Paketa… Hearing Lots of Good Things

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.

Paketa V2r (Photo by Paketa & doctored by TG)

'70's Vintage Bottecchia Tandem

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!

Dave Walker of Paketa

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.

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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6 Responses to Paketa… Hearing Lots of Good Things

  1. Joey Brown says:

    The Paketa V2 is on my short list as well.

  2. Michael Ellis says:

    After 3 years of Paketa ownership (in addition to our CoMotion breakapart speedster and Ventana 29er Conquistador), we also can add our voices to those other Paketa ravers. Besides the gratification of instant acceleration, the stoker loves the compliance on bad roads. And when our friends pick up the 26 pounds the look in their eyes is priceless!

  3. Kami White says:

    We have had our Paketa for 8 months and absolutely love it! We had ridden a Co-Motion and previously a Santana. After 21 years of tandeming the Paketa is hands down the best ride ever.

    People are shocked when they pick it up!

    It has improved our times significantly and the comfort is amazing.

  4. Andy Kami says:

    We love ours, new to use for 2011. We have been riding tandem since 1992 and our Paketa is the best! Comfortable, stiff, light, plush… No need for a shock post. Just in July we climbs 6 of the top 10 highest paved passes in Colorado, which probably means the highest in the country. About 35,000 to 40,000 feet of climbing just in July. A joy to climb on the Paketa! And our times on intense state events like Triple Bypass and Copper Triangle have been very competitive. We were within minutes of the fastest tandem time we know on the Copper Triangle, which was set by Dave Walker and Terry last year on the same bike we are now riding. We recently held a hilly 9.5 mile tandem time trial with our club and Paketa’s took first and second (Jeanie and Ella, and then us).
    We’ll lend you ours for at least an outing if you are ever around Denver/Boulder, or Tucson. Our negotiation to get our friends Dave and Terry to sell us the one and only used Paketa from an owner willing to part with (theirs when they upgraded to the V2r), was to share the joy of our acquisition with others when they want a ride!

  5. Andy Kami says:

    A coulpe we ride with has a Paketa are often the fastest team at state time trials. Even with our Paketa we can not compete with this team who are both smaller and stronger than my wife and I. They have remarked that since getting the Paketa, they are not as fast down hill because the bike is so light! Still, they push a 55 chain ring, crank it on the descents, are daring, fearless, and just a little crazy on the downhills. If anyone can attest to the handling of the Paketa, it’s that team!

  6. Pingback: Other Tandems @ NAHBS… « The TandemGeek's Blog

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