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.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lets Paint

Finally got the chance to finish up Steve's road frame.  Actually its been done for a couple of days but I'm just now getting around to shooting some photos.  The weather has been kind of crappy these last few days but I'm thinking we may be on our way to some nicer weather.  I'm no weatherman but I'm just trying to be optimistic, afterall its nearly April.  I've seen snow in April before but I'm hoping I don't ever again (fingers are crossed).  I've got a few errands to go run so I'm gonna have to finish this post up later, so meech ya back here in a couple of hours.  Get it? MEECH ya.  Hasta luego amigos.

Alright, I'm back.  It was a little longer than I anticipated.  I decided to go to bed and finish this up this morning.  Yesterday was a pretty day albeit a bit cold.  I had planned on going for a short ride but after working out in the garage all day I bailed on the idea in hopes that today would be a bit warmer.  Basically I wussed.  My riding habits can be a bit strange.  Sometimes it can be a beautiful day and I just won't have it in me to go ride, and then there will be a day thats in the 30's, windy, and snowing and I'll go ride., like a couple of days ago.  I use to really like riding, and still do sometimes, on days when its in the 40's and misting rain.  I'm not sure why but years ago I always seemed able to find a groove on days like that. If I could choose, I like hot, dry days, temperatures in the 90's (especially around the 4th of July, thats my favorite time of the year), wearing only a jersey, chamois and a cycling cap, oh yeah, shoes no socks.  I know...it funks up your shoes but its the way I prefer to ride.  I like the sun tanning my skin and the only wind is the wind that I'm creating.  Those are the days.  When I go back to Jonesboro during the summertime, around July, August, and September, its one of my favorite smells.

I haven't bored you guys with any backyard photoramas lately so here it is, I know you've been waiting patiently and I thank you.  Little head tube shot here, I know, no explanation needed.

This stem has seen a few miles.  It kinda looks like something has been chewing on it.  Its the stem I was running when I slammed into the back of a parked car on the highway.  My head went through the rear glass and my Scott CR1 broke in half.  I've told this story before so I'm gonna stop right there.  Back to Steve's frame.

Steve went with a bible verse for his custom frame serial number.  Psalms 112:7 was his choice.  It says, "They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the lord."  My favorite bible verse is Mark 11:23.  Its one of two that I have vaguely memorized and it roughly says, "For verily I say unto you, whosoever shall say unto the mountain, be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea; and doth not doubt but believeth in his heart that those things which he saith shall come to pass, this man shall have whatsover he saith."   I'm not sure if thats exactly right but its close.  The other verse that I have memorized is this one, and I'm not even sure which book its from but it roughly says, "It is not what goeth into thy mouth that hurteth man but what cometh out."   I know that may sound a little corny but I always remember that verse whenever I eat something that I'm not sure exactly what i ate, you know like at a Thai restaurant.  Just kidding Thai restaurant people...well sort of.  We actually have a really good Thai restaurant right here in Mountain Home.  I'll be honest with you, I'm not real big on Thai food, my wife loves it, I'm more of a Mediterranean/Mexican type person, but anyway this little place in town called Dusit has a dish called Garlic Seafood and I can't get enough of it.  It's one of my favorite dishes here in town.  Hats off.  If you're ever in town you should check it out.

I was pleased with this ovalized down tube.

Alright, enough bottom bracket shell pictures.

Beefy chain stays.  Flex 'em if you can.  Don't even try, you can't do it.

Little custom etching by Mark from Mainline awards.  He does the bb shells for me as well.  He's one cool dude.

Now thats tight, right?  "Do it right with Air-Tite" was my dad's slogan for his business.  I grew up working in the back and after my dad passed away I ran the business for about 9 years before deciding to move on.  It gave me alot of life experiences and my ability to pursue frame building.  Thanks dad!  And behind every good man is an even better woman so don't even think I would forget my mother, she's a rock.  Love ya mom!  She just had her 75th birthday.

This is Dizzy dog getting a little serious with a bone he found on his walk the other day.  It was from a deer carcus and it was his first big find and so I let him keep it.  Man he was proud, walking down the neighborhood streets with a big deer leg bone hanging out of his mouth like a big cigar.  All the other dogs were looking at him and he was like, "You want it but I got it."

Custom?  I was amazed at the complexity of this joint.  It almost looked like it was machined.  I started thinking that maybe this deer had a joint replacement or something and that this wasn't the original but it still had meat on it so I guess it was real.  I don't think Dizzy would be so interested if it was fake.  Nice touch to whoever made this.

