NAHBS 2012 Guru Cycles Photon claims to be the lightest full custom carbon fiber road bike

Guru, a custom bicycle manufacturer based just outside of Montreal, is known for their carbon fiber road and triathlon bikes, but they now doing about 50% of their bikes in steel and titanium, too. They’re also getting back into mountain bikes, offering full custom metal hardtails with your choice of wheel sizes.

The Photon, above, is their premier road bike and they claim it’s the lightest full custom bike with a frame weight of 747g for a 54/medium. It uses a mix of high modulus carbon in lower stress areas and mid-mod in high load sections of the bike. Framesets are $5,300 for full custom with ENVE 1.0 fork and FSA headset.

Lots more, including Kirk’s curvy steel ‘cross bike with disc brakes, below…

NAHBS 2012 Guru Cycles steel and titanium 29er hardtail mountain bikes

Back in the mountain bike game with steel and titanium after a six year hiatus. Full custom hardtails only, available in 26″ and 29er. Frame only starting at $3,600 for ti and $2,200 for steel.

NAHBS 2012 Guru Cycles custom carbon fiber triathlon and tt bikes

Known for carbon and triathlon, Guru’s 701 and 901 frames are shown above.

NAHBS 2012 Guru Cycles custom paint colors

They’re running Guru Cycleworks, a broad menu of options for steel or titanium frames that let you customize the ride with various tube diameters and other options…like pretty colors.

NAHBS 2012 Guru Cycles carbon fiber raw materials and molds

For carbon, they work mostly with unidirectional carbon fiber, laying it up in later to get the stiffness and other trait the customer needs or wants. Check out the rubbery molds used to create sections of the frame.

NAHBS 2012 Guru Cycles DFU dynamic fit unit size cycle machine

Before ordering, customers saddle up on their proprietary DFU (Dynamic Fit Unit), a patented fit machine that’s motorized and controlled by software. It measures power, pedal stroke symmetry and can pair with Retul for motion capture and any HR monitor. Measurements are then sent to Guru, which generates a CAD drawing of your chosen frame within 20 minutes. Once you choose paint and colors, bikes are done in 2-4 weeks depending on whether it’s metal or carbon. Either way, that’s real quick for full custom.


NAHBS 2012 Kirk Frameworks steel disc brake cyclocross bike prototype

Kirk Frameworks builder Dave Kirk participated in our pre-show interview and gave us some nice studio pics of this bike, and he’s continued testing it to refine the build. The steel disc brake cyclocross bike features some pretty curvy stays to give the bike a comfy ride. Lines are kept clean by placing the rear brake inside the triangle and completely doing away with canti bosses.

NAHBS 2012 Kirk Frameworks steel disc brake cyclocross bike prototype

It may look wispy, but Dave says he’s ridden some gnarly roads and gravel paths, braked hard repeatedly and done everything else he could to beat the fork up. The result? No drama, just elegant looks. A cable guide is the only thing marring the otherwise smooth appearance, and even it’s pretty nice.

NAHBS 2012 Kirk Frameworks steel disc brake cyclocross bike prototype

NAHBS 2012 Kirk Frameworks steel disc brake cyclocross bike prototype

The JKS Classic road bike has a level top tube and side-tacked seatstays and is his newest model. Frames start at $3,150 and go up with options.



  1. If a manufacturer is going to compete in the arms race to produce “the lightest” carbon frame, I believe custom frames are the only viable direction.

    Consider 2 riders using the same size frame. Rider “A” is an 80watt 110lb. recreational rider, rider “B” is a 180lb. Cat.1 sprinter. If making the lightest frame is the ultimate goal, it is pretty obvious that you can’t have the same frame for both.

    Generic frames always will have to be designed for rider “B” & rider “A” will not have the lightest frame they could us, or bring..lawyers, guns & money.

What do you think?