It was only a matter of time. With bikes like the popular Domane Gravel, Crockett, and Boone, you knew that Trek had to have a true “gravel specific” bike in the works. Yet, with the introduction of the Checkpoint, Trek assures us that this is not just a slightly tweaked version of a previous model. Instead, the Checkpoint is a new from the ground up attempt at capturing some of the exploding gravel market with a bike that includes some features unique to Trek.

 

All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features

The Checkpoint will be available in both carbon and aluminum models, both of which offering clearance for 700c x 45mm tires. But, the bikes will ship complete with Schwalbe G-One gravel tires in a 700c x 35mm size. Also, don’t expect to run 650b on the Checkpoint – Trek says the frame is purpose built around 700c wheels and tires and 650b is not recommended.

All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features

The larger tires obviously contribute a lot to the ride smoothing ability of any gravel bike, which is why Trek says you’ll only find their IsoSpeed decoupler system on the SL carbon bikes, and on the rear. Apparently, Trek feels that the addition of it to the front of the bike wouldn’t be a big enough benefit for the added complexity, and that the aluminum bikes already have a fairly smooth ride and the lack of IsoSpeed helps make them more affordable.

All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features aluminum ALR

In addition to the larger tire clearance, new geometry also sets the Checkpoint apart. Calling it a gravel specific geometry, the Checkpoint uses the same reach as a Trek Boone, but includes a taller stack height and lower bottom bracket for more comfort and stability. Add in the Stranglehold dropouts which allow adjustments in chainstay length to make the bike even more stable or more agile, and you’re left with a ride that should be noticeably different than a cross bike.

As we’ve seen on a few carbon gravel bikes to date from other brands, the SL frames make use of a swooping drive side chainstay to provide necessary clearance for big tires and 2x drivetrains. However, if you want to go 1x, you’re more than able to do that as well with the Control Freak cable management system making it clean and simple. The same applies for wired electronic drivetrains as well.

Trek Carbon Armor

Carbon Armor might be something we’re accustomed to seeing on Trek’s mountain bikes, but it makes a lot of sense here as well. With the downtube and bottom bracket area getting additional protection, the frames also include integrated chain keepers to keep errant chains from damaging the frame.

All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features

Gravel bikes are typically hung with lots of gear, so the Checkpoint has plenty of mounts to make that easier. The SL frames feature a top tube bag mount, three bottle mounts inside the front triangle on most frames, and a fourth bottle cage mount on the downtube. There’s also rack mounts on the fork, and the ability to run rear racks like the Bontrager BackRack Disc. Vanishing fender mounts and Bontrager Blendr light, computer, and GoPro compatibility finish off the attachments.

Flat Mount disc brakes

All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features

Fitted with 12mm thru axles front and rear, both models also feature flat mount disc brakes. All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features

Both models also use some sort of press fit bottom bracket with the carbon SL opting for Trek’s BB90, where as the aluminum bikes get BB86.5.

All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features

 

At the highest end, the Checkpoint SL 6 includes a full Shimano Ultegra 2×11 drivetrain on the OCLV 500 carbon frame, Bontrager Paradigm Comp Tubeless ready wheels, and tubeless ready tires for $3,799.

All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features

Stepping down to the Checkpoint SL 5, we find the first Women’s model which as recently reported uses the same frame geometry, but is only offered in 49-56cm sizes whereas the men’s is offered in 49-61cm. The women’s model does have women’s specific touchpoints with different saddles and bars.

Both SL 5 builds offer a Shimano 105 2×11 drivetrain with OCLV 500 carbon frames, Bontrager Tubeless ready wheels, and Schwalbe tubeless ready tires for $2,799.

The checkpoint SL frameset is also available at $1,999.

All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features

Checkpoint ALR 5 again comes in men’s and women’s with the same sizing as the carbon models and men’s/women’s touch points.

Obviously, at this point you lose out of the carbon frame for aluminum and with that you lose some features like IsoSpeed decoupler, additional mounts on the frame, and the seat mast design, but you still get the new geometry, Control Freak internal cable routing, and Stranglehold dropouts.

