About Me

My photo
Mountain Home, Arkansas, United States
My name is Dimitri Harris and I have been building frames for over 6 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, its 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 Mountain Home, 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.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Scoot's Road Racer Build

Just got started on a new frame for an old friend of mine, Scott Taylor.  We call him Scoot, just so you know that I didn't misspell his name on the blog post title. Scott already has one of my earlier bikes and has ridden the molasses out of it for the last 5 years.  He's done the Bicycle Tour of Colorado on it many times and while it's still rollin strong he's ready for a new ride.  We're going with an "old school" (I hate that saying) slash "new school"(even worse) build on this frame. 

 "What the heck does that even mean Dimitri?" 

 It means steel frame and fork, with a 1" steerer, made with newer, lighter weight steel tubing, built with a more modern, aggressive geometry.  I guess I could've just used the phrase "traditional build" but that wouldn't have covered all the bases.  Besides, the larger
  1 1/8" headsets have been around for so long that they are now considered traditional.  Anyway, when I build a frame with a steel fork, 1 1/8" steerers make for a pretty heavy fork and are a bit overkill. The more traditional 1" steerer tubes work just fine and make for a very nice handling, predictable ride, however, a steel fork in either size makes you feel like you're on rails.  
"ALL ABOARD!"

"Oh no! Not more of these same old photos that you post every time you build a frame?"

Yep. Each and every frame gets special treatment and documented photography.  It turns out that many people enjoy watching their frame being built.  When I say that the main ingredient in anything you make is love, I'm serious.  This is a photo of love.  Look at the perfect miter.  And besides, if you paid attention you would notice that this photo is taken at a completely different angle than most of the others.

Ok, maybe you've seen this one before.
This...

...equals this. 
Did you notice the extra meat I took out of the bottom bracket shell for the chain stays?  I'm just checkin.  I've got my eyes on you.

This is a photo of nothing special, unless you happen to think that perfection is special. 


Ok, this photo is seriously imperfect, but the level never lies, and this frame thus far is perfect.

Head tube miter...

Down tube miter,
Can't get no tighter,
Now hand me my coffee,
And a cigarette lighter.

My dad always told me that the Creative Writing class I took in college was a waste of  time.  He was usually right, but if he could've seen this rhyme here he may have changed his mind.



Good solid foundation.

I was playing around and built a little prototype seat stay mitering jig.  It honestly can't get any simpler and yet its extremely effective.  I built it with things that were only an arms reach away from my vise.  The dummy axle holds the dropouts of course, however I had already brazed them into the chain stays before taking this picture.  I literally made this thing in minutes. When I have time I'm gonna build one out of metal and then polish it until you can see yourself in it.  Then I'm gonna paint it gold like the tires on my truck.

After building this, I suddenly realized that all of my old school teachers were wrong about me, and that I am in fact extremely smart. Never mind the fact that my blog posts don't have the correct punctuation, and ACT scores don't prove anything.  After learning how smart I am the other day, I decided I would go back to school and so I enrolled at the Rocket Science Academy.  I never was that interested in Science in the past but had we been talking about rockets perhaps I would've paid more attention.  What?  Was I supposed to get excited about the Bunson Burner?  And yes, I know I misspelled it.

"Of all the interesting things to study, why would you choose rocket cience D?"

Because I'm sick of hearing all these people say, 
"Its only a bicycle, its not rocket science."

I started to develope an inferiority complex toward rocket scientists, and since my mother always told me that I could be anything that I wanted to be I decided to put all those rocket scientists in their place.  Afterall, how many of those rocket scientists do you think have raced intermediate motocross all over the southern part of the United States, not to mention all the trophies I won for top-5 finishes.  Not lookin so great now are they.  So anyway, after talking to them on the phone they told me that I would have to take a test in order to see if I would be accepted into their little academy.

"WHAT?"  

Who the hell do these people think they are trying to make me take a test before I even go to class?  I haven't even had time to get the Cliff's Notes yet. This is absurd!

So anyway, I took their little test and they informed me that they were somewhat impressed and possibly concerned by many of my answers, and, while I wasn't quite qualified to be in their full-blown rocket science program, that I was almost certainly qualified to enroll in a bottle-rocket science program. To help me get started they gave me quite a few chinese phone numbers to call. 

