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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Pain Party

Been outta town a couple of days.  Had to head to my hometown of Jonesboro and do a little mowing and cleanup on my old house.  Things tend to fall apart quickly when you're not around.  Anyway I got to get in a couple of rides with two of my of riding buddies there,  Larry Yancey and Mike Suminski are a couple of the J-boro local racers who ride for the BMC Wal-Mart team out of Arkansas.  They sent me home pretty tired but I'm ready to go back and give it another dig.  I picked up Yancey's backup cross frame in order to bring it home and put a real paint scheme on it.  I've tried a couple of times to do the clearcoat over raw steel, and while it looks cool for a while its only a matter of time before a scratch happens to the clear and then rust will start to set in.  So anyway I've got it just about stripped and we'll put some paint on it here in the coming days.  Cross season is right here man.  Don't know where you are from but there are some cross racing series fixing to kick off this month around the Arkansas and Missouri areas.  

Yancey is headed back to the World Championships this year so I'm posting this photo from last year to get him stoked.  Need to be slapping some tigers and putting in some hard cross miles.  It's only a handful of months away.  We don't want any mud this year, or I don't.  I hate the stuff.  I'm into dry hardpack.

Oooh la la, the Vuelta is getting good.  Contador and Rodriguez are only like 6 seconds apart while Chris Froome and Alejandro Valverde are around the minute mark with the mountaintop stages starting tomorrow.  Can't wait.  Have a good and safe Labor Day weekend.  Enjoy. Chao.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

La Vuelta esta muy bien.

www.steephill.tv/vuelta-a-espana/

Man, the Vuelta is heating up nicely.  Joaquim Rodriguez, Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, and Alejandro Valverde are duking it out in a Tour of Spain that is cluttered with climbs.  They broke the mold of grand tours when they designed this year's Vuelta in order to try and make it more exciting and fan friendly and so far 
everything is going to plan.  I've been watching the end of the climbing stages here on Steephill.  The Spanish versions won't play here in the states but the English programming through Eurosport works really well.  Today Contador attacked with 1 K to go and looked to be gaining a few seconds back on Rodriquez and Froome when Valverde put in a last ditch sprint to overtake Alberto on the line.  Froome finally popped and lost about 14 seconds on this stage, but he still has a few in hand over Contador.  Rodriquez from Katusha still has the lead.  Today was stage 8 but I think stages 14,15,and 16 are gonna make for some serious racing between Rodriquez and Contador and we'll see if Froome can hold their wheel. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Counting Backwards From 7

Everyone is talking about Lance this morning and his decision to stop fighting with USADA.  I woke up last night about 1:00 a.m. to get a bowl of cereal and saw the headline on ESPN, not sure when he announced it. Before I went back to sleep I thought about it for a while and realized I didn't care anymore but I was happy because I thought, "Now maybe it will end."  I didn't know if he admitted his guilt or what until this morning.  After hearing and reading about it I don't really have anything to say because Lance Armstrong doesn't make one "jot" of a difference in my life.  I was riding bicycles while Lance Armstrong was still pooping yellow.  Get it, pooping yellow?  I crack myself up.
He sure is one greasy cowboy though.


My happiness came a couple of years ago when Alberto Contador beat Lance at his own game,  and then when this photo surfaced it was like icing on the cake.  Good luck Big Tex.  Glad you came back.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gravel Road Racer ready for Paint

Couple off pics of the frame I just finished up and I plan on putting some primer on it this afternoon.  My blogging has been a little slow here lately because I took a little part-time job at the '870 Bistro' here in town to pic up a few extra bucks.  Turns out that with all my little bright ideas and projects there comes a bill.  "What?  You mean you're gonna charge me for all that stuff?"  Yep, everything cost money.  I've got some new MEECH cycling kits on the way, and the Texas Handmade Bike Show is coming up in October, and then I'm planning on getting a new compressor and a few more painting supplies in order to up the ante in my painting adventures, and oh yeah, i still don't have a garage full of carbon tubes yet like I planned.  I was just spending more than I was making and so about 3 days a week I'm waiting some tables and working around the kitchen.  I've spent a little time in the kitchen before, I even had a little bakery type/catering kitchen for a while but I rented it out and went back to school.  I was eating all the profits there too.  My dad used to tell me, "Pee Wee, you can't rub 2 quarters together."  I guess he was right again.  I really didn't have any time for a job but I had to rearrange some things and make it happen, and hopefully it will free me up in some other ways so that I can keep pushing forward on the frame building.  I'm only putting in about 15-20 hrs. a week and making a little pocket cash, which is something that I forgot how good it felt.  Maybe I can squeeze a piece of lasagna out of 'em once in a while.  I'll be back to finish this up later.  Need to take Dizzy Dog for a walk.  He's FSA.

