About Me

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Mountain Home, Arkansas, United States
My name is Dimitri Harris and I am a new custom bicycle frame builder. I started building frames about 4 years ago and decided to go learn from a pro so I headed out to Rifle, Colorado and spent two weeks with Koichi Yamaguchi. He is one of the most interesting people I have ever met and I am thankful to have worked with him. Thanks Koichi! Since then I have just been building one frame after another and learning as much as possible along the way. I build steel fillet-brazed frames that go by the name of MEECH, its an old nickname that I have had since I was a kid. I build mostly cyclocross frames because I love their versatility however I also do road,single-speed, and mountain bikes as well. Custom frames start around $1200 and $1400 w/steel fork. All my frames are handmade by me here in Mountain Home, Arkansas and I guarantee all my work so if you are in the market for a custom steel frame I would be glad to build it for you. Thanks for checking out the blog and you can email me at meech151@hotmail.com or call (870)897-6703 or visit www.meechcustombicycles.com Thanks.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Wurster's Stem

Just finished a little stem build for Mike Wurster, a buddy of mine I met through a frame build a couple of years ago, and thought I'd show a few pics of it.  Sometimes finding enough stuff to blog about can be difficult so I use what I can.  Talking about a stem build is probably pretty boring stuff but actually building a stem isn't that bad.  I enjoy doing it and they look pretty nice.  I get these components through Paragon Machine Works, top-shelf stuff. 



A little custom engraving by Mark from Mainline Awards here in Mountain Home and I'll be putting some paint on it in a day or two.

This stem should be around long after I'm gone, although I'm hoping to be around another 40-50 years.  You're looking at this stem a little differently now aren't you.  Yeahhhhhh, that's what I thought.  Check back to see it after I dip it in chocolate.  Man, I ate a whole bucket of chocolate ice cream in two nights.  Don't even ask me about the Double Stuff Oreos I made disappear.  I'm just thankful that I'm not addicted to anything illegal, not that one addiction is any better than another.  I should leave now.  chao.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sandy's Gravel Road Racer with Sauce

Got a few pics of Sandy's frameset with paint right before shipping it out.  This was one of, if not the most complex paint scheme that I've pulled off since I started painting less than two years ago.  There isn't much more here than I normally do except for the accentuated MEECH logo but that was enough.  The price on this scheme just went up.  Lots of ins and outs on this stencil to tape up and/or  off and my eyes were starting to get a little sore after checking and rechecking to make sure it would all come out right.  In the end, I had looked at it so many times that I just said to myself, "Cross your fingers, shoot it, and see."  I did one of those little Hail Mary things that Catholics do where they make a little cross on their chest with their fingers, although I've never really known where to start on my chest so for all I knew I invited Satan for a dinner party.  "Lets see.  Is it left, right, up, and down, or right, down, left, and up?  WTFreak, who cares!"  "Jesus, please make this paint job turn out right so that I can get my customer his frame."  I mean come on, the Spring Classics are already over and the Giro is fixing to start in a couple of weeks.  Why do you think this thing had couplers on it?  Travel.  So anyway, after checking the final coat of paint to make sure nothing got overlooked I started peeling off tape.  I normally work pretty fast at taking it off, however with this one I just got my little stool and sat down and slowly starting taking piece by piece off.  I started with the easiest sections first in order to get a little confidence and momentum building.  I took everything off with no issues all the way down to the logo.  "Alright.  Here we go."  After all the hard work and worrying about getting it right the tape and stencil practically fell off the logos, and when I looked at it all complete and in tack I couldn't even remember peeling the tape off.  "Thank you Jesus!" I've been hanging out with Jesus alot here lately.  It comes and goes. Its seems that he's always there for me but I'm not so sure I'm holding up my end of the deal. Just for the records, I don't have dinner parties, and I don't really believe in Satan.  "So D, if you don't believe in Satan, how do you believe in God?"  Well, I haven't exactly worked that one out yet. "What is this, the Gospel Hour?" I'm actually thinking about writing a training book called, Drafting Behind Jesus.  Its for guys like me that have to ride by themselves all the time.  The idea came to me the other day when I went out for a short ride.  The wind was brutal and as usual I was having to take it on the chin all by myself.  I was thinking how nice it would be to have someone to draft off of. Then I started imagining that Jesus was in front doing a pull and that I was on his wheel.  He had long brown hair and some bright, white, loosely fitting cycling apparel, but he was wearing spandex.  I don't recall if his legs were shaved but I know he wasn't wearing a helmet. I mean come on, if you had been through everything that he's been through would you. He was knocking the wind off of me pretty good but I was still having trouble holding his wheel.  Jesus holds a pretty swift pace and I was getting a bit frustrated with him riding me off his wheel and then coming back for me.  I hate when people do that, but since it was Jesus I bit my tongue and sucked it up.  One thing I hate about drafting behind Jesus is that white, flowy, sheet-like jersey keeps blowing back in my face.  A couple of times I slipped up and said, "Dammit Jesus, tuck it in, you're killing me back here."  Whenever I talked like that he seemed to lift the pace a bit and so I decided to shut my mouth and not suffer any more than I had to. About that time Jesus looked back at me and said, "Suffering! Wuss!"  A couple of times I tried to roll up beside Jesus and see what kind of bike he rides but it always seemed like he could see me coming up on him and he would speed up and put me back in my place.  He does run Campy components though,  I saw his rear brake calipers a couple of times. Don't even think about attacking Jesus, he rides at such a high wattage that you're maxed out just trying to hold his wheel. Just accept the fact that you're gonna finish 2nd.  But hey, at least you get to stand on the podium with the girls.  Ok, ok, nice frame huh?  I'm expecting a call from Peyton Manning here anytime now.  Did you think I was joking about breathing in too many paint fumes in that last post?  

