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.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

S3 Makeover

It took me longer than I wanted but I finally got me a road bike built up.  I've been riding a cross bike for right at a year, and it was kind of wearing on me.  The top tube of the cross bike was just a little longer than I was accustomed to and while I got used to it sometimes it would give me a little lower back pain.  All I needed to do was order a shorter stem ("...or build one dork.") but I never seemed to get around to it.  I kept thinking I would be on a road bike before March and it didn't happen.  This is my old S3 frame that has been laying around unattended to for a while now.  It was all black and white and that caused another delay as I was sick of looking at just black and white.  I wanted something fresh.  Seemed like I was always painting everyone else's frame with all these cool paint schemes and mine was just black and white.  If I had to pick one color, or one color scheme for MEECH bicycles, it would have to be black and yellow.  I grew up loving motocross bikes and while they all had cool colors I always favored the black and yellow of Suzuki and Yamaha.  Also something that has been etched into my brain for the last couple of years is a bit of safety.  Most people probably wouldn't think that a helmetless rider would be concerned about safety but if I can do a little something to become more visible to traffic I'll do it, after all, who wants to get hit when they're not wearing a helmet. I've always felt better when I had something like my trusty yellow wind/rain vest on but I'm not gonna wear that on hot summer days, so I normally throw on a MEECH cycling cap which is yellow and the jerseys have a fair amount of yellow on them as well, although I don't wear my own jersey every day.  I doubt that a driver sees much of a bicycle when they're coming up behind you at 50 mph but a little bit of yellow goes a long way.  I actually think that a yellow frame stands out quite a bit, so much so that I actually feel safer on a yellow frame.  If the whole world was riding on yellow frames I imagine people would get pretty sick of it but since I've been building frames I've noticed that there really isn't that many out there.  The Look KG171 was one of the first bike frames that caught my attention when I started looking at road bikes years ago and it was yellow.  Its actually one of the few yellow frames I can remember, I'm sure there are others.  Anyway, yellow and black is my favorite because its visible and looks racey but for some reason the last couple of months I had envisioned a frame painted in yellow and gold just to do something a bit unique and so thats what I went with on my frame. "So how do you like it D?"  Well, I like it ok but it didn't quite pop  like I had envisioned.  It turned out more subtle than racey, which was what i was going for, racey that is.  I did throw in a few red accents in order to give it a little something extra and that helps although it probably would have looked better had I gone with just yellow/red or yellow/black.  It doesn't matter, I just needed to get off of that cross bike. Before I painted this thing yellow I had actually come up with some idea that I thought would be cool/unique and when I got done it was horrendous.  It was so bad that even though I was dying to ride I wouldn't build the frame up until it was repainted.  It may have been the worst paint scheme ever on a bike.  I was gonna take a picture but I had it sanded down and reprimed before you could say "biciciclismo". I can't even describe what I was trying to do with that scheme but the lesson was learned.  I've been making a fair amount of progress with my painting here lately and all I can say is that I tried to outdo myself and I washed out hard, no, I endowed, but luckily it was on the back side of the track where no one could see it.  "Step back, take a breath, and try again."  This is it, at least for a while (probably two years).

After I finished the fork I was stoked with the color but there really isn't that much gold on the rest of the frame, as I was wanting mainly yellow anyway for the visibility reasons.  As good as the fork looks in this photo, when you inspect it really close up there are some tiny pin holes that popped up through the clear coat that I have no idea how it happened.  I didn't see them after the primer was shot and I didn't see anything after the paint either, but as soon as I finished clear-coating it they immediately stood out.  I didn't like it all and contemplated repainting the fork but I just wanted to ride so bad I said, "screw it!"  If it had been a customer's frame i would have reshot it but since it was mine I didn't worry about it. It only shows up when the light hits it at certain angles and like my friend Bob Davis always says, "At 100 mph, nobody will ever see it."  

You can see here how the light kind of fades out the gold making it less visible.  It would've been much better if the gold would've had a black outline.  Maybe next time, solid black letters work way better.

