The biggest difference is the riding position. The Raleigh has some Salsa 'cross drop bars on it:
while the NAP has Rivendell Albastache bars:
I felt like I could just keep going. The Raleigh is lively enough that climbing Mad River hill wasn't too bad, even though I only have a single 42t ring up front and just six speeds in back:
I was a bit bemused to find an encouraging sign at the top:
I was using a fitness tracker thingy on my phone, which was useful to track my routes where there weren't handy directional monuments in the middle of the road:
Notice my lack of dork disc!
I'm sure saving that 10g made the climbs easier, and now Sam has a new frisbee:
It's not all Coke and donuts with the Raleigh, however. I don't spend much time worrying about descents in the normal course of my (flatland) riding, but these hills gave me some 30mph+ descents. That got me thinking about the marginal quality of my brakes and the potential for looseness in my threaded to threadless setup. That slowed me down some. Also, taking a hand off the bars revealed a bit of wiggle in the front end, which the lower trail NAP doesn't exhibit.
I took the NAP to Marysville Sunday morning for a library run, maybe a dozen miles each way (I forgot to start my phone app). Where the Raleigh was at home on the open road, riding the NAP felt like riding a city bike or hybrid out of its element. I couldn't quite get a comfortable position on the bars, ending up feeling I had too much weight on my hands AND on my seat. That's a neat trick. Even with an uncut 350mm steerer and an upjutting stem, my bars were still too low. And look at all those spacers!
It probably didn't help that I was carrying my heavy Burley rack on the back and a load of books up front:
Still, this route was quite a bit flatter than Saturday's, so the weight should matter less. My saddle was a bit high. Lowering it helped, but I never got the seamless feeling I had on my Raleigh. This ride will not be a high point of my summer.
My issues with the NAP are mostly due to setup, and use. It has decent tire clearance and fine brakes, but I think I'll change the bar to some type of mountain riser... basically, making it into a hybrid. With racks, bags, and fenders, it will be nice for running around town. However, while the low trail fork is nice when riding solo, it makes the handling pretty nervous when towing the trail-a-bike or trailer, or both.
I don't have strong feelings for the NAP. You could easily remove the decals and put "BIKE" on the downtube in white stencils. It functions well, it gets the job done, it's neither super lively nor too stiff. I could put a disc cross fork on the front to better match the handling for how I use it, but I doubt I will invest that much in it. I've been eyeing the Rivendell Clem Smith Jr lately as a town bike. Once you've had long chainstays, it's hard to go back!