First Impression: Raleigh Port Townsend

By Adam Newman

It’s hard to dislike a bike that comes straight from the manufacturer equipped almost exactly the same as your own personal bike. That is the case with the Raleigh Port Townsend, a bike clearly rolling along with the emerging NAHBS-inspired, retro-randonneuring aesthetic trend.

Not that the bike is just good looks. With 9-speed bar-end shifters, stable and neutral geometry, full-coverage fenders, rear rack mounts and an included front rack, it’s got everything you need for commuting or light touring.

And that’s just what I’ve done with it, as it has become my go-to bike for getting around town and putting in big miles on the open road. This photo above is from a day-long ride along the Great Allegheny Passage trail that runs from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Md., where it joins the C & O Canal path that continues on to Washington, D.C.

With the long horizontal dropouts and black paint, it would be easy to compare the Port Townsend to a Surly CrossCheck, but while the Raleigh lack’s the Surly’s huge tire clearance and attitude, it does offer more refined geometry and a taller headtube.

I’m going to keep putting on the miles throughout the summer, so keep an eye out for a full review in Bicycle Times Issue #12. Order a subscription by you’ll have it delivered straight to your door!



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