About Me

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Mountain Home, Arkansas, United States
My name is Dimitri Harris and I have been building frames for over 6 years now. I learned the basics after spending 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. 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 $1400. All the frames are handmade by me here in Mountain Home, Arkansas. I am insured and guarantee all of my work so if you are in the market for a custom steel frame I would be glad to build it for you. I am also building frames from carbon fiber so if you would like to ride a prototype frame give me a shout. Thanks for stopping by. You can email me at meech151@hotmail.com or call (870)897-6703 or visit www.meechcustombicycles.com Thanks.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Working on New Shop

So we got moved into the new house a couple days before Christmas and I immediately started cleaning up the old one to move the new shop in. This is an old, run-down house that wasn't built all that well, however it's served me well for over 20 years and after I put rock on it some 18 or so years ago it became a permanent structure that I didn't really want to tear down. On top of that, this summer, in the middle of building the new house, the roof started falling apart and required a new one. Less than a couple of weeks after that, the heat and air unit caught on fire and had to be replaced. So now, rather surprisingly, I have a pretty solid setup to build frames in. It's roughly 1200 sq. ft., heated and cooled with a kitchen. It has a 15' x 24' room on the end of it that is built on a slab and provides adequate space to do what I do. The bedroom on the other end, the one pictured below, had some of the floor rotting out from an old hot-water heater leak years ago, and since I hate doing partial repairs, I decided to put a solid plywood floor down. This is gonna be my painting booth.

Now on occasion I like to pretend to be something I'm not. It just keeps things interesting and also keeps me humble at the same time. I've pretended to be various things over the years, such as a business-man, real-estate investor, chef, uh hmm, a writer, etc. Usually things that don't require a license. I've never really pretended to be a doctor or dentist or anything in the medical field, mainly because no one seems to be interested in laying down on a table under my milling machine. Clearly I would use a Dremel on the less extensive jobs in order to save my clients money, but still no takers. Never really pretended to be a fire-fighter either. Always ended up on the other end of that gig. The one thing that I seem to end up pretending to be more than any other is a carpenter. How hard can it be, right? Skill saw, hammer, nails, some wood, and presto, I'm a carpenter.  

So I got a little start on it one night and then had to stop until the next day. The following day I awoke to pouring rain and rather cool temperatures but I told myself that if I used to ride a bicycle 100 miles in those conditions then cutting a few sheets of plywood shouldn't be that bad. So I put on the Nalini windproof/waterproof riding jacket and a MEECH cycling cap and got down to business.  Wasn't very far into my first cut when I realized that my trusty Wal-Mart skill saw of 15 years wouldn't hold a straight line and rather than waste valuable time going to get another I just opted for the only other saw I had which was a jigsaw. Jigsaws aren't exactly ideal for cutting 8 ft. sheets of plywood but I wasn't to be deterred and therefore stood in muddy puddles filled with sawdust, cutting my new floor, and occasionally wondering if working in rainy, lightning storm with an electric saw was dangerous or not. I convinced myself that I was fast enough to let go if I felt some voltage trying to shake my hand but we all know the truth. Looking back, it wasn't something a responsible father would consider, or even a teen with half a brain would do, and so I would like to thank the big Kahuna, whoever and wherever he or she is, for not lighting me up. Time is of essence these days and for some reason I felt as if this floor had to be done on this day. Sometimes I still get caught up in the moment and like my granny always used to say, "That boy flies by the seat of his britches."

This was actually a pretty basic job and that's why I didn't fear it. Tearing up the old floor was actually the majority of the work. As I always say, if you've ever built anything at all, you know it's always harder to tear it apart than it is to put it together. It's held true on everything I've ever worked on. Ok, all I had to do was cover the old floor with anything thicker than popsicle sticks and I'd be good. I opted for 3/4 plywood since the flooring i pulled up was 3/4" particle board. I hate that stuff with a passion. The photo up above of the closet was the first piece I cut. I probably should've cut it a bit smaller than the measurement but I didn't. I cut it to the exact 1/16" and probably cut it outside the line to make matters worse. I tried to put it in place and it was clearly too big, but after measuring again I knew that it was perfect, and that was when the rubber mallet came out. I started banging it into place and then got it so wedged that I couldn't get it back out. After about a 10 minute struggle, I told myself that I can either break it trying to knock it out or I can break it trying to knock it in. Well, in the end, I was victorious all the while increasing the actual square footage of the closet. Needless to say, I didn't even need to nail that piece down. I feel for the next guy that tries to tear this floor up because you'll have to take the walls out of this closet to get this board up.

This was the original floor. Not much more than a few thin boards between you and the dirt beneath. Some were fairly stable while others would bow and creek when you walked across them. I thought about leaving them like that since it looked cool, however since I only weigh 165 lbs. and they were about to cave in, I figured I better beef them up in case someone bigger ever wanted a tour of the facility. Nothing like trying to entertain guest and have them fall through the floor. You can see where the water was at one time.

