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I understand this might be a pointless/dumb question, but as an bike freshman, I am confused:

Trying to select an entry level first bike (cross/hybrid) and so far I'm between two of them (local EU brands) I'm 176cm, inseam 74cm. For the first one, i fit better on their 18'' model and on the second one on their 19''.

I tried both of them on a LBS but unfortunately not for an extensive ride - just a tour around the block. However, their frame geometry is quite different, first one having: Stack:518,2 mm Reach:383,5 mm

And second one having: Stack: 497,7 mm Reach: 394,6 mm

I enjoy upright riding position and I favour stability and comfort more that speed. With these in mind, am I wrong to assume that the first one is a better option for me? Will the difference be too noticeable?

Thanks a lot.

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Impossible to tell you whether a couple of centimeters either way will make a bike fit you better. A slightly lower bar may actually suit you better than a higher bar, even though you value comfort over speed. You might feel slightly more stable with a little more weight on the front wheel.

Honestly you just need to ride the bikes back to back and make a decision as to which you feel comfortable with.

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That's a mere 2 cm difference in stack and a 1 cm difference in reach.

TLDR summary: that small difference isn't going to matter. Get the one you like.

Longer answer:

Unless you know for a fact that one of the bikes is the exact fit you want (and you can't know that until you've actually ridden the bike a good bit...), you're probably going to have to adjust the fit in the future anyway. And that difference in stack and reach is well within the range that's easily addressed by changing stem length and/or angle.

Stack height pretty much only really matters if it's too high to allow you to get as low as you want. Since you don't want to get low, it doesn't really matter for you.

Reach is also affected by the saddle position, and that's affected by the seat tube angle. Of those two bikes, the top one appears to have a slightly steeper seat tube, placing the saddle further forward. On that bike, you may find you want to have the saddle further back on the seatpost, or on the bottom bike you might want the saddle further forward.

But again, the differences are slight - a cm or two at most, and well within the range of what you can address by moving the saddle.

And off-topic:

Be aware that saddles that seem great on a short ride can wind up feeling like you're riding a fence post, a spike, or a bowling ball on a longer ride. Pay attention to that, and be aware you might have to swap saddles on whatever bike you chose.

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If you are relatively new to bikes, as you learn to ride you will probably shift one way or another. While bikes like the two above are sufficient for anything, the "you" a couple of years from now might have shifted more to mountain biking, or more to road biking, or maybe towards some other discipline.
Not knowing what the future will bring, just buy what you like best now - the best choice is the one that will keep you biking.

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I would have thought that was a reasonable idea, but the fit can be affected by the stem choice for a start and the photos show quite different stems.

I think that stability and comfort for a given style of bike is more affected by other numbers like wheelbase, rake/trail etc as well as tyre size and choice.

At some point they are just numbers though. If someone had asked whether bike a or b would suit them based on the numbers, the answer would be to go test ride both bikes. You are fortunate enough to have ridden both, and most likely welcome to test them both again and find out IRL which one you prefer. That’s the way to find out!

I have no idea of the stack and reach of my bike (except the frame size) but I know that I love riding it, that’s what counts.

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