Author Topic: Spa Steel Audax  (Read 32816 times)

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2015, 10:54:16 pm »
They do look very purposeful bikes. After my 'cracking' ride over the weekend, I'm very tempted by the Steel Audax as a replacement frame for my Raleigh Crit if I don't go for repairing the old bike.
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2015, 09:38:36 am »
The Spa Audax interests me for its geometry, attention to detail (e.g. clearances with 57 mm drop callipers), fairly light weight, quality, and attractive price considering the above.

I’m 5'10" with a relatively short torso. Often I have a problem with reach, but with a reasonably short stem the 54 cm should fit me well (albeit with lots of spacers. I was thinking I could get a custom-made one-piece spacer of the correct total length once I have established what that is).

Given that a small Spa Audax with spacers (or spacer!) will always lean towards function rather than prettiness, I’m thinking maybe black would suit it okay. Especially since I don’t know which colours would arrive, when they would, and whether the coloured frames would come with other feature I don’t want, such as disc brake mounts or a price hike.

I think the gold Spa decals in that inappropriate typeface are a detriment to the frame’s looks, so I’d probably ask for a stealth frame – if I can figure out how to ask for that without offending Spa!

cygnet

  • I'm part of the association
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2015, 11:16:53 pm »
I peeled the decals off my (sadly missed) ti Audax with no problems. I prefered the unadorned-ness off it.
I Said, I've Got A Big Stick

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2015, 07:55:41 pm »
I went for a test ride before deciding on mine.  I then went into Harrogate to do some other shopping while they prepared my frame. Can't remember exactly what that entailed, but applying the transfers was included. At that point I had the choice of all, some, or none. So, take your pick. I don't think there'd be the slightest problem.

I'm very pleased with my frame, and I don't mind the gold transfers, except that I'm not keen on what they use for a head badge.  It does seem to me that Spa would sell a lot more if they offered a choice of, say, three plain enamel colours, and got some more inspiring transfers.

What would really transform its appearance, though, would be a good head badge. There's no need for it to cost much at all; even a well-designed vinyl badge would be a great deal better than the current offering.

How about running a competition?  There must be quite a few people just on this forum with an artistic bent (no, don't even dare!!) and the equipment to make vinyl badges is not difficult to come by. If Spa themselves are not interested - and they ought to be - there might even be enough Spa frame owners in this parish to get something going.

Ideas on a postcard sheet of vinyl, please!

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2015, 09:30:45 pm »
Spa bike / Frames are avaliable  from  pilgrim cycles , box hill in Surrey or Sussex ( Long time since I have cycled up it ) & Bools in Fishpond ,Bristol . I think your best bet is to pop over to Harrogate. Try a demonstrator or two or three . Give them plenty of notice . I find them spot on .ps dont forget to pop in to Betty's for some Fat rascals .
Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul !!!

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2015, 02:07:12 pm »
How about running a competition?
Ok. Crack on with it then. ;-)

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2015, 08:06:37 pm »
How about running a competition?
Ok. Crack on with it then. ;-)

Anyone else interested?  I've no expertise in this, but willing to try and coordinate if there's enough interest.  Will ponder on it and possibly start a new thread.  Am willing to ask Spa if they'd wish to be involved, but suspect this kind of thing is not a priority for them!

In the meantime, there's always the old trick (apocryphal?) of flattening a milk-bottle top ;)

Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #32 on: November 15, 2015, 12:08:13 am »
Today Spa Cycles offered me a deal I probably shouldn’t refuse if I’m serious about getting this frame.

(It was in relation to some wheels I ordered that were inadequately packed and suffered minor damage in shipping. I wasn’t asking for anything, but they insisted on offering me a nice discount on this frame when they learned I was interested in it.)

If I go ahead and order it, is there anything special about the frame I should know? It should build up without much fuss from bits currently on my Dawes Clubman, right?

I would prefer to build the bicycle before ordering any bits and pieces to tidy it up but don’t want to miss something major like a seat post.

Spa would face the bottom bracket and head tube and fit the headset.

Many of my Clubman components are carefully chosen upgrades. If I got this frame I would have a bicycle with almost every part chosen by me, which would be a first. Very tempted.