All cleaned up and ready for some primer.


Got Moto?


Using a little MCIS on this one, MEECH Custom Integration System.  I like the way companies do that.  "Uh yeah, this year's frame has the CVDSE integrated into the rear triangle."  What is that? "Its a special Carbon Vibration Dampening System Extravaganza."  And so what does that entail? "Well, we put an extra layer of laminate 2 inches above the dropouts and then we removed a piece of laminate from about 5 inches above the dropout, and then we put a sticker on the seatstay that says CVDSE and added $750 to the price."  Sounds good to me, I'll buy it.  Amusing myself at the expense of the 'big guns' in the bike business.  

I leave the seatpost a little long unless the customer tells me their exact saddle height, that way a random buyer can take the seatpost to a local machinist and have it turned down to the correct height on a lathe.  If you need to add meat to it then perhaps you can have a small spacer made or I may just have to make you a fresh seatpost.  Either way I'll get you dialed in.  My friend Bob Davis makes these little beauties for me in his shop.  This guy has some very interesting bicycles, motorcycles, and stories as well.  Its fun to visit him about once a week.  I'm going over there this afternoon to have this post turned down a bit.  See the markings on the post?  This guy also plays the bagpipes.  I asked him to play "Rocket Queen" by GNR but he doesn't quite have that one figured out yet.  Catch you later aligator.

Friday, August 17, 2012

La Vuelta

The Tour of Spain starts this weekend and while not too many people get excited about it its my favorite tour, I'm probably a bit biased though.  The stages aren't quite as long. I've seen a handful that were only about 3 1/2 hours long, but everything is quick and punchy and you have to pay attention and thats the way this year's race is.  It has like 10 summit finishes, which I think is a record, and I think they said like 4 are in the first week.  I also like La Vuelta because while most of the big teams are there, they also include a lot of the smaller division teams from around Spain and that gives opportunity for a lot of unknown riders to shine for a day, or perhaps longer.  And the last reason I like La Vuelta so much more than the others is because the trophy girls are so much more fun.  ;)
Viva Espana!







Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gravel Road Racer

Here's a little frame I brazed up yesterday.  I started on this last week and it was inspired by all the recent talk of endurance bikes.  I also found something on a gravel road racer that I believed was made by Salsa, maybe?  Anyway, I don't know how many gravel road races there actually are however I do know that from the time I bought my first cross bike some 14-15 years ago, I always thought it would be great to have a frame that would accommodate the cross tires but still fit under your average caliper road brake.  Cross brakes are quite a bit better now than they used to be, sort of, not really, I guess I was never good at setting them up properly.  I actually had V-brakes on my first cross bike, a steel Bianchi sized 60cm, and it had a Marzocchi suspension fork with about an inch of travel.  The fork weighs more than most of the frames that I build.  Damn, that bike was a beast to ride but it made for some killer winter training and I vaguely remember winning one downhill city limit street sign sprint.  This frame is a 56cm with a 56.5cm top tube, has 73 degree angles, and a 60mm bb drop.  I put some beefy chain stays on it and lengthened them to about 420 mm to accommodate a 28-32c tire.  I got some sweet Racer Medium brakes from Paul's Components the other day that I think I may incorporate into the project, or you could use a long pull caliper from Cane Creek, Shimano, or whoever else but I doubt they'll look as cool as Paul's.

Internal brake cable...

..out the back door and down.

The Anne Marie has been finished for a while now but I forgot that I built this frame with the intention of wider tires, mainly for safety reasons.  My wife is a little accident prone.  Anyway, regular calipers wouldn't quite reach the braking surface and so I had to wait on some longer pull brakes.  She's fixin to go give it a test ride right now.

These Cane Creek calipers fit the bill.

Love those pedals.  Ride Sally ride!  My mother-in-law's name is Sally.
The Marzoke I was talking about.  Tipped the scales at 3.44 lbs.  I've got some plans for this thing somewhere down the road.  Just waiting for the right application.

Paul's Racer Medium brakes.

You like?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

MEECH atop Mount Ventoux

Steve gave me the heads up the other day that he was gonna put a MEECH on top of Mount Ventoux and as much as this dude rolls I had no reason to doubt him however I wanted to see it to believe it.  Well, here it is.  

Monument at the top of one of the most famous climbs in the Tour de France. As Mike Wurster pointed out to me in the comments this monument is in honor of Tom Simpson who died here during a Tour stage.  I had heard Phil and Paul comment on this various times during the tour but never really knew the story so I looked it up on line.  If you're not familiar with it, its a pretty interesting little story if you have time to check it out.

