About Me

My photo
Back in my hometown of Jonesboro., Arkansas, United States
My name is Dimitri Harris and I have been building frames for over 9 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, which is 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 Jonesboro, 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, February 25, 2012

What Is That?

Is that a snake skin chain stay protector?  Nope, its jenuwhine imported imitation Syberian tortise skin.  There were only two left in the world, I guess now the other one is single-to-mingle.  I shot it from over 100 yards away with my  Red Ryder.  They say that the imitation Syberian Tortise is not aggressive toward anything or anybody but I wasn't about to take any chances.  The last thing I saw through the scope before I pulled the trigger on ol'Daisy was that turtle trying to wipe that red dot off his face. I have to admit, the first shot didn't kill it, I had to shoot it twenty-seven more times at close range before it went down for good.  If you look close at the chain stay protector you can see some of the pellet holes. I believe it may have froze to death somewhere around shot #17 but like I said, you can't take any chances. Whoohooo,big game hunting. Ok, its actually a carbon fiber/kevlar chain stay protector that  I made for Larry's race bike. At the moment the carbon supply is a little low and this was all I had.  Before being coated with resin the material was yellow and black just like the frame but when it was finished it had a bit of a green tint to it.  So anyway,  its still bullet proof so don't even think about shooting one of my frames in the chain stay.

They'll never see you coming.  "Predator."

I broke the vacuum pump out.  It hasn't gotten a lot of attention since I bought it because I've been busy with steel frames however I have some carbon on the way so i thought I'd let it get loosened up, stretch the legs a bit.  The next carbon frame I build  is gonna be a cross frame so I'm excited to get started, I just have to finish up a road frame and build one more steel cross frame,which should be pretty interesting, and then its carbon recess for me.  
I have a website in the works.  I know I've needed one for a while but I kept putting it off because I have stayed pretty busy and I preferred spending money on frame building components rather than other things, so anyway, hopefully in a month or so it will be up and running.  Luckily I'm not the one doing it so it is more likely to get done on time.  I know some of my extra-curricular activites sometimes take me a little longer than I plan but I will always eventually get them done, my customers always comes first.  Normally I'm not a person who's late, actually quite the opposite, especially when it comes to riding, I'm usually early.  Nothing like showing up 5 minutes late for a group ride and chasing for 45 minutes when you can see'em a quarter mile up the road, even worse yet, never catching them, although it does make for some good training.  Feels good when you catch'em doesn't it?

All jokes aside.  I take building quality bicycle frames very serious.  Whether its an everyday ride or a race I want good equipment and I know that you do to.  I put more care and love into building my frames than I put into my cheesecakes or Raspberry Baklava.  Wanting people to love my product is the key ingredient in anything that I make because if you're not happy then I'm not happy.

Check out Louis the Cat, aka ScrewUs Louis, making an appearance.  Louis enjoys the outdoors and playing with birds and wood chucks, unfortunately he plays with them till they're dead. I've tried to tell him that what goes around shall come around.  What can you do when they don't listen?  Smokey is out there somewhere but he's a little harder to see.  Ever tried to find a Dalmation in a snowstorm?  Good luck with that.

MOTO-BICI is one of those projects that I'm running a little behind on.  Don't give up on me yet.

Cool thing about the web designer is she is also a professional photographer.  "WHAT... No more amateur, woodsy, backyard photos?"  Don't worry, there will still be plenty more of those.  Those are the only style of photos I have to start the website with, but I plan on getting her to shoot some occasional professional shots when I can.  Thanks for checking stuff out. Road race season is here, take no quarter. Chao.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Branton's Handmade 'Cross Machine

Fresh outta Ace's paint booth.

"Loaded like a freight train, flying like an aeroplane,
feeling like a spacebrain one more time tonight....."  Remember that?
"...well its a lean machine, 
don't need no gasoline,
you got some legs for a motor,
now go make it scream."
Ok, I made that part up.  Axl's version is probably a little better than mine.

This is the first time I have used the Ritchey seat topper.  We measured Branton's preferred saddle height to the millimeter so the cap sits all the way down on the seat tube, however spacers could be made to raise the saddle and if you need to lower it theres plenty of seat tube to trim.

Custom front brake cable stop brazed into the fork. Brake chatter be gone.  Check out the down tube shifter stops for speed dialing purposes.

Who doesn't like a sexy rear end?

What goes in.....

...must come out.

The forks can also act as a crane to move random logs that clutter the trail.

A little extra chain ring clearance was needed so we added that.  The grass is actually reflecting off the paint like a mirror.  Whats that decal say?  You know it, "Handmade in Arkansas"
You want to know whats under this little orange circle don't you?  Its driving you crazy isn't it? Only one person knows whats behind this and they're not gonna tell you.  Hahaha!  Its killing you isn't it?  You just have to know don't you?  Your not gonna be able to sleep until you know whats behind this secret orange circle.  You're going crazy because of this aren't you?  You could end up in asylum all because of this little orange circle. Good luck in there.  Because of this orange circle you didn't even notice the custom rear brake cable stop did you?  You wanna know don't you?  Nope, I'm still not gonna tell you.
After all the work that goes into making these fillets smooth it would be a shame not to show 'em off a little.  Mucho filing and sanding.

