Now that gravel racing is fully recognized by the UCI (for better or worse), riders and manufacturers are scrambling to claim that first-ever gravel rainbow jersey. It seems that Trek had an inside line on this one, updating its Checkpoint line to include a super lux gravel race-oriented SLR frame, but that’s not all…

Trek Checkpoint bottle mounts

Photo credit: Trek Bikes

The updated Checkpoint frames aren’t just for those looking to claim the rainbow bands. The new Trek Checkpoint line encompasses three separate models with the same geometry, but different ambitions of gravel glory and adventure…

Trek Checkpoint loaded for touring

Trek was slower to the gravel-specific market than most. They dabbled with re-naming the Domane and offering some updates to spec packages — probing the market to gauge interest.  It wasn’t until 2018, when they released the gravel-specific Checkpoint, that Trek fully arrived on the gravel scene.

Trek Checkpoint SL 5 bottles

The Trek Checkpoint blended the best technology from the companies, ‘cross, road, and adventure lines, to give way to a race machine that equally gained popularity with the road and off-road crowd.

Trek Checkpoint in the gravel

With the steady climb of the gravel market, Trek has refreshed the Checkpoint every two years. In 2020 the frameset allowed for even bigger tires and added unique packing and single speed offerings.

Trek Checkpoint what to bring on your touring bike

For 2022 the Trek Checkpoint line received its most substantial update, three different frames — all aimed at various adventure/gravel crowd segments, from the full-on race to commuting and fully-loaded bike packing adventures with Bontrager’s new bags — Oh and don’t forget the T-47 bottom bracket.

Trek Checkpoint top view

What’s new — 2022 Trek Checkpoint

For 2022 the Trek Checkpoint line offers three different model levels: SLR, SL, and ALR. Each model is tailored to fit a different type of gravel rider but maintains core features throughout. All 2022 Trek Checkpoint models can accommodate 45c tires, with an updated BBT-47 threaded bottom bracket. The tube shapes take some cues from the updated Emonda line and nudge this gravel bike in an aero direction for 2022. Trek also tweaked the geometry slightly, making it more progressive — agile yet stable — perfect for open roads and choppy gravel descents.

Internal flat-pack storage

The updated carbon models of the Trek Checkpoint come with an internal flat-pack storage area and BITS flat-pack — the same as the Trek Domane line.

Trek Checkpoint SL6 BITS unlatched

The pack can accommodate; one tube, Co2 inflator head/cartridge, small Bontrager multitool, and tire levers.

Trek Checkpoint SL6 tube BITS storage

The port is straightforward to access with a large flip lever that’s easy to use with bulky gloves or bare hands.

Trek Checkpoint SL6 BITS bag

The storable pack is sleek and velcro-backed, so you can make it as slim as possible to enter the storage space.

Trek Checkpoint SL6 BITS bag and water bottle

And so it doesn’t get stuck — Bontrager added a sturdy bright red pull tab so you can access your flat pack in a hurry.

Trek Checkpoint SL6 BITS full bag

Adding the flat pack to the frame frees up precious cargo space for those looking to pack more to the bike.

Trek Checkpoint SL6 Bontrager close up

Updated and geometry

The updated geometry for the Trek Checkpoint features a longer front-center — essentially stretching the frame out 2cm.

Trek Checkpoint geometry

Trek compensates for the update length with shorter bars and stems. Each bike is equipped with the new Bontragers GR Elite gravel bars with a shorter reach and flared drops.

2022 Trek Checkpoint models

Trek Checkpoint model usage chart

A very simple explanation of the new Trek Checkpoint lines and their intended riding style.

Trek Checkpoint SLR – Race

Trek Checkpoint SLR 7 etap full

Trek isn’t pulling punches with the SLR version of the Checkpoint. The SLR is Trek’s lightest, fastest, gravel bike ever, featuring Trek’s propriety 700 series OCLV Carbon frame with Émonda-inspired aero tube shapes.

Trek Checkpoint SLR 7 full

The updated SLR frame features a seat mast design similar to the Boone, Madone, and Émonda. All 2022 Trek Checkpoints crafted in carbon receive the same aero cable configuration as the new Boone routing directly into the spacer above the head tube.

