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.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Finish Work

Couple of pics of Andy D's cross frame after the finish work was completed yesterday.  The frame turned out nicely and I can't wait to slap some color on it.  As is it weighs a scant 3.8 lbs. but when I took it out of the stand it felt really light so I had to throw it on the scale to see where I was.  With all the braze-ons on a cross frame they can be hard to get down below 4 lbs.  Even if you use True Temper S3 tubing you probably won't get it down below 3.5 lbs. and thats in about a 52cm frame.  Tenths of a pound aren't as big of a concern as the ride quality.  Its all about the ride.  Bolt some lightweight components on this thing and it'll easily be in the sub-18 lb. range.

I spend a little time on my fillet work.

Chainring cutout turned out nice and clean.

Whats shakin Beau?

Little custom work on the rear cable hanger.  I can't bring myself to use the store bought ones anymore, there as good as any but its supposed to be custom right?  I've seen some really intricate ones out there that are actually works of art but I like to keep my frames as tight and streamlined as possible.  

I'm gonna try and get the primer on it this weekend and then hopefully you'll get to see the finished product here pretty soon.  Thanks for checking things out.  Have a good weekend.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Little Fillet-Brazing

Finally got Andy D's cross frame brazed up yesterday morning.  As always, I build the rear triangle first, check the wheel alignment then the chainring clearance before proceeding.

Forgot to take a photo of the full frame tacked but I imagine you've all seen enough of those.

Can you fillet?

I bet you can.

Just pick up a torch and a stick of brass and melt it on just like you're painting it on.

I like this photo.  Little Mavic Carbonification in the rear view.  You don't think I throw just any wheel in between the stays  for mock-up purposes do you?

This one is for you Beau.

Throw a wheel in when its all finished just for good measure.  Need to stick a couple of braze-ons on it this afternoon then clean it up for some primer.  I hope to do a little painting in this coming week.  Working part time at the bistro has slowed down my actual frame production but its increased my enthusiasm for building frames and its gonna allow me to broaden the dream a little more in the future, plus they make some really good food and the atmosphere is good. If you're in Mountain Home you should check it out, 870 Bistro. I've already got plenty of work to keep me busy through the end of the year and probably starting the new year.  I've also got a plan for the year ahead. After I finish Andy's frame I'm gonna get to work painting some stuff for the Texas Handmade Show at the end of October.  When I get back from that I have a handful of frames to build for customers that will probably take me into the new year including my first BMX build that should be interesting.  During all this I plan on purchasing some more painting equipment to use when I can get it, and oh yeah, those carbon fiber dreams are still stirring in my head.  I really would like to get some carbon frame building under my belt this coming year.  So anyway, you've heard that one before but I really do want to make it happen its just gonna take some prioritizing (did I spell that correctly?) and I may just have to step away from steel for a short time or just take a limited number of orders and then after I get the carbon process dialed in I will be set up to do both more efficiently, that would be ideal. We'll see.  I remind myself that frame building is a long-term educational experience.  This coming year will be the start of year 5 of the frame building dream for me.  I think I'm somewhere right over 100 frames built and I still love it. Numbers don't matter though, its quality over quantity at MEECH.  Race on racers!  Never say die! Ever onward!  Victory or death!  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Strange Dream

Last night I had a strange dream.  Like most people I've had a lot of strange dreams, however, the main character in this dream was none other than Lance Armstrong.  I told myself I wasn't gonna talk about Armstrong anymore.  I realized a couple of weeks ago that I'm not interested in the drama anymore.  I also realized that pro bike racing doesn't interest me as much as it once did either.  I'm still gonna watch it, I'm still gonna pick out favorite racers and protagonists as I just like watching racers fight it out on climbs.  The climbs are actually the only part of bike racing that I get excited about.  I used to love the time trials. I don't know what happened but I can hardly watch them anymore.  I think all of this is just a natural transformation.  When I started building frames about 4-5 years ago I became more and more enthusiastic about building bikes and less enthusiastic about racing. Building became the priority. I still love to ride but its much more painful these days because I'm gradually losing fitness. I still love to suffer but now I'm suffering while riding 18 mph.  Not pretty.  Anyway lets get back to the dream.