So there you have it.  I'm probably not even gonna go. I just wanted to show them that I could do it.  However, if I ever do decide to start a bottle rocket manufacturing facility there are two things that I'm definitely gonna do.  First off, I'm gonna take out a multi-million dollar insurance policy on my business, and secondly, I'm gonna start smoking again and practice my cigarette butt flicking at break time. 
 Rocket scientists, pfff.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Christian's 29er

Alright, so I finally got Christian's 29er frame finished.  If this frame looks familiar, its because Christian wanted it painted identically to his cross frame. It was a rather slow build however I'm not rushing anything these days with little Jack to look after.  Granted, I want to get the frames out to everyone as quickly as possible but making sure they are right is all that I'm concerned with.  This was my first mountain bike build in a quite some time, and my first with the new 142mm thru-axle design.  Needless to say, I like it alot.  With all this snow and ice that we got doused with recently I really wish I had a mountain bike, and if I ever get caught up enough I may build me one, right after I build myself that cross bike I've been dreaming about. I can't remember the last day that I was on a bicycle and I can't see getting to ride any time soon. Sometimes its hard for me to believe that I'm a bicycle frame builder and I only have one bike.  I have a couple of carbon prototypes hanging in the shop but they're road bikes too.  I need something with some knobby tires.

I really wish I could've had a fork on this thing to make it look more complete but Christian is gonna choose the fork to suit his liking and so basically I just wanted to get a few pics to share.  The temp outside was 25 degrees but the wind was coming hard out of the north and it was the coldest 25 I've ever felt.  I just got back in from walking Dizzy this 10 degree morning and it seemed warmer than yesterday.  I've mentioned that I don't do very well in cold weather but this morning wasn't that bad.  Once I got going it I enjoyed it.  Kinda like a cold bike ride, you're freezing for the first 10-15 minutes and then everything gets warmed up.  The other night Anne and I watched a documentary called Happy People.  It was about a handful of men who lived in a small village in Syberia and during the hunting season they would basically travel 100 miles out into the wilderness to hunt.  It was no short hunting trip either.  It appeared to be months to me, perhaps the entire winter.  Anyway, the daily temperatures that they were living in were anywhere from -30 to -70 degrees.  This was on a daily basis and they were surviving with only their abilities and their dogs while living in a few small hunting cabins.  This type of living/survival amazes me.  One of the main characters told a story about the first time that he went out into the wilderness.  He was dropped off by helicopter under the assumption that he would be brought supplies on certain dates throughout the winter in order to survive. Unfortunately the help never showed up and he was faced with having to survive all on his own.  He did it and everything is peaches and cream now.  I would've most likely died looking something like Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining. After being amazed throughout the entire film, it ended with the man riding a snowmobile back to the village for roughly 100 miles in give or take 8 hours. 

 "What's so amazing about that D?"

  His dog ran beside him the entire way.  The dog did fall off the pace a bit and showed up at the village a couple of minutes later, but I'll give it to him. So anyway, thats what I was thinking about while I reluctantly walked Dizzy for 30 minutes in 10 degrees.


Is this a blog about bicycles or something?  Let's move on.


These pictures are not much to get excited about.  Riding this bike is something to get excited about and I would've loved to give this thing a quick spin.  When I build me one its gonna be very similar.


I didn't have a box wide enough to ship this in so I went to the UPS Store.  Long story short, they talked me into letting them package the frame.  In the end I agreed and everything went fine as far as I know, but I really had a hard time leaving this frame in the hands of someone else.  All the work that went into getting this thing right, from the miters on the stays/dropout juncture to getting the tires in between the stays to the painting, it was all  running through my head. Just being able to get this thing painted in the middle of February was a small miracle.  We had a short warm spell and one day was supposed to get up into the 60's.  If it was gonna happen it had to be that day because the temperature was supposed to drop into the 40's the very next day.  I woke up and put a couple of heaters in the paint booth (shed painted white inside) and once I got it up to 70 degrees I got after it.  Anyway, when I left the frame with the the people from UPS Store I was trying to imagine how I would feel if someone damaged this frame and I had to start all over.  It would've been devastating to me and I almost went back to get it.  I was on pins and needles until they called me and said it was ready.  Anyway, this is what "Handmade" means to me.  Due to the fact that this was a frame build that I was unaccustomed to, it feels like more care went into this frame than others, however after thinking about it, I know that I put everything I have into every frame I build.  When I work for someone else I don't ever want them to be dissappointed with what they get.  It just gives me a sick feeling to think I let someone down.  Whenever I make a mistake i have to correct it before I can move forward.  In an earlier post, I mentioned a brazing mistake while working on this frame and while I probably could've corrected it I just started the whole thing over, smarter mind you.

