I'm 5' 10" with a 31in inseam and I ride an 18" bike as well. When I was looking for a new bike about 6 months ago, I was tried several different models in both 17 and 18 in size. It wasn't an issue either way as far as fitment. I could adjust the seat high enough for effeciency, and the reach to the bars on either frame size was comfortable and very managable. I didn't have a problem with standover on either size as well. I tried a 19" frame, just for grins, and it was too large. The standover was too high, the reach to the bars was just that, a reach, and very uncomfortable for any length of time. Numb wrists and sore shoulders. I would suggest doing what you planned on already. Go to a local bike shop and line up a 17" and 19" framed bike side by side and go from one directly to the other noting how they fit and feel. Hope my rambling helps a little.