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, June 30, 2012

My New Bike

  I've been waiting on some bottom bracket shells to get engraved so that I can start brazing on a customer's frame, but while I'm waiting I always try to get a few things done on the side.  A frame that I built for my wife quite a while back, the mixte, is still waiting to be painted.  I actually just bought the paint yesterday.  Anyway, she's been telling me that she wants a bike to ride and to build up her old frame, which happens to be the very first frame that I built after returning from Yamaguchi's school.  I had most of the components I needed to build it up except for a rear derailleur and a couple of other things so I swiped the rest of what I needed off of my bike, the carbon frame that I've been riding since the first of the year.  The carbon frame has been thoroughly tested and its held up quite well and I still can't believe I haven't built more carbon frames, even one more, but I just haven't gotten to it.  Customers come first.  So anyway, now my wife has a bike that probably won't get ridden much (don't tell her I said that) and I didn't even have a bike to ride.  You might think that as a frame builder and avid cycling enthusiast that I have a plethora of bikes and parts just laying around and that I can ride a different bike every day of the week, nope, not true.  I   normally only have one bike built up and if I get ready to switch I just swap out my components as I don't have a lot of excess parts laying around. I do have about 2 1/2 groupsets that I interchange on occasion.  So I went about a week without riding and decided I needed to ride.  I started to build up the old S3 frame for a quick comparison between steel and carbon but then I saw this cross frame thats been laying around our spare bedroom every since it got painted over a year ago.  MOTO-BICI was one of my excess ideas/intentions for a separate brand apart from MEECH and it basically just boiled down to I had an idea for a cool new logo and I was looking for a way to use it, but in reality MEECH is the brand I need to be pushing so this whole MOTO-BICI thing has been put to the side indefinitely, but there is one MOTO-BICI bike out there and its mine.  Here are a few pics of my new bike....
...but first, here is a pic of my wife's bike.  This is the first frame that I ever built with the exception of the one I built with Yamaguchi helping me.  The rear triangle is not perfectly straight but its not bad, it rolls pretty good.  Check out how many times my name is on it, think I wasn't proud.

You'll probably never see another photo like this one in your life.  Campy Record cranks with Wal-Mart pedals.  Go figure.

Since I had these old Ksyrium wheels laying around, with the one red spoke, I decided to throw my red Avocet O2 saddle on.  Then I decided to paint my Ritchey stem red. I started to paint the tires red but I held myself back.  Anybody that knows me knows that I'm a motocross head, so I  kinda went for the whole Factory Suzuki motocross look with this bike. 
I just threw some old cross tires on that I had laying around.  They're cheap but I like them because they are really skinny for cross tires.  I'll spend most of my time on the road anyway so I just pump them up to about 80 psi and roll.  They are 30c tires but are really only about 28mm wide with knobs on them.  Ready for anything.  Dirt criterium anyone?

This is the view I prefer to show people when I'm riding however these days I'm usually treated to a view of about a hundred arses.  One of the greatest quotes in cycling was from Laurent Jalabert.  After a horrendous crash at the Tour in '94' I believe,(remember when the police officer was taking a picture and caused that mass pileup in the finish line sprint and Jalabert was shown laying there in a pile of blood and a broken LOOK frame), anyway, Jalabert had rehabbed and started racing again.  In an interview, the commentator asked him how the racing comeback was going and he replied, "I've been looking at the arses of people that I've never seen the faces of."  Now thats a good line.
Check out that handmade carbon chain stay protector.  Chain slap that!

"Oh my gaaawwsh!  Did he put a hot-pink "MOTO" on that frame?"  You know he did.

My butt has been sitting on Avocet O2 saddle for 22 years now.  Its the best saddle ever made bar none, the newer ones don't feel the same.  Back when I was having a little problem with epididymitis I thought I might have to change saddles, luckily it has passed for the most part. I would almost have rather quit riding than change saddles.  Not really, I'm exaggerating now.  I would probably do whatever it took to go riding.

Just as soon as I tell everyone that I don't have excess parts laying around....  I'm serious when I tell you this is my favorite saddle.  I normally don't collect stuff but I've stocked up on enough of them to last me my entire life.  That grey one in the middle has about 40,000 miles on it.  I will sell most anything that I have but don't even try to buy one of these from me because I won't do it.  All I can say is keep a look out on Ebay.

