Guru Bicycles

Guru Bicycles Review & Manufacturer Profile

Short Video Overview of Guru Bicyclesyoutube1

Why do we carry what we carry? This is one of the best questions you could ask of any bike dealer. At Fit Werx, we spend a lot of time researching any product that we carry. While we lose some sales because we are not willing to always jump on the latest marketing bandwagon or just carry any brand people are interested in at the moment, we sleep well knowing that we offer our athletes products that work better, last longer and perform better.

Even though we have access to brands we do not stock, these profiles are designed to help you understand the value we see in the brands we stock and why they are category leaders.
Company Statistics

Product Pros/Cons

Our Take

Model Overviews

Company Statistics:

Location: Montreal (Laval), Canada
Number of Employees: Approximately 30
Materials Used: Carbon, Titanium, Steel
Point of Origin: Montreal, Canada.  Some stock models made overseas.
Delivery: 1-7 weeks from order.
Specialty: Like Fit Werx, road and triathlon bikes and frames are Guru’s focus.
Unique Attributes: Guru was arguably the first to build custom carbon fiber triathlon bikes.
Web Site:

Pros of Guru Bicycles:

  • Stock and custom bikes and models in carbon fiber and metal cover a broad range of price points and needs.
  • Innovative cutting edge designs (especially in carbon) that allow for shaped tubing and full customization simultaneously.
  • Custom carbon triathlon bikes.
  • Paint and finish work and options that can only be found on a hand built bike.
  • State of the art custom factory in Canada turns out state of the art custom frames that are fairly priced and look and ride great.
  • Frames are repaired and refinished in-house.

Considerations of Guru Bicycles:

  • Guru keeps costs in check by using less durable aluminum fittings in their carbon frames (like the vast majority of builders) compared to the titanium offered in other custom carbon frames (all of which cost more).
  • Choosing what color from Guru’s many very nice options is often much harder than choosing what bike you want.

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Our Take:

You can tell a lot about a company just by looking at their factory. Guru Cycles moved into a new factory in the spring of 2007 and the new factory shows Guru Cycle’s commitment to being one of the very best builders in the bike business. The factory is modern, clean, organized and very professional looking. You know that Guru is serious about building exceptional bikes just by looking at how things are taken care of and arranged. Guru has one of the most modern and innovative small bicycle manufacturing facilities on earth and the results show up with how timely their deliveries have been and how nicely finished the bikes appear. This is a company who understands that innovation is spawned by organization and passion.

How did we first learn about Guru and what stood out? Our first experience with Guru Bicycles was in the spring of 2004 when an athlete we fit special ordered a custom TriLite through us. As we explored the brand, we realized that Guru was offering a few very unique aspects to their product line that no one else was offering at the time.

  • Guru offers a complete line of road and triathlon bikes starting around $3000 and they build frames in a wide variety of materials – steel, carbon and titanium. The Guru line is quite diverse.
  • All of Guru’s bikes that are made in Canada are available in stock geometry or custom geometry.  This was huge to us at the time as many people simply did not fit very well on the stock geometry bikes that were being offered in ’04.
  • We had been looking for a line that could build custom and offered complete bikes with custom geometry and Shimano 105 or better parts that were around $2000 and Guru offered this (prices have gone up since, sorry…).
  • Guru’s Italian heritage and flair match up well with North American based technology and innovation. Guru’s bikes are not only innovative, they look great too.
  • Guru doesn’t skimp on materials or components. Many companies will sacrifice frame material quality or hide sub-quality components and wheels where they don’t think people will look. Guru knows how important the frame and wheels are to performance and they don’t cut such corners. Click here for a tour of how they do it.
  • Options. Guru allows you to choose the component group that matches your needs best with a given frame or buy just the frame and build it up accordingly. No more just “taking what the factory offers”.
  • Guru is only 2.5 hours from our Vermont location and we like working with companies in our region as it usually helps with customer service, supply and solving repair or warranty issues.

