A Guru, eh? You don’t see too many of those about. Guru is what you might call a premium brand, based in Montreal, Canada… ‘premium’ in the sense that the bikes are high quality and, naturally enough, they’re priced accordingly. The Evolo-R is designed to be a super-stiff race machine and it’s available in either an off-the-shelf geometry or as custom model (more on that later).
Guru build all their bikes themselves in Canada. They produce the various frame sections using their own methods that eliminate any continuous seams in the carbon fibre. The exact method of building is a closely guarded secret but we’d encourage you to visit the Guru website for an outline of how it’s done. The idea is to produce a structurally strong frame without the need to use excess material to make up for any weakness.
Guru cure those individual sections and machine them into shape where necessary. Then the parts are assembled in a jig and bonded together using aerospace-grade adhesives before a final fine-tuning. As you can tell, it’s a labour-intensive process. Go to the Cyclefit website to see a video of the finished frame R being destruction tested in Guru’s R&D department.
The Evolo-R is a full-on performance bike, coming with a tapered head tube (1 1/8in up top and 1 1/2in at the bottom) that’s designed to increase front-end stiffness. The top tube and the down tube actually meet – they curve into one another to form what looks like a super-solid junction up there. The bottom bracket, which is another solid-looking piece of work, uses a BB30 system for more stiffness.
The triangular top tube tapers significantly as it gently slopes down to the seat tube while the down tube is similarly shaped. Out at the back you get all-carbon dropouts and the slim seatstays that lead up from there join the seat tube well below the top tube junction, so you get a really small rear triangle.
The overall build quality is faultless and the gloss black on matt black graphics of our review bike have a whole lot of discreet style. If you want something more colourful, that can be done (see below).
Our Evolo-R came in a standard Guru ‘Fast Forward’ geometry. Five different sizes are available; ours is the middle one with a 55cm top tube, a 16cm head tube, and 72.6°/73.5° frame angles. Those frame angles, incidentally, are virtually the same whatever size you go for. If you work to stack and reach, those are 56cm and 38.3cm respectively.
You can, though, go for a custom geometry instead. Our Guru came to us from Cyclefit bike shop based in Central London and, as their name suggests, they specialise in made-to-measure bikes. I had a bike fit session with these guys once and can tell you that they know their stuff inside out and back to front.
Cyclefit won’t just measure you up and give you a geometry based on your height and limb length, they’ll spend a lot of time working out the best setup for you based on the way you’re built, your flexibility, riding style, any injuries or conditions… and a zillion other factors you’ve never even thought of.
All Guru dealers in the UK are Cyclefit partners and they’d normally go through a Cyclefit procedure with you before you bought a frame. A Cyclefit appointment is £195.
Even if you end up going for a stock Fast Forward geometry, your Cyclefit technician will help choose the correct stem length, handlebar width and so on to get you set up right.
Stock frames are available in two different price bands. A Tier 2 frameset comes with a stock finish at £2,800. Go for a Tier 1 option, at £3,100, and you get the option of a single colour paint finish. More complicated finishes are added to this price.
A full-custom frameset is £3,300. Custom frame and Tier 1 stock frames are available in a multitude of finishes and can also be personalised with your name on the top tube, for instance (see below; the paint finish on this Photon cost around £1,500.00). Guru have a design programme on their website.
You can have the bike built up however you like. Our test bike has come with a Shimano Ultegra groupset, Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL wheels, a Deda bar, stem and seatpost, and a Fizik Arione saddle. You’re looking at around £5,450 for that lot. Well, I did say that Guru was a premium brand.
Stu is the only member of our test team who the Evolo-R fits so he’s the one who’s going to be getting the miles in. He was on the £7,500 Fondriest TFZero a few weeks ago too. He’s doing very well lately, that lad. We’ll have his review here on Road.cc as soon as we can prise him off it
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.