Yeah baby! Nice climb Steve.  After you climb one of those famous climbs that all the pros do in the tours you always appreciate it much more as you watch them go up it because theres a part of you there.  I appreciate all the cool photos that you've sent of the roads, the foods, and the wine.  It makes me wish I was there rollin with you.   Thanks for flying the MEECH flag.  Next stop the moon.  Adieu.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A MEECH on the roads of France

Steve Jauch packed up his MEECH and flew to France.    I think he picked the perfect time to go.  Tour is over and all the 'hub-bub' has cleared, the Olympics in London have everyone's attention, and that probably leaves some nice, clean, open roads to explore.  He said he's headed over to Mount Ventoux on Wednesday, maybe I'll have some more pics.  Thanks Steve.

Man, I wish I was there with you.  That looks like a killer time.  Nice bicep too. Enjoy!
Volez avec MEECH!

MEECH Custom Bicycles
handmade in 
Mountain Home, Arkansas





Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cyclocrossville!

I've been dreaming again.  Everytime I stop to get gas, which isn't often because I try not to drive too much, I can't help notice all the millions of dollars waiting to be won in the lottery.  I didn't even buy a ticket this time, I just was thinking of things to do with $180 million and I think I know.  I want to buy a town, or rather build a town from the ground up.  I think I would start by purchasing about 1000 acres of nice fertile rolling hills.  I would of course then commence to building me a house and a nice little frame building facility for both steel and carbon frames, as well as a handful of other small houses for any of the first partakers in Cyclocrossville.  Yep, thats the name of my new town.  Next, I would probably put in a little general store that carried the essentials for everyday living, your foods, cleaning supplies, hygien items, etc., just enough things to get you through until you had time to go into the closest big town to stock up.  Next project in line, Bikeshop.  Yeah, yeah, this is where the crossheads will start to take notice.  I'm gonna have a little 1500 square foot shop and I'm gonna stack/stock every cyclocross frame, wheel, tire, crank, bar, brake, bottom bracket, cable-hanger, third-eye, and any other cyclocross component that even thinks about coming out.  I'm gonna mimmick a little bike shop that I used to visit in Granada.  The name was Semar and it was a little two-story shop that was completely filled with every high-end road bike that was made.  They were literally piled on top of one another, hanging from the ceiling, windows, and anywhere else you could lay a bike.  There was only a 2 foot wide path from the front door to the sales counter and then around to the stairs that led up to a little room that was filled with every pro team jersey, bib-short, vest, hat, glove, jacket, shoe, and jock-strap available.  I could've lived in this place.  It would be like having your house on a gold mine.  "Ok Dimitri, thats a neat idea for a bike shop but how many people are gonna travel out to the middle of nowhereville just to visit a bike shop with everything that they can get on line?"  Did you even hear the name of the town I'm describing Ace?  Cyclocrossville.  One thousand acres of rolling hills.  This whole town is gonna be built around, not one, but many, variable and intermingling cyclocross tracks, and the races are gonna be abundant.  Ever read any of my old posts about racing MEECHcross?  Its gonna be here.  For Pete's sake, the eternal finish line is gonna be right on main street, and its gonna be right at the top of the tallest hill, which means the start is gonna be the largest downhill.  "What about cars getting in the way on main street?"  Dude, theres no cars in Cyclocrossville, everything is within walking/riding distance.  "Where are all the racers gonna park, huh?"  Theres gonna be a huge parking field on the outskirts of Cyclocrossville, you know kinda like DisneyWorld. "Come on kids, we're going to Cyclocrossville!"  Park your car and walk through the gates and you never have to leave if you don't want to.  I figure after the first Woodstock-sized cross event, with a $1,000,000.00 prize list, that handful of extra houses will be sold and businesses will start to want to open, you know, just a few.  We'll need a doctor and a dentist, a bank (I can't stuff $180 million in my mattress), a coffee shop/cafe, a restaurant with a couple of well paid chefs that can fix anything.  What else will we need? We'll probably need a pharmacy for all the dopers out there, but I'm just forewarning you, we're gonna bust you like a water balloon.  You'll get 50 licks with a wooden paddle at the start of every event in front of the whole town, with your bib-shorts down around your knees. Oh the humility. How about a Church?  I don't know where to start. The Cyclocrossville Church is gonna be a whole other blog entry.  All I can tell you is you're gonna hear a whole lotta cleats click-clacking across the sanctuary floor, and when we sing the hymns its gonna put that River Dance bunch to shame.  I imagine I'll bring in an occassional band, Cage The Elephant, GNR, Jack White, Black Crowes, etc.  Yep, the annual Cyclocrossville Series, the highest paying cyclocross race in the world.  The entry fee is a mere $1.  The start of the race is gonna be pure carnage so any lack of funds received in entry fees will definitely be made back by the Cyclocrossville Medical Facility.  Did I mention the nurses at this place?  You'll enjoy being hurt in Cyclocrossville.
"If you crash, don't worry.  We'll take care of you."


