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 25, 2014

Brazing/Clean-Up on Sandy's Frame

Got a few brazing shots as well as some finish work that I did the past couple of days.  Lots of my customers enjoy seeing the work that goes into their frames ( I hope), so here you go guys.  The last couple of frames I built I've been trying to really lay down some clean fillets in order to lesson the clean-up work, but regardless of how nice it is I still put in a few good hours cleaning everything up.  I'm still looking for that perfect braze, kinda like a surfer waiting to catch the perfect wave. "Yeah, whatever. Just let us check out the pictures."


New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts are Sandy's stomping grounds.

This is the first time I've used a Wound Up fork on one of my builds.  I've always wanted to however nobody ever asked for one until now.  They're beautifully made and I hesitated having to scuff it up in order to paint it.
This picture doesn't even begin to show how polished these things are.  It was like bicycle art.

I didn't know they had an aluminum core inside the steerer tube.  They're a little heavier than your average carbon fork but a little extra stability goes a long way.  I bet it rides really predictable.  "Like steel?"  You don't know man, you might can fly.

Oh well, it had to be done.  We supposedly have some warmer weather coming in this week.  Maybe I can get it painted shortly.  Did I ever tell you about my one and only surfing attempt?

 I love surfing probably more than any person in Arkansas could.  Let me rephrase that. I love watching surfing more than any person in Arkansas could.  Surfing caught my eye not long after Evel Knievel did but I never had the chance to learn as there isn't much surfing going on in Arkansas. Plus, I'm scared of sharks, mainly just the Great White, even though all the others would bite your leg off quicker than you can scream, "Momma!"  Those guys that surf the big waves off the coast of San Fran or Australia definitely have my respect.  I did learn to snowboard a few years ago and thats about as close to surfing as I've gotten.  Ok, there was one time in Florida where I rented a surf board and gave it a shot.  You see, with all that surfing passion inside of me I had to try it at least once before I died, you know, a bucket list sort of thing.  So anyway there was a storm moving in and the waves were getting a little bigger than the usual 2 footers, maybe they were 3 or 4 footers. So I had my souped-up (suped up?), rented surf board with the flames painted on it under my arm and I'm walking down the beach like Keana Reeves in Point Break scoping out all those waves that I'm fixing to ride.  "Yep, I'm finally gonna  go surfing."  So I reached my destination and hung a hard right staring straight down the Gulf of Mexico's throat. "Watch this boys!"  Got me a little running start, laid the board down on the water, and jumped right off the side of it.  So I get on the board ( I'm standing in knee deep water) and start paddling out.  Breaker after breaker was knocking me off the board just as quick as i could get back on it. I couldn't even get out to where I needed to be.  I was starting to feel like I had been in a washing machine for a cycle or two but I couldn't go back to the hotel without catching one wave.  So I perservered and finally got out past the breakers and continued paddling out to where i thought I needed to be.  I was in deeper water now, not sure how deep, but there was no touching bottom.  So now I'm just sitting on the board floating trying to catch my breath
after just exhausting myself to get out there.  The waves are raising me up and down, over and over until I was basically getting sea sick.  There was no gas left in my tank at this point but I wanted to make one attempt at catching a wave, afterall, me and the waves were going the same direction.  So here comes the perfect wave, ok, it was just some random wave like all the rest, but it was the one. Now I don't remember exactly what happened but I fell off the board while I was still paddling, only now I'm in deep water, tired, and i can't get back on the board.  A couple of waves gave me a big salty drink and a brief moment of panic set in. I remember thinking, "Oh geez, am I actually gonna drown out here? Really?  In 
Fort Walton Beach?"  Someone had actually drowned the day we arrived.  Peaceful thought huh? So I clung to the surf board with the little bit of energy I had left (more like desperation), got a couple of breaths in me, and managed my way back to the beach.  It was a long, blurry walk back to the hotel with my tail tucked between my legs. I didn't feel like Keanu any more. I drove straight to the surf shop, handed them their board, and told them thanks. The guy said, "You didn't surf very long." And of course I replied, "Yeah I know man, I'm just not that into it right now." 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

New Rock Shox RS-1

I don't talk much about mountain bike stuff but this new inverted fork from Rock Shox is pretty cool. Wonder how much?

Monday, March 17, 2014

S and S Couplers

I got some good experience with the S and S coupler system this weekend.  These things seem like they've been around forever but this is the first time I've actually used them.  There isn't that much to them but I always enjoy learning new stuff so I'm glad to finally work with them.  The hardest part for me is getting that little spring-like retainer ring on and off.  I didn't even shoot a picture of it but I'll try to get one here shortly.  Everything else just boils down to a couple of precise measurements and cleanup work.  There is actually an extra tube shown here because when I placed the original order I ordered a 1 3/8" for the down tube and a 1 1/8" for the top. I forgot that I was using a 1 1/4" top tube on this frame, so I ended up with an extra to practice with.  I'm already planning another  frame to use it on.
Here is a quick shot of the retaining ring.  Its basically just like a key-ring and I've found that the best way to put it on is basically just like putting a tire on a rim, put a small portion on and then just work your way around slowly until it snaps into place.  After doing it a couple times and getting comfortable its not bad at all.

Actually what I should've said, is that there isn't much to installing them.  I'm not a machinist but I imagine the process of making them has a bit of complexity.  I would love to watch them being made as they're very well thought out and beautifully machined. I never gave them much thought in the past however after working with them I realize how invaluble they are.