Guru had a lot going for them and after a season of trying them out, we became a full stocking dealer in the fall of 2004.

Model/Product Overview: Guru offers a full range of products ranging from the stock geometry road and triathlon bikes that are “ready to ride” to the ultralight top-of-the line Photon carbon road bikes that more than hold their own against any bike on the market. Guru looks at bikes and componentCR.901-Details in much the same light as we do. They understand that nothing influences how the bike feels, rides and handles underneath you more than the frame. You want to get the best frame you can and never compromise on the fit of the frame. Guru understands this.   Why would you not have your bike built to match your needs as best as possible?

Details: It is difficult to compare a Guru to many of its mass produced competitors as they take a different approach. Instead of trying to cut costs at every opportunity, Guru focuses on building a handcrafted bike that is designed to be unique, last longer, ride better and eliminate compromise better. From their no-compromises component and wheel specifications to using thick glossy wet paint and clear coats instead of inexpensive powder coats, Guru simply pays more attention to their initial finish quality than their mainstream competitors.

Guru Bikes and Frames :

Guru builds frames in steel, titanium and carbon fiber. Guru offers road and triathlon bike models and they make mountain bikes and cross bikes as well. All Guru frames that are made in Canada are available in either stock or custom geometry; are built from high quality tubing; offer available custom finish options; and are available with a broad range of competitively equipped component options. Some Guru models now also offer rider matched tubing so that the ride quality of your new bike is custom matched to your individual needs.   Guru models made overseas are built to Guru’s Fast Forward geometry and are available in stock sizes and finishes only.

Chromoly Steel –

Built from high quality air hardened and butted chromoly, Guru’s steel frames are some of the nicest riding bikes on the market, especially at their price.  The craftsmanship built into each Guru steel frame simply creates a higher quality bike than what you get at this price from most companies.

Guru Sidero


Material: Tig welded, butted, air hardened chromoly steel.  Rider matched for stiffness and compliance.

Geometry:  Stock or Custom

Price Category: Framesets:  $2000-$2500.  Built Bikes $3000+.

Components: Factory Spec or Fit Werx Rider Matched

Who is it for?  The Guru Sidero is for the performance oriented road rider/racer looking for a  responsive no-nonsense bike designed to provide the durability, liveliness and smooth ride of high quality steel.

Noteworthy:  The Guru Sidero is one of the nicest frames available for the money. Really good quality chromoly steel almost always rides and lasts better than basic carbon fiber and the Guru Sidero uses a really nice tubeset that is rider matched for precision and balance.

Bottom Line: Sidero, roughly translates to “of steel”.  However, we think that Guru Sidero means, “A bike that does not cut corners, yet is one of the least expensive fully customizable road bikes on the market”. A sensible component mix combined with top shelf workmanship, tubing and finish makes for a bike that holds its own in ride quality and fits better than anything else in its price point. If you are looking in the $3000 range and value quality of construction and ride quality, consider getting carbon off your mind and getting a nice high grade steel into your head. The Guru Sidero is an exceptional mid-level performance bike that gives you top of the line features at an entry level price.

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Titanium –

We really like titanium as a material. It is available in a wide range of tubing stiffness options to match big riders, small riders and everyone in-between well. Titanium is also incredibly durable and strong (when built properly). Some of the best ti frames even mix in carbon fiber to further enhance the frame’s ride with minimal compromise to durability. If you are looking for a frame you could be riding 20 years from now, focus on titanium.

Guru Praemio

Material: 3/2.5 titanium w/multiple tubing options.

Geometry:  Stock or Custom

Price Category: Framesets $2500-$3500. Built bikes $4500+.

Components: Factory Specs or Fit Werx Rider Matched
Who is it for? The Guru Praemio is for the discriminating road rider (or cyclocross rider) who is looking for a frame that can last forever and gives you all that a top quality butted titanium frame can offer at a value based price.

