I know most people are probably getting tired of the "how will this frame fit me?" questions but I thought it would not hurt to ask this friendly forum once more.
I am in the process of building a long-distance bike (long distance for me essentially means centuries or slightly longer unless I get infected by the long distance bug). I value comfort much more than speed when it comes to longer rides (in other words, I'm slow...). I am interested in the Velo Orange Rando frame which looks pretty nice, at least on the VO website. Not having any VO frames of this kind anywhere close to me I will have to buy it unseen and I have some questions regarding the fit. I am 179 cm tall (5 feet and 10.5 inches) with an inseam of 33. I was thinking of either a 55 cm (TT = 550mm) or a 57 cm (TT = 570) frame. I currently have a 56 cm Masi Speciale CX with a 550 cm TT and a 100 mm stem that I ride with comfort as well as a 56 cm Surly LHT (TT = 570) that is also quite comfortable although I am a little more stretched out than on the Masi.
I know that everyone's fit is different and there is no hard and fast rule on frame sizing and fit. Being a n00b when it comes to long-distance cycling, I thought I should again ask the wise (thanks for all the answers to my previous triple vs. double question). Should one ride a slightly larger frame long-distance? Would the larger VO frame be more desireable than the smaller one (the 55 cm) assuming I can adjust the reach with the stem length or should I go with the shorter one? Any ideas or comments on frames for LD riding in general?
the choice between those two bikes really boils down to aesthetics. With the 57, you're going to have to go to a shorter stem to maintain the same reach. If you end up riding a lot, you may end up with the core strength needed to get to a lower, more powerful position. The larger frame may preclude you from doing that.
With a threadless fork, there is often the desire to stay away from a lot of spacers for aesthetic reasons. Since the VO fork is threaded, that may not be as big of a consideration.