Trek Checkpoint gravel bike debuts

Complete line of gravel bikes promises capability, versatility, fun

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Trek Checkpoint Gravel Bike

Trek has unveiled Checkpoint — its new platform of gravel bikes. Checkpoint is more than a modified version of Trek’s Crockett or Boone cyclocross bikes. Nor is it a new iteration of the Domane Gravel bikes introduced last year. Trek went back to the drawing board with this bike, developing a new geometry and pairing it with quality spec that will hold up for long, rugged miles on pavement, dirt, and even the most treacherous gravel roads.

Trek Checkpoint Gravel Bike

It comes ready to roll with a wealth of adventure-ready features like adjustable Stranglehold Dropouts, wide tire clearance, and extra mounts that make it versatile and easy to customize. Checkpoint is available in seven carbon and aluminum: SL 6, SL 5, SL 5 Women’s, ALR 5, ALR 5 Women’s, ALR 4, and ALR 4 Women’s. The SL and ALR framesets are also available. SL models are built from Trek’s premium 500 Series OCLV Carbon, and ALR models feature Trek’s lightweight 300 Series Alpha Aluminum.

The Checkpoint lineup includes enough spec options to ensure there is a build that’s right for just about every rider. The flagship Checkpoint SL 6 boasts a full Shimano Ultegra 2×11 drivetrain, Bontrager’s Paradigm Comp Disc wheels paired with Shimano RT800 Ice-Tech FREEZA rotors, and finned brake pads for lightweight durability and extra stopping power. On the other end of the spectrum, entry-level riders will be pleased to see that the ALR 4 models feature Shimano’s Tiagra 10-speed drivetrain and a wide-range 11-34 cassette. All models come equipped with 700x35c Schwalbe gravel tires, tubeless-ready Bontrager wheels, and flat-mount disc brakes.

Trek Checkpoint Gravel Bike

One of Checkpoint’s most noteworthy developments is its gravel-specific geometry. The new dimensions are comfortable over the long haul and on rough roads, but remain aggressive enough to provide the speed and responsive ride-feel many gravel riders are looking for.

Trek Checkpoint Gravel Bike

Compared to Trek’s Boone cyclocross bike, Checkpoint features a nearly identical reach, slightly taller stack, and lower bottom bracket height. Chainstay length and wheelbase are the same. The lower bottom bracket provides additional stability, while maintaining a tight wheelbase, long reach, and lower stack height keeps Checkpoint fast and maneuverable.

Carbon (SL) models gain additional compliance and associated comfort with the same Rear IsoSpeed decoupler popularized on Domane and Boone. IsoSpeed minimizes fatiguing vibrations from uneven riding surfaces. SL models also include a carbon seatmast cap, Trek’s Carbon Armor to protect the frame from debris, and can easily be converted to a 1x or electronic drivetrain.

Trek Checkpoint Gravel Bike

All models feature 12mm front and rear thru axles and Control Freak internal cable routing for easy cleanly organized cables that are protected from the mud and dirt that the Checkpoint rider will inevitably encounter.

Trek Checkpoint Gravel Bike

Checkpoint features the Stranglehold Dropouts seen on Trek’s Crockett and Stache, allowing the rider to adjust the bike’s geometry and gearing based on the requirements of the day’s ride. For example, the longest setting increases the bike’s stability for longer rides or bikepacking, while deciding to shorten the wheelbase provides snappier, more responsive handling for gravel racing. The dropouts also allow the bike to quickly convert to a single speed.

Trek Checkpoint SL 5

Trek Checkpoint SL 5

The stock 35mm Schwalbe tires hit the sweet-spot for a lot of riders, but running other widths quickly changes Checkpoint’s identity. The rider hitting crushed limestone trails to link pavement will love firm and fast-rolling 28mm slicks, while the dedicated dirt road explorer can run 45mm knobbies to tackle the ruttiest, rockiest routes.

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

Checkpoint is covered in mounts for even more functional versatility. Mounts on the seat tube and down tube allow riders to fit 3 bottles in the main triangle (sizes 56cm and larger), or position two bottles low while leaving room for a frame bag. There’s also space for an additional bottle underneath the down tube.

Trek Checkpoint ALR 4

Trek Checkpoint ALR 4

Lowrider fork mounts will take a rack such as Trek’s 720 fork rack, as just one example. Rear rack mounts provide the option to haul even more cargo, and hidden fender mounts keep the ride clean in even the worst weather. SL models include a top tube mount to quickly attach an easy-to-reach bag for ride essentials.

Trek Checkpoint SL 5 WSD

Trek Checkpoint SL 5 WSD

Bottom line, Trek’s entrance into the dedicated gravel bike market has been a long time coming. When they set out to design a gravel bike, they knew that simply modifying an existing platform wouldn’t be enough to exceed the expectations of the scene’s unique riders. With Checkpoint, Trek says it is proud to enter the market with an ultra-versatile, performance-oriented, and downright fun lineup of bikes in model options with something for every rider.