This Battleship Grey looks good up against the white snow.



DT Swiss axle is compliments of Paragon Machine Works and its flawless.  The wheel falls into the dropouts perfectly and when you tighten the axle the tab lines up nicely.

You knew I was gonna throw in a photo of some sexy hiney didn't you?


I don't think I could do this again if I tried. Maybe I'm selling myself short.

I can't wait to see this thing built up.  Christian told me that the cross bike is the best bike he's ever ridden, and, he let a friend go ride it as well, and when they got back apparently they said the same thing.  That means alot coming from someone who has wrenched on bicycles 20+ years.  I'm hoping this frame doesn't dissappoint.  Thanks Christian for letting me build these frames for you.  Stay in touch.


"NO WAY DOG!"

Actually Louie and Dizzy are great friends.  Louie is a lover not a fighter.  Dizzy however harrasses Louie to no end. Dizzy has some kind of herding DNA in him as well as turning a deaf ear and running away DNA.

He and I aren't exactly Siberian dogs. How many pillows do you need Dizzy?

Here is Anne, Jack, and Dizzy on a snow day.  They're all crazy but I love 'em anyway.

Thanks for stopping by.


MEECH Custom Bicycles
handmade in
Mountain Home, Arkansas

Fly with MEECH!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Steel Developed


http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/new-steel-stronger-lighter-titanium-


In other words, if you’re in the market for a new frame, don’t wait. But you might like to invest now in a titanium frame – they could become collectors’ items of historical value when the new steel is king.

I'm not sure I totally agree with this.  When and how has outdated technology, if this whole scenario plays out, ever become valuable.  I can see how it would be interesting to own a piece of history however I wouldn't think it would become that valuable.  I never really believed in titanium in the beginning because the pros ditched it almost as fast as it became popular. I never figured out, and still don't know, what titanium has ever been the best at.  Titanium is not the strongest, lightest, stiffest, nor the most sought after bicycle frame material ever made, and yet it's so expensive.  I will say that I know nothing about the material and I would love to talk to an expert in order to learn.





157700http://www.technologyreview.com/news/534796/nano-manufacturing-makes-steel-10-times-stronger/






Sunday, February 15, 2015

Japanese Bike Parking Tecnology



May want to hang onto that ticket.

Resurgence of Goggles?



This morning it crossed my mind that with the whole gravel-road racing thing that has been building for a couple of years now, I was thinking that now may be a good time to bring back racing goggles, you know, add some flare to the sport.  Then, unfortunately, I realized that the helmet could hinder the whole 'modern goggle resurgence program' that I was dreaming of. 

"I've got it!"

Do away with helmets, or at the least, give the riders a choice. I think it would give the peloton some much needed personality.  I think it would be good for the fans and the spectators.  Let's see now, multi-color lycra uniforms, goggles, no helmet, and a $10,000 bicycle.  If we could get USA Cycling to permit capes then it would appear as if a bunch of super-heros were racing.  Who wouldn't like that?

Check out the racer up above.  He looks like a freakin movie star.  This is sure to bring out some more chicks to the races, good looking ones too, not those thin, pale-colored, granola girls we're all used to seeing. If I want to see something thin and pale that looks like it could use a good meal I'd just look at myself. 

Check out how laid back that seat tube is and how thin the fork blades and stays are. Thats a pretty good-sized fella too.  With that #33 on his bike he looks like somebody.  Maybe we should give racers permanent numbers for the year based on their racing results. That way the chicks know who to go after.  If I was a good-looking girl looking for a guy, I wouldn't want to accidentally go out with some spiffed-up Cat 5.  With the number ranking system the girls would have an idea of what they we're getting into beforehand.  When she went out with her friends, I would imagine the conversation would be something like:

"Ok, so he's pretty good looking, maybe a little chubby, but its a cute chubby, he's an accoutant with a good job at a good firm,.... 

"Yeah, yeah, tell us more..."

"...but he's a mid-pack Cat 4 rider and has to wear #4593 all year long. So anyway, our kids should be smart and well off but there probably won't be many trophies on the shelf."

"Girl, you need to get out while you still can and up your game."

I realize that some Cat 4 riders may be offended by this, but consider it motivation to push harder.  The first road race I ever did they gave me a number that said, "Citizen" on the back. I didn't even know how low I was.  I thought maybe there were a bunch of Latinos racing.  After that race, I knew I had to quit smoking and train harder.  I mean seriously, who wants to be a citizen?