This is the only MOTO-BICI cross bike that I know of.  Its a take on the old Yamaha MOTO-BIKE that my friend Kevin Jones had when we were kids.  He's the guy that ran his dad's Hodaka up into his house, literally up into his house.  Crashed it through the door and it landed up on top of the bar with the throttle stuck wide open.  I wrote a story about it on the blog.  Its one of the very first posts that I did, way back.  Ah, those childhood memories.  Bottle rockets and jumping garbage cans.  Those were the days.

Handmade in beautiful Mountain Home, Arkansas.

  I plan on riding this bike quite a lot.  The reason I like this bike so much is that it looks like the kind of bike that would catch my attention if I walked into a bike shop.  I think I would have to have it. Gotta go and give it a test ride later today.  The temperature has been crazy hot.  The Tour has started.  Hope its a good one.  My favorite guys aren't even racing in it but I'll pick a favorite out before long.  I'm guessing Peter Sagan to win the prologue, Wiggins should be up there  as well and also  in the overall.  I think Cadel and Wiggo have the most solid teams, at the start anyway, but I hope someone comes out of nowhere to surprise everyone. Ryder Hesjedal has absolutely no pressure on him at all and thats not a good thing for his competitors. I want a surprise. Thanks for checking things out.  Enjoy the tour.

MEECH Custom Bicycles
Handmade in 
Mountain Home, Arkansas

Sunday, June 24, 2012

You call that a bicycle saddle?

I was checking out a couple of bicycle saddle companies in order to talk to someone about my idea for the saddle with the integrated lights and here are a few of the stranger saddles I came across.
This is the Spider-Flex.  The name fits and it looks like it would accommodate most bums.  I'm not sure if this is the racing model.

Its custom alright, custom mistake. You baked it too long chief at too high a temperature.

This one is called the Plywood, or you could call it the Dugout because I imagine you could fit about 3 Yankee players on it.  I could use that seat as a workbench in my shop.  If you need a saddle like this to fit your bum on...., well, ah- forget it, at least you're riding a bicycle and thats good news.  

I would just like to sit on this to see what it feels like.

This is just schweet!  Nice work.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wurster Road Racer

On Thursday I got started on Mike Wurster's road frame.  Mike is from Chicago and works at the oldest bike shop in the area.  Beverly Bike and Ski, www.beverlyallseasons.com/, opened in 1921 and is still going strong.  Think about it, thats over 90 years. Pretty impressive. Can you even begin to imagine all the different types of bikes that have rolled in and out of that place.  You could pretty much assume they've seen it all.

Start straight in order to finish straight.  

Tried some different settings on the camera.  It worked out all right on these shots however if you noticed the first photo with the tubes and the drawing you can't make out the drawing at all, its there though.  I could probably build a frame without the drawing but its always nice to start out with a plan.

All cut and fit, just waiting on the bb shell to be engraved and then we'll tack this thing up.

This wasn't planned.  This is Dizzy and he's the result of watching some tv show with my wife about dogs with no home.  The next day she went to one of the local shelters, Gayle's Second Chance Pets outside of Mountain Home, and picked him up.  His name was LB, Left Behind, but we thought that was a little negative and decided to give him a fresh new name.  I was gonna change it to MOU, Moving On Up, you know like The Jeffersons.  I grew up watching George Jefferson, Archie Bunker, and Sanford and Son, shows before the 'politically correct' era.  I still love to watch Fred Sanford ream people.  I have the Sanford & Son theme song on my iPod.  When I'm out in the shop building I just put it on shuffle and every once in a while it  just rolls on out of nowhere.  It immediately grabs your attention and puts you in a lighter mood.  Dizzy changes the mood also.  He's 100% pure energy.  Its been a long time since I've had a puppy and I don't remember 'em going this hard.  Oh if I could bottle just a little of that energy.  He's got all the other animals a little on edge.  Pinky the shih-tzu is lazier than the Big Lebowski, and the two cats, Louie and Smokey did enjoy their peace, and Dizzy is like a drill sergeant.  He's having none of this laying around crap.  Maybe in a few days things will start to settle a little.  My fingers are crossed.

