Sunday, May 6, 2012

shop pics and bender making in progress




Here are some pics of the new shop space along with my very excited and driven friends making some benders with me. we take great pride in making everything we make and the money from our products will be going first to rent and electricity and after that go right back into the shop to get better tools and so we can get on to the business of making our experimental musical instruments, bikes, and other artistic endeavors. the shop is sort of the center of what we hope to be an art collective at this location. the pics show only a fraction of the space we have at our disposal. so just know that every time someone buys something from us it will be going to further the arts in our small but lovely town. We are not even close to finishing our shop space which includes another room where the clean work and design takes place but we are at a point where we can make some items to help pay the rent.

Bender update

I love making benders for framebuilders. Just to think about how many people will be riding bicycles with parts made with the help of these benders is a great feeling. I have that philosophy about everything that i make....that the item should be useful and go on to live a life after it leaves my shop and possibly be around longer than me. I have had really postive responses to my benders which have evolved over the years to be durable and stay affordable to the newbie builder.the following is a little sheet that i will be including in every bender order that describes a little bit about using the benders. In the near future i will be blogging detailed bending tips with pictures of each bender and the type of bends it produces. my six inch benders make a euro style fork rake that concentrates the bend near the tip some call this french style. The nine inch radius benders will give you a more subtle bend some call continental and are little stiffer and better for cyclocross. and the five inch benders are great for making s bend rear ends. also if you need to add more bend to an oval stay to get around a wider tire you can use a bender blank without the vee notch to add more bend to a chainstay. I will be offering these very soon with a suitable clamping system. also my blocks will be available at the end of next week for your consumption. The lumber mill cut some 3 inch thick poplar beams for me I just need to pick em up.
here is a copy of the insert followed by some bad pictures i took just before sending these out to Europe this morning.

 these benders are made in the northeast with local kiln dried lumber to cut down on their carbon footprint. They are designed to be simple and durable for years of proper use. You should be able to bend all tapered forks and stays including the bb/seat ends of the rounded stays with no problem just a little care and finesse. I have made complete s-bend rear ends on these benders with no problem. If you need to make a top cap with a deeper vee-notch to fit the large end of Rounded stays, the hole spacing is 1.2"
I fully expect people to modify them to suit their needs and I leave a little extra wood in the vee notch in the top caps so You should be able to file a little off the vee so that you can fit fork tips as well as both ends of the stays with the same top clamp. For oval fork blades with a larger radius bend (9inch) it is advisable to make a suitable wood handle shaped to fit a few inches into the oval for more leverage and bend consistency. You should always mark your tubes while they are Sitting next to each other on the bench and when you bend your first side you should mark the bender to ensure that you line both sides up the same on the bender. if for some reason you need to make a bend that requires multiple adjustments to the tube you should always bend slightly and the push the bent area through the cap and not the other way around. The tube over the bender should always be the unbent portion.

Out of the hundred plus benders I have made over the years I have had very few failures mostly at the bolt head area due to grain pattern of the wood. I have taken steps to avoid these failures by laying out the benders slightly different with regards to grain pattern and using flanged bolt heads on the new benders. So please, any problems or feedback and you know where to find me. shrinkage shouldn't be an issue but if you live in Arizona, new Mexico or any really dry climate it may be advisable to liberally oil up your bender to avoid shrinkage (nyuk)
Mike Giannico
Nicola Cycles

the one in the back is a 6 incher and the front one is a nine incher. i love how they look like turtles or snails or something.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Solid Oak Benders In Stock

I have a couple more benders for sale.  I will be selling them for $75.00 us plus $12.00 flat rate to anywhere in the continental US. I will gladly ship them elsewhere if buyer pays actual shipping.

They are made from almost 2 inch thick solid red oak with a hard maple top bending cap and include upgraded 1/4 inch hardware  up from 3/16 .these benders are simple and extremely effective and feature a 6 inch radius. they also work well for stays. they actually work even better after they are broken in a few times once the wood deforms ever so slightly to encompass the radius of the blades. Below I posted some photos on making my benders and couple of bend pics.

I will be using Paypal for these transactions. you can use your credit card and you do not need to have a paypal account to send money.

please email me at Nicolacycles@gmail.com if you are interested




















Tuesday, February 9, 2010

mid build lugged road frame pics

Heres a couple of mid build lugged road frame pics for your ass. Ive had these webbed lugs forever and finally got to use them.here you can see some of my fixturing devices at work. It got a little cold out there and all my soak tanks froze so no soaking yet but this baby is gonna clean up nice. I found a new powder coater here in Danbury so I think this will get the powder treatment. and maybe a fancy schmancy copper badge like the last one.



Thursday, February 4, 2010

Johns frame back from powder

here are some pics of johns frame back from powder. it features a hand hammered copper badge , sleeved seat stays, and a rigid nicola fork.....enjoy




Tuesday, August 18, 2009

John Thorpes SS Mountain frame










































































































Here are some pics of The mtb I'm working on now. There are some interesting pics showing the making of the seatatays from regular straight stays. after forming the bends they get a little work hardened and more lively making for a real treat to ride. other than that The bike is pretty straightfroward 8-5-8 tubing with regular canti mounts. It will be black with a fine silver hammered badge. and maybe some burnmt orange. there is also a pic of the bike this one is modeled after that shows my Rigid mtb forks. I know the unpaintedness is unflattering but at the time i took this I had to still braze on some hydro cable guides for the maguras.






















Sunday, September 9, 2007

sneak peek. post paint pre build.




I know it seems like we build like one bike every month and a half, well' you're right. we take alot of time building because we're picky and both work full time jobs and have girlfriends and numerous other things going on.food not bombs, kids, beer, friends, riding, dumpstering. but when we are working on a bike it is the only bike we are doing and all of our attention goes to that one bike. One at a time, thats how we do it. period. we also recently decided to keep everything in house and we are painting all of our own frames to keep the quality intact. so here it is, our first in house spray job. and if i do say so myself i think it is the shitttt. my friend eric hooked me up with his autobody paint distributor Albert Kemperle. Tony at AK told me that i could rummage through all the mismatched colors that have been sitting on the shelf and are taking up space. Bottom line is I walked out with $750.00 worth of paint for $0.00. many thanks to tony and I hope he enjoys the roasted peppers. anyway if you ever get your hands on a professional spray gun use it. mix the paint to reducer @ 2 to 1.5 and spray. peice of cake, no trick photography, no majik powers or secret knowledge. i bet if you take your time and keep shit clean you'll get a great result. E-mail me if you need some tips. my friend has been spraying for 15 years and i can answer any question for FREE. anyway we are really appreciative of our customers till this point and all the people that we have met since our landing here in port chester. we are looking forward to building Ski's bike and i assume it will take way more time than it should. enjoy the pics. Mike and Aaron