I've posted this old photo before.  Its actually on my Facebook page somewhere.  It reminds me of myself.  When I was a kid, all I ever wanted was a dirt bike.  My parents thought they were dangerous and so they wouldn't get me one.  I had to ride my bicycle like it was a motorcycle. So anyway, I saved my money and bought a motorcycle helmet and some goggles.  The first day I had them I went out and threw a leg over my old, purple Western Flyer and hauled arse wide open down the hill to hit our local neighborhood ramp.  When I first left the ramp, I was soaring like an eagle, higher than I had ever been,  but then the weight of that  $15.99 Sears helmet started pulling my head backwards and I looped out hard and landed flat on my back. 

"MEDIC!"

While I'm just winging it with black and whites, why not throw in some real motorcycle girls. Seriously, the website is called Real Motorcycle Girls.  I just stumbled onto it.

Now this is a real woman.  I'm sorry Cat 4 racers but she's not interested in you. This chick wouldn't go out with anyone but a pro, and probably only a Downhill Mountain Bike pro at that.  She's gonna toy with your head for sure.

I bet this guy could get a date with her.

 I'm guessing that a Cat 4 could get a date with the cheerleader that is third in line, maybe.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pricey Bikes

Just recently noticed an add for this Colnago C-60 Special Edition bike and the price is like $14,999.99 or something and it immediately made me think of the Eddy Merckx that I posted a few days ago.  There are lots of bikes these days pushing the $10,000 price tags and it blows my mind, then there are these bikes that go for $15,000 plus.  I guess they're meant to hang on the wall or something because I would never ride one of them unless one of them were given to me to ride and I don't think thats gonna happen.  I would like to see if they ride better than one of my bikes though.  Maybe one day there will be a road bike shootout in Road Bike Action magazine,  the Merckx vs. MEECH issue.

"You're going down!"

Ever notice how these high-end bikes always have Campagnolo components on them? Alright, alright, I won't stir the pot with you Shimano and SRAM people even though Campagnolo is better.  Shimano and SRAM works just fine, usually, however it just doesn't look as good. Am I allowed to say ATMO here or is that 15 year old internet slang copywritten by someone?

This Colnago V-1 or whatever it is only cost around $4799.  Where'd the Campy go? 


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Christian's 29er

Last night I put the finishing touches on Christian's 29er and I'm hoping that later today I can get it primed.  We've had some really sweet weather these past few days and I'm hoping to be able to take advantage of it.  I wish I could get some riding in but its not gonna happen this weekend.  Overall, I'm very thankful for the mild winter we've been having and even though its not over yet the majority of it is behind us I think. We haven't had any significant snowfall here this year and it's fine by me. 

Even though I took a lot of photos last night there were only a handful of good ones, but the ones I have pretty much cover the frame from front to back so feel free to check'em out.  There's not much here to talk about so I'm not gonna write a bunch of garbage and you won't have to read a bunch of garbage.  I never was much of a reader myself.  I always hated going to Reading or Literature class.  The only reading i would ever do was the latest issue of Motocross Action, and even then I preferred the pictures.  Whenever we had to read a book for class and do a report I was always bummed out.  I never could focus for more than a page or two.  I was always more into the short stories or poetry section.  I didn't like reading those either but at least I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Whenever the teacher would tell us that we were gonna be reading short stories I would immediately start looking at them to see how short they were.

"Ahh yeah, this one is only 4 pages long."
"Alright, this one is 6 pages but I can handle that."
"WTH, eleven pages?  You call that a short story?  When do we get to poetry?"

I never liked poetry either.  Even though they were never more than a page long I never understood them.  We'd have to memorize them and recite them in front of the class and tell everyone what we thought it meant.  What a nightmare.  These days I can only recall one poem. Its called Nice Boys and the poet's name is Angry Anderson and it goes something like this. 

Nice Boys

She hit town like a rose in bloom,
Smellin sweet, such sweet perfume,
The color faded and the petals died,
But in the city no one cried.
In the streets where the garbage lies,
Protected by a million flies,
Roaches so big you'd swear they got bones,
Moved in and made a tenement home.

Nice boys don't play rock'n'roll.
I'm not a nice boy,
And I never was.

Theres some more to it but it only gets worse from here so I'm gonna spare you. What'd you expect with a name like Angry Anderson? Enjoy the pictures.







Thanks for stopping by.