the merckx mx leader continued on for years in the lineup and gained the cred of a real pro racing frame, keeping the max tubing ideal alive even though the frame didn't use all the max tubes. still, it was something; it was enough.
a generation after the original introduction, max bubbled back up lead by some small american builders, with lu edmonds-esque renaissance-madman don ferris howling into the bike tubing wilderness. he stoked the max frame fire and then stopped building frames to enjoy the b2b stylings of his tooling business.
others hopped on board. mike
and the lovely and talented hampsten cycles folks have a clean and straight-up take on lugless max-tubed frames.
now, the max tubing is back or not back; columbus has apparently put it back into production using their modern alloys, or possibly it was around in stock all along and just essentially ignored by most of the steel bike frame world. from the chatter on the interwebs, it looks like the lugs are not so readily available, but there's no need to spool up the time machine in order to get a new, custom max-tubed frame. excellent.
it really is an embarrassment of max frame riches now. my own thought is that i'd like to save my green stamps and get a tweaked and simple hampsten max, or maybe a lugged frame from someone known mostly for round-tubed lugged steel road-racing bikes like richard sachs--hah! what are the chances of the likes of me rating that??--peter dreesens, chris kvale or even mike zanconato himself.