Maybe this is a dumb question-- but it seems to me that that the most important measurement of the bike is overall length from seat to handlebars.
I guess that it could be measured several different ways, but lets just use top tube length plus stem length as a simple approximation.
And lets say that my "ideal length" using these combined measurements is 68cm.
And lets suppose that I could get any frame size I want, and any stem length I want.
If that was all true, would I be better off with:
1) a 56cm top tube, and a 12cm stem
2) a 58cm top tube, and a 10cm stem
3) a 60cm top tube, and a 8cm stem
It seems to me that each of those three layouts would feel the same for length, but they would probably handle differently in some way that I don't understand.
So which is best, and why?