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vtrich 05-12-08 10:10 AM

first ride revelations
WOW! Finally completed the build of our new Paketa. Only took me 3 months, but then I like to savor the process. Fun winter project. First, yes, we did pick the color,..and yes, it is actually the color we thought we were going to get. Ok, it is a tad brighter than we'd anticipated, but after getting it on the road, we like it,...and not likely to get lost in a bike rack. So on Sat., with temps in the high 60s and light breezes we took it for a 35 mile ride. I simply can't believe how much different this thing rides than our old Bilenky. The Paketa is much more stable in a straight line but doesn't feel as quick or responsive. I'm fine with that, and stoker too. Most noticeable though is how damp it feels. I really could not believe how smooth it felt compared to the steel Bilenky. Our roads are in pretty tough shape right now, lots of cracks, but we feel much less road vibration. 'Course some of this could be attributed to a combination of carbon bars and carbon fork, but still, significant difference. We rode up several shortish, steepish hills,...out of the saddle, and I feel no deflection in the bottom bracket. It feels incredibly responsive to pedal imputs on the climbs, not squishy or whippy at all. Of course it was pretty expensive, so my senses could be clouded. I think the Bilenky weighted around 44lb, and I think this is less than 30lb., although we haven't put it on the scale. Embarrassing story,..right out of the gate, I tested the brakes,...Zero Gravity calipers. Yeah I know, probably not a great choice, but I have a rear disc I could install if I feel the need. Anyway,..absolutely no stopping power what-so-ever. I mean it feels like someone greased the rims. I casually mention to my stoker that the brakes might be an issue, we may want to take it a tad easy at first,...she asks casually back,...ummmm,..I'd be more comfortable if the brakes worked. I hear a slight noise from the rear after I squeeze the lever with a little extra force,...finally get the bike stopped,...and in looking at the caliper I notice that the little adjuster that allows one to widen the calipers in order to take the tire (28mm Contis) was still in the open position, I close it up and we take of. Holy cow,...all of a sudden the rear brake works,..and actually works really well. Another quick stop,..and I close the front, we have stopping power on both! I often time ride with those adjusters in the open position on my single, makes no difference,..not so on the Zero Gravity.

will post pics in a minute. Trying to get a couple of pictures attached other than the tiny thumb nails, there a secret to this?


MB1 05-12-08 02:08 PM

Be interesting to hear what you think about the bike once you have some miles in on it........and actually weigh it with a scale.

BTW I'm with your stoker on the brake issue! Glad it was an easy fix.

zonatandem 05-12-08 04:50 PM

The Green Mountains will hide that Paketa in summertime . . .
Looks great! Have tested a set of 0-Gravities and was impressed with the stopping power (and the price!).
Hefted a Paketa a couple years ago at Interbike and it was sub-25 lbs.
Magnesium should provide a softer ride than steel, similar to carbon fiber.
Looking forward to further pics and ride reports.
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

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