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Spa Audax or similar

I'm currently trying to decide my next purchase and looking for the input of the more experienced of you! I'm looking to build up an everyday/long distance bike. I love my CAAD 8 but carrying all my work gear or clothes for a weekend away is a real pain in a rucksack.

I've really got carried away looking at Bob Jackson, Mercian and Condor frames but decided to spend less as the bike may spend time chained up outside my work or in North London; so it's going to get knocked about and I don't want it to be too desirable to thieves.

Does anyone on here own a Spa Audax? It seems to be the perfect steel frame to build an all rounder on a budget. I have considered the Genesis Equilibrium but realise that it does not have rack mounts and is more expensive. The only downsides I can see is that there are a few comments about the Spa frame seeming a little agricultural and having a short head tube.

I'm considering using Camagnolo Centaur/Veloce mix on this bike as I have Shimano 105 on my CAAD and think I prefer the shape of the Campag shifters. Does this seem like a sensible choice over Shimano for this sort of bike given how Shimano seems to be the most dominant brand?

Any thoughts or comments are much appreciated.

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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