With clearance for 45mm 700c tires, four bottle bosses, rack and utility mounts, and loads of details, the new Trek Checkpoint was designed with gravel bikepacking in mind…

Posted by Logan Watts

Just released late this week, the Trek Checkpoint is a whole new line of gravel bikes from the Waterloo, Wisconsin company. Trek already has a couple cyclocross bikes, the Crockett and Boone. And they also have a gravel bike, the Domane, introduced last year. But as Trek states in their official press release, they went back to the drawing board and created a completely new platform. With a new geometry and spec chosen for long miles on pavement, dirt, and rugged gravel roads, according to Trek the Checkpoint was designed exclusively for the dedicated, adventure-minded gravel rider. In addition to adding the latest standards popular within the burgeoning gravel bike market, Trek also added a few of its own unique features to Checkpoint…

Trek Checkpoint Carbon Gravel Bike

  • Trek Checkpoint Carbon Gravel Bike
  • Trek Checkpoint Carbon Gravel Bike
  • Highlights
  • Angles (LG): 72.3° Headtube, 73° Seattube
  • Stack/Reach: 609mm/392mm
  • BB Drop/Chainstay: 74mm/425mm
  • Bottom Bracket: Press Fit BB90
  • Hub specs: 12x142mm / 12x100mm Thru-axle
  • Max tire size: 700x45mm

The Trek Checkpoint is available in seven different carbon (SL) and aluminum (ALR) models: SL 6 ($3799), SL 5 (shown above) and SL 5 Women’s ($2799), ALR 5 and ALR 5 Women’s ($1999), and ALR 4 and ALR 4 Women’s ($1789). SL and ALR framesets are also available for $1999 and $959 respectively. SL models are built from Trek’s own 500 Series OCLV Carbon, and ALR models feature Trek’s lightweight 300 Series Alpha Aluminum.

All models have clearance for 700c x 45mm tires. However, the complete bikes will ship with 700c x 35mm Schwalbe G-One gravel tires, which is what the bike was designed around. And even though it might seem fitting, Trek does not recommend using 650b Road Plus wheels and tires with the Checkpoint. Instead the Trek Checkpoint was purpose built around 700c wheels.

Trek Checkpoint Carbon Gravel Bike

  • Trek Checkpoint Carbon Gravel Bike, Bikepacking
  • Trek Checkpoint Carbon Gravel Bike, Bikepacking
Trek Checkpoint SL 5 at top; Women’s SL 5 on left; SL 6 on right

All the carbon models have “Carbon Armor” along the downtube and chainstay to protect the frame. In addition, each features 12mm thru axles and sliding Stranglehold dropouts that allow you to fine-tune your geometry or run it as a singlespeed. The carbon SL frame run a BB90 press fit bottom bracket and the aluminum models get a BB86.5. Other features to note include Trek’s own IsoSpeed Decoupler, which apparently reduces fatigue by “decoupling” the seat tube from the top tube, allowing the seat tube to flex with the forces of the road. Similar to other new gravel bikes, such as the recently released Ibis’ Hakka MX, the Trek Checkpoint also makes use of a swooped drive side stay to allow clearance for bigger tires and a 2x drivetrain.

As far as geometry, the Trek Checkpoint uses a taller stack height and lower bottom bracket than their other cross and gravel bikes for added comfort and stability.

The flagship Checkpoint SL 6 boasts a full Shimano Ultegra 2 x 11 drivetrain, and Bontrager’s Paradigm Comp Disc wheels paired with Shimano RT800 Ice-Tech FREEZA rotors. While the most interesting model, the Checkpoint SL 5, features a 2×11 Shimano 105 groupset with an 11-34 cassette. On the other end of the spectrum, entry-level ALR 4 models feature Shimano’s Tiagra 10-speed drivetrain. All models come equipped with 700 x 35c Schwalbe gravel tires, tubeless-ready Bontrager wheels, and flat-mount disc brakes.

  • Trek Checkpoint Carbon Gravel Bike
  • Trek Checkpoint Carbon Gravel Bike
  • Trek Checkpoint Carbon Gravel Bike

Trek Checkpoint Carbon Gravel Bike, Bikepacking

While Trek didn’t provide bottle mounts on the fork blade, they did manage to squeeze in four pairs of bottle mounts on the Checkpoint (sizes 56cm and larger) — three in the triangle and one under the downtube. There are also mounts as follows: lowrider fork mounts, rear rack mounts, hidden fender mounts, and SL models include a top tube mount. There also appears to be a mid-blade fork mount with what appears to be a proprietary cage (as seen in the photo below left)…

  • Trek Checkpoint Carbon Gravel Bike, Bikepacking
  • Trek Checkpoint Carbon Gravel Bike, Bikepacking

The Trek Checkpoint launched to consumers on March 1 and bikes are immediately available for purchase at your local Trek Dealer or online. Learn more more about the Trek Checkpoint platform on the video above or on their website here, and view all the models here.

  • Lewy
  • Rusty Discbrake

    i think you are a little confused, they wanted a pretty bike not an abomination :D :D.