Noteworthy: The Guru Praemio looks better than ever and is offering tubing tunability and quality that is equal or better to what other established titanium custom builders in the market are offering.  You also can get many of Guru’s great looking custom finish options on the Praemio at a price that is below most other ti builders.

Bottom Line: Frame materials are like gem stones in that there are many levels or quality and purity. While there are cheap titanium frames available, we’d avoid them like the plague as they will ride just like they are built – cheaply. The Guru Praemio, translated as “the prize or reward” from Latin, does not fall into this category; it is a top grade titanium frame that offers high grade rider matched 3/2.5 titanium tubing in conjunction with harder 6/4 machined dropouts. This frame does not try to use fancy shapes or marketing to create the impression that it is anything that it is not; it is a classic rider tuned titanium frame that has the attention to detail and fabrication quality that all great ti bikes deserve. The result is that it rides like all great ti frames do – with life and inspiration – in a word, “Exceptionally”. As an added bonus, the Guru Praemio can be built right to your specifications. Ride it, race it, keep it forever…

Guru Praemio R

Guru-Prameio-RMaterial: 3/2.5 titanium w/multiple tubing options.

Geometry: Stock or Custom

Price Category: Framesets $3500-$5000. Built bikes $5500+.

Components: Factory Specs or Fit Werx Rider Matched
Who is it for? The Guru Praemio R is for the rider who likes the durability and liveliness of titanium, but who wants all the stiffness and technology features that is often associated with high-end carbon.

Noteworthy: The Guru Praemio R takes all the features of a great titanium frame and injects it with all the latest frame technology from BB30 to tapered headtubes with oversize bearings.   A race level titanium bike.

Bottom Line: The Guru Praemio R uses over-sized titanium tubes and combines it with state of the art frame design features like over-sized BB30 bottom bracket and over-sized and tapered headtube and fork.  If you are sensing a pattern here regarding the use of the word “over-sized”, you are on the right track.  The Guru Praemio R takes all the durability and lively ride characteristics that have made titanium a great material to build bicycles and sprinkles it with a healthy dose of extra stiffness to make it a truly race capable bike that can go head-to-head with just about any carbon frame on the market in terms of responsiveness and power transmission.

The Guru Praemio R proves that race level performance and stiffness need not be disposable and that carbon fiber is not the only game in town for more powerful or competitive riders.
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Carbon Fiber –

With the exception of their first road and tri bike models, Guru builds their carbon fiber frames by hand in their exceptionally modern and clean Montreal factory. This means that the carbon is stored in their specially made cooling refrigerator and kept as contamination free as possible and that passion is built into each Guru at no extra charge. Every Guru carbon frame is also heat cured (an expensive process, but one that makes for a better frame in the end) before final hand painting and finish. Guru is one of a few very select companies whose carbon frames really can fit virtually anyone well as custom geometry is available on all their North American made frames and they design and build carbon frames in shapes unlike any other company.

Guru Flite

Material: Carbon fiber w/aluminum dropouts and bearing inserts

Geometry:  Stock Fast Forward

Price Category: Frameset $1500-$2000. Built Bikes $2500-$3500+

Components:Factory Specs or Fit Werx Rider Matched
Who is it for? The Guru Flite is for the rider who appreciates the focus a smaller bike builder can offer at a price tag that is very competitive with its more generic “big brand” competitors.

Noteworthy: The Guru Flite is a lot of bike for the money and offers design and character not often found in the big brands.

Bottom Line: The Guru Flite is built using Guru’s unique carbon assembly process, but unlike their customizable made in Canada frames, it is built in stock geometry and to their specifications by their factory overseas.   What does this mean?  It means the general ride quality and innovative design that Guru has always offered still exists in the Flite, but at a lower price than what a handcrafted in North America bike can be built.   Available in a number of component configurations as well as a really well priced frameset, the Guru Flite is a great alternative to what the “big bike companies” offer while providing the character and flair that usually only can be found from a specialty bike brand.