There was a crowd of people gathered in a rather dark room.  It more or less resembled a nice stand-up comedy bar or perhaps where you would go watch a band on the weekend or something of that nature.  There was a stage with a handful of spotlights shining down and a red curtain as a backdrop. There were also a couple of tables on the stage, long tables set up end to end.  The crowd was made up of all kinds of different people. Most were dressed pretty casual, nice but casual, and I noticed quite a few were wearing suits.  There were no chairs on the floor, everyone was standing and for some reason they weren't standing in the middle of the room but were all standing toward the right side of the room.  Then three or four guys started bringing out all these glass bottles and jugs from behind the curtain and arranging them on the tables.  The jugs and bottles were all different sizes ranging from an average size jar, to a whiskey bottle, and even some really big glass jugs, you know, kinda like those big glass bottles that sometimes people put all their change in.  All these bottles were clear and appeared to be filled with urine.  Intermingled between these urine filled bottles and jugs were all types of smaller bottles.  Some looked like pill containers and others looked like energy drinks and things, they had labels on them and looked like something you would buy.  All the people are standing around talking among themselves, saying things like, "Whats going on here?"  I was wondering too.  Then after all the tables were completely filled with glass bottles and jugs filled with urine as well as all sorts of other bottles of various things, the 3-4 guys walked off the stage and everybody was just standing there looking at all this stuff.  After a few minutes Lance Armstrong walked out from behind the curtain and up to the podium and  picked up one of the little bottles and just started pouring pills out into his mouth.  Some were going into his mouth while others were falling all over the floor and bouncing around. Then he'd pick up an energy drink and pour that all over his face, and then more pills, going from bottle to bottle and just making a total spectacle of himself.  The whole time he was doing this he was dancing around in little circles, kinda like a joker trying to entertain a king.  He was just laughing his arse off at everyone, dancing little circles, pouring pills and drinks all over his face.  Everyone in the audience was real quite and serious and not really saying anything, just watching the whole spectacle unfold. I then noticed that the people that were wearing the suits were not happy but appeared very serious and somewhat annoyed.  This is basically how the dream ended.  There was no big finale and many people were walking out right in the middle of the whole thing as it became uninteresting after a while. 
 This dream doesn't really appear to be very complex or difficult to figure out.  Its basically what has transpired throughout the whole Armstrong investigation.  The one thing that totally confuses me with this dream is that I was laughing too, I was laughing even harder than Lance Armstrong.  If you know me at all you know that I've never been an Armstrong fan, so I clearly wasn't laughing with him but I don't know what I was laughing at.  That's how the dream ended, me just laughing my butt off.  Maybe I was laughing because I finally realized that all this is just a big joke and of no real importance in my life or anyone else's unless you make it a part of your life.  Its really no more interesting than some movie star or rock star getting into some kind of trouble, but because we love cycling so much we make this stuff an important part of our lives when in fact its nothing.

 I read this morning that Lance was competing in some non-sanctioned triathlon that apparently the Livestrong Foundation had invested in recently.  Looks to me like Lance is back having to pay entry fees in order to race just like the rest of us, only he's paying ten-fold.  I'm reminding myself as I speak, that as much as I can't stand him, he is only human.  Its sad really.  He's abandoned just about anyone who loved him, his entire life's work is crumbling in front of him, and he still seems to have something to prove at the races.  He's got nowhere to go.  I think he's running from himself.  Why doesn't he just start promoting races for racers and fans in order to give back to the racing community.  He has the money and sources to pay good prizes and he would be involved in positive aspects of cycling. It would probably help heal some of his wounds.  Oh well, its not my worry as I'm no longer interested. It was just a dream.  Rock on LA!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New MEECH Cycling Uniform

The new MEECH cycling clothing just came in a couple of days ago from Nalini so I had to go give it a try.  I've been wearing alot of Nalini the last couple of years so it wasn't a big surprise for me.  It fits me well and has always held up pretty well and so I hope this clothing is no different.  I started on this project back in March if you can believe it and while most everything went pretty smooth I had a little trouble getting a couple of logos in the 
'vector format' that was needed.  Anyway it all finally got done and the clothing turned out very nice and so it was worth the wait.  Here are a couple of photos of me semi-posing to show off the new gear.  "What is semi-posing?"  Its where you planned on just posing but in the end it turned into real work, in this case on the bike.

Ok, I admit that this was not work however when you turn around and start to come back you actually have to pedal.