I figure we'll start with something like this...

...and this will do at the top of the hill, with a checkered-flag blow-up kite finish line across the street, twice the size of the Tour de France's.

This is a painting by William Lumpkins that I stumbled across while searching for pictures.  Let your imagination ride.

This is hands down the coolest cyclocross photo I have ever seen period.. Theres gonna be a lot of this going on.  You might even make the front page of the Cyclocrossville Times.
I think I may go back and buy that lottery ticket. Yep, when I win that $180 million, life is gonna get interesting.  I'm gonna buy a huge piece of land and when you turn into my driveway off the main road, you'll drive about 250 meters, and then your gonna see a huge million dollar mansion with fountains and marble side-walks and  beautiful shrubs and greenery all the way around it, with lamborghinis and ferraris parked out front, and that'll just be the chicken-house.  ;)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

La Veleta


Here is a picture of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain that a friend of mine posted on Facebook.  About 10 years ago my life seemed pretty stagnant so I packed up my bike and headed to Spain to spend some time getting to know a different culture and to learn a little of a second language.  When I was in school, learning a new language didn't really interest me.  My father was a full blooded greek and my greek grandmother never learned a lick of english in all the years she lived here.  She didn't leave the house much but man could she cook. Baked lamb and potatos, forget it, she was the champ. I never learned any greek except for "hello" or "how are you?" which I don't even know how to spell, something like "ti kanyas" or something of that nature.  Anyway, one afternoon I was laying on the sofa with not much drive to do anything except to watch la Vuelta a Espana.  As I watched the peloton come flying into a beautiful city I just thought, "That looks like a cool place."  I booked the ticket and before I knew it I was there.  A friend of mine helped me to find a room to rent at Rosa's Homestay, granadalabella.eu/ and I stayed with a spanish family and a handful of other students for about 3 months and then when I returned for a second time to go to school I found an apartment not too far down the road.  This picture brought back a lot of memories.  For one, everyday walking around the town you would see the Alhambra up on the hillside.  I used to ride up to the backside of it and there was an overlook where you could take in a view of the whole city of Granada. 

 Also, the mountain in the background of the first picture is La Veleta, probably the most famous mountain in Spain and one of the highest passes in Europe, not to mention the one that I spent quite a bit of time on during my stay. I was just informed from Simon that La Veleta means 'weathercock' -to tell you which way your heart blows.  Thats pretty wild.  Mountains are like living beings sometimes, things are much more interesting around them. From the center of town, which is about a 20 minute bike ride to the base of the climb, I would climb roughly 2 to 2 1/2 hrs. to get up past the ski station and that still wasn't the top.  Then the descent was 30 minutes of eye-watering reckless abandonment where you would be passing cars, mostly in the corners because thats where a cyclist can outgun a car.  Spain is a beautiful country and the people are some of the nicest I've met in my life. I always get excited when la Vuelta is on the horizon.  Hopefully they'll have a stage through Granada this year.  Hasta luego.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Old Project

I got caught up so I got this cross frame down to do a little painting prep work on it.  This is the one with the tapered head tube and its been hanging up in the garage for a few months now waiting on some attention.  It has been primered all along but it needed sanded and smoothed out in order to paint.  I saw a Mini Cooper the other day that caught my eye and I'm gonna use the paint colors off of it.  No I'm not gonna tell you, its a surprise.  

Bell-shaped head tube.  This is pretty smooth but you can still see a little area where the down tube comes in that needs a little more work.  Pictures come in handy because many times you think everything is super-smooth until you see a picture of it and then you realize you didn't go as far as you could've.  The yellow primer is the epoxy primer for protection and painting purposes whereas the grey is the filler primer and is used to smooth out any imperfections, providing they are not significant.  When sanding the frame I usually sand the filler primer down to the point that the yellow starts to show and then stop.

This is still pretty rough and needs some more work however I've already gone back and smoothed it out.  Contrary to belief, paint hides and fills nothing, it enhances everything.  That little spot that you thought paint would fill in, lets multiply that times 3 and make sure even the cross-eyed bear can see it.

This is what it should look like...


 ...and this.

The filler primer doesn't seem to fill up much unless its your serial number.  I had to scrape some of it out.  With 2-3 coats of primer, then 3-4 coats of paint, the letters can disappear pretty quick.

Paragon dropouts.