After a couple of measurements I figured it would take roughly 8 pieces of plywood to cover everything but I decided to give myself a little challenge and so I bought 7. Nothing worse than overbuying. Wish someone could explain that concept to my wife.

After that first little incident with the closet everything seemed to fall into place with a fair amount of ease.

Really not much different than doing a giant jigsaw puzzle. When all was said and done the 7 pieces not only covered the entire floor but I had some scrap leftover. Those 4 pieces were all that was left and that made me extremely happy. This room has since been painted which somehow I forgot to take a picture of.
Here you go.

I got a good start putting everything in place and managed to get this little glorified drill press up on a table. I was worried about how I was gonna do it but a friend let me borrow a hoist (he called it a cherry-picker) and within 10 minutes I was on my way back to return it. The 400 lb. steel table is still sitting where it was and hopefully I will be able to get it in here shortly. Other than that I'm almost set up.

Here is the front of the new shop. That's Stinky Chester on the window sill. He has a gland problem. Something Anne drug out of the woods the other day. After spending $100 for a tree service to get him down out of a tree I guess he's family. And there's that same old S3 bicycle frame I built about 8 years ago. I'm so due up for a new ride. It's coming. Fixing to start painting on the carbon frame. Just trying to decide on a paint scheme.

Hopefully will be starting a few things to break in the new place here shortly.
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Chava Jimenez - Escalador de Leyenda

Minute 11:00 is good clip. Muy Bien!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Little Gravel Road Side Project

Been casually working on a gravel road bike with flat-mount brakes.  I've been softly filing away this chain stay to make the brake mount fit. This is one of the trickier pieces that I've had to make fit and you definitely need to have your head on straight (not building a house) in order to get it right. Needless to say, it's still not done and won't be for a few more weeks until my head gets back to Planet Bicycle. 

At first it seemed a little hard, or rather dangerous, to eliminate this much of the chain stay however when you look at the thickness and weight of the piece that will be brazed in I don't think there should be a problem. Even with almost half the tube filed out, it still seems rather strong.

Paragon top-shelf componentry. 
They now have dropouts with the flat-mount already built in however when I started this frame they did not. And to be perfectly honest, I've just kinda been making this thing up as I go. Initially I wasn't planning on flat-mount style brakes but after looking into it further it seemed like the way to go.

It's close, but I'm not lighting any cigars yet.

Few more pics of the carbon frame I finished up a while back. I may have already posted these. I can't remember, much, of, anything, at all, these days. I'm secretly hoping that the part of my mind that has been taken from me over this last year will somehow gradually start to come back. Some people have told me it won't and to let it go, but you know me, I like to dream. Just remember, as the once famous Jack Handy wrote, "If you're ever walking around the rim of a volcano, and you drop your keys down into the molten lava, just forget'em man, cause they're gone."

Dedacciai carbon dropouts.

I had to look at this for a while before I even realized what it was. Have fun.

This turned out nice.

I'll probably be away for a while but I'll try to come up with something to post. It'll probably be something like a Santa riding a bike because at the moment I've got nothing.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

I Can See Daylight Up Ahead

I know it's been a while since you've heard from me and I'm not about to say that I'm back just yet but I just wanted to share this antsy feeling I have right now. I'm guessing you all thought I had abandoned building frames since it's been so long since I've posted anything. The house that we've been working on for the better part of 2016 is almost done. It's been a nightmare as far as I'm concerned. I know in some ways we're very fortunate to have the opportunity to build a house and for that I'm thankful, however, it also feels as though I've been robbed of my creative spirit and I've definitely felt the effects both physically and mentally, mostly mentally since I'm a pretty mental type person. What can I say? When I'm on, I'm on, and when I'm not, well, it can get ugly real quick. Is the suffering real if it's only in your head? Is a dream only a dream? All I know is that I'm doing the best I can to get back to bicycle frame building. I almost feel as if I'm gonna have to start my business from scratch because it's all but dissipated. I've got a couple of projects to finish and paint that I've been toying with during this whole house building nightmare. I just wasn't able to build a house and bike frames with any sort of efficiency and so I just quit taking orders. I'm close to having a new shop (our old house) that is heated and cooled and I will be able to paint year round without issue. I'll have a stove to cook on and there is even an indoor toilet to use on the really cold days, although I still like peeing outside on occasion when nobody is looking. I've missed blogging and didn't know if I would ever get started back, but I've already written more this evening than I had planned to so that's a good sign. I even feel obligated to find a picture or two to post.

