Thank you very much for your exciting reply!
It is great to know these detail from you as original owner of this bike.
The grey paint is very similar to the original which was a touch nearer neutral grey, yeah, sorry it was me who stripped to to bare alloy! Saddle is very close to original which had a soft cloth cover and those foam grips look like the originals.
So, the original paint was also grey then!
I was feeling a bit guilty painting in different colour but now I am innocent
No problem stripping the colour because I noticed that at that time everyone seems to do the same to show that the frame was aluminum, not steel, and indeed the polished alu frame looks very attractive (even now).
The grips were present from a member pete he knew they will match with this bike and indeed spot on!
I think I might have the original rigid fork around somewhere from that bike, it was a curved blade black painted one, of course that meant that the stem had a tube for the front brake cable in it. If not I might have an Accutrax 1 1/4 fork set-up for a very early "mountain Cycle" disc brake, new in the bag [not the brake tho, although I think I know where that is!]
Yes, the original fork is rigid steel curved black one.
If you still have the rigid fork in your arradin's cave I will be very happy to look after it next 100 years!
I think I probably have that original steel stem in a box somewhere, it was matte black and maybe a touch shorter. One upgrade a lot of owners did was to fit an Answer 150mm stem (the one designed ion collaboration with Frank The Welder "FTW" from Yeti. I also have a new black one of those!
And some new XT thumb-shifters, I am a bit of a hoarder.
The stem I have fitted this time is fisher's but I assume it is from newer CR-7, may be 91 or so.
As I am new to this I can't tell the difference very much but the vertical tube of this later type seems to be straight whereas the early type seems to have step - lower part is fat and top 1" or so is a bit thinner.
Again, if you still have it in your arradin's cave I am very happy to foster it.
Very interesting to know about the Answer stem's back stage story.
The 150mm Answer stem came with the bike (of course you have fitted it!) and it is resting in safe place at the moment.
That Manitou fork has to be a bit of a collectors piece, though, as it was one of the very first batch Doug Bradbury made, I believe in his garage, I got that on a trip to visit Cambria bicycle outfitters in their original location, Cambria - the original owner Steve Wexler was a pal of Doug (and most other bike luminaries beck then in the late 80's..
Its amazing that you have been there - may be with this bike? - and bought Manitou!
I quite like the Manitou, especially the finish were I can see how it was shaped.
Think the original rims were Araya, on my 2nd ride I hit a rock and was deflected to one side bending the front rim badly, breaking my collarbone. I sold the bike to Jez not a long time after that as I bought a Yeti FRO whilst still in a sling - but that's another story.
Hope the accident wasn't too serious!
Amazing that after such an accident the frame seem to be straight and true.
Thank you very much Neil!
If you have more old pictures with your bikes, please up load, I will be very interested!