Friday, December 26, 2014
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Thursday, December 18, 2014
There is a MEECH somewhere under all that mud. I love seeing them get ridden like this. Thanks Jess!
Also, thanks to Jess Parker Custom Photography for allowing me to use all their great photos, and to everyone else out there sharing photos.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Today was all grey, Battleship Grey to be exact. I finally got Christian's frame all finished up. This one took a while, but hey, nothing good comes easy does it. This was the first frame that I've built since Jack was born, and so naturally everything is gonna take a little bit longer when there is a baby in the caravan. When Jack was born I had no idea how smooth frame building would go, however I've got one post-Jack frame completed and Christian even wants me to build him a 29er. Gonna be starting that here shortly.
"Enough of this chit-chat D, lets go check this frame out."
Did somebody say something about a caravan?
Its a little hard to tell but this is a tapered steel head tube. Its 1 1/8"- 1 1/2", compliments of Nova Cycles. Love those guys!
You can see it a little better in this shot. Whoa. Check out that custom painted Enve disc fork.
Always gotta plug the home town, state, and country. This little decal does it all.
There is so much going on here I don't know where to start. Custom chain stays that allow a 40c tire ( I actually almost fit a 1.9 29er tire in there. The chain stays weren't long enough to get the wheel in the dropouts), Paragon disc-brake dropouts with a removable derailleur hanger (not shown), Oxy/Ace fire-molded injection formed chain stay bridge ( I may have made that term up), and a handmade carbon chain stay protector that will only fit on one bike in the world, this one. Did I mention that the rear derailleur cable stop came from the U.K.?
You have no idea how much this painted seat lug changes the look of a frame. When I had finished shooting the black (last color), I cleaned the spray gun and went back to take a look at my work to see how I had done. I immediately noticed that I had forgotten to paint the seat cap, it was still grey. Atrocious I tell you. The frames don't even look the same. Then a little voice in my head said to me, "You can't ship it out looking like its 99%." And I could do nothing except agree. Did I mention the conditions that I painted this frame in?
Anne had just gone back to work and luckily my mother was staying with us for a few days. She is a great help, however I couldn't just leave Jack with her and not help her out because sometimes he'd go a little Jack-O on her and she didn't know what to do. So I'd shoot a coat of paint and run in the house and see how he was. Sometimes he was sleeping and sometimes he was screaming Helter Skelter. So every step I took toward painting I had to go back and sooth the little man back to sleep. Sometimes kids just don't do what you want 'em to do. I know, its hard to imagine. Take myself for instance. All I can say is that I hope he's not exactly like me. Ever break the stick off of a bottle rocket and try to guess where its gonna go? Yeah, I know, I've used that analogy before, but its too good not to share. So anyway, I just about had a melt down around 5:30, but luckily Anne got home and that afforded me the time I needed to finish the job. I didn't get completely done until around 8:00 that night. What a day. Daylight Saving sucks! Ever onward.
The frames don't look complete without these either. Its not much, but its the little things that count.
Everyone loves a curvy hiney. Check out the back of that seat tube.
"Wonder who built that frame?"
Stainless head badge compliements of Jen's Revolution Cycle jewelry.
Thanks for stopping by.
MEECH Custom Bicycles
Mountain Home, Arkansas.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Podium shot from the Ruts N Guts Cyclocross race in Tulsa this weekend. Yancey pulled down a third place in the Masters 60-69 . The other riders are pictured are Tom Chitwood in first, Doug Long 2nd, Larry Yancey 3rd, Richard Pearson 4th, and Malcolm McCollom rounding out the podium in fifth. Wanted say thanks to Jess Parker for taking the photo and I hope he had a good ride as well. I know his son Tayton got second in one of his races and I believe Day 2 is in progress as we speak. Hope everyone has a great race and thanks for riding a MEECH guys. Ever onward!
Sand and beer pit photos compliments of Yancey Velo Inc.
Thanks for stopping by.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Monday, December 1, 2014
Had some beautiful weather over the Thanksgiving weekend and actually got Christian's frame painted. Still waiting on the fork so I didn't want to spoil it for him or you all before its completed, but I had to post something b/c I didn't want a Thanksgiving post to sit here for two weeks. Anyway, super-happy with how the paint has turned out so far. It was quite the day. I'll tell you about it later.
Thanks for stopping by.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Finished doing the clean-up work on Christian's frame this afternoon and I'm hoping to get some primer on it in the next few days. We're still waiting on the fork to show up but hopefully it won't be too much longer. This frameset is built very similar to the Niner cross frame that Christian has, but we tweaked a couple of things to make it more to his liking. I had really never paid attention to the Niner cyclocross bike as I always just thought of them as a mountain bike company, however, after looking at it I couldn't help but to like it. Its a good looking frameset, pretty racey. Anyway, Christian said he was ready to get back on some steel and so here we have it. I've been cleaning up the brazing for the last couple of days and I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out. Let's check it out.
That little spot on the seat tube fillet is driving me crazy. After seeing this photo, I immediately went to look at the frame and see how this got by me. This photo makes it appear much larger than it is. I bet you a chili dog that is won't be there tomorrow. You can literally knit-pick yourself crazy trying to make everything perfect. At some point you got a let it go and get the customer their frame. Chances are they're wanting to ride it.
This is the first frame I've built since little Jack arrived and its also the first MEECH 2015 frame. Not knowing how much work I would be able to get done made me think this frame might not be done until 2015. I managed to get this thing finished before Anne goes back to work, but when she starts back in a week or so it'll be interesting. I'll probably have to rearrange a few things but I'll manage. Fortunate for me is that all my customers have been very patient, and I appreciate it. I've never liked making people wait on me. When it comes to a group ride, if I'm lagging I tell 'em to ride on without me.
