Trek Checkpoint SL 5 Gravel Bike Review

Trek Checkpoint SL 5 Gravel Bike Review

Trek is one of the leading manufacturers of gravel bikes. This company has been producing a lot of high-quality products. And their most popular product is the Checkpoint line. Trek managed to sell a lot of Checkpoint gravel bikes, including the Trek Checkpoint SL 5. The manufacturer lets you decide yourself what you should do with this bike. Some users call this model a gravel bike for great all-road adventures. The Checkpoint SL 5 might be what you have been searching for. Or are they?

Checkpoint SL 5 is a gravel bike designed for thrilling all-road adventures, constructed with OCLV Carbon to ensure a lightweight build. With IsoSpeed technology for terrain-smoothing, a progressive geometry that’s both nimble and stable, internal storage, and an abundance of mounts, it makes for an impressive gravel bike capable of conquering the most arduous rides and ambitious bikepacking expeditions.

Frameset

Frame

  • 500 Series OCLV Carbon

The Frame 500 Series OCLV Carbon offers several benefits, including IsoSpeed technology for a smoother ride, internal cable routing for a cleaner look, downtube storage door for convenient access, 3S chain keeper to prevent chain drops, T47 BB for increased stiffness, and rack/mudguard mounts for versatility. Additionally, integrated frame bag mounts, flat-mount disc brakes, dropper post compatibility, and a 142×12 mm thru axle enhance the bike’s functionality and overall performance.

Fork

  • Trek Checkpoint

The Trek Checkpoint fork offers several benefits for cyclists, such as a full carbon construction that reduces weight, a tapered carbon steerer that improves handling and steering precision, and rack and mudguard mounts that provide versatility and convenience. Additionally, the flat-mount disc brakes and 12×100 mm thru-axle offer enhanced braking power and stability, making it an ideal choice for cyclists who want a reliable and high-performing fork for their bike.

Cockpit

Saddle

  • Bontrager Verse Comp, steel rails, 155 mm width

The Bontrager Verse Comp saddle offers several benefits, including a comfortable and ergonomic design that’s ideal for long rides, and durable steel rails that provide stability and support. Additionally, the saddle has a width of 155mm for size 49 & 52 and 145mm for size 54,56,58,61 which is perfect for a wide range of riders, ensuring a proper fit and maximum comfort. Whether you’re a professional or a recreational cyclist, the Bontrager Verse Comp saddle is an excellent choice that can enhance your riding experience.

Seatpost

  • Bontrager carbon, 27.2 mm, 8 mm offset, 330 mm length

The Bontrager carbon seatpost offers several benefits for cyclists, such as a lightweight design that reduces overall bike weight, and a 27.2mm diameter that ensures compatibility with a wide range of frames. Additionally, the 8mm offset and 330mm length provide a comfortable and customizable fit for riders of different shapes and sizes. With its durable construction and high-performance design, the Bontrager carbon seatpost is an excellent choice for cyclists who want a reliable and high-quality component for their bike.

Handlebar

  • Bontrager Elite Gravel

The Bontrager Elite Gravel handlebar offers several benefits for cyclists, including a comfortable and ergonomic design that reduces fatigue and enhances control. The handlebar is also lightweight, which reduces overall bike weight and improves handling and maneuverability. Additionally, the handlebar’s width and shape are optimized for gravel riding, providing a stable and confident grip on any terrain. With its durable construction and high-performance design, the Bontrager Elite Gravel handlebar is an excellent choice for cyclists who want a reliable and comfortable component for their bike.

Handlebar tape

  • Bontrager Supertack Perf tape

The Bontrager Supertack Perf handlebar tape offers several benefits for cyclists, including a tacky and textured surface that enhances grip and control. The tape is also durable and sweat-resistant, which ensures that it can withstand harsh conditions and remain functional for a long time. Additionally, the tape’s material provides a comfortable and cushioned grip, which reduces fatigue and enhances overall riding experience. With its high-quality construction and performance-oriented design, the Bontrager Supertack Perf handlebar tape is an excellent choice for cyclists who want a reliable and high-performance tape for their bike.

Stem

  • Bontrager Elite

The Bontrager Elite stem offers several benefits for cyclists, including a lightweight and durable design that enhances bike performance and overall handling. The stem is also easy to install and adjust, which ensures that it can be customized to fit a wide range of riders and preferences. Additionally, the stem’s sleek and modern design complements the look of any bike, making it an excellent choice for cyclists who want a high-quality and stylish component for their bike. With its reliable construction and performance-oriented design, the Bontrager Elite stem is an excellent choice for any cycling enthusiast.

