not be able to stand behind the refinishing work b/c we simply don't have any experience at it: having a frame with this kind of problem is extremely rare. We have frames that are now approaching ten years and tens of thousands of miles on them out in the field with almost no corrosion problems. Many of those bikes are ridden by racers who train in the worst of conditions. Magnesium is really no more prone to corrosion than steel or aluminum (at least). We have a page on the Paketa web site addressing the corrosion question and how to properly maintain a magnesium frame:
    http://www.paketabikes.com/index.cfm?page=corrosion

    At Paketa, we pride ourselves with great customer service. What's missing from the story is that the frame in question is out of warranty (at the time the warranty was three years; it's now six years for all Paketa tandems), and the present owner is not the original owner. We pointed out to the owner that there are no bicycle manufacturers (that I'm aware of, at least) that offer transferable warranties. To wit, here are the relevant excerpts from the main manufacturers of high-performance tandems:

    http://www.calfeedesign.com/product/...rame-warranty/ "Calfee Design warrants to the original registered owner that its products are free of manufacturer’s defects..."
    http://co-motion.com/index.php/infor...ty_information "Co-Motion frames, forks and stems carry a limited lifetime warranty for the original owner of the bike..."
    http://www.sevencycles.com/warranty.php "The warranty is valid to the original retail purchaser only, and only for the time the person owns the frame." (Note: finish excluded from warranty)
    http://www.nichedistributions.com/santana "...all Santana Tandems have a lifetime frame warranty against structural defects for the original purchaser..." (Note: finish excluded from warranty).
    http://www.paketabikes.com/index.cfm?page=warranty "All Paketa frames are warranted to the original owner against manufacturer's defects..."

    It's impossible for any manufacturer, not just Paketa, to know all of the details of how a bike is assembled, stored, maintained, used, or abused. Maintenance is essential on any bicycle not just for riding but also to protect and preserve the frame. That is the responsibility of the owner, obviously.

    Nonetheless, as a gesture of good will and with the desire to help out a Paketa owner, even if they're a second-hand owner, we offered a new frame at a substantial discount from the new-frame price--about half. The new frame is the latest design with significant improvements over the earlier version and comes with the full six-year warranty. What's that worth? Under the circumstances, we feel this is more than reasonable. And, the owner would still be free to refinish the old frame.

    Dave Walker
    PAKETA CYCLES

    Quote Originally Posted by swamptandem View Post
    Have you been able to talk to Dave at Paketa about this? Only 5k miles, not much at all.

    I used to own and operate an aircraft paint shop. I don't see why you could not strip the frame with a hydrogen peroxide based paint stripper and re paint.

  18. #18
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FUJITI View Post
    When contacting Paketa, they indicated that there is no way to refinish the frameset.
    Magnesium bike frames are rare, but there have long been magnesium wheels (whence comes the term 'mag' wheels), and these are valuable vintage items. Owners of these wheels are not going to toss them because they supposedly 'can't' be refinished.

    Here is someone who had 70's vintage Ronal racing wheels with a corroded magnesium center, and these were refinished just fine.




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    Clearly not a good situation for me. Dave Walker continued to point out that Paketa was not responsible under warranty. However, I was not requesting a warranty replacement frame nor claimed that Paketa was responsible for providing me with a new frameset.

    Maybe my expectations were too high. What I expected was to pay a reasonable amount to either repair the frameset, or for a replacement frameset since they claim that this is so unusual. I am admitedly a second hand owner, a fact that I did not try to hide from Paketa. The first owner sold it to me in like new condition with very limited miles on it. Manufacturers can typically repair, or repaint their framesets and I assumed that this was the case with Paketa. I assumed wrong.

    My offer was to pay $2k plus shipping as a reasonable solution that should more than cover the direct labor and materials for the replacement. We are failing to come to agreement and that is fine. Unfortunately it took several months to come to this conclusion due to slow repsonses from Paketa.

    Below is an e-mail example of how Dave was trying to deflect the problem by blaming a third party painter. While I appreciate Dave's offer to discount the frame to something close to dealer cost, I did not expect to pay so much for a replacement frame if that is all that can be done.

    You asked about experience on Paketa tandems and durability. Here is my experience. I don't wish to repeat it so I am going to move a different direction and determine if the frame can be refinished for a reasonable cost with a third party painter, or sell the frame "as is" at a huge loss. What I learned is that it makes sense to buy something that can be repaired or repainted so that I can enjoy it for more than a couple of years.