First S & S Coupled frame.  I never paid much attention to them until Sandy asked me to build this frame, but now I think they're pretty cool and I'll build more.  We decided to turn the lugs sideways for a little added stiffness, this is a race bike you know.

I like this photo because it captures a little of almost everything in this frame.  You can look at this one section of the frame and know you're looking at a MEECH.


A new style of carbon chainstay protector.  This is 3 layers of Car-Bone.  Starting with a couple layers of uni-directional, then a 12k checker-board cosmetic layer on top.  "Bullet-proof?"  Don't even think about shooting this chainstay with a bullet, it'll ricochet and shoot your eye out kid.  


"Keep your distance boys, security is in force." Check out Smokey keeping all the crazy folks back away from it.  He's in charge of security here at the headquarters.

This is a different style of photo.  Yeah, it was another one of my angled photographs so I just cropped it down until you couldn't tell. Turns out the frame was straight, its the world thats lop-sided. I've got to go walk Dancin Dizzy and so I'll be back in a little while.  Hang loose, not high.  Check out that stainless steel head badge to match the couplers.  Its in the details I hear.

With the frame having white on it I wanted to try and tie the fork into as well.  The Wound-Up style fork blades didn't give me any sort of line to work off of and so I just added a few stars around the bottom of the fork legs.  I thought it worked out nicely.  Of course now I had to tie some stars into the frame as well and so I added a couple around the rear drops.  You can see them in the photo above.


As I was boxing this thing up for shipment I was really wishing I could've ridden it.  It is one of the more interesting frames that I've built.  I pour heart and soul into each and every frame that I build, but because this is a larger frame, has couplers, and a Wound-Up fork, I would've really liked to see what it rolls like.  I haven't ridden a 60cm frame in a long time. Thats ok, Sandy is gonna give us the lowdown.  He's a pretty avid racer I gathered from talking to him.  I think this thing would look great on the top step of a podium. "Podium, podium girls?"  I may have to start racing again.  Let's see I probably should start training and get a good coach.  I hear Chris Carmichael's prices have dropped considerably. To live and die with LA.



While this frame may appear to be for a Denver Broncos fan the paint scheme actually came from this soft drink called Moxie that is very popular in the Northeast.  Originally Sandy was wanting the logo to be painted like this but I was having trouble getting the white to cover the blue completely and so we went the opposite direction.  I think the blue letters with white outline match the frame better however I'm now in need of the education in order to paint light colored letters with dark outlines.  Is there something simple that I'm overlooking?  If anyone can offer some sound advice I would truly appreciate it. Sandy is a Massachusetts man and so I thought I would throw in my favorite Pixies song just for fun, afterall, this build was very educational.  Thanks Sandy!