Guru CR.301

Material: Carbon fiber w/aluminum dropouts and bearing inserts

Geometry:  Stock Fast Forward

Price Category: Framesets $1500+. Built Bikes $2500+.

Components: Factory Specs or Fit Werx Rider Matched
Who is it for? The Guru CR.301 rider is looking for a great riding value oriented tri bike that is not the same as what everyone else is riding.

Noteworthy: Guru’s most affordable triathlon bike, the Guru CR.301 offers the ride and finish details that Guru is known for in a really well priced package.

Bottom Line: The Guru CR.301 takes the design and build lessons Guru has learned from years of producing hand crafted bikes and packages it into a bike in a price range that competes well with some of the most popular tri bikes of all time – bikes like Cervelo’s P2 and the Cannondale Slice.  In addition to a solid stock geometry that fits a good number of riders well, the Guru CR.301 offers a well thought out aero profile as well as ride quality and stability that helps the rider (the really big wind block…) stay as aero as possible.  In fact, the fork and the overall depth of the frame tubing on the Guru CR.301 is well beyond what many companies are offering in their most affordable models.   If you are looking for a triathlon bike built by a company with more experience building triathlon bikes than most and with character that will not get drowned in the sea of sameness that makes up many transition areas, the Guru CR.301 is a great option to consider.

Guru CR.701

Material: Carbon fiber w/aluminum dropouts and bearing inserts

Geometry:  Stock or Custom

Price Category: Framesets $3000-$4000. Built Bikes $5000+.

Components: Factory Specifications or Fit Werx Rider Matched
Who is it for? The Guru CR.701 rider is looking for one of the nicest riding and fitting carbon TT/Tri bikes available.

Noteworthy:  The Guru CR.701 uses the aero profile of the original top-of-the-line Guru CR.901 and some similar construction, but at a lower price.  The CR.701 also offers the widest array of frame geometry options of any TT/Tri bike in Guru’s line.

Bottom Line: The Guru CR.701 replaced the most successful customizable triathlon frame of all time – the Guru Crono.   The Guru CR.701 is priced head-to-head with many of the top mass produced options, but it offers four things that many of the mass produced frames do not:  1) A very good balance of stiffness and compliance. 2) North American craftsmanship. 3) The broadest range of custom geometry options in Guru’s TT/Tri line to fit virtually any rider optimally. 4)  Custom finish and personalization. It not only does all this, but the Guru CR.701 uses Guru’s proprietary fabrication process to create a structurally optimized frame that provides a smooth aero shape, while actually enhancing stiffness/power transfer and comfort.   The Guru CR.701 uses a slightly less stiff version of the ultra narrow rear section and aero seatpost of the original top-of-the-line Guru CR.901 design combined with a simpler head tube to keep costs in check, aerodynamics in focus, and to allow for additional geometry options beyond the CR.901.

Guru Photon SL

Guru-Photon-SLMaterial: 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.

Guru CR.901

Material: Carbon fiber w/aluminum and carbon dropouts and bearing inserts

Geometry:  Stock or Custom

Price Category: Framesets $4500+.  Built bikes $5500+.

Components: Factory Specs or Fit Werx Rider Matched
Who is it for? The Guru CR.901 is for the rider looking for uncompromising fit, ride, aerodynamics, responsiveness all in a light and responsive chassis.

Noteworthy: The Guru CR.901 is the updated and refined next generation of the most successful customizable carbon triathlon bike of all time.  The Guru CR.901 takes a very proven bike and brings the performance up even one more level.

