Saturday, November 14, 2015
Here are a few pics of a touring frame that I finally got finished. I was afraid that the temperatures needed to paint had left the area however my shop seems to heat up fairly well when the sun is out even when the temps are a little low. Guess the shingles on the roof soak up the sun pretty well. I stuck a little space heater out there and during the highs of the day got it up to a solid 70. I really hadn't planned on painting but I just had a day to work and went for it on all fronts.
I've talked about winging-it on some paint jobs and this was the first one. I truly had no idea how I was gonna paint this frame. I had colors, schemes, and ideas going through my mind on a daily basis, mainly at night before I went to bed, and on occasion I would even wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it. I recently had a new logo designed by a buddy, Vince Pearcy of Vince Pearcy Signs, and I was itching to use it. We worked together on it for a few days and he finally dialed it in to a level of "purely stoked". Thanks Vince!
"So D. How did you finally decide on how you would paint the frame?"
It's funny you asked. The night before I painted it I was lying in bed with colors going through my head and eventually just fell asleep. I had a dream that night that I was riding a horse through the desert by myself. There was nothing spectacular about the dream, just me on a horse walking through the desert. As I was drinking my coffee that morning I was recollecting the dream and wondering what brought it on. At first I thought about Clint Eastwood movies, but I hadn't watched any for quite some time so I didn't really feel any connection. Then, straight out of nowhere, Don Quixote entered my mind. I'm honestly not sure that I've even read the entire book. I've read bits and pieces and seen various artists do painting of him but I really didn't remember much at all about the story. I thought a Don Quixote theme on a touring frame was a great idea however I thought that maybe I should read the book first. Then I thought, "Nah, I want to paint it today. Maybe I'll just go get the Cliffs Notes. Nah, screw that as well." So I just sipped my coffee, scanned a couple of pics and pieces of the novel, and in true MEECH fashion just flew by the seat of my pants like El Don himself.
And so it is.
I had more fun painting this frame than any other frame that I've worked on. I had every can of paint that I owned opened and on the table and was mixing, matching, unmatching, and basically just doing anything that crossed my mind. It was almost like being on auto-pilot. I knew painting a horse on a bicycle tube would not be easy, as painting tubes is one of the more difficult things you can paint, but I didn't let it stop me, I just followed through with the plan of not having a plan.
Laying down the base was super-fun and easy as well. It was all just an even flow and I seemed to be building momentum with each passing moment. Actually, after having the base colors laid down, I stepped back from it and thought, "That's beautiful just as it is. It had sort of a tiger-stripped pattern out of gradually progressing colors. For a moment I though, "Just paint the logo on it, clearcoat it, and be done." But would Don Quixote wuss out? No way. So I started trying to paint some main characters and realized that I had embarked on something a little more difficult that I imagined. I painted everything that I had planned all the way up to el Don himself. I then stepped back and looked at it and felt as though I may have to bail on the entire idea, scuff it, and repaint it. I hit a point where I thought I wasn't gonna be able to pull off the main character and his horse. Without him the paint already laid down was nothing. But then I realized if it didn't meet my expectations I could redo it anyway and at any point. And so I painted on. I managed to paint Rocinante, Don Quixote's horse, on the top tube but then I had no idea of how I was gonna paint el Don on the horse without destroying it. The whole frame was almost finished but the main man was nowhere on the frame.
"Just make it happen."
Couldn't wait to shoot the photos so the frame is badge-less at the moment, but that'll change shortly.
Hard to tape off fork crown. Bought this crown and the wishbone crown in the rear from Strawberry Cycles.
The lovely princess Dulcinea. Dulce loosely translated mean sweet. Kinda like calling someone "Sweety" or "Honey".
El Don himself.
His trustworthy accomplice, Sancho Panza.
La Mancha, Espana is where the story takes place. Not too far from the region of Spain that I was in.
Chain stays turned out nicely.
Extremely hard to tape off. Really didn't want to paint it but I knew I had to.
New MEECH logo designed specifically for the new, no-ideas, paint schemes.
Can't wait to paint another.
Thanks for stopping by.
meech custom bicycles
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
I knew the moment I spun out of the neighborhood last summer on my new Schwalbee Duranos that I was having to push harder. It felt like my brakes were dragging the rim. This proves it. Last place. But they have been bullet proof when it comes to flats. I give 'em that.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Sunday, October 25, 2015
http://www.steephill.tv/players/720/dailymotion/?title=Highlights from Saitama Critérium&dashboard=2015/uci-world-calendar&id=x3awyjr&yr=2015
http://www.steephill.tv/players/720/dailymotion/?title=Highlights from Saitama Critérium&dashboard=2015/uci-world-calendar&id=x3awyjr&yr=2015
Monday, October 19, 2015
Got a little present in the mail today from Bringheli. A box full of sweet Dedacciai carbon tubes. I've been planning a carbon frame for quite a while but I'm just now getting into a position in order to work on it. Actually I have a touring frame I need to get painted and I wanted to build a mountain bike frame myself in order to have something new to ride this winter. The way things are going now I'll probably pick up a used motocrosser before I get the mountain bike done. I wasn't kidding when I said I had the itch to ride. I just have to wait till the timing is right. I actually found a friend who is interested in sharing a bike. How smooth is that? Since it probably won't get ridden that much might as well split the cost with someone else, huh? We only have one rule. Whoever breaks it fixes it. Simple enough, all sure, no? All we have to do is sign in blood. What I think we're gonna do is shake hands in blood, kinda like Josey Wales and chief Ten Bears did at the end of the movie.