MEECH Custom Bicycles
Handmade Machines
from
Mountain Home, Arkansas

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Jam Afana's Team MEECH Road Frame

I finally got some work finished and photographed these last couple of days.  Talk about absentee landlords.  I'm sorry but I just haven't had time to post anything.  I had a couple of paint jobs that I've been trying to get done for quite a while and the weather finally broke a few days ago.  This is my good buddy Jam's, from London, Ontario, road frame.  After the temperatures started getting up around 60 or so outside I just started putting heaters in the shed to get it up to about 70-75 degrees.  I did some painting/priming in the garage but the stuff just goes everywhere.  My garage had about 3 different colors floating around. Tt one point, I wasn't sure if it was real or if I was hallucinating from breathing in so many fumes.  I truly love painting the frames but I'm afraid there is a price to be paid sooner or later.  I'm gonna try and invest in some better protective equipment.  Don't even think you're gonna get by with one of those little things that covers your face for mowing the yard.  The clearcoat will chew through one of those in about 5 minutes.  I've been buying these 3M respirators and they work pretty good, however when I was having to keep the doors closed, in order to keep the heat inside, it was killing me.  Oh well, I think we've finally made it through the cold stuff, you can see green in the background.  Woo Hooo!

Jam told me a long time ago, after seeing one of my black and yellow frames, that when I built him a frame that was what he wanted.  These are Team MEECH colors right here.  Of course you can have your MEECH painted anyway you like, because of course its your's, but if I had to pick one look to go with this is the one I enjoy the most.  Black and yellow Suzooks and Yamahas were always a fave for me growing up. Follow me.

Check out those front fork dropouts.  Louis Maximus "Soul Katt" Jackson, a.k.a. inspector #8675309, making sure everything is as it should be.  "Jenny, Jenny, who can I turn to?" How could a song that sucks so bad sound so good?


Those little holes are hard to get paint into.  I'm getting better at it.  Wonder if a syringe would work?








Even Supercross Dizzy wanted to get in on the action.  He's got his leash on so I can get work done without having to worry about chasing him down.  I've tried to let him stay outside with me while I'm working but he always bails off into the bush and I have to go chasing him down so now he's got a 60 foot cable tied to him.  I don't even tie the other end down to anything,  sixty feet of steel cable dragging the ground is enough to make him think he can't go anywhere.  Don't tell him. He hates the thing with a passion but its the best thing for him as he can be outside with me and I can get work done without worrying about him. This frame is just about his size, he has legs like me.  I call him "Supercross Dizzy" because of the way he jumps over all the furniture in the house.  When he jumps on the couch he usually does it from the back side.  Couple of times he overjumped and cased the coffee table.


Here it is Jam.  The weather should be getting about right up north so I'll be shipping this thing out in a few days.

Check back in a couple of days as I have another really nice frame that I just finished up fixing to be shipped.  Thanks for stopping by.  Hasta Luego.

MEECH Custom Bicycles
handmade in 
Mountain Home, Arkansas


Friday, April 11, 2014

Brad Wiggins on Paris-Roubaix

“It’s not like a road race, where you can just sit there all day, stop for a wee, come back, pose for the cameras … all that sort of stuff. It’s like no other race.”
Read more at http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/04/news/wiggins-takes-back-seat-sky-rallies-around-boasson-hagen_323846#9tPJP4ovFGho9KcM.99


Quick Step doing the recon thing.

According to Velonews they're running 30c tires in the back and 28s up front.  Wonder what a 20c pumped up to about 130 would feel like?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Brazing/Clean-Up on Sandy's Frame

Got a few brazing shots as well as some finish work that I did the past couple of days.  Lots of my customers enjoy seeing the work that goes into their frames ( I hope), so here you go guys.  The last couple of frames I built I've been trying to really lay down some clean fillets in order to lesson the clean-up work, but regardless of how nice it is I still put in a few good hours cleaning everything up.  I'm still looking for that perfect braze, kinda like a surfer waiting to catch the perfect wave. "Yeah, whatever. Just let us check out the pictures."


 









New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts are Sandy's stomping grounds.

 
This is the first time I've used a Wound Up fork on one of my builds.  I've always wanted to however nobody ever asked for one until now.  They're beautifully made and I hesitated having to scuff it up in order to paint it.
This picture doesn't even begin to show how polished these things are.  It was like bicycle art.

I didn't know they had an aluminum core inside the steerer tube.  They're a little heavier than your average carbon fork but a little extra stability goes a long way.  I bet it rides really predictable.  "Like steel?"  You don't know man, you might can fly.

Oh well, it had to be done.  We supposedly have some warmer weather coming in this week.  Maybe I can get it painted shortly.  Did I ever tell you about my one and only surfing attempt?