  • Lewy

    You love it. Half the parts were yours anyway………

  • Greg Johnson

    Once again, too small a tire. Have they never bounced down a road graveled with hen egg stones? Those 45’s just make for a jittery, tiring day.

  • Plusbike Nerd

    I’d want my gravel bike to have wider tires. Something like 27.5×2.8 tires on i30 rims and maybe more slack modern mountain bike geometry. Something that would handle gravel and singletrack well for a fully rigid bike but be very light weight.

  • Sigüenza Activa

    I’m planning to buy a Trek 920 this year, for bikepacking trips, multi-terrain, and commuting and when I saw this Checkpoint, at the beginning I was so confused… and I was no so sure about my dreamed 920. But after studying all the specs, I think that the 920 clearance from 700×32 to 29×2.1 is a great advantage, instead of this 700×45 max.
    I think than despite both could fill perfectly the gap between my trek domane and my full suspension 29, the 920 covers a bit wider spectre, though I think also that both bikes have different concepts (not so so different anyway).
    Chosing adventure bike is getting more and more difficult with so many variables, ahahahahahah!!!
    What do you think about the differences and similarities of 920 and checkpoint?

  • John McTavish

    Re: tire size… You can’t really stuff bigger tires into a frame with 425mm chainstays and road gearing. It’s simply not possible. Take a look at the Salsa cutthroat. To run normal 29er tires and a 445mm chainstay they resort to only 1x front drivetrain and a small (38 tooth) front chainring.

  • nishars

    The proprietary fork mount looks to be made out of plastic. I wonder how long they might last on gravel roads with those constant bumps.

  • If it’s the same Impact nylon Salsa uses on the Anything Cage HD, it will last forever.

  • A 2x is possible on the Cutthroat; it has MTB BB spacing. Not road.

  • Chad Ament

    There are people putting 50c tires on this bike, for what it’s worth. I saw one with 45c tires, and there was a lot of room left. Thanks dropped stay, you’re the real MVP.

  • Chad Ament

    It’s as big as possible, without going to a mountain bike q-factor drivetrain.

    It’s lots bigger than the tires I’ve used for 200+ mile gravel races and rides, at least. There are definitely places I’d want more float, like sand, or some of the jeep roads over 12,000ft elevation, for instance.

  • John McTavish

    good to hear. I think this design is spot on, my comment was mostly directed at the person who wanted this bike to fit 27×2.8 ?? The dropped stay is a nice touch. I’m happy enough with the performance and clearance of my Vassago Fisticuff though

  • John McTavish

    I know, my comment was directed at the people wishing this bike with road bb spacing, short chainstays, and road double could fit fatter tires…it’s just not practical

  • Craig Ishman

    FYI, the Norco Search XR has 425mm chainstays and can fit a 27.5 x 2.1″.

  • multisportscott

    Why do Trek not recommend 650b wheels/tyres? Is it just because of pedal strike? Anyone know?

  • dito

    bikepacking go for checkpoint while biketouring I opt for 920 for rugged front and rear panniers

  • Sigüenza Activa

    That was the idea at the beginning, but later I started to confuse because of the wider range of possibilities and terrains of the 920. Though my intended use is more about bikepacking than biketouring, I think that the kind of terrain I will pedal on it will be more variable, and that is an advantage of the 920 (I think!!).
    The question could be ask in other way: Between both bikes with 700×35 o or 700×40 and bikepacking bags and no panniers, there will be big differences in handling, position, long distance rides, etc?

  • I have a 920 and a Crockett, based on my experience I’d get the Checkpoint for bikepacking & general shredding (yeah, I know it’s not the same as Crockett, but still).
    920 is a really stable touring bike, but it’s not exactly nimble or what I’d consider “fun”. I had 42-622 tyres on my 920 for a trip around Iceland, they were great on road use, but off road BB height might be an issue.
    Out of my two bikes, Crockett is the one I plan to use for my possible future bikepacking adventures.

  • ian

    This will be a good for some bike touring / bikepacking right? If not why

  • Sigüenza Activa

    Yep!! Thanks Jouko! Thanks to your comment now I know that on the internet there are thousands of opinions about BB height and bikepacking, Logan would have material for some blog entries, ahahahahah ;)
    the BB height of the Crockett seems the smallest comparing with the Checkpoint and 920, so I’m agree with you with the use of the Crockett off road.
    If I’m correct, a Checkpoint with 700×35 would have more or less similar BB height as a 920 with 700×45,
    Or a Checkpoint with 700×45 similar BB height as a 920 with 29’x2.1
    Good information…
    Again, Thanks Jouko!!! ;)

  • Could be – Trek says it’s purpose built around 700c wheels. A lot of similarities to other 650b / 700c gravel bikes though…

  • Sure it would! I think for a mix of gravel roads, paved, and some singletrack it would preform great. If you’re looking to tackle mostly singletrack or chunky, technical terrain – this wouldn’t be the best option.

  • Jakewwa

    What’s the intended market and usage application between the Trek Checkpoint, 920, 1120?

Follow Us

and join the conversation.