Friday, June 22, 2012

New Lazer Helmet

Just spotted this on Velonews.  The new Lazer Helium helmet now comes with a blinky-light integrated into it.  It may seem a little cheesey however its very innovative and it is for a rider's safety and you'll never have to worry about forgetting your "blink." Imagine having a nighttime crit and there being a pack of about 151 blinky lights sprinting.  And now imagine a crash and theres about 30 blinky lights not moving at all, just sort of floundering around in a big pile on the last corner.  If nothing else, its cooler than having a red flag sticking out of your butt.  I had an idea for a blinky light that was integrated into the saddle.  It would be like a narrow light that ran around the back contour of the saddle and the battery pack would fit nice and proper up under the saddle.  Just reach under the saddle and hit the button.  I would rather have the light on my saddle than my helmet, and if they can make it light enough to go into your helmet the weight would be next to nothing.  I may have to make some calls.

I've been out of town for a few days but finally got back and trying to get back into the bike building groove again.  Got a new road racer in the works and should have some pics up this weekend.  Le Tour is only a week away.  Get some popcorn and Red Bull ready.  I actually have an idea for a new energy drink called "Tiger Jizz."  I actually don't have any ideas for an energy drink other than the gross name "Tiger Jizz." Sounds mean though doesn't it?  Just not sure it sounds good.  I doubt Red Bull needs to worry. Yesterday I wrote on here that my dark-horse favorite for the tour was Robert Gesink but I had some of my names mixed up.  Who I really meant was Thomas Degendt of Vacansoleil who moved up in the Giro pretty handily.  I'm not even sure if he's racing the tour after doing Italy.  Robert Gesink is probably a better pick.  I'm always hopeful for my man Roman Kreuziger but he always seems to crack on the most important stage.  Maybe he'll break through one day.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

1976 Schwinn Scrambler Model BX1-6

Someone just sent me an email inquiring about possibly building a BMX frame similar to an older Schwinn model and it just got the juices flowing about my first new bicycle as a kid.  After searching through hundreds of Schwinn images and not finding my bike, I about fell out when this image popped up.  This was my exact bike.  This is where it all began. I remember being at Jimmy's Bike Shop in old downtown Jonesboro and admiring it while sitting on it.  It was $125 and I remember thinking that there is no way I'll ever get that bike.  My mom told me, "I don't know, maybe for a birthday present."  When I came home one day and saw this thing sitting in the driveway I couldn't believe it.  It was a miracle.  I rode the wheels off of this thing.  We rode wheelies, jumped ramps, and were mountain biking when mountain biking was just  called 'playing.'  Just seeing this picture blows me away.  We would build a ramp and jump over each other.  Sometimes we would have 3-4 of us laying down behind the ramp and totally trusting that the stuntman was gonna clear us all.  You always wanted to be the kid closest to the ramp because you knew you were probably gonna walk away, but if you were that last kid you were always a little sketched out and usually had your hands over your balls. Rightly so huh? When you were 8 yrs. old,  jumping ramps is what balls were for.  As far as I'm concerned, thats what they're still for.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Jonathan's Road Racer

Got JR's road frame painted and the clear is curing.  This one is a bit unique and a little extra special to me in that Jonathan was the first customer to have me paint their frame for them.  Everyone knows I normally have Paul and Wayne from Ace's Wild Custom do all the painting but here recently I have been practicing.  I've learned a lot in just a short while and I'm truly enjoying learning something new.  Painting a fence is one thing but painting a bike frame is totally different.  I have new respect for all the painters out there and I tip my hat to you all.  This was the fourth frame that I've painted and I couldn't be any happier with how it turned out.  "Is it perfect Meech?"  No Virgina, its not perfect.  However the imperfections are very small and most were easily touched up.  The fork turned out really well.  We were not only able to save the Enve logo but somehow managed to make it look good.  Even the little 2.0 Road logo around the dropouts turned out nice.

Some tight fillet-brazing as usual.  JR wanted some double-barrel adjusters for on the fly adjustments so I did what any builder would do and put 'em there for him.

This little point was where one of the imperfections was.  A little paint got under the tape where the two pieces met but with a little work I was able to make it look a little tighter.

Ok, I've been doing this little seat cap number for a while now so I'm not gonna say anything else about it.

It looks good doesn't it Virgina?  "Yeah but there is a spec of dust or something on it."  Don't worry, it wiped off.

Kinda hard to make out the engraving in the brake bridge.  It would've been really sweet to have the "M" outlined in black, problem is I'm not quite sure how to do it yet, and since the paint job turned out much better than I anticipated I wasn't about to take a chance that could  mess it up.  On down the road I may give it a shot.  You know I'm gonna.

