Already one of the lightest road bike frames out there, Guru’s Photon HL sheds another 20g by reworking just a single tube, and that’s with the addition of a tapered head tube!
Until now, they could claim the HL as a sub 670g frame. Now? Sub 650g, and that’s with paint and hardware. We even put one on the scale to confirm. To shed the grams, they completely re-engineered how they make the seat tube. Before, they would make the seat tube then glue in the insert to hold the seatpost. The insert served two purposes, to create the appropriate inside diameter and to reinforce the seat tube so the seatpost wouldn’t stress it too much or damage it. Now, the insert is rolled into the post as part of the construction process. For a deep look into their amazing carbon manufacturing process, check our factory tour here.
They also introduced the Photon R Disc, bringing disc brakes to their top model, and created an entry level Photon v.4. The Praemio R titanium bikes were also updated with stiffer, lighter and more adaptable rear triangles (with a disc brake option, too!). Even the triathlon bikes get a new baby sister…
Their striped appearance is a big part of the weight savings on the bike, and it’s a very intricate process of cutting and laying up. The headtube used to be straight, but now it’s a tapered 1-1/8″ to 1-1/4″ and uses an ENVE 2.0 fork.
Just a little eye candy.
Size 54 frame weight is with alloy inserts in the head tube, all cable/wire ports molded into frame, dropouts, hanger and seat collar. $8,500 frameset price, custom only.
Photon R Disc takes the same racy shapes as the standard version but reworks the back end to handle disc brakes. They also used this opportunity to make the stays a bit more compliant up top to improve comfort.
Out back, there’s room for 700×28 tires. Up front, the tapered headtube is bumped to a full 1-1/2″ lower taper. Other specs include full carbon dropouts, electronic/mechanical compatibility and asymmetric chainstays/downtube/seat tube to improve power transfer.
The frame is compatible with 140mm and 160mm rotors. Replaceable caliper mounts protect the frame from bolt stripping.
The Photon R Disc is custom only, available in November. Frameset is $6,500.
For those longing to get into Guru’s carbon bikes at a lower price point, the new Photon v.4 borrows the fatter, stiffer front triangle tubes of the Photon R and the rear end compliance of the Photon SL in a stock-size-only bike starting at just $2,200 for a frameset. All that with a frame that weighs in at just 950g (size 54).
Where the R uses a 31.6 seatpost to maximize stiffness, the SL and v.4 use a 27.2 to be more comfortable. Note the full BB86 shell width is used by the downtube to keep all your effort translating into forward movement. Up front, there’s a 1-1/8″ to 1-1/4″ tapered headtube.
Complete bikes include 105 ($3,200) and Ultegra ($3,900) going all the way up to Dura-Ace Di2 ($9,200), available in January.
The full Praemio line of titanium bikes gets a new rear triangle with thin seatstays and oversized, asymmetric chainstays (22.2mm drive side and 25.4mm non-drive). Not only do they say it’s 30% stiffer, but also lighter.
They also get their new Open Architecture Dropouts replaceable dropout system, allowing everything from 120mm track wheels to 12×142 thru axle disc brake wheels to be used on the same frame. Order the frame with the ones you want, then order others whenever you wanna switch it up.
The new Praemio R Disc uses replaceable caliper mounts on the chainstay, with the rear mount being attached to the dropout. If you’re on the fence about disc brakes but might upgrade in future, either order it with guides and mounts for both, or plan on bringing your bike back in to have them add the disc brake hose guides at a later date.
The bottom half is stiffer, but the top end gets a new seatstay layout to make it more vertically compliant. Up front, it keeps the 44mm headtube to work with virtually any fork.
The Disc model has a $5,000 frameset price (frame and ENVE fork), custom only, and a mechanical Ultegra build is $7,600 with hydraulic brakes. Make it Di2 and it’s $9,300.
For triathletes on a budget, the new CR.401 borrows the same molds as their top end CR.901 and gets all the same features, just with different carbon and layup and only in stock sizes to make it more affordable.
Other than the badging, you wouldn’t know this bike from the 901 from the outside.
Rear facing dropouts let you tuck the wheel up to the frame as much as you’d like, or just account for different tire sizes when you switch from training to race wheels.
The frame is electronic compatible and gets an integrated port for internal Campy EPS batteries.
The CR.401 will be available in February or March and is $2,200 for the frameset w/ their own aero fork, stock sizes only. The fork uses the same mold but with a different layup than they use on their higher end bikes.