Ok, so here's the deal. Searching for a dual-purpose bike; purpose 1 is around town with big tires (32 mm) and panniers in decent weather. Purpose 2 is a sporty winter road bike- fenders and 28mm tires, probably, to deal with the winter road debris I encounter. I'm older (48) and like to ride 35-50 miles so the bike needs to fit.
I am also trying to keep it cheap because I already have a good road bike.
One I'm looking at closely is a Novara Strada from REI:
In theory, I should be able to nab one in a couple weeks for ~$800 new with 105. It's got long-reach brakes and tons of frame clearance. It's a nice looking bike, which doesn't hurt. But here's my question. Though they are both nominally 61 cm bikes, my 2014 Roubaix measures almost an inch longer from the line of the seatpost extended, to the center of the horizontal top part of the handlebars. I can certainly feel this (took it for a short spin the other day).
I know this can be addressed via moving the seat back and/or using a longer stem. However, the devil is in the details... and I lack a clear understanding of the ergonomic effects of doing either. For instance, moving the seat back that much fixes the cockpit length but changes the position relative to the cranks- which seems important! A longer stem likely has bike handling effects- but what are they?
A quick primer from the forum formerly known as the 41 on this would be very much appreciated!