Friday, June 16, 2017
Finally finished up one of the more complicated paint schemes that I've ever done. Over the past few months I had a handful of ideas for painting bike frames that i just wanted to do before time got away from me. I really enjoy the painting aspect as much or more than the actual frame building. They're both equally difficult in their respected ways, as in they can both make you crazy quicker than you can say biciciclismo. Anyway, this piece is called, "Momma Gets Swanky When the Lights Go Dim" and it's the first piece in a collection of mine called, "No Sleep, Just Dreaming".
So anyway, a few months ago I'm laying on the couch watching Lords of Dogtown on Netflix and while I love everything about the movie and the documentaries that surround it I was fixated on this shirt that Heath Ledger was wearing in the movie from the moment I laid eyes on it. I immediately thought I had to use that on a bike frame. And while there were times I didn't think it would ever get done, it never left my mind and I persevered until one day it just came true. You're looking at and it's sitting in the middle of my shop owning the space that it takes up. I worked off and on with this thing for give or take 3 weeks. The main thing that you can't see with this frame is that there was so much more involved than just painting it. I think I'm gonna just bite my tongue here and keep the secret to myself.
The movie probably didn't win any major awards and it's more suited for a younger audience but it's cool because it shows how skateboarding and sidewalk surfing became an overnight sensation and this handful of teenagers from Venice, California were the ones who fueled it all. When I was a kid between '75-'80 these guys were in all the magazines I was reading. It was a lifestyle that me and thousands of other kids dreamed about. While watching it I was just overloaded with memories of my childhood and I'm probably gonna go get a skateboard and bust me arse just one more time for old time sake.
This is the shirt that caught my eye and inspired this paint scheme.
There are roughly 40 individual panels on the frame and then another 10 on the fork. I really didn't realize what I was in for until I had painted about 3 of them that it began to soak in what I had gotten myself into. I had a plan in the beginning but it got thrown out the window almost immediately. I'm not even gonna tell you that I probably painted each panel a minimum of 3 times. Painting on a rounded surface presents another challenge.This paint scheme was some serious work but it was also fun, once it was completed anyway.
This is one of my favorite panels.
There were many days throughout this whole painting process that I felt like an absolute Zero.
My buddy Vince Pearcy cut me out a few special stencils that I needed that helped set the tone for this whole thing. I think they help define it. Thanks Vince!
Sadly enough, the carbon fiber chain stay protector is probably the most boring part of this frame build but I still love it anyway.
142/12 thru-axle dropouts.
Who do these belong to? I'm not telling but their face is on the frame.
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Sunday, May 28, 2017
Friday, May 26, 2017
Just finished a little repaint on an older frame that's been sitting around the shop collecting dust. This frame was the old Don Quixote touring frame. Not many people were as enthused by the Quixote paint scheme as I was. I've got certain ties to Don Quixote that most others may not, but after looking at this frame sitting in my shop for the last year or two it finally got the best of me, plus I'm needing to make some room for new stuff. I would've kept el Don had it been my size but it was a couple sizes too small and I couldn't watch a good frame go to waste, especially one that has lugs this beautiful.
The color we're looking at here is called Quicksand according to sticker on the Toyota Takoma where I first noticed it. It may have been used on other vehicles before this, I know Kia also uses a similar color on their Soul. Anyway, when I saw it the other evening on the parking lot, with the sun going down, it immediately looked like chocolate milk to me. Quicksand or Chocolate Milk, it makes me no difference. If I had to choose one or the other, I'll always choose chocolate milk over quicksand.
This is it, and while it looks different in this photo as compared to mine, be informed that it has a totally different look with light shining on it versus say a cloudy day or with the sun going down. Just take a look at those photos I posted earlier in the paint room and it appears almost cream colored with lights shining on it. This is not my truck by the way, however I like it a lot.
The crowns on this thing are a total nightmare to tape off but they're totally worth it when it's done. Don't think I wasn't dreading repainting this frame, but i'm callused now.
You won't see these cable stops very often.
These are beautiful lugs. There is enough going on with the crowns alone that I tried to keep the paint scheme as simple as possible and just let them stand out on their own. Plus I needed a break from some of the more complicated paint schemes I've been working on lately. Don't think I'm getting soft though, just wait till I finish up this next one. I may be institutionalized by the time I finish it.
I realized the other day that these decals still have the little star located in Mountain Home. Jonesboro is a little further toward the NE corner of the Arkansas but I still have a few to use.
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I made this by hand too. Thirsty now aren't you?
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Monday, May 8, 2017
It had been almost 2 weeks since I had been on a bike when I threw a leg over my new steed and I wasn't anticipating great sensations in the legs, however, just a few minutes into the ride I came upon a short, sharp uphill and I immediately knew this bike was faster than my other. In all fairness, it very well could've been the fact that I had a clean, fresh drive train but the bike definitely went up hill with less effort. It's probably a pound or maybe a pound and a half lighter so maybe I felt that. This is also the first bike I have personally ridden with a tapered head tube and steerer. I have built plenty of them but never had the chance to ride one for myself.
When I stood up out of the saddle it was like the bike wanted to remain upright and didn't want to rock side to side like I'm accustomed to. It felt odd at first like it didn't want to change directions but I quickly got used to it, and after riding it for an hour or so the last couple of days I'm good with it. I can ride at least one more gear and sometimes two on both the uphills and the flats. Once again, I'm sure the new drive train helps a lot. My old chain and rear derailleur were so gunked up with crap that it took me almost an hour to get the derailleur clean.