    If anyone knows of a good third party painter that can handle this, I'd like to talk with them.

    Thanks for the suggestions.


    Dave's specific e-mail:

    Hi, Troy,

    JP and I discussed the matter further. It's perhaps helpful to know what you're experiencing has nothing to do with any manufacturing defect on Paketa's part. We build the frames and send them out for powder coating, and what you're experiencing is the powder coat delaminating from the metal; the corrosion is a byproduct of failing powder coat, not any inherent problem with the frame itself. I'll also point out that the company that performed the finishing on this frame is long since gone, and newer frames do not have this issue.

    It occurred to me that you can obviously reuse your fork, head set, front BB eccentric, and most of the small parts, which is about $700 of the cost of a new frame. With all this in mind, we'll offer you a new replacement frame, one-color finish, for $3000 FOB Broomfield, CO. That's the best we can do under the circumstances. Paketa is a small company with limited resources, but we do want to do our best to give customers--any customers, including second-hand owners--the best experience possible with our bikes. It's really no different than buying an automobile that's out of warranty: you save substantially on the purchase price, but you also assume the risk of having the engine or transmission die, for example.

    Again, thank you for your interest and support of Paketa, and I'm glad you're enjoying the bike aside from the aesthetics issue.

    Best regards,

    Dave

  20. #20
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    I don't think Dave is trying to deflect the blame. It sounds to me like he's got the problem nailed pat. It's a coating issue. The frame was probably not prepped properly prior to powdercoating. Since the original coater is no longer in business I think his offer of a new frame at cost is way more than fair. Remember, he doesn't have to do anything.

    If you Google Bicycle painters you will find some resources. I've heard good things about CyclArt. Good luck with your bike.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  21. #21
    Senior Member colotandem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    I don't think Dave is trying to deflect the blame. It sounds to me like he's got the problem nailed pat. It's a coating issue. The frame was probably not prepped properly prior to powdercoating. Since the original coater is no longer in business I think his offer of a new frame at cost is way more than fair. Remember, he doesn't have to do anything.

    If you Google Bicycle painters you will find some resources. I've heard good things about CyclArt. Good luck with your bike.
    I'm with Homeyba.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixtiescycles View Post
    We pointed out to the owner that there are no bicycle manufacturers (that I'm aware of, at least) that offer transferable warranties.

    Dave Walker
    PAKETA CYCLES
    ???????

    Calfee warranty is 25 years and is transferable for a nominal (at least for a high end tandem) fee.

    http://www.calfeedesign.com/product/...anty-transfer/
    Last edited by mburchard; 07-16-11 at 08:42 AM.

  23. #23
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Corroded magnesium can be refinished. Although magnesium bicycle frames are vanishingly rare, magnesium automobile parts have been used for decades, and these most often in cars that that become collectible, and thus restoration candidates.

    An internet search finds no particular shortage of automotive restorers that are experienced with all sorts of stripping, repair and refinishing, including magnesium.

    The Paketa is out of warranty. It is hard to get worked up and wroth with indignation over Paketa's failure to nearly give away a new frame when there has been no report as to how much it will cost to repair and refinish it. It may well be under $1000, and if so the solution becomes obvious.

  24. #24
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    Does Paketa have the capacity to repair the frame? If not, one would think they might at least know some folks who could repair or refinish.

  25. #25
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asu_gt View Post
    ...One would think [Paketa] might at least know some folks who could repair or refinish.
    Most likely Paketa does, however, any suggestion they make might rebound back upon them. If a customer begins aggrieved, this indignation may be fostered rather than assuaged by the refinishing cost and trouble. A customer might be prone to find fault with the refinishing, and then be back at Paketa saying: "You said this could be refinished, and you sent to me this refinisher, and now look. It cost me this much, and the powder coating is a different shade than I wanted." Paketa's thanks for its assistance in finding a refinisher is a customer freshly and doubly aggrieved.

    So, all Paketa can do is to say that refinishing may be possible but that Paketa cannot stand behind anyone else's refinishing. The customer must find his own, and so when/if unhappy he will have only himself rather than Paketa to blame.


    Quote Originally Posted by sixtiescycles View Post
    You're correct: refinishing IS possible, but the issue is finding someone competent to strip powder coat, clean the frame meticulously (bead blasting is best in this regard), and then refinish it. The owner of this tandem did inquire about refinishing, and I responded by saying that it's not practical to do it, and as a manufacturer, we would not be able to stand behind the refinishing work...

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