Check out those glow-in-the-daylight tires.  Oh PA-leeez.  You can't tell that this is much of a  hill however about 50 meters back its like 30% grade.  After we got done shooting the photos I went out for a little ride and noticed my chain dropping when I would stand up.  Turned out one of the links had been pulled off one of the pins.  This chain was one that only had a few miles on it on a road bike, so then I put it on this cross rig and had to add a few links.  I'm notorious for piecing together chains.  
Look at Dizzy dropping me like a sack of potatos.  This dog can run all day long.

Got to say thanks to the sponsors.  Jim Little and Jeremy Ellis from Little & Associates Architect Firm in Jonesboro were a couple of the guys that helped me get started on this project.  Also, Bob Cook from Blue Ribbon Fly Shop and Angler's Coffee Cafe here in Mountain Home.  Thanks for the support guys.
Handmade bicycles right here in beautiful Mountain Home, Arkansas.  Also a big thanks to my wife Anne for shooting the photos for me.  Thanks baby.  Man, my arm looks pretty skinny here.  Think I'm gonna go do a few curls.  

MEECH Custom Bicycles
Mountain Home, Arkansas

Monday, September 17, 2012

Custom Chain Ring Clearance

Thought I would show you a little process that I use to create chainring clearance on my cross bikes.  Its fairly easy and looks more custom than indentations.  Here is the cut chain stay with the cutout filed into it.  

I use head tube material to fill in the cutout because its a little thicker than most of the other tubing as I want this to be pretty solid.  I just cut a piece in half, sand it, and clean it up really good in order to make sure you get a nice bond.

Quick check to make sure everything fits and is nice and snug.  No problems here.

This is how I secure it while I'm brazing it.  Need to put a little flux on it and then I just tack it into place.

Here is it after everything is brazed up.  Now the cleanup.

I cut off the excess with a little Dremel cutting wheel getting as close as necessary.  The closer you cut it off the less you have to file off afterward but you don't want to be reckless and ruin your hard work, so don't rush it.

When I'm filing off the edges I put a piece of duct tape around it just in case the file slips.  It also acts as a good indicator when you are getting close to the actual tubing.  You can see where the file has scuffed up the tape.  When you get this close its time to back off and get the smaller files.

Here is the finished piece.

Theres a lot of steel in this photo.

This is Dizzy dog watching over the entire operation to make sure I do the job right.  Nothing gets by Dizzy.  We look just alike, long skinny legs, a big nose, and big ears.

Couple of pics of the seat stays mitered and in place.  I don't think they were finished during the last post.  Everything is cut and fit on Andy D's cross frame and the brazing will commence shortly.

Thanks for checking things out.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

MEECH with Wings

I've been getting a handful of pictures from people putting their MEECH to good use here lately.  This is Jess Parker, avid bike racer, rabid cyclocrosser, and also one of my old riding buddies from Jonesboro.  He was one of my first customers and when I told him to "Fly with MEECH" he took it to heart.  Here he is airing it out at a cyclo-X Halloween party last year. He's got some speed behind him in this little dig as well, see that blur. For this photo he gets a free MEECH cycling cap.  This is a beautiful photo.  I've seen a couple of photos out there of people jumping their cross bikes but I never thought I would get to see a MEECH completely aired out.  I love it!  Just for the records, I also love to see wheelies, one-handed especially, so if anyone feels like riding their MEECH on the back wheel (or front)  I've got another cap waiting.  

Fly with MEECH!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Couple of pics taken from the Micro-Cross event that the Highroller Cyclery is putting on in order to get a little cyclo-x training in before the season kicks off.  This is a pic of Branton Moore's MEECH but I can't tell if thats Branton or not.  He may be letting someone else give it test ride.  Anyway, looks like a few Arkansas boys are getting stoked about the 2012 season.  If you're interested in getting in some pretty intense little workouts I believe these Micro-X events may be the ticket.  Get in touch with the Highroller Cyclery in Fayetteville, AR.  www.highrollercyclery.com  Check out that storm in the background.  Thats how close cross season is and its looking rough.

This is Branton's cross racing machine, but he also puts alot of road miles, both paved and gravel on it.  I know he's done at least one century ride on it because I read about it on his blog.  I should have the link to his blog and will try to find it but if you follow the link to the Highroller Cyclery up above I bet it will lead you to the blog.  He just put these carbon tubular wheels on his bike and it definitely looks racey, kinda like a subtle/racey look.  I like his style, we clicked from day one.  Thanks for rollin a MEECH!

I want some new shoes.