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2015, 11:36:41 am »
The Spa Audax frameset is excellent value, I think. If you were offered an even better deal on it, then brilliant.

I completed my build recently, based around a campag groupset and DT Swiss wheels, plus other bits and bobs I had spare.

The Spa Audax is never going to set the world on fire, but for comfort and build quality, I'm really impressed. It's my favourite bike at the moment. A lot of thought seems to have gone into the design - braze-ons, decent seat tube angle, longer head tube.

I like the agricultural look. I too chose a black frame colour, which is is nice.

Only advice I would give is, make sure that you order the right frame size. I ordered a 52cm based on the size of my current bikes, but the reach was slightly too long for me, so I ended up re-ordering a 50cm. It fits like a glove, as they say.

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2015, 12:20:38 pm »
Yes, as with any frame, check the geometry and sizing carefully, esp. top tube length.

See here: http://www.spacycles.co.uk/smsimg/uploads/audaxgeometry.jpg

If you can get to the shop, they have bikes of all sizes for you to test ride; 2 or 3 hrs if you like, not just round the car park! I went for a ride along the 'Beryl Burton Way'.

Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #35 on: November 15, 2015, 01:22:18 pm »
I have done all the tedious calculations to establish the frame size I need, which was made possible by that comprehensive geometry chart. It is ideally the 54 cm despite my height of 5'10", which might otherwise suggest a 56 cm. In fact, the main problem with my Clubman (also 54 cm) is that it is too long for my slightly strange proportions. The Audax is shorter than the Clubman.

As I said, I’ll need a fair few headset spacers, depending on the stem angle.

It would be lovely to take a two-hour test ride, but as I live in France that won’t be possible.

Tell me this: can I fit STIs to the frame as shipped, or do I need additional cable stops to do that? If stops are needed, any cheap recommendations?

I’m tempted to go old-school with down-tube shifters (maybe these since I run 8-speed), but to do that I’d also need new brake levers and bar tape. It would end up adding at least 50 quid to the build.

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #36 on: November 15, 2015, 04:52:47 pm »
I have done all the tedious calculations to establish the frame size I need, which was made possible by that comprehensive geometry chart. It is ideally the 54 cm despite my height of 5'10", which might otherwise suggest a 56 cm. In fact, the main problem with my Clubman (also 54 cm) is that it is too long for my slightly strange proportions. The Audax is shorter than the Clubman.

As I said, I’ll need a fair few headset spacers, depending on the stem angle.

It would be lovely to take a two-hour test ride, but as I live in France that won’t be possible.

Tell me this: can I fit STIs to the frame as shipped, or do I need additional cable stops to do that? If stops are needed, any cheap recommendations?

I’m tempted to go old-school with down-tube shifters (maybe these since I run 8-speed), but to do that I’d also need new brake levers and bar tape. It would end up adding at least 50 quid to the build.

You'll need cable stops to use sti's. Just get the shimano ones - they work well and are cheap enough.

Frame sizing is quite personal. I'm 6'1" and ride a 58cm with a 100mm -6 degree stem and no spacers. My setup is reasonably aggressive,  but pro racer at all. I do find it has improved handling by going a bit longer and lower, probably due to putting a bit more weight on the front.

Andy in the shop is a similar size and rides a 56cm with a 120mm stem and several spacers. His saddle is slightly higher than mine.

A discounted frame is a real bargain. I'll post up some pics of mine in its latest iteration when I see the light again.

Mike

Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #37 on: November 15, 2015, 05:17:22 pm »
You'll need cable stops to use sti's. Just get the shimano ones - they work well and are cheap enough.

I see those are £12 at Spa. Or I could get down-tube levers and a pair of Dia-Compe brake levers (maybe even non-aero?) from the outset. Assuming they’d work with BR-R650 callipers. I’ll never know if I could get on with down-tube shifters if I don’t try them (though I did use friction down-tube shifters as a teenager when I knew nothing about the alternatives). The simplicity of down-tube shifters appeals to me, though I think I’d still want something indexed.

I'll post up some pics of mine in its latest iteration when I see the light again.

You’ll have at least one appreciative viewer if you do.