This is actually just the mock-up coupling that they give you so you don't scratch up the main stainless lock nut.  Since I was cleaning up the lugs I decided to go ahead and put a little shine on this coupling as well.  Once I started shining everything up I didn't want to stop.

The main coupling of course.

Once I get these tacked in place I can start a little fillet-brazing. Back to work.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pinstriping by Cory McMahon

I let a local buddy of mine do a little hand pinstriping on the carbon frame.  I worked with Cory McMahon at the 870 Bistro until here lately when it just recently closed.  I enjoyed the working environment and the extra money, not to mention all the lasagna, pizza, and everything else I was eating, but they just didn't have enough business to pay all the expenses.  I'm happy to be back focusing on frame building the majority of the time and am gonna work at amping up MEECH. 

Cory is a local artist who hand paints signs and just about anything else that you'd want done.  He's got a pretty steady hand apparently by the looks of his work.  His dad Mark is the one who does all the engraving work that I use on my BB shells and what not.  I had been planning on getting Cory to do some work on a frame and the carbon frame offered the perfect opportunity.  Here are a couple of photos to check out.  Enjoy the weekend!

Maybe I can get this thing built up here shortly and give it a little test ride.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sandy's Gravel Traveler

This week I got started on a new frame for a young racer out of the Northeast named Sandy.  This is an interesting build for me because its one of my favorite styles of bike, the gravel-road racer and its also gonna have S & S couplers on it.  Another reason this is interesting is that it seems as though Sandy and I have similar riding styles as we both have the same build, tall and leggy.  Sandy is a couple of inches taller than me however we are riding very similarly built frames, the only difference is his is a couple of centimeters larger.  I'm 
6'2 1/2", and if you use all those old frame sizing techniques/formulas they would say that I need to ride a 61 cm frame.  For a few years i did, but after racing for a while and experimenting with different setups I can now ride comfortably on most any size 58, and thats with a 120mm stem and the seat basically in the middle of the rails.  "Its evolution baby!"  It actually is.  Over the course of a few years of riding/racing my body became more flexible and I felt comfortable in a lower, tucked position.  I remember riding someone's 58cm bike once and thinking, "Man, this thing feels great."  I immediately went and ordered a 58cm Carrera Volans if my memory serves me correctly. Thats steel by the way.  Actually the last frame that I had before I starting riding my own stuff was the Scott CR1 and it was actually a 57.5 cm.  Last summer i rode Yancey's 54 cm Cannondale EVO just to check it out, and while it was definitely too small for me I managed an hour on it and figured if it would've been a 56 that I could've ridden all day.  By the time I'm finished riding I would like to be able to squeeze myself into a small glass box like those freaky yoga dudes.  Just kidding! That stuff is not for me, I'm claustrophobic.  I like being outside with lots of room to move, I don't know why, if  a bear gets after me I can't run.  I'll just have to stand there and fight.  Think that won't be the hardest punch I'll ever throw.  They say if you can punch a bear right in the nose that it messes up his senses and he'll leave you alone.  If you're getting attacked by a shark you're supposed to poke it in the eye.  Those are your survival tips for the day. So anyway, I like to  ride the smallest frame that i can comfortably fit on.  Pros do it.  Back to Sandy's frame before I drift too far out to sea.

Now thats a head tube!  230 millimeters to be precise.  If you look close you can see a picture of my old buddy Mickey.  He was the Dalmation that I got just a few days after my dad passed away. 

The Sharpy marks show me where the butting starts to taper down and where it ends.

This is a nice and shiney tube however before brazing I will scuff up the end for a little extra grip for the brass to grab on to.  This down tube is a 34.9 mm OX Platinum with 8/5/8 butting and the top tube is 31.6 mm OX 7/4/7, which is what I normally use on the down tube.  This frame should be plenty stiff.  I'd like to ride it when its done but I probably won't get to, but its possible.

I always enjoy mitering a good solid foundation to start on.

I like this pic.

My seat stays are all individually filed by hand, no seatstay/chainstay jig in my shop.  Sometimes it can be very time consuming but I have it the process dialed in for the most part.  Now if I owned a seatstay/chainstay jig would I use it?  Probably, but they wouldn't come out any better than these.  

Always checking to make sure the dropouts are level, and then I also check it up near the bottom bracket area as well.

Here is a close-up of ol' Mick.  Oddly enough, this picture was taken up here at the White River about 15 years ago.  I used to bring him up here for a little weekend fishing trip once in a while.  Mick and I had 11 interesting years together. You can tell he's tired here. He had been going all day long when this picture was taken.  He loved to swim. Talk about hard to find in a snow storm.

Don't even think about trying to throw your little short legs over this dude Vladamir Putin, this is for big boyz only.  I recently found out that Vladamir Putin is only 5'5" tall.  Nothing worse that a short guy with a military.  God help us! "Hey Vladamir, we all took a vote and you have to put your shirt back on."  

Even though this is a big frame its gonna be tightly constructed and fairly lightweight, and it'll break down to fit into a suitcase.  "Andalucia, here I come honey!"  I'm still waiting for the couplers to show up but as soon as I have them in place I'll shoot another photo.  Thanks for stopping by.

Check this video out.  Think you can remain this calm in this situation.  Remember, when this shark chomps down on your torso, poke him in the eyes.