Paul liked the color choices that Branton chose.  When its sunny the metallic charcoal looks more like a silver and when its cloudy its got more of a smokey look to it.

I love this.

MEECH Custom Bicycles
Handmade Machines
Mountain Home, Arkansas

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fixie Acabado Sin la Pintura

This is the single-speed frame I've been playing with in between other projects.  It started out as just gonna be a simple fixed gear frame and one thing led to another and then everything had to be custom.  When I began I was gonna have a forward sloping top tube running into some drop bars only to imagine having 2 sets of bars for it, the other of course aero style.  I didn't even know I could make aero bars until they were finished.  The blades on the handlebars were actually gonna be fork blades but then i thought that they might ride a little rough so things got all shuffled around again.

I like this view.  If you're racing this is what you want everyone else to see, your arse-end.

Campy fork dropouts were laying around for a while.

These are just some plain track dropouts with some stainless faces brazed on and polished a bit.  They still need a little more work.

All the caps that you see were hand turned by my good friend Bob Davis.  Caps on the fork, caps on the bar ends, custom caps for everyone.

Mark from Mainline Awards, who does all the engraving on the bottom bracket shells, knocked this little beauty out for me,.... twice actually.  The first one got JB welded in upside down, and after heating it up and knocking it out it was a bit deformed.  These freakin bars look the same  whether they're upside down or right side up,  ahhh, except for those little brazing vent holes, thats how you know.  I've made my fair share of mistakes, fortunately I've been able to correct them all. 

The seat post is actually integrated into the seat tube.  Same diameters equal smooth transition.  I left it long so that it can be turned down to fit the riders desires.  Actually you can just put any aftermarket 27.2 seatpost in it and the pinch-bolt will secure it, but it won't look this good.  Options are nice.

Haven't decided how I'm gonna paint it.  I might just do it like I did my bedroom wall when I was eight years old and just hang pictures of Farrah Fawcett skateboarding in a bikini all over it.  You think I won't?  You don't know me that well do you?

Thanks for ckecking it out.  Chao amigos.

MEECH Custom Bicycles
Handcrafted in
Mountain Home, Arkansas

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Going to Paint School

Here are a couple of pics of Branton's cross frame after the primer has been laid.  This is the first frame that I have actually taken a part in painting.  Actually I won't be doing any of the painting, Paul just let me shoot a coat of the epoxy primer and I'm doing the prep work before the paint goes down.  I mentioned a while back that I was interested in learning to paint so Paul and Wayne said they would show me a few things.  I looked into some auto-body shop courses at first but I would have wasted a lot of time learning things that didn't pertain to painting bicycles, so this way I'm learning from a professional who knows the ins and outs of solely painting the bike frame.

The black primer is the epoxy primer, super-tough and seals the frame.  If you're ever going to strip the paint off a frame and it has this stuff on it, your in for a lot of work.

The grey primer is the filler primer and its a bit thicker and fills in any small voids.  But don't think that this stuff is gonna do magic.  It amazes me how a small imperfection is magnified by paint.  I used to think that paint would just fill in any little spot and smooth it out, nope, all wrong Cochise.  I spend hours filing, rounding, and smoothing out fillets until I think that it is perfectly smooth and then paint will make you feel like a total failure.I'm all sure that by practicing this painting  prep work that its also gonna help me in cleaning up my fillet-brazing.  I've never used any Bondo products on my frames and I never will.

This area still needs some work so thats what I'm fixing to go to work on this morning.
This is the goal I'm shooting for in time.  Its a long way down the road but if I get to where I can paint a frame this good then it will be mission accomplished.  On the last post I forgot to say thanks to Paul and Wayne for the excellent paint job and all the help they have been willing to show me.  Thats the sign of a true professional, someone who is open and unafraid to show you what they know and how to do it is extremely confident in what they do, for the most part they are always a step ahead of the rest and I'm glad I have these guys painting my frames.  Thanks guys!

Ace's Wild Custom
Mountain Home, Arkansas

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Yancey's Race Frame

Just picked Larry's 'cross racing frame up from Ace's Wild.  As you know, cyclocross season is over now however we're always thinking about it here at MEECH and we are already getting prepped for the next season.  We decided to use the paint scheme that I intend to use for MOTO-BICI, which is another one of my ideas that is crawling along at a snails pace.  Anyway, it just looks so racey that I can't get enough of it, I want some more of it. I can't believe I just used some lyrics out of a country song.  I was taught never to hate anything, .... except country music.  Speed metal baby! Ok, Rockabilly is where its at but when you're into racing steel you have to mention speed-metal, I mean come on. 