The 300 Series Alpha Aluminum frame is hung with a mixed Shimano 2×11 drivetrain, tubeless ready rims (but not tubeless ready tires), and hydraulic disc brakes for $1,999.99.

All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features All new Trek Checkpoint gravel passes bigger tires, new geometry, & new features

The entry point for the line is the ALR 4 which again comes in men’s and women’s with a Shimano Tiagra level 2×10 drivetrain, hydraulic brakes, and again tubeless ready wheels but not tires, for $1,789.99.

It’s worth noting that even the bikes that include tubeless ready tires will need Bontrager TLR rim strips, valve stems, and tire sealant to be run tubeless. Trek states that the frames come in at 1,240g for the SL with another 470g for the SL fork, and 1,570g for the ALR frame and 600g for the ALR fork, with all frames measured in a 56cm with a 300mm steerer length.

All bikes are available now, read our full review of the Checkpoint for more.

Trekbikes.com

 

 

51 COMMENTS

  1. “clearance for 700c x 45mm tires”

    Finally a bike manufacturer that is listening to what people are asking for!

    I’ve got to say, looks like solid offering… with the adequate tire clearance, it just doesn’t leave me anything to be snarky about.

    • We can all complain about the silly BB, as they surely should have stepped back to threaded. That’s the only thing I dislike about the biker. Otherwise, it seems perfect. Great replacement for my Boone later this year.

      • I have a buddy who is an engineer at Trek. I questioned him about the PressFit Bb’s a little while back and his answer was that Trek has better precision building and QC so press for works fine on their bikes

        • He can say whatever he wants.

          The reality of having, using and replacing bearings in a relatively soft plastic cup will lead to premature problems over the life of the bike compared to the other parts that don’t suffer from that type of problem when replaced.

          A threaded interface is superior for many reasons. The only people who really love the PF BB BS are the MFGR’s because it is easier and cheaper for them on the front end.

          • Trek doesn’t even manufacture their own bikes, so what he means is they believe their manufacture in Taiwan has a high level of precision and between the two they feel good about their QC. So what exactly is Trek bring to the table that tons of other reputable contract manufactures don’t?

            • This is a wildly misinformed opinion. Trek partners with Giant in Taiwan, who manufactures Trek bikes to Trek’s specifications, with the full oversight of Trek engineers, in a facility dedicated to Trek bikes.

              And Trek still makes a higher percentage on their bikes in America than any other manufacturer.

              • @lop, I think the “higher percentage” is likely incorrect since MANY of Trek’s bike are made overseas. The percentage is likely 25% US to 75% Overseas (Note: percentages totally made up, but used to relay the following point).

                While there are smaller brands that make all their bikes in the US and therefore 100% of their bikes as a brand are “local”.

                A more accurate statement might be:

                “And Trek still makes a higher quantity (total number of bikes, not percentage) of their bikes in America than any other manufacturer.”

                Or you need to clarify “any other manufacturer” to be more specific to exclude the smaller US-only builders.

                • Has a Trek dealer I hate to report that Trek hardly makes any frames in the USA anymore. I believe the Speed Concept is the only frame made stateside. Now they do paint a lot of Frames in the USA for Project One. So I would guess maybe 1% of the Treks are made in the USA.

                  • A few years ago, all 700 series carbon bikes were still US. My first gen Emonda SLR was and there were others.

                    Not sure about today?

                    • The last frame that is manufactured in the US is the current Domane SLR which seems like pretty low volume. Other than that, its only some lines of composite rims for Bontrager.

              • > And Trek still makes a higher percentage on their bikes in America than any other manufacturer.

                BS. The only bike that’s being made in Waterloo is top-end Madone. How do I know? I’ve worked at Trek dealership.

        • The tolerances just seem impossible to hit with an acceptable scrap rate (maybe 3%?). In talking with various frame manufacturers, it seems like they enjoy press fit BB’s simply because it makes the listed frame weight lighter. Making slightly larger bearing to account for a bad BB design is beyond ridiculous.

