About Me

My photo
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.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

In-N-Out X-Ray

Whats up?  I just got back from a quick trip up to the hospital.  No problems for me, I only had to take Anne's badge up to her as she forgets it on occasion.  "You mean a pharmacist gets to wear a badge?"  Yep, you know it.  Actually I think everyone that works in the hospital has to have one, its a proof of identity sort of thing.   Anyway, while I was in the parking lot I was thinking (wishing) that I could just walk in there and get a quick x-ray of my left hip.  Its been bothering me quite a bit here lately and it stems from an old motocross accident about 12 years ago.  Both of my hips got broken, one of them was pretty bad and they operated on it and basically put a little titanium hand in there to put it back together, thats what it looked like on x-ray anyway. Its been excellent and gives me no problems at all.  The left hip wasn't broken as badly, there was only a crack in the ball of the femur and I think another crack in the hip socket itself.  The surgeon thought that two surgeries would be a lot to handle and so since it wasn't that bad he decided to let it heal on its on.  For the most part it healed pretty good, however the ball of the femur doesn't sit perfectly aligned in the socket and it causes some pain from time to time.  Usually it only hurts after i do something like run on it.  "So don't run on it."  I don't, but occasionally I forget about it and I'll run a bit with the dog or something like that and then the next day the pain kicks in.  It can hurt pretty bad and causes some problems walking for a day or two but then it usually just disappears.  Something happened this past week in Jonesboro that has it hurting again, and I'm not sure what I did but the pain is not going away like it usually does and I think its time to get it checked out.  It makes me not feel like getting on the bike, but oddly enough when I'm on the bike it doesn't bother me.

The pain isn't the worst part for me, its the not knowing what is wrong and the wondering of what its gonna entail to fix it.  Is it bad?  Is it gonna need operating on?  How long is that gonna take?  How much is it gonna cost?  I start planning the whole thing out before I've even gone to see the doctor.  "Slow down Dimitri, the first step is to get an x-ray so you know whats wrong."  Oh great!  Now I have to make an appointment and probably wait two weeks, it'll probably be healed by then.  And then the thought hit me.  Why not have a quick stop for x-rays, you know, like the In-N-Out Burger.  Instead of specializing in burgers and shakes it would be x-rays.  You could drive in, get a quick x-ray, pay 'em and be on your way.  And it would be way cheaper also.  No waiting, less money, save the doctors some time, and get on with the important stuff.  I'm always imagining starting a business for every little dilemma I found myself it.  Why not?  Take a little misfortune and turn it into something profitable that could benefit everyone.  I can't remember the last one that I thought about, theres been too many, but its basically what I did with bicycle frame building.  Take something thats important to you or that you love and find a way to make it your work.  If I actually tried to open a business for every idea that I had...well, I'd probably be broke, but some people actually do it.  I think its just a natural thought process for me.  Its the business man in me, I get it from my father.  Only thing that separates my father and me is that he knew how to make money, it seems I only know how to spend it.  When I was a kid my dad use to say to me, "Pee-wee, you can't rub two quarters together."  I didn't even know what it meant then.  So anyway, I don't imagine hip surgery is gonna be cheap if thats what it comes to but luckily Anne's hospital provides us with insurance so thats a good thing.  Medical costs are crazy expensive but then so is everything else.  Something that always amazes me is the number of people that go to the ER for no reason at all.  I always thought the ER was for car wrecks and people with broken bones.  Its like, "I had a fever of 101 and couldn't sleep last night so I went to the ER to see the doctor."  What? Really?  I remember being a kid, laying in bed with a 103 degree temp. and my mother would just put a cold wash cloth on it, give me a cup of sprite, and tell me to sleep the fever off.  Sometimes I would have 5 blankets on top of me and other times I would be sweating my arse off but I never went to the ER.  Whats the bill on that little visit, five hundred bucks?  Did it get paid?  Maybe thats why medical cost are so high.  Who knows?  I was watching a few minutes of a Chris Rock comedy act last night and he was talking about insurance.  He was calling insurance, "In case shit happens."  "I'm giving them money every month just in case some shit happens.  But if shit doesn't ever happen, shouldn't I get some of that money back?"  Theres an idea right there for an insurance company.  One of the other ideas I had before the In-N-Out X-Ray came to me was just being able to take my own x-ray with my cell phone.  Just take your I-phone, place it over your hip area or wherever your pain is and give it a quick scan.  It might not be sufficient for the doctor but at least you could have an idea if something was wrong or not.  How much is that phone gonna cost?

