A note from Dave Walker, Tandem enthusiast, guru, and designer of the V2:
|I’ve been riding, designing, and tinkering with tandems for nearly 20 years and have logged over 200,000 km on them in that time. I love cycling of all types, but tandems are the heart of my passion. One of the nice things about the Paketa V2 design is that standover height, either front or rear, is almost never an issue. It really comes down to getting the right captain top tube length; thus, the three (stock) frame sizes offered of 54, 56, and 58 cm effective (i.e., measured horizontally) captain top tube lengths.
Stoker top tube length is the same on all frames; proper fit is achieved with the correct (often times, adjustable-length) stoker stem. It’s that simple.
As for comfort vs. stiffness, there’s a few things I can tell you about that. What sets the V2 apart from all other tandems on the market is the very high ratio of stiffness to weight without producing a harsh ride. First and foremost is realizing that the material properties of magnesium (Mg) afford a vibration-damping capacity that is about an order of magnitude (that is, 10X) better than steel, aluminum, or titanium (which are all comparable, by the way). Thus, it’s not just a marketing gimmick: ten times better vibration damping is enough that even casual “weekend warrior” riders can feel the difference. Comparing Mg to carbon fiber (CF) is a bit more difficult because the stiffness, weight, and vibration-damping characteristics of CF are highly dependent on how the material is used: lay-up, tube size/configuration, etc. But, I’ve ridden a number of CF tandems, and while they’re not bad, for my money the Mg produces a better ride while still having that resilient feel of a fine metal frame without any weight penalty.
On a personal note, over 1/2 of those 200,000+ km I’ve put on tandems in the past 20 years were on a Cannondale aluminum road model. Compared to the C’dale, well, to put it simply, there is no comparison: the Paketa is way lighter, just as stiff, and much more comfortable. Interestingly enough, most people who try a Paketa tandem for the first time comment first on the exceptional ride quality and then on the lively, predictable handling. Light weight is obviously good for hill-climbing (and we certainly appreciate that here in Colorado, too), but as a practical matter it comes in handy more often than you realize. My own V2 is right at 11 kg and is the first tandem (out of 20+) we’ve owned that my wife can lift onto a conventional car roof rack by herself, with ease–it’s actually lighter than her own full-suspension titanium mountain bike! Living with the bike, day in and day out, is truly a joy.
My wife and I have been riding tandems since 1985, and over the years have owned 10 different tandems. The Paketa was a revelation. Riding a bike this light makes acceleration a delight, and also makes climbing so much more fun. We were hoping for these traits and we got them. But the real surprise came with the wonderful combination of stiffness and compliance. The Paketa is stiff enough to allow easy stands for both of us on steep ascents, and pleasantly compliant enough for the stoker on rough roads.
I just received my new Paketa Magnesium bike and it simply rules! The characteristics of Mg are that of carbon, titanium, steel and aluminum materials rolled into one super light bike. It has the dampening qualities of Carbon but doesn’t feel dead; it has the comfort of titanium and steel but is way lighter and it has the agility of aluminum but stronger (due to thicker tube walls). Paketa did a beautiful thing. I just thought I would pass along to fellow cyclists. Later, I’m heading out and doing a century.
I’ve already had several unsolicited inquiries on the road from cyclists about how I like the magnesium- during training rides, and again yesterday, while warming up for a crit at the State Patrol venue in Golden. I always tell them the same thing…that the bikes are everything positive that they may have heard about, only more so!
After my first race on it yesterday, I am even happier with the Paketa than I was before. It raced stiff and lively, snappy, but very precisely controllable. It gave me a great deal of confidence on the course. Bottom line-I am extremely proud to be racing on a Paketa, and I’m sure everyone else on RMRC feels the same way.
We’ll keep passing the good word!
Cheers, Jeff Hammond Rocky Mountain Road Club
We love the tandem; it’s very responsive on the hills. Thanks!
Good Morning Nick,
The team sent the three tandems to the State TT Championships this weekend and came home with two gold and a silver. Dave’s bike (the large) set the fastest time overall. They are smokin’ bikes! We all agreed that compared to the Calfee and Santana tandems we used last year, the Paketas are off the chart. They turn great, barely flex and are so comfortable, even in a TT position that it made the effort a lot less painful than last year. See the photos. When we get our State jerseys we will shoot some more photos for you that you may want to use in your advertising. A lot of people are noticing and asking about the bikes. We’re hoping to generate some sales for you.
Well we took our new V2 for her maiden ride yesterday evening. What a ride! The wind was blowing well over 20mph and our first 9 miles were straight into it! The bike handled flawlessly, I was used to being worn out from holding up our old tandem in such a wind but this one just cut right through it. We made the turn at 15 mph average and then the fun really began! Talk about responsive! I wanted to not only hammer into the wind but I wanted to set her sail with the wind, believe me, it did not disappoint us…We finished strong and the bike rode tremendously well on rough pavement, it just absorbed it and when we smashed those wonderful pedals, it almost jumped out from under us! (Not once did my feet go numb from the pressure with these pedals) woohoo!
I thought I would send you a picture of the white tandem built up. We have been riding it for 5 weeks and it’s been a great ride. We couldn’t be happier with the performance. Very light and stiff. We look forward to taking it to Nationals again this year. The first stop is our first State Championship race the end of the month. We’ll keep you posted and send you results. There will be three Paketa tandems in that race thanks to you guys!
Thanks so much for your support,
First ride: Very smooth! My wife and I both thought this was the smoothest bike we have ever ridden. Not to mention fast! We got up to 32mph without digging deep at all. Cruising around at 22-23mph at a “base” or “fat burner”effort. We’re very pleased with the bike. It’s about 23.5 lbs with pedals and cages. We will drop a small amount of weight when we change stems (“fitting” stems on there now), and change to lighter stoker stubs.