    • Finally a manufacturer creates a bike with clearances for 45s?? Huh? There are literally dozens of bikes available that clear 45mm tires. Just maybe not Trek…..

      • “Dozens” implies 24 or more. I’d be interested to hear of 12 brands that offer a bike like this with clearance for 45c or more. This bike clears 45c by A LOT, not just a little.

  2. We’ve seen some of these come through and they look pretty bomb.
    Also, the alloy ALR version comes in a frameset too – that’s what I have my eye on

  3. nice work… goes a bit further than rolling your 28mm domane over some roll split 🙂
    but why in boring black? and cable routing ugly as f%$k.. always something to complain 🙂

  4. First time I’ve ever seen a sliding disc caliper mount to go with the nice sliding dropouts. And the dropped stay allows running a small outer chainring without front derailleur clearance problems, but I really wish it had a front isospeed.

    • A RedShift ShockStop stem is far better than front ISO Speed anyway. I added one to my Boone and it’s a perfect combo. So, I’m actually happy the left it out so I can transfer my stem right over when I upgrade.

    • Sliding disc caliper mounts integrated with sliding dropouts have been around for quite awhile on mountain bikes. This might be one of the first on a road bike.

  5. Actually looking at the geometry numbers, the frame has way too short of front-center distance for 45 mm tires. It would be good for 30 mm tires though.

  6. Everyone check out Bicycle X-Change’s Facebook page they have plenty of videos of these as well as showing these can fit MSO 700x50s

  7. Like everyone else, I was ready to start ripping on trek, but this is pretty much perfect. Massive tire clearance, the sliding drops, and tons of mounts and eyelets. Obviously can’t speak to the ride/geo but on paper, well done!

    • Based on the ride of my Boone, and the fact that the new geo tweaks in the right directions, I expect this new bike to be a solid ripper all around. The bike is perfect other than the PF BB IMHO.

  8. Those frameset weights come in slightly less than the Boone and Crockett weights, at least on their website.
    Considering the reinforcement required for all the braze-ons, that’s impressive.

    Also clever that they stuck by 2x Shimano groups, with the cross bikes coming in 1x Sram only.

  9. Big disparity in weights between the cross line-up and the gravel: Checkpoint SL6 19.7 lb (Ultegra), Boone 7 17.2 lb (Force1). Both have same wheelset (Bontrager Affinity Comp). Claimed weights on their website.

    • 1) I am guessing the Force1 is a fair bit lighter than the Ultegra R8000.

      2) The Boone is 600 vs the 500 on the Checkpoint, so that probably leads to at least a 100g or more?

      3) The added material for the wider tire spacing, dropped chainstay, and possibly the extra reinforcement for all those bottle, rack and fender mounts.

      4) The 32c CX vs the 35c gravel tire.

      None on their own are enough, but feathers added up make the total difference.

      • Then the weights given to Zach are wrong. Article says 1.71kg for SL6 frame and fork, but website says 2.21kg. That’s over a pound, so now it makes sense.

    • Something doesn’t look right to me either. 19.7lbs? My hardtail MTB is right about that weight & that’s with fatter wheels + tires & a suspension fork. Certainly a nearly $4000 road bike should be able to do better than that.

  10. That boone does not weigh 17.1. Think about it, how many cross, disc, aluminium wheeled bikes weight 17 lbs. That has to be a type-O

  11. The carbon models have a dropped drive-side stay to fit 45s, yet the aluminum version does not have the dropped drive-side stay, and yet you’re saying that carbon and aluminum models all fit 45s, so what gives?

    -Ed

    • Aluminum chainstays can be crimped and still have structural integrity. I’ve never seen carbon chainstays with such a narrow profile.

      • Calfee just showed some really thoughtful solid carbon chainstays that could (are) shaped very narrow.
        It’s actually a brilliant design aspect on their bikes for the intended purpose (adventure). Hopefully it catches on.

    • The alloy models may need for the wheel to be slid back a little for really big tires? Eyeballing it, the round seat tube of the ALR will also crowd the tire more than the flat profile of the SL’s seat tube.

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