"Don't cut your throttle hand D!"
Don't worry. How stupid do you think I am?
"I reckon so."
What were we just talking about?
Ah yeah, carbonification. All of these tubes have some shape to them. I've done the round tube bit before and while these tubes definitely cost more, they'll make a much nicer frame. The down tube is massive. It's really bigger than what I wanted. I'm not really into these carbon frames that have huge crazy-shaped tubes but premade carbon tubesets are hard to come by unless you get your own made. I like the more traditional looking carbon frames like the Time frames, the Scott Addict, and the Cannondale EVO. Also love the Look 595 frameset. That was one frame I always wanted to ride. It was next on the list before I started building. I prefer modern frames that have some traditional characterisitcs. But it is what it is and we'll just see how it comes out.
The seat tube is pretty sweet. Has a wheel-cutout integrated into it as well as a flat wall for the derailleur mount. Don't forget the widened bottom bracket end. I asked for a matte-black finish but for some reason the seat tube showed up with a gloss coating on it. Who knows but I already have plans for it. I actually got a secret plan for the finish on this frame. When you see it finished there won't be any doubt that it's a MEECH.
One head tube is the Dedacciai and the other is my homemade one from a while back. I'm not even gonna ask if you can tell which is which. Mine is the one that weighs twice as much. I was actually surprised that the Dedacciai head tube was as light as it is. It almost felt like I could squeeze it in my hand. Mine on the other hand is overkill because it was my first one. It's also a bit larger diameter because the bearing cups are made by Cane Creek, but for the most part it appears as if they were made on the same type mandrel. I could make mine smaller but I need access to the bearing cups. Dedacciai probably wins this battle, unless we were building a mountain bike, then I think I'd feel better about mine. If it was a sword fight..., well then, it'd be like a triathlete fighting Evel Knievel. Evel would just take his walking cane and knock their head off and tell them to put on some real clothes, and ones that fit.
"Where did all this animosity come from D?"
I'm sorry. I don't really know. I think I've just been so pent-up lately. I've got so much energy that I can't get rid of. I may have some issues that crazy paint schemes can't cure. Bare with me or bear with me.
Mine is roughly twice as thick as the Dedacciai. I also used some fiberglass on mine to keep the cost down while experimenting, which it appears like they may have used one layer of glass as well. Glass is a little heavier than carbon. The next one I make I'll shave some grams off.
Well, this concludes my Monday night post. I think I'm gonna go out in the shop and punch on the heavy bag and try to curb some of this aggression, but first I'm gonna go eat a Nutty Buddy.
Thanks for stopping by. Buenos noches!
Monday, October 12, 2015
I've had the itch to play around with some painting ideas and so I got out the old motocross helmet, sanded and primed it, and then gave it the old college try. Believe it or not, there was actually a Troy Lee Designs paint scheme on this helmet before I painted it. Yep, you heard me correctly, I sanded down and painted over Troy Lee's work. While the original paint scheme that he had done was pretty nice, for some reason it never really felt right to me. He kinda missed what I was trying to achieve. But that's ok. I wore the helmet many years and was tired of looking at that old paint job and decided to give it a MEECH makeover. In some ways it turned out better than I expected but the whole Toxic Orange bit on the front kinda disappointed me. I should've just went with the free hand over the entire helmet instead of trying to mix it up. I can always repaint it again but for now this is it. I don't have a motorcycle to ride at the moment but I've had a real bad itch here lately. I have a MX track so close to my house that I can hear them riding on the weekends. I've been over there about once a week since moving back to Jonesboro. I even bought a pair of boots the other day off of Ebay. I think I've officially entered my mid-life crisis. Not sure how this is gonna play out over the next few months but the MEECH Custom Bicycles blog could turn into the MEECH Bicycles and Motocross Bikes blog.
You can see where I peeled the Troy Lee sticker off the visor.
Not a very good picture here because of the flash. I had no plan at all as to how I was gonna paint it other than I wanted a yellow base. The rest is just picking a color and a brush and having at it. I did all this paint work with 3 different brushes and I didn't reduce the paint because I thought it might dilute the colors, so there is a little bit of texture created where the paint was a bit thicker. Normally I believe everyone uses an airbursh for jobs like this but I prefer the raw look of bristles. For the most part it's pretty smooth. Next time I may reduce it a little and see what happens. Like my friend Bob Davis always says, "At 100mph no one will ever notice.