ENVE has a cool logo.

I've been so ready to get into the paint booth.  Every since that little spell of warm weather a couple of weeks ago I've been itching to paint something and now its about to happen.  Thanks for checking things out come back to see the finished frame.  Chao.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ghent-Wevelgem Winner

Gotta love a roadie who rides wheelies across the finish line.  Peter Sagan was the man on a brutal Belgian day.  Got the pic off velonew's website.  Check 'em out. Not sure how to spell Ghent, or Gent?  Velonews spells it with an 'h' while everyone else seems to spell it without.  Who knows, who cares, so long as they spell the name right on the trophy.  Chao amigos.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cut, Fit, and Ready for Brazing

I got Steve's frame all cut and fit yesterday and I'm just waiting on the BB shell to get engraved and then some brazing can commence.  Got to go put in a day at the bistro but I'll be back soon to put the finish on this post.... there I'm back.  Almost like I never left.  

Gotta love a tight rear end. I realized during this build that mitering and fitting the chain and seat stays is probably my favorite part of the building process. I always knew inside that I never really minded doing them but I just sort of realized that I truly enjoy doing them.  I have no idea why.  I guess I just love rear ends.  I enjoy doing the down tube alot also, oh yeah and the painting.  There is actually no part of the frame building process that I dislike but some things stand out more than others.  I don't care much for having to spray primer and then having to clean and sand it all but its not that bad, I just don't like breathing all that dust.  Anyway, this is ready to stick.

I had to post a picture of this seat tube.  When I saw it from a distance in the shop it just looked so cool I thought, "Man you got a shoot a photo of that."  Its a bit different.  Ovalizing the tubes is not that hard to do it just takes some extra time, but having a custom built "one of a kind frame" is worth every second.  Its neat to think that something in the world is built/made especially for you and no one else, somebody else can ride it, but its yours.  Enjoy!

Tightness, and cleanly I might add.

Doing a little internal brake routing on this frame.  There will be caps over the entrance and exit but I haven't gotten that far yet, that comes at braze-on time.  Oh yeah, braze-ons are not high on my list of fun things to do but a necessity none the less.

Complete frame cut and fit and ready to be brazed up.  I'm going to get the bottom bracket shell this morning so hopefully I'll get some good work done this afternoon.  Thanks for checking things out.  Have a good weekend.  The days are longer and its getting warm.  I've been getting out on my bike a little more here lately, short rides but better than none at all.

Oh yeah, I finally figured something out that was bugging me.  Don't know if you've noticed or not but my blog has ads on it.  Its just something that they asked me if I wanted to try and they said I could make money for the advertising and so I said, "Why not?"  So anyway, I've yet to receive any money because apparently they don't send you your first check until you've reached a hundred bucks.  Well, I've had this blog going on close to 4 years now and so I guess that shows us how profitable this advertising thing is.  I thought I was gonna be receiving checks weekly.  No worries, I don't do it for the money.  But here these last few months I've been noticing nothing but ladies advertisements on my blog page, ladies clothes, ladies shoes, etc.  Not really what I want on my bike frame building web page.  I mean I hope ladies find my blog interesting just as much as I want men to but I'm not into advertising high heels and pink panties.  In the past I've seen some good ads on here.  Bike companies, travel companies, a Can-Am motorcycle ad, carbon fiber companies, you know some quality stuff that guys would like to check out.  So I was constantly wondering, "Why are all the ads on my web page ladies clothing related?"  Now I know.  Google takes all your web searches and advertises the ones that you are looking at the most frequently.  Now you're probably wondering, "Dimitri, why are you spending so much time looking at women's clothing, do you have a secret or something you would like to get out?  The answer is no.  I could care less about women's clothing. I mean I enjoy seeing nicely dressed women as much as any man would and I also want my wife to have nice clothes but I don't pay too much attention to any of that stuff.  Actually I prefer women with as little clothing as possible.  Just kidding, well sort of.  So anyway, that brings me to the point of this story.  When my wife is on the computer she is constantly shopping, looking at clothes, looking at shoes, work out stuff, etc.  She spends more time searching for clothes and shoes than I spend looking at bikes, motorcycles, racing, carbon fiber, etc.  So now I have to spend more time on the computer googling manly bike building stuff than Anne spends googling girl stuff.  Its gonna be tough.  I may have to start training again, but the race is on.  Its on Tyrone! Baby its on!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Steve's Road Racer

Got a little start on my next customer's frame.  Steve is out of Oklahoma and I'm building him a road racing frame.  He made a quick trip to Mountain Home a couple of weekends ago and we took a few measurements for his new bike this spring.  This is gonna be a pretty straightforward build, tight and light.  Its gonna be roughly a 54/55 cm frame, lets call it 
54.5 cm, and we're gonna use a sloping top tube to keep it tight, and a top of the line Easton carbon fork to make it light.