Here is a pic I stole off www.velonews.com from the Eurobike Show.  These are the new 
Fizik R1 shoes and the style is right up my alley.  I love the look and they're made with kangaroo leather so you know you'll be bouncing all over the competition like that kangaroo that Sylvester 'the Putty Tat' used to take a beating from.  One thing I don't like about them is the buckle, i hate buckles.  Three velcro straps or laces but please no buckles, thats just my opinion of course.  Oh, two things I don't like, they're $400, and thats just for the left shoe, but they give you the right one for free.  No matter, before I will be sporting a pair of these they will probably no longer be made.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Contador Finishes It Off

In the best grand tour of 2012 and also one of the toughest, Alberto Contador finished atop the podium in Madrid.  He was flanked by a couple more Spanish riders, Alejandro Valverde and Joaquin Rodriguez in 2nd and 3rd repsectively.  I enjoyed watching this one.  With so much press about doping issues this year I have lost a lot of interest in pro cycling.  I have no idea who is clean or doping but at least these three guys put on a heck of a show for the fans.  Lets cross our fingers and hope they're racing clean. 

“I do not race to shut people’s mouths,” Contador said. “I race because it’s what gives me pleasure.”

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Andy D's Cross Build

Got a few tubes cut and fit for Andy Derousseau's new cross frame.  All I need to do is fit the seat stays and then I can tack it.  This frame is the priority on tap and soon as its finished I'm gonna have to go into paint mode.  I'll be painting this frame as well as a couple 2-3 more in hopes that I have enough frames to show at the Texas Handmade Bike Show in October.  Its in Dallas this year and I believe the dates are the 27th and 28th but I'm fixin to go check that out to make sure.  I haven't been to Dallas in quite a while so it should be a good time.  Its not a bad drive from my hometown of Jonesboro, only about 7 hrs.  Well I used to be able to make it in 7 hrs because I used to haul ass everywhere I went, we'll see if I still got it.  I'm sure I still got it in me but the state troopers may try and take some of it out of me.  Back when I raced motocross I was walking a tightrope to keep my license because I had too many tickets.  I would slow down for a while until one or two went off my record and before I knew it I would be sitting on the side of the road getting another.  I once tried to bribe a cop. I asked him if he went to church, and he said yes, so I told him that if he wouldn't write me a ticket that I would donate the money to his church. About landed me in jail.  Talk about fast talking.  I talked faster than I could ever ride a bicycle or motorcycle. I never actually lost my license but it was pretty close there for a while.  Once I got a ticket and I paid for it with a check in the mail right before I left for Spain.  At the time I didn't know you couldn't send a check to pay.  So I left thinking everything was cool and my mom started getting notices about me missing court dates and payment of fines and blah, blah, blah and they had her all scared that I was in some trouble and had bailed.  All that hassle just because I was going a measely 90 mph. Pffff, thats nothing for me, I can downhill that fast.  Ok, I'm BS'n you all now.  I'm not a great descender at all.  If I don't know the descent I usually keep a finger on the brake, I don't like surprises at 50 mph these days.  I used to be banzai but these days I enjoy life and I want it to continue, don't need to exit the pave into the bush where theres no trail if you know what I mean.  Ditches, rocks, and trees have never appeared to be afraid of me, quite the contrary.  Oh geez, I just realized I'm such a pussy now.  

That fit is tighter than thong underwear.  Just for the record I don't wear thong underwear.  Seriously man, I don't. I'm serious.  Why don't you believe me?

There is some serious heart and soul going on here, you feel it?  Its gonna translate into speed and you're gonna feel that, all sure.  I'm having visions of skyscrapers for some reason.

This is better than writing your name on your underwear.  I don't do that either.  What?  So now you think I wear a thong with my name on it?  You're wacked man!

This is proof UFO's exist.  Look at that first bottom bracket picture above and now look at this one.  You gonna tell me that there wasn't a UFO with aliens right outside the window spying on the MEECH headquarters?  I'm just kidding.  Everybody knows theres no such thing as UFO's and aliens.  I don't want you all to think I'm crazy or something.  Well, I might be crazy but there is no such thing as aliens or flying saucers, I don't think.  Or maybe there is, hell I don't know, I'm just a framebuilder not an astronut.  "Maybe Jasper does the astro."  Recognize those lyrics? All this talk about thong underwear with names on it and spaceships with aliens and Jasper with astronauts, you see what's going on here don't you Virginia?  "Yeah D, its crystal clear."  I need to go ride. Aw man, I got to mow the yard today.  That sux. Chao.