Other Tandems @ NAHBS…

Ok, now for some of the other tandems that were captured on camera and/or in words by folks who actually attended this year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show…

2012 Best Tandem of Show:  Kent & Katie Eriksen’s personal Ti road tandem

Kent Eriksen stands along side his award-winning tandem.

Kent Eriksen is someone who our long-time, regular readers will remember from several previous blog entries.

  • The first was back in June 2010 when we stumbled over a new Eriksen 29er that had been photographed at a race in Wyoming that you can read about HERE.
  • We followed-up on Kent Eriksen in an article that I called a Tale of Two Eri ks ns, noting that we knew of two great builders named Erickson and Eriksen that you can read about HERE.
  • And then there was a companion piece to the one above that I did about Kent Eriksen & Eriksen Cycles that you can read about HERE.
  • A few months later, Kent was recognized with a lifetime achievement award that we wrote about in October which you can read HERE.
  • At the 2011 NAHBS, Kent scored his second best “tandem” award in 2011 with a personal 29er like the one that first caught my attention back in June 2010, noting he scored a “Best titanium bike” award with another tandem back in 2009: more HERE on 2011.

Kent’s 2012 road tandem caught my attention for  a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it’s just a beautiful-looking frame with amazing welds, nice lines, very tidy internal wire routing and a nice brushed finish.  Secondarily, because I spoke with Katie and then Kent about a possible Eriksen Ti tandem a while back and their tandem’s frame’s design is very close to what we would have spec’d, less the couplers, with a longer stoker compartment, and some different components. The third reason had to do with the component choices which left me scratching my head a bit: (1) Dual-control over the Shimano DuraAce Di2 front & rear shifters, (2) the front derailleur configuration as shown, and (3) the selection of a Shimano XTR hydraulic disc brake as a stoker-controlled auxiliary rear / drag brake.

2012 Best Alternative Material:  Paketa V2r Tandem

Sub-25 pound magnesium Paketa V2r wins Best Alternative Material

We think we know the couple who purchased this tandem. They’ve been dropping hints on Facebook that seem to suggest it’s theirs.  Regardless, there are four tandems that I’d really like to get my hands on for extended test rides and the Paketa V2r is one of them.  We hear all kinds of good things about the Paketa from folks who own them and would really like have a more intimate understanding of how the ride qualities compare to our Calfee.

Regular readers of our blog may recall that we’ve posted a couple of items on the Paketa V2r.

The bike they displayed at NAHBS and that won the Best Material award was pretty straight forward in terms of equipment once you looked past the right-side / single-side drive.  Just a very clean-looking machine.  The graphics on the wheels are a little obnoxious, as is the ENVE logo on the fork, and I’ve never warmed up to the PAKETA graphic they use on the down & boom tube.  Just removing the ellipses from the ends would make for a less ‘busy’ graphic.  But, these little nits demonstrate just how nice this bike is since none of those things have anything to do with its function or performance: their just my highly subjective assessment of aesthetics.

Other Tandems

Craig Calfee put a personal tandem on display based on the Kidz rear-steered tandem configuration that puts small children up front.

A bamboo Calfee tandem sporting dual disc brakes and what appears to be a Gates belt-driven Rolhoff internally geared hub with a cross-over Gates belt-driven sync drive. It's also sporting a new typeface for the CALFEE logo and some funky bars.

Taking a cue from Paketa, this Calfee Dragonfly appears to be sporting a right / same-side-drive using the Gates belt for the sync drive and a 2x10 drive train. Not sure what the story is on the front wheel. Perhaps this bike was built for a hipster?

A trio of Co-Motion tandems, with what appears to be a Co-Motion Speedster Co-Pilot (top), a Supremo (Middle) and a Periscope (bottom).

A Co-Motion 29er... nice. Guess I should have included this in my off-road tandems blog entry.

This is apparently a Cyfac that was made for WesternBikeWorks. Interesting to see this one sporting a full-length internal tube vs. the rear-only internal on last year's Cyfac display bike. Close inspection yields a rather eclectic selection of components that seem a little out of place on this high-performance frame.

Not sure how I missed this Eriksen 29er when I did my off-road tandem look at NAHBS; nice.


Yes, Santana was also on hand. This is a shot of a coupled Beyond with Di2 and Gates carbon drive, i.e., a REALLY expensive tandem.