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #38 on: November 15, 2015, 08:28:49 pm »
Hi Samuel

I'm the same height as you, and ride a 54cm frame, with Campag Ergo levers operating 3x8 speed Shimano gears. There's no reason why you shouldn't fit d/t levers - the frame has the appropriate brazed-on fittings.

I haven't yet been able to fathom how to post a photo on this server but, if I manage it, I'll do so!






Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #39 on: November 15, 2015, 11:08:12 pm »
I haven't yet been able to fathom how to post a photo on this server but, if I manage it, I'll do so!

Please keep trying. I can never see enough examples of bicycles I’m considering buying, and this thread will likely attract other interested viewers too. Your 54 cm is the size I’m looking at, too.

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #40 on: November 15, 2015, 11:21:27 pm »
Hi Samuel

I'm the same height as you, and ride a 54cm frame, with Campag Ergo levers operating 3x8 speed Shimano gears. There's no reason why you shouldn't fit d/t levers - the frame has the appropriate brazed-on fittings.

I haven't yet been able to fathom how to post a photo on this server but, if I manage it, I'll do so!







Reply #1 on this thread explains how to post pictures.
Rust never sleeps

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #41 on: November 16, 2015, 07:52:29 am »
On my Spa Ti Audax (which is meant to have the same geometry as the steel bike) I use the bar end gear levers I have on my other bike. I prefer them. I cut a few cm off the bars to make sure the bar ends do not stick out too far. With no gear cables under the tape it is easy to renew cables when the time comes. And you can keep a hold on the end of the bar with thumb and index finger whilst nudging the lever with you palm or other fingers. I did wonder if bar ends would suit the frame, but it all feels good.

I too peeled off the gold decals with no problems. I did think of stenciling on my own lettering, but I probably won't bother.

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #42 on: November 16, 2015, 08:32:06 am »
this thread will likely attract other interested viewers too

Yes!

Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #43 on: November 16, 2015, 11:19:35 am »
There is something about the sheer old-school contrariness of down-tube shifters that appeals to me, despite bar-end shifters probably being the more sensible choice (but can you sprint without banging your knees on bar-ends?).

Someone somewhere must be running a Spa Audax with down-tube shifters. Any tips for decent low-cost shifters (8-speed) and brake levers if I go down this route?

And: pictures please! So far there have been more threats than actual pictures.

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #44 on: November 16, 2015, 03:44:21 pm »
Here's my Spa handling a spot of light touring duties during the summer...

Built up by my own fair hand with a SRAM Apex groupset.


Amd more recently with a little makeover in a lightweight get up (include On-One Midge bars & Carbon wheelset)...


The more i ride it the more i like it and appreciate how good it is. It's not the quickest & not the best for full on touring. But as you'd expect for eating up the distance it does what it says on the tin! I almost forgot, It is great fun to ride too!

Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #45 on: November 16, 2015, 08:12:25 pm »
Versatile then! Mine won’t look much like that, with my silver Exal XR2 rims, etc.

I’ve decided to go ahead and order the frame, though it’ll be a while before I receive it and build it up. When I do, I’ll post photos for the curious.

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #46 on: November 17, 2015, 07:31:31 pm »
Thanks to hatler :thumbs:, I think I may have worked out how to post a photo. (I didn't have my pics on a photo sharing site!)

I hope you may now be able to see my Spa Audax, in Paris a few weeks ago -



Hmm - not sure that has worked. All I see in the preview is a little blue box containing a question mark!  But when I click on that and ask to 'open image in new tab' the photo appears! 
Anyway, here goes . . .

ETA - and all I see in the thread posting is . . . a little blue box containing a question mark.  ?????? What have I done, or failed to do?

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #47 on: November 17, 2015, 07:36:15 pm »
Dropbox don't allow you to link direct to the image. If people click the link it will work: -

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qnzl3ycu37hycac/IMG_0969%20(1).jpg
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #48 on: November 17, 2015, 07:39:09 pm »
Thanks, mushroom!  mcshroom (sorry, phantom spellchecker at work)

So, should I just post the link in future, or is the problem with dropbox?

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #49 on: November 17, 2015, 07:45:56 pm »
I think if you are keeping them in dropbox then they won't show as images here. You may as well post the link and people can click it. :)
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!