Guru Photon SL by Guru Cycles Review

Guru Photon SL by Guru Cycles Review

Guru Photon SL

Guru-Photon-SL Material: Carbon fiber w/carbon dropouts and bearing inserts

Stock or Custom

Price Category: Framesets $4500+. Built Bikes: $6500+.

Components: Factory Specs or Fit Werx Rider Matched

Who is it for? Available in stock or custom geometry, the Guru Photon SL is for the rider who wants a lightweight and responsive ride without compromising fit or comfort. The Guru Photon SL is also for the rider who appreciates what a bike made by people who are passionate about cycling offers and who likes being able to choose from a wealth of great looking finishes all at a price that is at or below many of the mass produced competition.

Noteworthy: The Guru Photon SL is the updated version of what was the first readily available frame on the market that weighed under 800 grams in many sizes. It remains the only bike in its price and weight range that is available in custom geometry.

Bottom Line: When Guru first came out with the Photon in ’10, it was a landmark bike, offering extremely low weight without compromising ride quality or responsiveness. Since then, Guru has refined the build process and design of the entire Photon series of bikes. The next generation Guru Photon SL remains very light, but has become 15% laterally stiffer than the original Photon through optimizations in carbon lay-up and the latest in bearing design. The weight of the Guru Photon SL remains a still astonishing sub 800 grams in many sizes (assuming a finish with little paint…).

When the Photon was first being introduced in 2010 we hypothesized that it might be less compliant than other frames in Guru’s line. After some experience with the Photon, if it is less compliant, we can’t tell. The Photon SL is Guru’s smoothest riding Photon model and is one of the nicest riding all carbon frames on the market, regardless of weight.

There are now three Photon models in Guru’s line and while the Guru Photon HL and R offer lighter and stiffer platforms respectively, the Guru Photon SL remains popular as it is well-priced and arguably the most balanced riding road bike in the Guru line.

About Jim

After almost thirty years as an attorney, Jim became the service manager at Fit Werx in Vermont. He held this post for almost ten years. Having retired in 2019, Jim still likes riding, working on and writing about bikes and bike equipment.


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