Haha, I guess I was to thrilled about the fact itself, that I forgot about the topcap. No worries, though, I think it's easier to score a matching red one than to find another Patriot headset at this price.
I paid 40 EUR for the headset as you see it above, plus 30 EUR more for a decent 1997 Judy XC with 1" threaded steerer, a Deore II crankset with chainrings in good condition, a right side Deore LX M569 crank which is pretty okay and a left side Hollowtech Deore crank that I hope will match a right side arm that I have here.
FMJ, I dig your keys. Back in the day, in those times that people generally refer to as "the Golden Era of MTB" we used to have a fully sponsored team here in Romania and people got used to the good stuff pretty fast. Imagine getting people who never had a decent MTB in their life directly from the street and putting them on fresh bikes with XTR, Ringle, Manitou SX Ti and other goodies. At some point some of them began reading the magazines and they weren't fond of their Slamma Jamma headsets anymore, so they asked for King and they got their King. Some kept their Ringle topcaps because they liked the matching colors and started collecting Kind topcaps, so I can relate to that. Arrogance went so far that at some point they rode some of the bikes and parts just to see if they would if they'd break. I guess the peak was in 1998 at the European Champs in Spindleruv Mlyn in the Czech Republic(it's all covered in the awesome Sprung 2 movie). They rode Cycle Craft bikes that were branded as Maniac Cycles. At that point their top rider got a one-off A2 with Manitou X-Vert Ti, fresh Deemax and the Cycle Craft works team from then looked at it in awe and didn't even know what it was. Of course, the dream faded fast after all this crap, but some of us still remember the bikes, the people and the stories. That's where I got my turquoise King from, by the way.
Thanks for your comments, guys!
1990 GT Karakoram 20" Purple Haze (urban project); 1993 GT Karakoram 20" Ferrari Red (classy beater); 1993 GT Karakoram 14.5" Black Light (almost original); 1994 Breezer Jet Stream 18" (unlikely story); 1995 Winora full suspension (a fine riding mistery); 1997 Kona A'Ha (anniversary edition); 1997 GT Arrowhead 18" (poisoned gift); 1998 Stevens 6.1.2 (true warrior); 1998 GT Moto cruiser (just google it!); 1999 Santa Cruz Chameleon (the heartbreaker revived); 1999 GT Lobo 1000 (retired with works Super T); 2000 GT Lobo (turns original); 2001 Klein Attitude Comp 19" (ultralight project); 2001 Cannondale Jekyll 1000 SL (better that a lot of "fresh" bikes); 2003 Intense Tazer (close to factory team spec); 2003 Intense M1 (old dream on hold); 2007 Crupi Pro XXL (pumptrack teacher)