Not your everyday cable stop. Got a handful of these from Ceeway out of the UK. They have a variety of things that you can't find in the states. This is actually upside down on the chain stay. I'm sure you already knew that.
Little fish tail on the ends of the stays.
I love this seat stay bridge. Who needs a tubing bender.
Who doesn't love a curvy rear-end.
I got a new tool! Actually its just a new cutter. I finally bought a 52mm headtube reamer. This is only the second tapered head tube frame that I've built. The first one I cleaned up by hand and it took all day. With this cutter it took about a minute. Very smooth.
The bearings fit perfect. Love it!
Look how small the old standard 1" and 1 1/8" head tube reamers look compared to the newer stuff. The 1 1/8" integrated cutters are on the left and the new 52mm is in the middle along with the mega 65mm, or perhaps 69mm facer. I can't remember which one at the moment. I've got a 44mm somewhere that hasn't even been used.
Well, I'm about to fall asleep. I've been yawning every since I started this post so I gonna crash. I'm gonna try and get some primer on this thing shortly and after its painted I'll share the end result. Thanks for stopping by. Chao.
Monday, November 17, 2014
This is Tayton Parker showing some perfect form in the Flyers CX race in Tulsa. Tayton hails from the Tulsa area and is the son of Jess Parker, an old riding buddy from Jonesboro, Arkansas. Jess is an avid racer and one of my first customers here at MEECH. Tayton has been on the racing circuit with Jess for a couple of years now and it looks as though he's got the hang of this cross thing. Brutal conditions and yet he's looking so smooth and took 3rd overall in his age group. I've seen this young man stand on many of podiums. Keep up the good work Tayton!
This is Mr. Jess Parker, and it appears that Tayton showed his dad where all the good lines were. Great racing day for father and son! Congrats to the Parkers!
Friday, November 14, 2014
Been working on Christian's cyclocross frame for a while now. With Little Jack nothing gets done as fast as it used to. "Dimitri, you were slow to start with." Yeah, well, now I'm even slower. But, the frames are even better. Its just like the professor of motocross Gary Bailey used to say, "You have to slow down to go fast." Think about it. To make matters even worse, winter has now shown up. Cold weather just about paralyzes me. Ok, not really, but it does mess with my mind a little bit. I get cold easy. I'm always on the Weather Channel's website looking at the 10-Day forecast to see if its gonna warm up anytime soon. It just so happens that in about 5 days it is gonna be back up in the 50's. Halleluja! I had to google that in order to spell it correctly. I still make myself get out on the bike for an hour 3-4 times a week to keep my head right. For some reason, when I ride in cold weather I prefer it to be cloudy and overcast. Somehow I manage to feel warmer then. I would rather ride in 35 degree cloudy weather than 40 degrees and sunny. Luckily, in Mountain Home we have plenty of hills to warm you up real quick, and while you get some wind on occasion its very seldom a hard blowing direct wind. It kind of swirls around in all the hills.
So anyway, back to Christian's frame. It's a cyclocross racer with a tapered headtube and disc brakes. You can see it all right there in the first photo before I ever cut the first miter. I'm tired so I'm not gonna talk much.
Solid, level foundation.
Louis Maxximus 'Soul Katt' Jackson is overseeing this process as you can see. "How is his last name Jackson when your last name is Harris ?" Because, Louis Maxximus 'Soul Katt' Jackson is his first name. I didn't say Harris because I just assumed you would know that. Now try not to complicate things. Did I not just say that I'm tired and don't want to talk much.
Ooh la la! Talk about your curviosas. Tapered head tube,
with integrated bearing cups brazed in.
I actually started tacking the frame before taking pictures of the miters. You've seen it all before though. I remembered right before I started brazing this one. Its hard to tell but I put a little shape into the tubes. The down tube is bi-oval and its about to be married to a tapered head tube. This miter was a bit tougher than the usual but I finally got it like I wanted, air-tight.
I got nothing to say about this photo except, it is what it is.
Frame cut and fit before tacking.
I always make sure the chain stays are level. And as usual the camera never is.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say this may be my best brazing ever. No, really, I think it is. Seriously y'all. Ok, don't believe me. You'll see when its finished.
This brazing shot makes me think of outer space or weather patterns for some reason. Check out the different ways the heat effects the flux. "D, have you been inhaling too many fumes?" Its a possibility. Hey, I already gave up cigarettes and alcohol, don't take this from me too.
Next. Wait! Can you see the oval seat tube? You'll have to have really good eyes. If you don't eat alot of carrots then you probably can't see it. I hate carrots, but I love carrot cake. How can that be?
Here are a couple of pieces that are somewhat unique to this frame. These are the chain and seat stay bridges. They weren't bent with a tubing bender, as I don't have a tubing bender. They were bent by using my torch and carefully heating them up and slowly bending them into shape. Don't ask me how i got the bends almost identical. I didn't use any type of dye, only my eyes. Must be all that carrot cake. Paragon was out of the triple stops that allow one brake line to pass through, so I just drilled this one out.
Room for 38c, maybe a '40'.
Louie sitting at his desk during his lunchbreak. Let's see, he's got a drawing board, bicycle pump, baby powder, a jam system, and a pair of Oakleys. What more could you need? Actually that desk top lifts up. No telling what he has inside there, probably an issue of Playcat. A few weeks ago Louie's big brother Smokey went missing. Smokey was getting old and was kinda sick and we think he may have gone off to die. If I know ol' Smoke he's sitting on higher ground.
We miss you Smoke.
Thanks for stopping by.