Trek Checkpoint SLR 7 Cream

The updated frameset features an uber-cool internal tool storage container and Top Tube IsoSpeed (non-adjustable). Though the Checkpoint SLR is race-oriented, Trek outfitted it with many three-pack style gear mounts and a plethora of water bottle bosses. The Trek Checkpoint SLR builds come in SRAM eTap and Shimano GRX, with the most decked out version, topping out at 12K, and the less expensive GRX 600 Checkpoint SLR 6 coming in at $7,600.00.

Trek Checkpoint SL5 full bike

Trek Checkpoint SL – Race/Adventure

The Checkpoint SL is very similar to the top-end model of years past, with the addition of a redesigned frame with the same tube shapes as the SLR.

Trek Checkpoint SL6 full

The Checkpoint SL is more than race capable and able to adventure just as easily. The frame swaps out the OCLV 700 Series Carbon for a more robust (and able to take a fall) OCLV 500 Series Carbon — the same as the previous model.

Trek Checkpoint SLR 7 carbon

The frame has the same internal tool storage as the SLR but moves from a seat-mast style Iso-Speed system to a Seat Tube IsoSpeed.

Trek Checkpoint SL6 side view

This conventional seatpost setup allows for dropper post compatibility and beefs up the frame overall for bike packing and more accessory mounts.

Trek Checkpoint SL6 tire clearance

Though it looks less race-ready than its SRL counterpart — this bike is very light and ready to roll.

Trek Checkpoint SL7 frameset

Those looking to create their own gravel masterpiece can do so with a Checkpoint SL7 frameset as the canvas…

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

Trek Checkpoint ALR – alloy do-it-all

The Trek Checkpoint ALR is the most all-around bike in the lineup, leaning towards utility, adventure, and entry-level race. The frame is Treks 300 Series Alpha aluminum and arrives with tons of mounts for literally anything you can think of; mudguards, bags, front and rear racks, and tons (tons) of bottles.

The Checkpoint ALR doesn’t have the super cool storage bag compartment or the Iso-Speed damper like its carbon compatriots, but the bike is capable and better suited for daily grinding. The Checkpoint ALR is available in a singular GRX 400 build or a standalone frameset. The GRX 400 build suits the practical nature of Checkpoint ALR and makes it more than capable for off-road adventure, daily commutes, and even a race or two.

Trek Checkpoint SL6 side with bars

2022 Trek Checkpoint specs

Treks Checkpoint is one of the few gravel lines released for 2022 with a wide array of component spec options. If you look closely, you notice a slight leaning toward the SRAM and 1X spec and only eTap offered. The wheels are distributed nicely throughout the line, ranging from Bontrager’s value performance Paradigm Comp 25 for the ALR, SL5, and SL6.

Trek Checkpoint SL6 SRAM Rival

The spec quickly escalates to carbon Bontrager’s carbon OCLV Aeolus Pro 3V wheels for the bulk of the line. Only the tip-top Trek Checkpoint SLR 9 gets the Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheels, a $2,400 retail wheelset, to be exact — we understand why, we really liked them.

Trek Checkpoint SL6 bars close up

One thing is sure; Trek spent the time to spec each one of the new Checkpoint models, all receive top-notch Bontrager GR1 Team Issue tires and the proper equipment to excel in its intended use.

Bontrager Adventure bag packed bike in the wild

2022 Trek Checkpoint models and prices

  • Checkpoint SLR 9 eTap Red: $11,999.99
  • Checkpoint SLR 7 eTap Force: $8,299.99
  • Checkpoint SLR 7 Shimano GRX: $8,299.99
  • Checkpoint SLR 6 eTap Rival: $7,599.99
  • Checkpoint SL 7 eTap Force: $6,299.99
  • Checkpoint SL 6 eTap Rival: $4,099.99
  • Checkpoint SL 5 Shimano GRX: $3,199.99
  • Checkpoint ALR 5 Shimano GRX 400: $2,399.99

Trek’s new Checkpoint bikes are available immediately online at trekbikes.com in select markets and through Trek’s global network of retail partners. Stay tuned for a full review of the Trek Checkpoint SL6 

6 comments

  1. Chris, RideFar.info on

    Frame reach is a far better measure than effective top tube length because reach is not affected by the seat tube angle (which is irrelevant once you base the saddle setback on the distance behind the BB).

    Reply

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