Hmmm.....with your discussion on the Merckx Max, I can't help but return for a comment on my 1990 (or earlier?) MAZA Pro-Max. The downtube is aligned as Columbus (not God; that's Merckx) intended, with the wide radius horizontal to the BB. The frame is fillet brazed. Top tube is pretty thin, (.4) & has a couple dents, but otherwise, with it's Mavic group with starfish crank, this bike is a fast express on flat to gentle terrain. Very, very stable descender, as you can imagine, & like the Gita Merckx has cool orange paint & nice graphics. On our steep climb up to Painted Cave, I've been taking my early (1980?) Specialized Sequoia, which sports Huret derailleurs & Sugino AT triple crankset. This bike has Specialized 'touring series' tubes that I believe are really Tange #2, and Shimano dropouts. The nutted Suntour Superbe brakes are inadequate for the extremely steep road, & I need advice on better brakes. Also, anyone know when Specialized first made this bike? Thanks, Jim Hultman Santa Barbara; stuck indoors doing Quickbooks on a perfect Southern California day.