Trek Checkpoint SL Frame

Trek Checkpoint SL Frame

Checkpoint FAQ

What models and sizes of Checkpoint are launching?
All-new Checkpoint will be available in multiple SL and ALR models. There are also three women’s-specific models and two framesets available. Reference the chart below for detailed model and sizing information.

How does Checkpoint differ from Domane Gravel?
Checkpoint offers more off-road capability and general versatility thanks to additional gravel-specific features. The key differentiating features include additional tire clearance, a host of accessory mounting options for greater water carrying capacity and rack mounting flexibility, and Stranglehold adjustable dropouts, which allow adjustment to the bike’s geometry and handling—position them forward for quick acceleration and climbing, or towards the back for increased stability.

What do the frames weigh?
Checkpoint SL – 1,240g
Checkpoint ALR – 1,570g
All given weights for size 56 frame

What do the forks weigh?
Checkpoint SL – 470g
Checkpoint ALR – 600g
All weights normalized to 300mm steerer tube length

What is the geometry like? How does it be compare to other Trek models?
In terms of geometry, think of Checkpoint as a more versatile Boone. Checkpoint features a similar profile, but offers additional tire clearance, a bit more stack (i.e. handlebar height), and a lower bottom bracket for a bit more stability. That doesn’t mean it sacrifices the lively, incredible handling our World Cup-winning cyclocross geometry is known for. And with the Stranglehold adjustable dropouts, geometry can be adjusted to fit the needs of the ride at hand.

Are there women’s-specific models available?
Yes, there are three women’s-specific models available. These bikes are spec’d with optimized saddle and handlebar sizes.

What tire size comes stock on the Checkpoint line and what is the max tire size?
All Checkpoint models come stock with 35c tires, but they can accommodate tires as wide as 45c and comfortably run tires as skinny as 28c.

Can 650b tires be used?
We do not recommend 650b tires, Checkpoint was designed for 700×28 to 700x45c tires.

Why skip IsoSpeed on ALR models?
Our development research indicated that IsoSpeed contributes to Checkpoint’s ultra-smooth ride, but the bike’s ability to run super-wide tires (up to 45c) provides the largest gains in compliance. We wanted to offer a Checkpoint model for riders at every price point, and were impressed with the bike’s ride quality both with and without Rear IsoSpeed.

Where is the Front IsoSpeed on the SL models?
Compared to platforms like Domane and Boone, where riders will primarily run skinnier tires, the wider tires size most riders will prefer to run on Checkpoint provide ample compliance on the bike’s front end.

Does Bontrager’s Blendr system come stock on Checkpoint?
Blendr integration seamlessly mounts lights, computers, and GoPro cameras to the handlebar, keeping everything zip tie-free and in its place. Checkpoint comes stock with the light and computer mount. Riders can also easily add Insta-mount, our adhesive mount adapter, should they want to mount their phone or device.

What sizes are available?
49cm, 52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm, & 61cm (mainline)
Women’s models are offered in 49cm, 52cm, 54cm, & 56cm

Can I set this bike up with tubeless tires?
Yes. All Checkpoint models can be easily converted to run tubeless with Bontrager TLR rim strips (pn W543622 for all but SL 6 – W433383), valve stems (2x pn W429879), and TLR sealant.
SL models come stock with tubeless-ready tires. ALR models do not.

Can I add a rack and fenders?
Hardware for vanishing fender mounts is included in the bike box. Bontrager’s BackRack Disc can be added to carry cargo at the rear.

How many water bottle cages fit on the frame?
This depends on frame size. Smaller frames accept three cages, larger frames accept four.

What is the rider weight limit?
Recommended rider weight limit of 275 lbs., same as all Trek bikes.

What’s with the asymmetrical chainstay?
Gravel riders want to run big tires with road drivetrains. Because road cranksets are narrow, something has to give. The asymmetrical drop-stay provides extra clearance without compromising chainstay length or handling.

Can I run Checkpoint as a singlespeed?
Yes, the Stranglehold Dropout is a horizontal sliding dropout that can tension your chain. Be sure to run at least a 40T chain ring up front so the chain clears the dropped chain stay.

Will the sliding horizontal dropout slip?
No. It has redundant capture mechanisms to ensure your wheel axle does not slip, creak, or groan. Ask a Stache or Crockett owner!

What is the warranty on Checkpoint?
Trek’s offers the cycling world’s best warranty through Trek Care. Just be sure to register bikes! Trek Care pairs a lifetime frame warranty with limited warranties on parts. Details can be found at

To learn more, gravel grind over to

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About the author: RoadBikeReview is an online community of cyclists who share a passion for the sport. Visitors of the site regularly purchase gear to upgrade their bikes, share inspiring photos of rides, and keep up to date with the latest industry and technology news. Which products perform best? Where to buy them? Where to ride? How to ride better? Cyclists come to for the answers.

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