As always, I start every build with a good foundation.  Sometimes I imagine you guys can get pretty bored with some of these photos that are all similar from build to build however I do it so that the customers can see whats going on with their frame.  Some people may or may not care about seeing this stuff but I do it to show them the work ethic that goes into each and every frame that I build, and it also gives a little subject matter to blog about.  It would seem pretty boring if all I did was post pictures of finished painted frames and it would be abot a month in between each post.  Sometimes thats about what it feels like now.  You can paint a house to look nice from the outside but for myself, I prefer to know that its well constructed under the paint and thats why I post these photos.

I'm ovalizing the tubes on the main triangle like I did on the BMX build.  This frame has an OX Platinum down tube that I made bi-oval, more tall and narrow at the head tube and wider at the bottom bracket just like the S3 down tubes. The top tube is ovalized at the head tube junction, and the seat tube is ovalized at the bottom bracket.  This OX Platinum down tube is actually lighter than the S3 by a few grams because the S3 down tubes are larger diameter.  The OX is butted 7/4/7 which is super-light but with a little more meat on the ends for brazing.  I love this down tube and use it on almost every build unless its a really big rider that needs something meatier.  I have used this down tube on frames for riders up to 225 lbs. and have never heard any complaints about the frame not being stiff enough.  If they're over the 225 mark I would probably go with an 8/5/8 and maybe a bit larger diameter.  No worries with this frame though as the rider is a comfy 175-180 lbs.

You can kinda see the ovalization here but its a bit difficult.

This was lunch that day.  It was pretty cold that day and I threw everything I could find on top of this burger.  Cheese, sauteed tomatos and onions, and a fried scrambled egg on garlic toast.  Here lately I've been trying to add a couple of pounds to my frame.  Since being sick a couple of weeks ago I've been down a bit.  I burn more calories running around the bistro than I do on my bike.  Anyway, I'm about there.  I don't have a strict diet but I do try to eat decent foods for lunch and dinner and then there is always some sort of dessert thrown in there.  Anne says I'm addicted to sugar and its probably true.  I was doing pretty good for a couple of days but then yesterday I popped and ate almost an entire box of Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls on the way home from the store. Why do those things seem to just melt in my mouth? We only live about 3 miles from Wal-Mart and I opened the first package before putting the car in drive.  I had 5 out of 6 packages eaten before I got to our neighborhood road.  That means I ate roughly 10 Swiss Cakes in 2 miles, thats 5 a mile while also having to open them.  I just left the last pack on the truck seat.  I think I may go get it now.  Be back in a second.

FACT:  I can eat a McDonald's Fillet-O-Fish in two bites.  I can actually shove the whole sandwich in my mouth but then I can't chew and the 911 operator can't understand me while I'm choking.  I think it was last winter when I about choked to death on a peanut butter sandwich.  True story.  I was out in the shop working on a cold day and came in for a few calories so I made a quick peanut butter sandwich.  Now my mother says that her doctor told her that she has a condition where her esophagus shrinks and she has trouble swallowing sometimes if she doesn't eat slowly enough.  I may have something like that but I really think my problem is that sometimes I just try to swallow too much food without chewing it up.  I do that when I'm in a hurry, especially when I'm driving (not good).  So anyway, I was taking a little lunch break in front of the computer while shoving this peanut butter sandwich in my face.  Well, you don't really feel the food backing up in there until its already backed up.  By the time you know its not going down chances are that you've already eaten a couple more bites and now thats not going anywhere either.  Some foods go down better than others, peanut butter and bread is the worst. So it got bad enough that I went into the bathroom and was gonna try and get this thing up out of my esophagus since it clearly wasn't going down.  No luck.  Wouldn't go down and wouldn't come up.  "What do I do now?"  Well, I grabbed a glass of water and decided I would try to wash it down. Believe it or not, I was actually still very calm at this point as I've had this happen a number of times in the past but this time that big gulp of water put me into a spot of bother, I began to choke.  This was the first time I've ever been choked up this bad.  I started losing my breath, and yes, now I'm beginning to lose my cool, actually the cool was all gone at this point and panic was setting in as I'm bouncing around the bathroom thinking, "Please don't let it end like this."  There was no one around, no one except for Pinky, our little Shih-Tzu.  After hearing all the commotion I guess he decided to come in there and see what was up.  I looked down at him through my heavily watering eyes and he was wagging his tail as if I was playing some sort of game.  He was probably thinking that I was playing that game, you know the one, where you give your dog peanut butter and watch him try to get it off the roof of his mouth.  He probably thought, "Yeah, how you like this game now cowboy, its real fun isn't it?"  Well, finally a big gasp and a big cough sent it flying out and as I looked at myself in the mirrow, a little frazzled I might add, I told myself I was gonna slow things down, maybe try to eat a little more like the French people do.  Ok, thats pushing but i do try to take a little more time chewing than I used to.  I still get in a hurry sometimes but I'm trying to keep it out of the bathroom if you know what I mean.

