Hi-E Engineering

...was the creation of brilliant and eccentric Harlan Meyers in the Nashville, Tenn. area. The products include sealed bearing hubs, quick release skewers, pedals, rims, miscellaneous prototype parts all designed and executed in an extremely shall we say "unconventional" manner!
 

This is a report by Larry Black of Mt. Airy Bicycles in Md., of his visit to the Hi-E "factory."

First, it's 'Harlan'
And you haven't lived until you've been to his cabin

Son Jim was a crew member on our '91 RAAM team. I knew there was a bit of Harlan in him when he arrived in California for the start with some large steel Hi-E signs with magnets glued to the back, for application to the RV and van. These looked like something from the side of a Mail-Pouch barn ad.

We found a one-day sign shop and I convinced him to have some 1990s style vinyl-cut magnetized signs made. BIG improvement.

Not wanting to throw those relics away, I found a handy use for them a few hundred miles into the ride when the riders had to slow down for cattle grates on the course.

The two 12"x48" signs unrolled to form an 8' self-clinging pathway over those dangerous steel cattle grates to give us an unfair few minutes and save lots of (non Hi-E) rims.

After medical malfunctions in Cortez, Co on the 3d day, we were outa RAAM, but the crew took a leisurely sightseeing trip to get Jim home to the Hi-E compound in Nashville, TN.

After the cross-country escapade, this became the trip's 'Hi' lite for me.

The oversized family Log Cabin was cleverly unkempt and cluttered.
The kids' rooms were a cornucopia of toys and junk, like an auto salvage hard after a 7.5 quake.
Barely room to walk and hardly any floor visible.
But some very creative kid-ventions of Lego and other material, a tribute to Harlan's ingenuity, no doubt.

A yard strewn with abandoned autos and other industrial art as well.

The Kitchen? A lil' bit of New Shelter, Mechanics Illustrated (very old back issues), and Heloise, all with the Meyer twist.

I couldn't wait any longer! We three visitors couldn't hold it in! We were chanting inside in unison, "the workshop! the workshop, the workshop: Out of the wood and into the steel.

Yes, bolted-and-welded angle iron, two stories, and a basement. Tin sheeting screwed on and overlapped, all recycled.

The main floor? A grid or iron angles, tubing, pipe, and beams. 4x8 sections each with a sheet of tin bolted underneath, then concrete poured in and floated smooth on top. From the basement, the sections looked like pillows (not pillars) of tin-capped concrete that could fall imminently.

The basement was where the 'world's largest rim' was stored. A 20-foot-long conduit made of spiraled rim section. He takes the tin foil, forms it like a seamless house gutter, makes a seamed box section, and spirals it. Later, as hoops are needed, sections are cut off, slugged and riveted, punched, and eyeleted. Rim-by-the-foot!

First floor, lathes, machines, and knee-deep in shavings and garbage.

Top floor: Tin siding interrupted by recycles clear or translucent filon and fiberglass for light.

The nerve center - the office; a 1970's 'son-of 'univac' vacuum tube/transistor/and mechanical computer 'system' and then his 'CHAIR'; A recycled barber/dental type chair with an overhead truing/building stand. As the chair swivels, the stand goes with it.

Didn't notice if it came with a cuspidor!

If anyone buys the lot, I'll take the chair.

Actually, this dinosaur would need its own room.

Anyone for a field trip?

Larry

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