 I love surfing probably more than any person in Arkansas could.  Let me rephrase that. I love watching surfing more than any person in Arkansas could.  Surfing caught my eye not long after Evel Knievel did but I never had the chance to learn as there isn't much surfing going on in Arkansas. Plus, I'm scared of sharks, mainly just the Great White, even though all the others would bite your leg off quicker than you can scream, "Momma!"  Those guys that surf the big waves off the coast of San Fran or Australia definitely have my respect.  I did learn to snowboard a few years ago and thats about as close to surfing as I've gotten.  Ok, there was one time in Florida where I rented a surf board and gave it a shot.  You see, with all that surfing passion inside of me I had to try it at least once before I died, you know, a bucket list sort of thing.  So anyway there was a storm moving in and the waves were getting a little bigger than the usual 2 footers, maybe they were 3 or 4 footers. So I had my souped-up (suped up?), rented surf board with the flames painted on it under my arm and I'm walking down the beach like Keana Reeves in Point Break scoping out all those waves that I'm fixing to ride.  "Yep, I'm finally gonna  go surfing."  So I reached my destination and hung a hard right staring straight down the Gulf of Mexico's throat. "Watch this boys!"  Got me a little running start, laid the board down on the water, and jumped right off the side of it.  So I get on the board ( I'm standing in knee deep water) and start paddling out.  Breaker after breaker was knocking me off the board just as quick as i could get back on it. I couldn't even get out to where I needed to be.  I was starting to feel like I had been in a washing machine for a cycle or two but I couldn't go back to the hotel without catching one wave.  So I perservered and finally got out past the breakers and continued paddling out to where i thought I needed to be.  I was in deeper water now, not sure how deep, but there was no touching bottom.  So now I'm just sitting on the board floating trying to catch my breath
after just exhausting myself to get out there.  The waves are raising me up and down, over and over until I was basically getting sea sick.  There was no gas left in my tank at this point but I wanted to make one attempt at catching a wave, afterall, me and the waves were going the same direction.  So here comes the perfect wave, ok, it was just some random wave like all the rest, but it was the one. Now I don't remember exactly what happened but I fell off the board while I was still paddling, only now I'm in deep water, tired, and i can't get back on the board.  A couple of waves gave me a big salty drink and a brief moment of panic set in. I remember thinking, "Oh geez, am I actually gonna drown out here? Really?  In 
Fort Walton Beach?"  Someone had actually drowned the day we arrived.  Peaceful thought huh? So I clung to the surf board with the little bit of energy I had left (more like desperation), got a couple of breaths in me, and managed my way back to the beach.  It was a long, blurry walk back to the hotel with my tail tucked between my legs. I didn't feel like Keanu any more. I drove straight to the surf shop, handed them their board, and told them thanks. The guy said, "You didn't surf very long." And of course I replied, "Yeah I know man, I'm just not that into it right now." 





Saturday, March 22, 2014

New Rock Shox RS-1

I don't talk much about mountain bike stuff but this new inverted fork from Rock Shox is pretty cool. Wonder how much?

Monday, March 17, 2014

S and S Couplers

I got some good experience with the S and S coupler system this weekend.  These things seem like they've been around forever but this is the first time I've actually used them.  There isn't that much to them but I always enjoy learning new stuff so I'm glad to finally work with them.  The hardest part for me is getting that little spring-like retainer ring on and off.  I didn't even shoot a picture of it but I'll try to get one here shortly.  Everything else just boils down to a couple of precise measurements and cleanup work.  There is actually an extra tube shown here because when I placed the original order I ordered a 1 3/8" for the down tube and a 1 1/8" for the top. I forgot that I was using a 1 1/4" top tube on this frame, so I ended up with an extra to practice with.  I'm already planning another  frame to use it on.
Here is a quick shot of the retaining ring.  Its basically just like a key-ring and I've found that the best way to put it on is basically just like putting a tire on a rim, put a small portion on and then just work your way around slowly until it snaps into place.  After doing it a couple times and getting comfortable its not bad at all.


Actually what I should've said, is that there isn't much to installing them.  I'm not a machinist but I imagine the process of making them has a bit of complexity.  I would love to watch them being made as they're very well thought out and beautifully machined. I never gave them much thought in the past however after working with them I realize how invaluble they are.

This is actually just the mock-up coupling that they give you so you don't scratch up the main stainless lock nut.  Since I was cleaning up the lugs I decided to go ahead and put a little shine on this coupling as well.  Once I started shining everything up I didn't want to stop.

The main coupling of course.


Once I get these tacked in place I can start a little fillet-brazing. Back to work.