I found some Campy Super Record cranks so cheap that I couldn't pass them up.  I've had a lot of the Record componenets but this is the first Super Record.  These go  much faster because they're super.  Does anyone make Super Wheels?  This frame is built up with a mix of Super Record, Record, and mainly Chorus components. I went with the compact style which is also a first for me.  It feels really good on all the hills around here but spins out pretty easy on the downhills.  I had only ridden a compact crank one time in my life just a few months ago when I took my buddy's (Yancey's Cannondale EVO) bike for a spin.  I didn't notice a whole lot of difference then however I can feel it now.  I basically feel like I only have 10 gears now, if that, but hopefully I'll get used to it.  I've been riding a 53/39, 177.5 mm crankset forever so this 50/34 175 mm is gonna take some time.  On flat roads I figure I'll be down to 5 gears, then when you take into account that I seldom use the biggest cog or the smallest cog because of chainline issues that brings me to a grand total of 3 gears.  I had as many options on my Free Spirit 3-speed and that came with a car-like gear shifter on the top tube.  I think those should be mandatory in Tour de France sprints.  Oh well, I guess i can always throw the 177.5's back on when I can take it no more.  With the 53/39 I always had a couple of gears that I never really used because they're pretty tough to push, it made you feel like you still had places to go that you'd never been.  With the 50/34 I basically feel like I'm riding a mountain bike on the road and we know how miserable that is.  I'll give it some time.  Are you getting tired of reading numbers?  Want more? How's this?  3.1416 cosine/99991 squared for 17.56mm of the last kilometer multiplied times a finish line that sits 4.818 meters high and a Orica team bus that is 4.828 meters tall going 6 kph with a 3.7 cubic inch air conditioning system sitting on the top.  Whats that equal? Now add 2.

New cassette also, 12-27.  "What're you doing, moving to Columbia?" I don't know, it was a bit excessive.  Actually I'm just trying to get up my driveway. Wonder what their return policies are?  I threw that KMC Gold chain on there for an added touch and to try something different.  Its one of those chains with a master-link that is supposedly easy to remove for cleaning but after having to apply way more pressure than I imagined in order to get it on there is no way its coming off without a new tool.  As far as I can tell it couldn't be any more secure if I had brazed it together.  It feels good and shifts fine for the two rides I've been on.  We'll see how it holds up.

One of my trusty Avocet O2 saddles and a pre-ENVE (EDGE) seatpost.
Red stem to match.  You don't find many red stems, this is an old Ritchey WCS that I've had and i painted a while back.  I had planned to paint it yellow and run my yellow Avocet saddle but the saddle had kind of an orange color to it and it didn't match the frame very well.  Ok, now I'm being a real dork, trying to match this to that and that to this.  "Why don't you just SHUP UT (typo) already and go ride your bike!"  I just don't work hard at trying to make all my bike components match one another, I work hard at trying to make my bike parts match but at the same time not match one another.  See the difference?  I'm a super-dork.  They should have a special class at the crit races for guys like me and they should make us wear cone-shaped helmets with tassles and short shorts with tube socks, maybe a see-through mesh jersey.  I would make the prize purse no less than $10,000.  Levi Leipheimer might show up for that one.

These Campy Pro-Fit pedals are either 11 or 13 years old.  I have two pair and after that much time you can't tell them apart.  The other pair is on my wife's bike, whom I must really trust to let her use them because i would think twice about loaning them to Jesus.  Just kidding. I would loan them to Jesus but he's gonna have to put something down on the table as collateral.  Hhhmmmm, what could it be?  I know, he'll have to ride one of my bikes, afterall, these are the best pedals ever made.  Put them in my casket when I die.  And remember, don't shut the lid (it freaks me out), out past the breakers, sunscreen, and Oakley Zero's.  Got it?  Check out those divots.  "What'd you use on them a pitching wedge?"

At this angle it's a little more visible but I'm glad I didn't go with that first shade of gold I was thinking about or you wouldn't see it at all.  It is what it is.  I'm in need of some new wheels badly.  I want some super-wheels. I bought these Ksyrium ES'es as soon as they hit the streets, how old are they?  It rolls.  It actually felt like home as soon as I got on it but with those compact cranks on it I'm afraid its gonna be a haunted house.  I'm out, gonna go riding. Chao amigos.

No comments:

Post a Comment