The surprise of the build, and probably of any and all builds of my lifetime, came when i I had finished cleaning the derailleur and started putting the pulleys back into place and realized I had lost one of the little bushings. I had taken the derailleur outside and sprayed it down hard with brake parts cleaner to ease some of the caked on oily grit that had built up over months of riding. I was under the overhang of the house since it was raining fiercely but I was holding the derailleur out over the grass so that all the greasy parts cleaner wouldn't get on my steps. So after all the spraying, cleaning, and wiping down, i go back to the shop table to put it back together and realize the pulley is locking up because the bolt is pinching it. I had briefly forgotten about the pulley being in there but immediately knew something was wrong and so I took the other pulley off in order to find out exactly what I had lost. After seeing and remembering what I was missing I honestly wasn't even gonna look for it, I knew it was gone. I glanced over the shop table in hopes that my little dilemma would be easily resolved with no luck and then started looking around the floor between the shop table and the back door which are on opposite ends of the house. Had it been anywhere on the shop floor and I would've found it, I would've considered that to be a small miracle, but step after step led me closer to the back door and before long I was back on the steps, under the overhang, looking down at the wet, greasy grass where I had sprayed about a half a can of parts cleaner on it. I asked myself, "Why would I even attempt to go down these steps and look for a little greasy bushing in the rain that probably doesn't measure much more than 5 millimeters across?" It didn't even really seem like a smart thing to do as i stepped out from under the overhang, down the stairs, and out into the pouring rain. Not only was it pouring rain, but I was standing directly under the overhang where all the water is running off the roof and puddling up in the yard below. I half-heartedly gazed around the blackened grass that I had refused to weed eat a few days earlier when it was dry and obviously didn't see anything. My eyes were roughly 6 feet away from the grass and have I mentioned that my eyesight isn't quite what it used to be, and that I've got an eye prescription for glasses that I have yet to fill? So at this point I had only been looking in the grass for maybe a minute and my shirt and cycling cap were already soaked from the steady dripping of the rain off the roof. Just as I was about to take a step back toward the stairs I told myself that unless I bend down there would be no chance in finding it and that not looking would have been just as effective. So I reluctantly squatted down and put the palm of my hand on the tips of the grass blades and gently pushed them to the side until I could see dirt. Low and behold, there it was. I was blown away and just sat there staring at it. It couldn't have shown any more brilliantly if it had been a gold tooth. "Huh? What the hell are you talking about D? A gold tooth?" Ok, maybe a gold coin would have been a better analogy. I picked it up and wrapped my entire hand tightly around it like it was the key to the universe and walked back to my shop table in total and utter amazement where my derailleur laid. I had truly found a needle in a haystack.
Got some new record cranks. 177.5s no less. They're the older style but they feel like home going uphill. I've been riding 175s for the past year or more and all I can say is that I don't get along with 175s. "One seventy seven fives, you're the girl for me."
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MEECH Custom Bicycles
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Friday, April 14, 2017
Thursday, April 13, 2017
I never would've thought it would take me this long... wait, yes I would. Anyway I finally
finished up the paint on this gravel road frame that's been sitting
around the shop for what seems like eternity. I've had 3 frames laying
around the shop with primer on them and I told myself that I wasn't gonna start
another build until they were completed. Well, two of them are finished and I've
got a small start on the last one.
This paint job went much smoother than the Van Halen Frankenstrat
paint scheme did. Trying to keep tight lines on that one complicated things but on this one I mainly just tryed to keep it somewhat traditional yet interesting at the same time.
The star stencils that I normally use on the head tube didn't fit this tapered head
tube too well so I had to improvise a bit.
Rear brake line runs through the down tube. With the derailleur cables running in the
traditional road position the brake line wasn't a clean fit. I prefer to make things as easy
as possible to work on but this isn't too difficult of a setup. It comes out the side of the
down tube, over the bottom bracket shell, and across the chain stay. It's not totally concealed but it tucks away nicely and leaves you with a cluttered look.
The paint scheme will actually help to conceal the brake line.
I always put a carbon fiber chain stay protector on my frames now unless someone
just tells me not to. I just like the way it looks too much, not to mention the protective capabilities from all the chain-slap when you're descending a gravel hill at 30 mph. I
always say that I want you guys to beat the molasses out of my frames but that doesn't
mean I'm not gonna make it tough on you.
I can't think of much to say about this except that it's colorful, no?
These letters are actually done in a lime green color. When the sun is shining directly on
them it's a little hard to tell. It looks a little greener on a cloudy day. I love the new logo
that Vince Pearcy designed for me. It let's me go in the direction that I want to go. I'll still
use the old logo for anyone that wants it but this one just fits the MEECH concept at the present moment.
I told Jack that we were gonna go take some pictures of the bicycle. So after I got the
frame in place and started trying to get some shots, he kept walking in front of the camera
and didn't understand why I kept telling him to get out of the way. I had to take a little time
out and shoot a few rounds with him before Dizzy finally got his attention and permitted me
to finish the job. Normally he doesn't want his picture taken but I know for a fact that he likes
this frame because after it was done he said, "I like this bicycle. Can I have it?"
This is the beginning of the next frame but it's a long way from completed.
Thanks for stopping by.
MEECH Custom Bicycles