I was doing a ride the other day and this 12" Crescent was on the side of the road.  I stopped and went back hoping that it was a cheap Chinese made tool and I would just leave it there for someone else but unfortunately it said, "The Original Crescent", made in the U.S.A.  Well, I couldn't just leave it.  I already have a 12" crescent wrench but I think its one of the cheap Chinese ones so this was an upgrade.  These type tools don't carry well in the jersey pocket as they bounce all over the place when you get out of the saddle, they weigh about 6 lbs., ok, a pound and a half, but its a heavy pound and a half.  Luckily I was only about 30 minutes away. Its the closest that I've gotten to suffering on the bike in quite a while.  Hopefully I'll get the rear end finished up on Tuesday.  I got a new schedule at work so now I have 3 uninterrupted days to get some frame building done.  This should help things out quite a bit.  Thanks for stopping by.  Chao.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

BMXer Finished?

Alright.  I've been waiting for a long time to get this frame finished up.  "Is it finished?"  Ummm, well pretty much.  I still need to braze on some brake posts and I'm waiting until I get the brakes  to do that so I get everything positioned correctly and then I was gonna put a seat stay bridge in there today but i decided to wait because I wasn't sure if I wanted to go with something straight or curved.  Everything on the frame is kinda straight/angular so I'm probably gonna lean in that direction.  Regardless, it won't take long and I'm waiting until I get some parts in  before putting the finishing touches on it.  After spending this much time trying to get everything right I'm not about to just throw the last couple of pieces on just to be done, its gotta be right.  One day I'm gonna take this dude to a bike show, oh yeah, and I've already been checking out the landscape to pull off a jump for testing purposes.  My neighbor is a school bus driver so I'm thinking about asking him if I can borrow the school bus for a little Sunday afternoon jump, then on Monday morning when the kids start loading up there'll probably be a big caved in spot where I landed and then bounced off doing a 10' nosedive off the back of it.  "MEDIC!"  My mind isn't even from the same planet as my body is. In my mind, I'm going outside and wanna take my jet-pack down to the 7-Eleven for a Slurpee and a candy bar, meanwhile my body is going,  "You can't even walk down the stairs to get to your jet-pack."  I'm talking as if I own a jet-pack.  The main thing to remember when you're operating a jet-pack is to keep your head up so that you remain straight up and down, cause if you tilt your head down a little bit and hit that rocket trigger you're gonna end up doing some X-Games shit like Wile E. Coyote.  Next thing about jet-packing you want to have dialed in is make sure you have the carburetor jetted correctly, especially if you plan on jetting around at an altitude of 100 feet or more (...and who wouldn't, why would you even own a jet-pack if you weren't planning on flying high?).  You don't want it spitting and sputtering like the 2-stroke dirt bike of some novice motocross racer at the local backyard track.  You might even consider having it professionally tuned before going out rocketeering but I'll leave that up to you as I don't know what kind of mechanic you are. Lastly, a good thing to remember about jet-packing is to keep an eye on the fuel gauge.  If you're getting a bit low on fuel you might want to bring the altitude down around the 20 foot mark so that just in case you do run out you'll only end up with a couple of broken ankles and some skinned up elbows, but remember, when you're flying at these lower altitudes you need to keep an eye out for power lines, they can ruin a good jet-packing trip real quick.  Nothing quite like going out for a walk with the dog only to find some sky-surfer in a tank-top tangled and sizzling on some power lines while your dog is licking up the remains of a Slurpee and chewing on a flip-flop.  How many times, how many times, how many times have they told you, "Don't drink and drive!"?  Thats dumber than trying to give a rattlesnake a bath. ("Thats a strange analogy Dimitri."  Well maybe I have a story about giving a rattlesnake a bath.  Tune in tomorrow and see.) You can't fly a JET-Pack with one hand, that was the first rule in the instructions book.