I had intended to have the MEECH logo painted across the back in black but I was short on time and ready to finish it up. I'm ready to let go of my hands on a bike frame. Shouldn't be long. I've got a touring frame sitting in the shop that is awaiting a fork and then I'm gonna have at it. I got some new epoxy primer to try out as well. Supposedly it's some hot stuff. We'll see. Thanks for stopping by.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015
Peter Sagan soloed in to take the Cycling Road Racing World Championship.
Nobody can say he doesn't look like a world champion. Geez! He is most likely the best looking cyclist in the world, and, he seems pretty grounded. If you're not jealous you should be.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Here is a little photo of Nate's MEECH on the way to the World's in Richmond, Virginia. When Nate told me that he and Rachel were headed to the World Championships I had no idea he meant they would be riding their bikes there. You guys have no idea how good these photos that you all take make me feel. I feel very fortunate to meet and know you guys, each and every one of you.
Now I'm all amped up to get back out in the shop.
Thanks for riding a MEECH!
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Sunday, September 13, 2015
It looks like Fabio Aru is gonna win the Vuelta. On the next to last stage and on the penultimate climb of the day he finally cracked Tom Dumoulin. Only 6 seconds seperated them when they started but Aru put something like 3-4 minutes into Dumoulin and completely knocked him off the podium. I was happy to see Aru when however felt bad for Dumoulin after he raced such a perfect tour. It would have been nice if he could've at least stood on the podium. Oh well, that's racing.
I'd be smiling bigger than this if I was him. I used to smile that much just walking around Spain. Aru could easily win the Tour in the next couple of years. He's young, fights hard, and never gives up. Also, he's a motocrosser. You don't want to mess with those guys. They're crazy!
He's a photo of an old friend, Jess Parker. Not sure exactly where this was taken however Paul Isley was the one to capture the moment. Great shot Paul!
The moment I saw this pic I immediately thought of the song by Queen, Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon. Enjoy the day.
Friday, September 11, 2015
You thought you might never see any more of my backyard pics ever again. You even started to miss them a little didn't ya? I hope so. Anyway, it took longer than I ever could've imagined but I finally finished this frame. It turned out much better than i ever could've expected with all the setbacks that I've gone through. The building went good, the painting went about as smooth as I could've hoped for, and overall I feel good about going forward. Truth is we just haven't got settled in yet. This is our hometown and we're in our old house (big part of problems) but things just haven't started to flow like I had hoped they would. It's gradually getting better and all there is to do is keep pushing forward at whatever pace I can. There were a couple of times early on that I was gonna call Phil and say, "It's not gonna happen." There were a couple of other times that I figured my frame building business was finished. I felt I was just really getting going good this past year and then the chaos (Jack came along) began. I wouldn't change a thing. The number of frames is gonna drop for certain but I'm gonna keep building every chance that I have because after this whole ordeal I realized that I just really enjoy doing it, and I want to get better at it, and the painting as well. I enjoy that as much as the building. So that's how it's gonna be.
"I reckon so."
Coronado Green, aka Bianchi green. Ok, I'm sure there might be a few different pigments in this paint versus the original Bianchi but I would say that the girl at O'reilly did a pretty good job of picking this one out. Personally, if it's any different than Bianchi's color, I think it's even better.
"Just who do you think you are taking Bianchi's trademark color and painting your frames with it?"
If the customer wants it, and there's no law against using it, then the customer gets it. If you got something to say, come on with it, because I'll enjoy the conversation. Besides, I can't recall ever seeing a Bianchi with gold on it, but I would strongly recommend trying it because they look so good together.
"What is that creeping up behind this beautiful frame?"
Don't worry, I'll tell you later. It's backyard picture time from the new MEECH shop. Actually it's the front yard, but had I not told you, you never would've known. They both need mowing.
I have already mentioned this but it's a 650B touring bike for Phil Pasantino, one of my earliest customers who has purchased 3 MEECH's so far. Thanks Phil!
The sun and shade provide a variety of shades for these two colors. These photos will give you a little taste of all of them.
This is Nico. He's the latest addition to the family. A buddy of mine found him wondering the streets and with the recent loss of Smokey and Louis this past year we were ready for another cat. I thought I was ready. Not so sure now.
English wheelie compliments of Pletscher kickstands. Just happend to have this old Bianchi cap hanging on the wall and wanted to see how close I got to the color. It'll pass.
Thanks for stopping by and I'm gonna try to get back out into the shop as soon as possible. Thanks for the patience. Peace! (Where'd it go?)
Check out the final stages of the Vuelta. Only 5 seconds between Aru and Dumoulin after today. Tomorrow is gonna be a war. Watch how hard Fabio Aru attacks when he goes. It's about as hard as I've ever seen anyone attack. Granted, he may be a bit tired after 3 weeks but he'll still give it a good, solid dig. Wonder if any GC contenders have ever actually raced on the parade day? You may see it this year. Check it out!
MEECH Custom Bicycles