Theres that signature hot pink "MOTO" swank you're gonna be seeing at the races.  If you're gonna go off-road you hafta go MOTO.  I think I'm gonna name my first born Moto.  With a name like Moto Harris what else could one do except be a  racer?  However, if they happened to become a doctor it wouldn't be a bad thing but I'm not sure if any of my offspring will make it to med-school, I just hope they stay outta reform school.  
Calling Dr. Moto, calling Dr. Moto.

I actually got the idea for this paint scheme off of the old Yamaha YZs.  I was always a Suzuki man myself but the Yamaha YZ had an unmistakable look, and let us not forget the MOTO-BIKE.  

Check out the inside of those sexy fork legs.  Wow, I just had another idea.  No, I'm not tellin, you'll just have to wait and see it when its on the starting line.  Maybe it'll be yours.  

This is actually a front shot of the first frame we painted like this but since I am out of head badges at the moment  I wanted to give you a brief look into the future of this frame.

MEECH Custom Bicycles

Mountain Home, Arkansas

Carbon Frame Update

Its been a little over a month now since I finished my first carbon frame and while I haven't been wearing out the roads here lately I have been getting out 3-4 times a week for an hour or so and I've probably put 400-500 miles on it without any issues.  The frame rides extremely comfortable, perhaps a little too comfortable as I mentioned it had a little flex to it, but I've gotten used to it and its not bad. I wish that I had my S3 steel frame built up so that I could compare them at the same time.  You would think a frame builder would have plenty of bikes laying around however I've only one and you're looking at it.  These days all my money goes into frame building supplies instead of bike components.  There was a day when I had five frames laying around, three of them were built up, there were a dozen wheels laying around, and I was riding 3-4 hrs a day regardless of the weather.  Times have changed a bit but its all educational. I believe thats a Pixies song isn't it. I will build the next one with some larger diameter tubes and maybe a couple more layers of laminate around the bottom bracket area but other than that and maybe tightening up the main triangle a bit I will just be focusing on a cleaner finish and learning more about the vacuum bagging process. Even though I haven't put many miles on it I have ridden as hard as I've ridden any other bike.  Stomping a big gear uphill, descending around 50 mph,  even riding off a few curbs and its soaked everything up with no problems and so my confidence in building carbon frames has grown. I'm itching bad to start my second one but I have a couple of steel frames to finish up first.  I'm going to pick one frame up from paint today so hopefully I'll have some pictures later today and with any luck I'll have another back next week.  We'll see.

This is a photo of the late Harvey Pekar, a famous comic from the 70's and I just finished watching a documentary about him this morning.  Why might I be putting a photo of him here on a frame building blog? Funny you asked.  I'm trying a little experiment that I saw in the documentary.  For the past 6-7 months I have had a little fight going on with epididymitis.  If you don't know what that is you probably haven't had it and thats a good thing.  Its basically swelling an inflammation of the epididymis which is located down there.....well, lets just say in a man's groin area.  There are varying degrees of it and I'm fortunate that mine is not too extreme because I know some guys go through hell, major swelling and pain that keeps you on the couch.  My particular case just feels kinda like the after-effects of being kicked in the jewels.  Thats not unbearable once or twice but when you wake up every morning and deal with it all day long it can really wear you down.  This is actually the second time I have had it.  The first episode was back when I was racing, roughly 14 or so years ago, and that also lasted for 6 months.  If your a cyclist its a real pain in the ... well you know.  Oddly enough, when I get on my bike the pain usually goes away for the hour or two that I ride but then after I get off the bike and the blood starts to flow again down there it starts hurting.  Theres not much you can do other than take antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to keep it at bay and just hope it passes.  I've read a couple of cases of guys who have lived with it for over a couple of years and all I can say for that is that it must be a nightmare.  "So why are you telling us, and whats this experiment you were talking about?"  Well, in the documentary about the life of Harvey Pekar he developes testicular cancer and his wife suggests writing everything he goes through in a comic book. She tells him that by bringing it out into the open and facing it  head-on this will keep his mind off of it and the cancer will eventually just go away, and apparently it did.  Not sure if it came back later and killed him, I didn't see the end because I went outside to get some firewood, its like 15 degrees here.   Anyway this is probably really stupid but I'm really wanting this epididymis thing to go away and so I'm sharing it with the world, just hoping.  It would be really nice to feel enthusiastic again about getting on a bicycle and being able to ride without taking a handful of ibuprofen to get through it.  Does this mean that I'm gonna be talking about this everyday and posting photos?  Nope, I wouldn't do that to you.  Now if I knew it would go away I would be writing and posting photos all day long.  The doctor said I need to get one of those saddles with the cutout in the center.  I tried one of those when they first came out and I wasn't that fond of it.  It wreaked havoc on my hemorrhoid.  Thats another story that nobody cares about.  All I'm gonna say about that is that I was 24 years old and it was very, very hard pulling down your pants and bending over a table to let someone look up your bum. At that moment I didn't think life could get any worse, and then I realized, I could be the doctor.  ;)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Now Its Complete

There we go, no more brake chatter.