1.)  Keep both hands on the controls at all times!

  You f**cked up.  You decided to save a few bucks and opted for the model without the cup holder.  Good luck with that.  At the bistro they're always playing Elton John's "Rocket Man", you think I haven't thought about jet-packing a little bit.  When I die I want them to put me in a Sky-Cycle like the one Evel Knievel jumped the Snake River in and just light the fuse, don't even worry about giving me a parachute or any knee pads, heck, I might be up for that even if I'm not dead, but if I'm living  I want the knee pads.  Imagine how Travis Pastrana's face would light up if he woke up on Christmas and there was a JET-Pack under the tree.  Lets get back to this frame.

Little front end shot with the camera tilted as usual.  I always have to throw one of these photos in.  The integrated headset fits nice and snug.  I'm gonna get a different headset for it when I build it up but I had this FSA just laying around in the toolbox so I thought I'd throw it on.

Ahh, just remembered that I forgot to face the bottom bracket.  Wait, I think I did already do it, its just been so long ago that I forgot.  I often wondered if I'd get this thing finished up but after a while it sort of became a mission and I was thinking that I would have to get this frame finished before I die in order to rest peacefully.  Technically its not done but I feel pretty good about it in the coming days.  God willing.

I just noticed a little spot I need to smooth out.

This wasn't the way I would've normally done the seat stays.  I would've put them on the back of the seat tube like I normally do but this is the way the old Schwinn Stings used to be so thats the direction I went.

I do like the flared ends on the tubing.  It gives it a little extra something and I plan on using it on the next build as well.  If I had shown more of the top and down tubes in this photo you would be able to see it better.

Paragon stainless track dropouts.  Not exactly the angle we were looking for as these are road dropouts but the stays butted up pretty well and there is still a little meat that can be taken out.  If I did this again I would have custom dropouts machined and would probably go with some fatter stays but this frame is so solid it doesn't even feel like a frame made out of tubes, it feels more like a solid piece of steel.

I like this shot as I like this fork alot.  This fork and I have become close friends over the past couple of weeks.

I like this shot alot also.  After seeing the frame from this angle and realizing the curve in the fork blades I may go ahead and use a curved seat stay bridge.  I think it'll look alright.

This photo was still on the camera when I uploaded the pictures.  We had a little ice pass through the other day but luckily it wasn't too bad.  I was hoping and praying we wouldn't get another dose like we did back in 08' or 09', whenever it was.  I don't care for ice, snow, or even cold weather for that matter.  Nothing like having to clean up broken trees off your rooftop, as if there's not enough stuff to do already.  My hat is off to all the people who live in areas where you have hard winters cause I'm just not made for it.  I would love it if it was 90+ degrees everyday.  San Diego would be nice however I'm not much into driving in traffic but you can probably live car-free pretty easily there.  When I was in Granada, Spain I really enjoyed walking or riding everywhere.  No car, no gas, no insurance, just walk or ride out the door and go wherever you're going.   Loved it.  Fortunately we're almost through the winter and daylight savings time is in a week or two so that gives us some extra daylight for a little after work spin or a little extra time in the shop or whatever you want to do. I can't wait.  I got a new road frame to start on next week and I'm ready.  The season is here and I want to get off this cross bike I've been riding since July and see how I really feel.  I've had even less time on the bike as I've had in the shop so I'm not expecting much but I'm ready to get into a little better shape.  Warm weather just helps my mentality.  I love just throwing on a chamois and short sleeve jersey and rolling.  Also ready to get my new shoes dialed in.  I'm wanting to try and get my body back up to speed and see if it can give my mind a run for its money.  "Are you kidding me?  Good luck with that."  Thanks for checking things out and sorry about the long absences.  I'm fixing to get the MEECH website updated with a new gallery or two but it will probably be a couple of weeks before its completely finished but its in the works, you got my word.  Vaya con Dios.
Guns N' Roses - Perfect Crime - Indiana '91  This is about the way I feel by the time winter ends.  I'm not sure if this is appropriate for a Sunday morning but if you never saw Axl in his prime this is a good example.  PED's?