Now thats a tight ass.  "What did you just say?"  Sorry mother, I'm only teasing, I take it back.  No I don't, because thats a really  tight ass.  We put the MEECH logo on the seat tube on a 45 to try something a little different.

Handmade right here in beautiful Mountain Home, Arkansas.  Come visit and I'll take you on a ride.  We'll head out to Push Mountain.  I'll probably be riding the broom wagon back home but I'll hand you guys water bottles and cupcakes all the way back and you can motor pace if you like.  There is some really good training around this area and when you get done with the ride you can jump in the lake.  Arkansas is great.  Love it!

Now thats a tight down tube and I'm not taking that back.

I like it alot and I'm glad to have worked with Jonathan on this build.  Thanks for being the first customer to allow me to paint their frame.  Now go race the paint off of it.  Thanks for checking out my stuff.

MEECH Custom Bicycles
Mountain Home, Arkansas

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Zanibar Aliens - Don't bring me down (original)

Stumbled onto these guys last night.  These kids can jam.  Very Zeppelin like.

Zanibar Aliens - Rampage (original)

Carbon Repair

A couple of quick pics of some carbon repair work I did on a frame.  I've been working for two different Jonathans here lately, one from Pennsylvania and the other from here in Arkansas.  Here are the only supplies I needed for this repair.  I used some pretty heavy uni-directional for the first wrap and then a couple pieces of plain weave in order to try and match the frame.  

I first just filled in the cracks with some epoxy to get a smooth surface.  I actually had a good idea of how to start this repair after watching a video by The Project Junkie on You Tube.  I'll post a link later.  I believe his name is Mark and he does some interesting work, nice carbon repairs.  I've built a carbon frame but thats not necessarily the same work as fixing busted carbon.  I think if someone is good at fixing broken carbon frames they'll be able to build a pretty solid carbon frame.

The seams of the patch are visible.  I've seen some repairs done by professionals that you can't even tell anything has been done.  All I can say about that is I hope to learn how.  This finish work is completely raw and if this had a couple  coats of clear on it I think it would blend a little better, not quite as noticeable.

The underside of the tube.

My primary concern wasn't being able to fix the tube, I was confident I could do that, but I wanted it to look good as well.  I was worried about there being a bulge in the middle of the tube after the laminate was laid up.  Even though you can feel a little rise when running your fingers across it I was pleasantly surprised to see that everything laid down as good as it did.  This is 3 layers of carbon and the uni was some pretty beefy fabric. This should be good and solid.  Jonathan was wanting to leave everything in the raw as he's only concerned with it being rideable but if you were gonna do a complete repair with paint and all you can feather those seams out with some filler and then paint it, add some new decals, and then some clear would make this repair unnoticeable.  This was my first carbon repair job and I'm hoping to get some more.  If anyone has any broken carbon frames you want to get back on the road.  Send me some pics.  Thanks for checking things out.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wet Paint

Here is a quick pic of Jonathan's frame as the clear is drying.  It turned out very nice and I'm happy with it.  This is the first frame that I have painted myself for a customer so i was a little nervous, you know wanting it to look as good as possible for both of us.  Black and white seems simple enough but it was a little difficult as well because the contrast are so sharp. Any thing white shows on the black and a little black can destroy white real quick but I got through it fairly well.  There was a small fingerprint like mark on the inside of one of the dropouts, which I truly don't know how it got there because I never touch it around there, but I guess I did.  A quick touch-up should put us on par.
I don't have the full blown pro paint setup yet.  I've been waiting and practicing to see if its something I would like to invest in or if I was just gonna give it a try and then take things back to Paul.  I'm truly enjoying it right now and I want to get better so I'll probably invest a little at a time as I get the money.  Up until this frame, i was using a professional grade clear from a rattle can that I buy at a local auto paint store but on this one I tried out this little aerosol sprayer that they sell.  Just pour in your clearcoat or paint and screw the aerosol sprayer on and you're painting.  It worked pretty good.  It doesn't have a lot of pressure so its kinda slow going but the advantage to this is that there is not a ton of excess wasted and floating around in the air.  You can pinpoint it a little better.  The canisters are small and I was worried they would run out quickly but one of them lasted me for the entire frame with plenty left over.  Just keep an extra canister around if you run out and it only takes about a minute to be shooting again.  I'm gonna try painting the next frame with it.  Check back for photos of the complete frameset in a bit after I wet sand it and clean it up a little.