ExperiencePlus! Blog

Spotlight: Road bike fleet

When you bicycle tour with ExperiencePlus!, you should expect to ride a professionally-tuned piece of high-performing equipment that amplifies your travels. You’re on a bicycle tour, after all!

ExperiencePlus! takes great pride in the quality of our diverse fleet of premium road, hybrid, e-road, e-hybrid, tandem, mountain, and e-mountain bikes. Our team of mechanics spends hundreds of hours tuning, upgrading, and readying bikes during the off season so they are in tip-top shape come spring, and that process of maintaining the bikes does not end until late October.

Although demand and enjoyment of e-bikes has steadily increased since we first introduced them in the late 2010s, the majority of our fleet is composed of non-electric road and hybrid bicycles that feature long-lasting, premium titanium frames made in Europe.

We have used titanium frames since 2010. The material is incredibly durable and safe, provides a comfortable ride, resists corrosion, and can be recycled. Although the upfront cost for titanium is more than for steel or aluminum, the material’s properties allow us to build and maintain a fleet of bicycles that we can use for years.

For instance, throughout the lifespan of an EP road bicycle, componentry and drive trains might be changed, swapped, and upgraded multiple times – all without needing to invest in new frames, which additionally minimizes our carbon footprint.

Road bike fleet updates

Our current fleet of titanium road bikes is outfitted with both 2 x 11 and 1 x 11 SRAM drive trains. We started testing the 1 x 11 with experienced, returning customers, more than four seasons ago and got great feedback. One rider, who has toured eight times with ExperiencePlus! said that she “loved” how the lower gears got her up some tough hills in Portugal when others with 2 x 11 road bikes were walking. Another veteran customer commented how the range of gears was better than anything he has used in the past.

The single front chainring is fast becoming the industry standard. When triple chainrings were abandoned a number of years ago, it became difficult and then impossible to source them. The writing is on the wall with double chainring drivetrains. As a result, as we begin to update our road bike fleet – more on that below – drivetrains will feature 1 x 12 gearing that will provide a wider range than our current 1 x 11 setup.

In 2023, we started a multi-year process of updating our road bike fleet. We’re very excited about the final specs. These new bikes will feature:

  • Titanium frame built by Van Nicholas
  • SRAM Rival AXS 1 x 12 electronic group set with a 40T chainring and 10-44T cassette
  • Modern thru-axle wheel interface
  • Disc brakes
  • 700 x 32 tires

Yes, you saw that correctly: electronic shifting and disc brakes! We’re super excited about both of these improvements. Electronic shifting requires only a light touch, thereby significantly reducing strain on hands and wrists. Brake levers have an adjustable reach to better accommodate smaller hands. Disc brakes are powerful and easy to adjust. Bike stems will continue to be adjustable and rear racks will be installed on every bike.

Our website does not showcase these new bikes because they are not yet available by request. It will be a couple of years before we can guarantee that everyone who requests a road bike will be assigned this latest model. In the meantime, we invite you to study how the new specifications compare to the road bike that is currently available.

For the 2024 season, we are prioritizing the use of these bikes on more challenging tours with the hope that we can assign every person who requested a road bike the same bike type. The good news is that within a season or two, anyone who requests a road bike will get to experience one of these exciting new rides – and for years to come.

*Note: The bike shown in the photo above is outfitted with 700 x 40 c tires, which will be used on Gravel Explorer tours. Bicycles on Classic, Bike and Boat, and Expedition tours will use narrower 700 x 32 c tires.