Following up on previous posts about bike fit, most recently about Stack-to-Reach Ratio, I've been considering how this applies in the 'real world', specifically what lessons I might learn in relation to my own bicycles.
Let's take my Enigma Etape and my Surly Cross Check. Both are bespoke builds, that is, all the components have been chosen by me, based on my needs and preferences. It's no surprise to see both bikes sporting identical saddles, pedals and racks! However, the 'heart' of each bike is very different: the Etape is completely custom, i.e. made to measure based on my body (size / proportion / strengths / weaknesses / flexibility / range of motion) and my desire to do long rides in comfort, whereas the Cross Check is a stock frame in a stock size, a bike with a reputation for versatility but with proportions that are somewhat 'long' in reach.
Over the years, I've tended to think of these bikes in terms of their differences. Most of what I decided I wanted from the custom Enigma build was informed and shaped by my experiences with the Cross Check. My thought process was fairly linear: I don't like X about the Cross Check, so I want Y on the Enigma.