Epic Fender Installation

Bought some VO 48mm fluted al-oo-min-ee-um fenders when they were on sale for like 40% off and I finally installed them yesterday. Mind you, this is all part of a larger effort to scale the Gitane into the best city bike it can be, namely a 6 speed with fenders. I think that’s about as far as I can take it. In its current fixed gear configuration it has lasted an astounding 6 years or so and has traveled with me to several large East Coast cities (is it Germanic in nature that we capitalize this?). And now I think it’s finally time to put gears back.

I believe the ~1972 white “Tour de France” Professional model came with 5 speeds, probably of the Maillard or Normandy freewheel variety (I know this wasn’t the higher end model with Campagnolo equipment or dropouts, Simplex all the way). I’ve already re-tapped the rear derailleur hanger for a modern threaded derailleur and used a rotary cutting tool (yes, VO fenders, it was for you) and notched it for the “B-Screw” that non-Simplex derailleurs of a modern sort now have. I even installed a rear rack that I’ll likely have to give back to a friend who is moving back East this summer (see, I capitalized East there because it’s in reference to ‘East Coast”, which may or may not be consistently capitalized).

So yeah, a single Suntour ‘retro-friction’ bar-end shifter will faithfully deploy the Shimano 600 rear derailleur across an equally old but unused 6 speed Shimano freewheel. Hopefully, I can stretch the rear dropouts enough (and dish the wheel) to get the whole system to work miteinander. I’m looking forward to shifting those Suntours.

As a non-sequitur: HMS refers to both a style of locking carabiner and the Münter hitch belay. HMS literally means Halbmastwurf-Sicherung or ‘half clove hitch belay‘, where ‘mastwurf’ is German for ‘clove hitch’ and you securely belay your partner using half a clove hitch & rope friction. The terms ‘Münter hitch’ and ‘Italian hitch’ can be used interchangeably. Or you may find yourself using a friction belay device of some modern variety.

Velo Orange 48mm Fluted Aluminum Fenders

Velo Orange 48mm Fluted Aluminum Fenders

DMM Sentinel HMS Carabiner

DMM Sentinel HMS Carabiner