I use one as my commuter. It’s basically a gravel bike, in a way. It’s not as fast, as it’s heavier and it’s steel, but it’s a great commuter. It no longer looks like this.
Now running 105 triple crank, with outer ring removed, running 42/28 front with 11-23 rear. Shimano barcons, Cane Creek v-brake levers. Fit is like my road bike, 56 equivalent, but too small for a flat bar setup. I run the Rat Trap Pass tires now, faster and lighter. I also no longer use the quill stem adapter, went back to a Nitto quill stem with a Nitto Randonneuring drop bar.
The main difference. 26" tires vs 700c/650b. disc brakes, but I can move to a Surly Double Cross disc, as it’s basically similar geometry. The BB height is a bit higher. Not carbon. Old school quill stem stuff, though the later bikes did have threadless steerers.
FWIW, some bike touring bikes are very much the same. For a long while I’ve been lusting after a Crust Bikes setup. These also, for me, would fit my use, but I do want something lighter and racier, for the faster rides. Every little bit helps when you’re slow and your kids are faster than you.
Edit: The other thing is the head tube angle and the trail, but as the bikes get slacker/relaxed, they start to be more similar. Less road, more off-road. 70/71 HTA with 73 STA.