The In-N-Out X-Ray could have a menu board similar to this only instead of burger, shake, fries, it would say Foot X-ray-$25, Spinal Column-$49.99, so-on, so-on, then you could also have a Value X-Ray, or Combo Platter where you get your whole lower/upper body done for "X" amount of dollars and you would get a lollipop with that one.

Ok, one last million dollar idea that I had about a year ago that I haven't had time to pursue and I'm gonna just throw it out there for anyone to run with and I hope you remember me when you get rich and famous.  Ready?

A dog that is trained to walk on, and or, scratch people's back.  Think about it.  One night about a year or so ago I was on the floor playing with Pinky, our little chunky 15 lb. Shih-tzu, and for some crazy reason he got up on my back and started walking all around.  Dude, it felt so good.  Did any of your dad's ever have you walk on his back when you were little?  Mine did.  Granted, I know a dog scratching someone's back is not as noble as leading the blind or sniffing out drugs or bombs but it would definitely command a price.  Imagine if you went to the local Humane Society Adoption Day and they showed you a dog that would walk all over your back and scratch it on command.  How long do you think that dog is gonna be there?  Hey National Humane Society, you want to find homes for all those dogs, teach 'em to scratch people's backs.  I'm out.  Chao.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Steve's Road Frame

Alright, I finally got Steve's road frame all finished.  It turned out beautiful in the end but I was having some serious painting issues in the beginning and I was beginning to wonder if I was gonna be able to pull this paint job off.  I'm still not exactly sure what was going on but I think it had something to do with the primer.  The first time I tried to paint this thing I was buying a little booth time from a guy who has a auto/hotrod restorage facility.  Everything from milling machines, tube benders, welders, and a full blown paint booth.  he's let me use it a couple of times and its an excellent setup except i never know how long I have to work.  Anyway, i shot the red and started taping it off to shoot the black and red paint started coming off with the tape.  Not good!  So we checked the temperature of his booth and it was a little chilly in there so I wrote that off as the culprit.  I never even noticed it was chilly in there as I was working.  So I bring everything home and sand it down and shot some more red on the fork the following day, which was much warmer by the way, and the same scenario, paint is coming up with the tape.  How many times did I do this you might ask?  Don't ask.  I eventually took it to the paint store and talked with all the local experts and i began to get a little worried when they told me they didn't know what it was.  However after a little closer inspection they noticed that not only paint was coming up on the tape but also a little primer as well.  I have been using the same primer from the very beginning.  Its SprayMax epoxy primer in an aerosol can but its a two-part aerosol as you have to break the catalyst inside and the two parts mix together when you shake it up.  I had never had a problem before but after about 4 attempts at painting the fork you have to try something different.  So I bought some new epxoy primer for a spray gun and stopped by Lowe's and picked up a decent sized compressor, which I've been needing for a long time, and just went to work.  At this point I was a little gun shy.  Paint had been peeling off in every imaginable way and I was trying every type of tape there was.  Finally, luck at last.  With the new primer on the frame cured and sanded I shot the red and about cried when no paint came off.  When you take a close look at this frame you can see all that was taped off, not to mention a MEECH stencil that has about 100 parts to it, and I was sweating bullets every time I started to peel a new piece of tape or stencil off.  Big sigh of relief when I pulled the final stencil off, and then I did start crying.  Just kidding.  Anyway, I'm very pleased with how it finally turned out.  All that hard work was worth it and I'm constantly reminded that nothing good comes easy.  The amount of painting experience I got with this one frame is unimaginable and now I'm gonna start using it on about 5 more frames that are waiting on paint.  Any framebuilders out there that have a good painter you better give him a big hug and a kiss because you have no idea how much he's worth to you.  Painting is a tough bit but i truly enjoy it and want to get better at it.  Paul was on standby just in case I needed bailing out but i really wanted to solve this myself.  Mission accomplished.  I'm running a bit late for work so I'm gonna bail on this post for now and do a little finish work on it later.  I have to go to my hometown of Jonesboro for a couple of days to get some work done there and then I'll be back.  Thanks for all the patience as I know I haven't been here but finishing this frame took precedence over talking about it.  I wanted to post pictures of all the problems I was having but didn't feel like taking the time because I was so eager to solve the problem.  Anyway, all is well that ends well.  I'll see you guys in a couple of days.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I'm gonna shut up now and let the pictures do the talking. 