For anybody out there who may still be listening for a whisper on the jungle drum, I'm happy to have you here. I hope to get back here real soon. Give me a couple more weeks and I'll see if I can start taking some steps to resurrect MEECH Custom Bicycles.  Thanks for stopping by.

No press-fit, BB whatever crap here. English thread, creak-free titanium bottom bracket. Sometimes I think about picking up a modern carbon frame to ride, mainly just Time, but everything has the new style bottom brackets and after talking to so many mechanics, who have all told me the same thing, I can't bring myself to do it.
Been so long since I've been here I'm not sure if I posted these pics or not. 
This frame is sitting out in the shop waiting on nothing more than a headset, but I've been waiting
to build it up because I hoped to get it painted first before riding.

I can't wait to test it out because I plan on building more of these in the future.
Also, I'm in desperate need of a new bike. Hard to imagine I know but it's true.

I've actually gotten back in to motocrossing a small bit this past year. I think I bought
this thing in order to feel like my old self. Spending so much time doing things that I'm not accustomed to
all the while not doing any of the things that I have done my entire life started weighing heavily on me. This was
an outlet for me. It's been proper therapy. I might even have another bike hidden at Yancey's house in Austin. Those
are the perks when you're a full-time factory MEECH rider.
Hopefully this spring I'll get to see it. I  plan on doing a little RM 250 restoration project.

Not a great pic as my old iphone was worn out. Jack had thrown it too many times.
Anyway, the little man has grown, with an attitude as well. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

“I think they’re really useful for training, but they take out a lot of drama from the sport,” added Valverde. “In competition you should be racing on feelings.”

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Jubail's Gravel Road Racer

Finally got Jubail's frame finished up with the exception of the head badge and headset, which hopefully they're both in the mail.  This build has taken way longer than I ever imagined for a whole list of reasons.  Not gonna bore you with all the details but this frame build was a real learning experience. From my first steel disc thru-axle fork to the rear stays, I worked and re-worked to make everything fit. Even though this frame looks so sweet and innocent sitting here relaxing in the shade, under that French Racing Blue and Light Argent Silver is a beast of a frame that bent, molded, and whipped me as much or more than I did it. It was a pretty even match up though since we're both made of steel.   Truthfully, it wasn't that bad. There were just things that I was unfamiliar with, things I overlooked, and just lots of things in general to do that keep interfering with my focus. I was looking back the other day and reminiscing about all those times I used to get on the blog and ramble on and joke around and just have a jen-u-whine good time. Now I feel bad for neglecting this place so much.  It was like sitting on the porch step with friends in the evening. I feel so short of time these days that I can hardly see straight. My bike hasn't been washed since last fall, and my dog has pee'd on the wheel a couple of times. The chain is so stretched out that there are gaps between it and the sprockets so big that you can stick your finger through, but I wouldn't try to do it while you're rolling.  Ever done that? You know I have. Still remember the first time on that old Schwinn Scrambler I tried to put the chain back on without ever stopping. All I can say if you're gonna give it a dig is that i admire you for trying and I feel your pain. I can still remember laying on the ground on my back in front of the bicycle while my hand looked like it was still trying to put the chain on behind me, with a couple of sprocket teeth biting into my fingers nontheless. That was the most messed up party I've ever been to. 

Let's go take a look at this frame because I've wasted enough of Jubail's time. He has been extremely patient and laid back throughout the whole process and I thank him.  I've always had the best customers in the world and that's why I'll never quit building frames. Vamos amigos. How bout that Giro de Italia?

Everyone loves a sexy rear end. This rear end didn't look like this in the beginning.  I tried using straight stays at first only to find out that the disc caliper wouldn't fit.  What do you do when that happens? You cut 'em out and custom bend some new ones and make it work. And this is the result.  

French Racing Blue in the sun.

French Racing Blue in the shade. 

Handmade carbon chainstay protector just for your bike and no one else's.

Like I said, the head badges are in the mail.

The brake housing runs throught the fork leg and this is our exit port.

After building the first fork I found out that the larger diameter fork blades necessary for disc brakes didn't leave enough space for the rotor.  So here was my custom cutout. 

All of this work made one whole millimeter. Just try and find another fork like this in the world. 

Subtle touches.

Random photo.

This little man right here is the reason I'm not getting to put in as much time in the shop as I need to. You think that's not a hard head? Oh well, he's worth it.  Man, just as soon as he gets old enough I'm gonna put his little hiney to work. I'm gonna make him file fillets with 400 grit sandpaper.

Thanks again for the patience Jubail.  

MEECH Custom Bicycles
Handmade in 
Jonesboro, Arkansas

Friday, April 15, 2016

Update on Jubail's Frame

Here are a few pics from the most recent work on Jubail's frame.

The main reason I like disc brakes is because I get to use my Anvil Post Punk.  This tool is flawless.