Tier 1 fully custom frameset, $4,900; Tier 3 stock geometry frameset, $4,000, Gurubikes.com
By Scott Fliegelman
When I first visited Ryan Stedeford at Kompetitive Edge, a Guru dealer in Denver, I immediately felt comfortable and confident that I would leave with the best bike for me because of Guru’s extensive fit process. Fit has been the Canadian company’s mission for years, and its stock and custom geometry programs offer all the tools needed to find your ideal fit. In addition to nearly 20 years of experience building custom bikes, Guru now offers stock frame sizes as part of its Fast Forward geometry program. The geometry of these stock frames was carefully chosen to fit many triathletes, but if you decide upon custom geometry or wish to personalize the paint scheme, Guru can get this accomplished for you, as well.
I began the process by meeting at Kompetitive Edge and discussing my riding experience, upcoming race goals and the bikes I’ve owned. Stedeford then arranged for me to have a detailed bike fitting session with the in-house triathlon fit expert, Scott Geffre of Fit and Tri. We found the position that best blends comfort, power output, balance and aerodynamics. My current frame’s top tube is too long, which forces the saddle into the forward-most position on the rails yet I was sitting on the nose of the saddle to reach the bars. This resulted in excessive reliance on my quads and not enough recruitment of the powerful glute muscles.
My fit data pointed to a frame size that fell somewhere between a stock small and medium from most bike manufacturers, including Guru’s Fast Forward stock geometry CR.901. While a skilled fitter could likely twist a stock bike’s geometry to match my fit, I would be at the limits of the frame’s fit range. My ability to make changes should I increase flexibility or strength, change race distance goals or simply wish to experiment with a more or less aggressive position would be curbed.
Put simply, a properly fitting frame provides room to grow with the bike, and the CR.901’s traditional stem-and-bar allows the fit to be changed dramatically by swapping stems, spacers or bars without negatively affecting the handling characteristics the builder intended.
After the fit, I pointed the CR.901 toward my favorite training route, eager to see if the frame and its precise fit resulted in a better ride. After about five minutes I had my answer: Just the right combination of materials, shapes and geometry to create a super-stout frame gives the bike an uncanny ability to hold speed. Another remarkable result of Guru’s excellent craftsmanship is the eerily quiet ride. Road noise and vibration are practically nonexistent. The bike holds its line well and is remarkably stable at speed, whether barreling straight ahead or cornering hard. Braking performance is excellent. Both front and rear calipers are user-friendly for those who like to swap wheels or brake pads on race weekend All of these ride traits combine with superior fit to make the CR.901 fast, comfortable, functional and reliable.
Like the CR.901, the CR.501 can be created in any geometry and with any paint scheme you can dream up, but the frameset costs $2,000 less.
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