Oh yeah, love the color choices by Steve.  Black and red seems so simple and I've often wondered about what it would look like but the way it looks live is better than I imagined.  The red is Torch Red and i love it. This paint job has me reassured about another similar paint scheme that I've been wanting to try.  There are just so many possibilities with paint, its endless.  I'll do as many as I can.  How bout those lake shots?  Caught you off guard with that didn't I?  Don't worry, I threw in a couple of backyard photos for those hardcore MEECH followers. Hasta luego.



Love the shape of these tubes.

I tried every possible angle to get that shadow off the seat tube but had no luck.  There didn't seem to be any sun at all but I guess there was just enough to make the seat stay cast a shadow.

"Did you try the backyard?"

In the end it all turned out nice and I was very pleased with it.  

Here is a pic of a lone fisherman out on the lake.  As I was shooting the photos there was fish about 40 ft. away that kept swirling on the topwater.  He's lucky I didn't have my custom fly-rod and a MEECH Custom topwater popper or he would've been sleeping long-side down in the skillet.  I seldom go fishing and seldom keep 'em when I catch 'em but its hard to beat fresh fish out of these lakes here.  They're crystal clear.


Thanks for checking things out and thanks Steve for the opportunity.  Build it up and send us some photos.  Enjoy the ride!



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Passantino's Custom 650B

Here is a pic of a custom bike that belongs to one of my earlier customers, Phil Passantino from New Jersey.  When I first began building frames a handful of my first orders were from the New York and New Jersey area.  This is the second MEECH that Phil has bought from me.  This was a beautiful frame all on its own but its even better all built up and being ridden as that is the intended purpose of every frame that I build.  This frame was painted in Honey Gold and Black Cherry and the racks and water bottle cages are painted to match.  Check out that Brooks saddle, and who wouldn't love the Sugino red chain ring? This frame also contains a Stronglight A9 headset, Campy Euclid cantilever brakes, and Sugino 9-speed index shifting. Gold chain and gold pedals, you know it.  Phil is always riding something truly custom and I'm glad to have a couple of MEECHs on the streets of New Jersey.  Thanks Phil.  Love it!
Here is Phil's first MEECH.  His bikes scream custom.





MEECH Custom Bicycles
handmade in
Mountain Home, Arkansas.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Handmade Machine

Couple quick shots of Steve's road racer drying as I just finished shooting the clear.  Hopefully tomorrow I'll have some better photos.  "Does that mean you're gonna be in your backyard?"  You know it Virginia.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Interesting Frames

http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/04/news/pro-bike-john-degenkolbs-custom-felt_281118

Velonews has had a couple new bikes that are kind of interesting to me, this Felt used for Paris-Roubaix and the Bianchi below that is taking carbon fiber frames to the next level.  I know I've literally been absent here lately but I've encountered a few painting woes on this last frame that I'm trying to finish up for a customer.  Its been a bit frustrating however now I'm on a mission to figure out the problem.  Painting can be a nightmare but its got my attention so bad right now that I'll leave no stone unturned to solve this.  The good news is that its all educational.  I have about 4-5 frames that I'm gonna be painting and so by the time I'm finished with them I should be fairly knowledgeable.  Thanks for stopping by and as soon as I have something worth showing you can bet it'll be up.  Hope things are going smooth for ya.  Chao.