Thanks for the kind words everyone. This round of updates/upgrades has been fun and going back through those old pics and captions was interesting for me. My favorite changes:
Getting the fork (re-)painted to match the frame. As noted in those early pics, the fork was initally powder coated "clear" where you could see the brazing. The color was sorta-close to the Ti, and it was very cool to see the brass at the brazed joints. Over time though, there was some rust spidering starting to appear. After getting some amazing work from the SoCal painter Joe Bell on some other bikes, I asked if he could attempt to match the frame's (and stem and Morati's) bead blasted finish in paint. Joe is one of the only painters still working in genuine DuPont Imron today. His work is incredible -- the parts you DON'T SEE (like the steerer) look better than what most painters achieve on parts you do see. I think he just about nailed it on these forks. In particular, he used a matte clearcoat instead of the traditional super hi-gloss Imron clear.
And then a very small, but special thing: the seat clamp. No CNC here, but manual machine operations and then (LOTS of) hand-filing by Charlie Cunningham.
Hi nice bike, waaaaaayyyy to big for me.
I have finally got my hands on a 98 Phoenix se and slowly building it. Can't wait to see if they live up to the web reputation.
All these little features that separate them from the mainstream should add up to an interesting ride.
Would you class it as more of a single use machine ? Smooth single track long distance stuff or is it ok on rocks and more 'modern' trails with berms and rocks etc ? Our trails are pretty rough generally
I am not building it with all the jewels your one has thou, more of a working mans build.
The Phoenix has a lot going for it out-of-the-box. Not sure about the setup on yours, but I do think that the fork and brakes make a big difference. By '98 most were built up with suspension forks and V-brakes. I have many friends with that setup who love their bikes as much as I love mine, but it's probably a sorta apples-and-oranges comparison.