Bottom Line: The original Guru Crono (replaced by the CR.701) was a watershed bicycle.  It was really the first fully functional customizable carbon fiber bike that was built without using round tubing and standard lug construction.  The impressive mix of monocoque molding and long strand carbon fiber application allowed for shapes that had previously never been used in a bicycle.  It also did this with a price that was significantly less than other attempts to bridge these technologies.  The only valid performance criticism of the original Crono was that there were other frames that were more aero (but few that helped keep the bigger wind block, the rider, as aero).   The Guru CR.901 takes the premise of the Crono and focuses heavily on aerodynamics without compromising torsional rigidity and further enhancing vibration damping and comfort.  This was all accomplished through a redesigned bottom bracket and seatstay design and a totally new lay-up schedule for the carbon fiber throughout. The Guru CR.901 offers BB30 and improved internal cable routing and it is the most aero and technologically advanced tri bike Guru has ever offered.   Stiff, responsive, aero, comfortable – it does it all.  The Guru CR.901, like the Crono, is a benchmark bike as it is at or near the top of the performance spectrum in all the performance variables that all triathletes and TT riders should value and it offer frame geometry, fit and finish options that you won’t find in a mass produced bike.

Guru Photon R

Material: Carbon fiber w/carbon dropouts and bearing inserts

Geometry:  Stock or Custom

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

Components: Factory Specs or Fit Werx Rider Matched
Who is it for? The Guru Photon R is for the rider who likes the concept of the Photon SL, but wants to maximize stiffness and responsiveness.

Noteworthy: The Guru Photon R is 30% stiffer than the 2010 Guru Photon and remains around 800 grams in many sizes.  The Guru Photon R is one the laterally stiffest and most responsive road bikes on the market.

Bottom Line: If you like the Photon concept of ultralight weight and snappy responsiveness without diminishing ride quality, but you want to bring the responsiveness up to another level to maximize your sprint or to accommodate a heavier/more powerful rider, the Photon R does just that.  Almost 10% stiffer than the Photon SL, yet still under 800 grams in weight, the Guru Photon R is a sprinter’s dream platform.  If Mark Cavendish were not getting paid to ride what he rides and he had to ride just one bike, the Guru Photon R would be on the list of worthy contenders.  In addition to offering both stock and custom geometry options, the Guru Photon R also offers a deep array of finishes so that the looks match the performance.

Guru Photon HL

Material: Carbon fiber w/carbon dropouts and bearing inserts

Geometry:  Custom

Price Category: Framesets $8000+. Built Bikes: $10,000+.

Components: Factory Specs or Fit Werx Rider Matched
Who is it for? Available only in custom geometry, the Guru Photon HL is for the rider who wants the very lightest frame without compromising fit, ride quality or comfort.

Noteworthy: The Guru Photon HL is not a sub 800 gram frame like the rest of the Photon line.  today, it seems like sub 800 gram frames are a dime a dozen.  So, what is the Guru Photon HL? The Guru Photon HL is a sub 700 gram frame!  Also, with frame geometry and layup built to the individual rider’s needs, a properly fit and designed Guru Photon HL demonstrates the current pinnacle of lightweight frame technology.

Bottom Line:  Ready to tackle Mt. Washington, Pike’s Peak, Passo dello Stelvio?  So is the sub 700 gram frame of the Guru Photon HL. More than just a hill climbing specialist, the Guru Photon HL is a great all around ride for all but the heaviest or most powerful riders (you folks should be looking at the Photon R…).

We can think of at least one well known manufacturer who managed to create a “lightest ever” frame and in the process also created a bike that fit almost no one (eliminating pesky tubing saves weight…).  In addition, as an added challenge, some of these ultralight bikes seemed to have a tendency to shake violently as soon as the speed got above 30 mph. The Guru Photon HL does not fall into these undesirable categories.  It is one of the lightest frames in the world, but that was not done at the expense of stiffness or comfort.

The Guru Photon HL uses Guru’s Quantum Carbon Concept to refine the lay-up of the frame and reduce material wherever possible without compromising strength or ride in the process.  The Photon series of bikes uses compression molded carbon wherever possible to replace heavier metal internally and also uses ultralight and stiff carbon in the construction.  In the case of the Photon HL, the result is a frame that is one of the absolute lightest frames ever, yet it still fits well and doesn’t jeopardize safety in the process.

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