A Santana Scandium sporting the vibration-dampening Vyatec Exogrid down and boom tube. Bill McCready hosted several talks on the Santana trademarked "bilateral dampening" offered by the composite & metallic Exogrid tubes at NAHBS and a local bike shop the weekend before the show.

A semi-retro Victoria tandem with some interesting features. Kind of an odd-mix of old / new / funk... but definitely a head turner.




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?
This entry was posted in Events, Industry News, News items from the web, Off-Road Tandems, Technology & Equip.. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Other Tandems @ NAHBS…

  1. Dave Walker says:

    Hi, Mark,

    Thanks for the nice comments about the V2r we took to NAHBS. The new owners flew into Denver and we rode with them yesterday; here’s a short excerpt of the email I got last night:

    “The Paketa is something else; exactly what we hoped for in ride and response! Anxiously awaiting its arrival back home. Is it there yet? Thanks again and we’ll see you at NAHBS 2013 if not before!

    PS. Flying back right now, wishing we were riding again today in Boulder!”

    The “Retro Rocket,” as they’ve christened her, is sitting in our living room, so when I saw the “sub-25 lb.” caption I thought it best to go weigh it to verify our assertion over 3 days at NAHBS that it’s 23 lbs. That was my best estimate as I hadn’t weighed it before the show–things got a bit crazy in those last few days as we were preparing for the big trip to Sacramento. Anyway, on my digital Feedback Sports hanging scale it’s 23.1 lbs.; the only difference from show spec’s being different saddles as the new owners aren’t the leather-saddle types, no matter how beautiful the Gilles Berthoud gems may be (Did anyone else notice that the Best of Show-winning Cherubim track bike used the same saddle)?

    Our aim with this bike was to keep it as clean as possible: “Form follows function” being my mantra in such matters. So, I recognize that some of what makes this bike special or different from some others isn’t immediately apparent–that’s OK by us and the new owners. The internal wiring (this is now the second Di2 tandem we’ve built; the first one Dura-Ace and this one Ultegra) leaves the frame totally uncluttered except for the rear brake cable–but did you notice there’s no external battery “wart?” Bob Davis deserves a lot of credit for engineering the seatpost-mounted internal battery, modifying the rear derailleur with a long carbon fiber pulley cage (works on an 11-36 cassette), along with the custom carbon stoker pegs and adjustable stoker stem. DA and Ultegra wiring harnesses are completely different: e.g., the Calfee seatpost battery, designed for DA Di2, is incompatible with Ultegra Di2. Thanks, Shimano!

    The only other thing I wanted to point out about the right-side drive on the V2r is that there’s more to it than just moving the timing belt (or chain) from the left side to the right side. The #1 advantage of Paketa’s implementation is that the bending moment (or force) on the boom tube is substantially reduced because of the inboard belt location. This improves the handling and “feel” of the bike on the road without having to make the frame any heavier or stiffer in a manner that would degrade the ride quality. The Calfee you mentioned has the timing belt outboard of the drive chain rings; consequently, it has about 71% higher pedaling-induced bending moment on the boom tube compared to the V2r, as I explained here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/390272-What-s-your-tandem-weigh?p=12687648&viewfull=1#post12687648.

    Depending on the specific frame design/geometry, one might be able to mount it inboard using smaller sprockets or chain rings, but keep in mind the bending moment is inversely proportional to sprocket size, so having much smaller, inboard-mounted sprockets does not make it comparable to the V2r’s setup, which requires extensive changes to the frame design and construction. It takes about 8 hours longer to build a V2r frame vs. the V2, which helps to explain the price difference.

    The other thing new about this particular tandem is the head tube. This is the first tandem we’ve built with a “straight 44” head tube, which allows the top and down tubes to attach with no “shaping” required, and adds versatility in being able to fit either a standard 1-1/8″ fork with fully internal head set (as displayed) or a tapered 1-1/2″ lower/1-1/8″ upper race fork and head set, or even the new Cane Creek Angleset adjustable-angle head set, which I’ll admit is a pretty innovative concept. Heavier teams will especially appreciate being able to use a tapered fork, which will add quite a bit of front end stiffness.

    Look for the Retro Rocket on a road near you soon.

    Best regards,

    Dave Walker

    • TG says:

      Awesome info Dave. Thanks so much for sharing all of the detail. We’re looking forward to seeing the bike in the flesh sometime around mid-May. No doubt about it, Paketa tandems have definitely earned a very high spot on my tandem lust-list.

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