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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (870)897-6703 or visit www.meechcustombicycles.com Thanks.
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.
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!
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.
I've seen and done most of this however the end result is surprising. I did just realize that this is conduit and 4130 chromoly probably wouldn't bend quite like this stuff did. I enjoy watching these videos, where instead of just running out and purchasing an expensive tool, people figure out a way to do it themselves. Not to mention so many of them share there tricks on YouTube. If you look up "Tubing Benders" on YouTube you'll find some interesting ideas.
Got a couple of pics from the 28th Annual Memphis Cyclocross Championships that happens to be one of the oldest cyclocross races running. Actually I think it may be the oldest, Velonews did an article on it a couple of years ago. Its hosted by Outdoors Inc. and its right on the banks of the Mississippi River so you better hold your line. I hear there are some man-eating sized catfish in there.
Here is a shot of the podium for the Masters 45+ A race. My good buddy and MEECH factory racer Larry Yancey took second place honors. Congrats on the great ride Larry! If Yancey keeps it on two wheels he'll usually end up on the podium more times than not. He's been known to crash on occasion. Sometimes he crashes and still gets on the podium. On this day there was none of that, just a good solid race against some great cross racers. Congrats to the winner and the rest of the racers there, sorry I don't know your names. I've done this race a few times myself and its always a good time.
Here's an actual race pic. Yancey likes the outside lines cause they're usually the fastest. You'll never catch this guy following. He's constantly trying to get around anything thats in front of him. If you ever manage to get in front of him it can be pretty miserable, because if you know him at all you know he'll never let up until the checkered flag is out. He's constantly pushing forward. Thats why I signed him on my team, so the pain in my legs would stop.
I'm working on getting some photos of the current build up. Give me a couple of days and I should have something. Thanks for stopping by!