Trek released their 2020 Checkpoint gravel bike lineup, with updates all-around for the new model year (along with some notable carry-overs). Rear seat tube IsoSpeed Decoupler suspension remains, along with the BB90 bottom bracket standard and 45mm tire clearance. The top-end build now features a SRAM AXS hybrid road/MTB single chainring setup, following suit from other gravel bikes in the market.
2020 Trek Checkpoint carbon and aluminum gravel bikes
While not particularly known as a gravel brand, you could argue that Trek has one of the most gravel-filled product lines today. The Boone and Crockett handle cyclocross duties (which were used by us old-timers in the past as ‘gravel’ bikes), while the new 2020 Domane road bike has 38mm tire clearance and enough capability to pass as a gravel bike in many situations. If that’s not enough, Trek offers the Checkpoint as their actual gravel-specific bike – though the video below clearly states that it’s not necessarily an ‘adventure’ bike.
The Checkpoint is available in alloy and carbon frame options – in several builds – and as a frameset. Let’s dig in to the highlights…
The carbon frames start with OCLV 500 carbon, using the non-adjustable seat tube IsoSpeed Decoupler suspension system.
Flat mount disc brakes are found front and rear, with 12×100 and 12x142mm thru axles. The rear end has Trek’s unique Stranglehold Dropout, adjusting chainstay length and allowing for single speed use if desired.
Tire clearance is 45mm on all models, with 40mm tires coming stock. No mention is made of 650b clearance or compatibility.
Drivetrain varies by model, with the top-end getting a SRAM Force / XX1 hybrid 1x system with wide range 10-50 cassette. Interestingly, the Checkpoint sticks to the BB90 bottom bracket standard, whereas other 2020 Trek models have moved to threaded T47.
Trek squeezes in three bottle cages into the main triangle for long-distance hydration needs, along with the usual compatibility with racks and other bolt-on gear.
Carbon models come in six available sizes, all featuring 700c wheels. Trek makes no mention of 2020 women’s models, suggesting that the Checkpoint has adopted their gender neutral sizing scheme seen on the Domane road bike.
The Checkpoint SL 7 ($6,000) has a SRAM 1x Force / XX1 build, along with Aeolus Pro 3V carbon wheels.
The Checkpoint SL 6 ($3,800) has a Shimano Ultegra mechanical drivetrain, along with Bontrager Paradigm Comp 25 wheels.
The Checkpoint SL 5 ($2,900) has a full Shimano 105 mechanical drivetrain, paired with Bontrager alloy rims with sealed bearing hubs.
The Checkpoint SL carbon frameset will run you a clean $2,000.
Trek Checkpoint aluminum
Alloy models use Trek’s 300 and 200 series Alpha Aluminum, opting for a traditional seat post and seat tube rather than a seat mast – plus they lack the IsoSpeed Decoupler suspension. Geometry copies the carbon version, with six available sizes.
Axles follow the carbon frames’ lead – 12×100 and 12x142mm thru axles – along with the rear Stranglehold Dropout.
Tire clearance is 45mm inside the carbon front fork (and alloy rear triangle), with 32-40mm rubber coming stock.
Like the carbon version, three bottles can squeeze into the front triangle for the top-end model, along with a bottom-mounted accessory cage.
Bottom bracket varies by model, with the two lowest models using 68mm threaded, the top-tier ALR 5 using BB92, and their frameset oddly quoted as using a press fit BB86.5 bottom bracket. The carbon models use BB90, while the latest Domane uses T47… the take-home? Triple check before ordering a replacement bottom bracket.
The top-end ALR 5 ($2,100) has a Shimano 105 mechanical drivetrain, along with unnamed Bontrager tubeless-ready alloy rims.
The Checkpoint AL 4 ($1,600) has a Shimano Tiagra build kit, paired with Bontrager Affinity Disc tubeless-ready wheels (with narrower 32mm Hard-Case Lite tires).
The Checkpoint AL 3 ($1,200) has a 9-speed Shimano Sora drivetrain, along with Bontrager Affinity Disc tubeless-ready wheels (with narrower 32mm Hard-Case Lite tires).
For do-it-yourselfers, the Checkpoint ALR frameset can be had for $1,070.
The Checkpoint line is available now as a 2020 model, with Trek’s lifetime frame warranty covering defects in materials and workmanship.