While we failed to entice Dave Walker into ‘loaning’ us his personal Paketa over the winter so that we could give it a go on our local roads, we’ve been talking to quite a few Paketa owners and to a person, they’re all very pleased with their Magnesium dreams.
By the way, in the event anyone else has a hard time with sight-reading names and guessing wrong on pronunciations like I do, I believe Paketa is pronounced ‘Pah-ke-tah’. I’d originally thought it was ‘Pah-keet-a’ and finally caught on when I was talking tandems with our friend Mark Johnson at Precision Tandems in Kansas. He was talking about what was selling well, what they’d been riding, etc. and kept mentioning what sounded like Bottecchia?!
Well, as best as I could recall, Bottecchia hadn’t made a tandem since the 1970’s so that made no sense at all. What the heck brand of tandem was he talking about???
It finally dawned on me I’d gotten the Paketa brand name wrong in my head all these years and what Mark was talking about were the Pah-ke-tah Magnesium tandems he and super-stoker Julie had been riding for the past 8 years or so. The latter somewhat underscores Mark’s impression of the Paketa V2 tandems… in that he can pretty much ride what ever he wants but has been more than happy to stick with Paketa.
We received similar reports from a number of other folks who own or have owned multiple tandems and had a chance to ride the Paketa magnesium V2 Rockets back-to-back with some other pretty nice, high-end racing and performance tandems. To a person, they were all completely wowed by the Paketa’s comfort and performance.
The only negative report we received had a caveat, in that their first Paketa’s frame cracked that was quickly replaced under warranty. The replacement tandem is now their ‘go-faster’ tandem in a tandem fleet with a couple of composite racing tandems at their disposal. But that’s about it. Everyone who has one raves about how ‘fast’ they feel and can usually back up the ‘feeling’ with post ride data that confirms their perceptions: the Paketa tandems seem to yield lower times and faster speeds than their other rolling stock on known, timed loops, and with a very plush ride to boot!
The best-looking Paketa to date remains our friends from Kentucky Jon & Michelle’s black powder coated V2 with some amazing custom powder coated flames applied by someone who knows how flames are supposed to look and flow. Simply awesome!!! They were able to sneak away from parenting duties for the Tennessee Tandem Rally earlier this month and they and their Paketa were looking good!
So, just in case there’s ever a need for an objective 3rd party review by a non-owner who likes to ride and write about tandems, our offer to Dave still stands… we’ll even cover the shipping if we can keep it for a few weeks!! (Guess I’m still pretty pumped from our Santana test ride weekend experience; nothing like getting to enjoy some high-end hardware without having to write a big check!)
In the interim, all I can say at this point is, if we were in the market for a tandem the Paketa (although probably just a V2) would be on our short list along with the likes of an Eriksen Ti-framed tandem, perhaps something else from Calfee, a one-off from Co-Motion, and one or two other frames from builders who have impressed us.