Drivetrain

Shifter

  • Shimano GRX hydraulic disc

The Shimano GRX hydraulic disc shifter offers several benefits for cyclists, including reliable and precise shifting performance that enhances overall riding experience. The shifter is also designed to be durable and long-lasting, which ensures that it can withstand harsh conditions and provide consistent performance for a long time. Additionally, the hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent stopping power and control, which ensures that riders can safely navigate any terrain. With its high-quality construction and performance-oriented design, the Shimano GRX hydraulic disc shifter is an excellent choice for any cyclist who wants a reliable and high-performance shifter for their bike.

Front derailleur

  • Shimano GRX RX810, braze-on

The Shimano GRX RX810 front derailleur with braze-on mount offers several benefits for cyclists. With a wider and flatter chain angle, it ensures smoother and more precise shifting, even in challenging conditions. The design also allows for increased tire clearance and greater frame compatibility, making it a versatile choice for a range of bikes. Additionally, the lightweight and durable construction of the derailleur ensures long-lasting performance, even during intense rides. Overall, the Shimano GRX RX810 front derailleur with braze-on mount can enhance the performance and versatility of a bike, making it a valuable addition for serious cyclists.

Rear derailleur

  • Shimano GRX RX810, long cage, 34T max cog

The Shimano GRX RX810 Rear Derailleur with a long cage and 34T max cog size offers several advantages for cyclists. One of the most notable benefits is its precise and consistent shifting performance, which is especially important during challenging off-road rides. The long cage design allows for a wider range of gearing options, enabling riders to tackle steep hills and technical terrain with ease. Additionally, the derailleur is built to withstand the rigors of off-road riding, with a durable construction that resists damage from rocks, branches, and other obstacles. The Shimano GRX RX810 Rear Derailleur is also designed to work seamlessly with other components in the GRX lineup, allowing for a fully integrated and optimized riding experience. Overall, the Shimano GRX RX810 Rear Derailleur with long cage and 34T max cog is a high-performance component that can help serious cyclists tackle a wide range of off-road challenges with confidence.

Crank

  • Shimano GRX RX600

There are several reasons why a cyclist might choose to use the Shimano GRX RX600 crankset. One key advantage of this component is its exceptional stiffness, which ensures efficient power transfer from the pedals to the drivetrain. This can translate to improved acceleration, speed, and overall performance on the road or trail. The Shimano GRX RX600 crankset also features a range of chainring options, allowing riders to customize their gearing to match their riding style and terrain. The design of the crankset also incorporates Shimano’s Hollowtech II technology, which reduces weight while maintaining strength and durability. This makes the Shimano GRX RX600 crankset a great choice for endurance riders who want to reduce weight without sacrificing performance. Additionally, the crankset is designed to work seamlessly with other components in the GRX lineup, allowing for a fully integrated and optimized riding experience. Overall, the Shimano GRX RX600 crankset offers a winning combination of stiffness, customization options, weight savings, and compatibility, making it a great choice for serious cyclists looking to take their riding to the next level.

Bottom bracket

  • Praxis, T47 threaded, internal bearing

The Praxis T47 threaded bottom bracket with internal bearings offers several features that make it a popular choice among cyclists. One key advantage of this type of bottom bracket is its ease of installation, as it uses a standard T47 threaded design that is compatible with many modern frames. The internal bearing design also helps to improve durability and longevity, as the bearings are protected from dirt, moisture, and other contaminants that can cause damage or wear over time. Additionally, the Praxis T47 bottom bracket is known for its smooth and reliable performance, with a low-friction design that reduces drag and allows for efficient power transfer from the pedals to the drivetrain. The bottom bracket is also designed to work seamlessly with other components in the Praxis lineup, allowing for a fully integrated and optimized riding experience. Overall, the Praxis T47 threaded bottom bracket with internal bearings is a high-performance component that can help serious cyclists improve the reliability, durability, and efficiency of their bike’s drivetrain.

Cassette

  • Shimano 105 HG700-11

There are several reasons why Trek Checkpoint SL 5 might choose to use the Shimano 105 HG700-11 cassette. One key advantage of this component is its wide range of gearing options, which can help riders tackle steep hills and challenging terrain with greater ease. The cassette features a 11-speed design with a variety of sprocket sizes, allowing for a customized gearing setup that can match a rider’s specific preferences and needs. Additionally, the Shimano 105 HG700-11 cassette is known for its reliable and smooth shifting performance, which can help improve the overall ride quality and efficiency of a bike’s drivetrain. The cassette is also built to last, with durable construction that resists wear and tear over time. The Shimano 105 HG700-11 cassette is also designed to work seamlessly with other components in the Shimano 105 lineup, allowing for a fully integrated and optimized riding experience. Overall, the Shimano 105 HG700-11 cassette is a high-performance component that can help serious cyclists improve their performance and ride quality on a variety of terrain.

Chain

  • Shimano 105 HG601, 11-speed

Wheels

Hub

  • front Bontrager alloy, sealed bearing, CenterLock disc, 100×12 mm thru axle

The Bontrager alloy front hub with sealed bearings, CenterLock disc, and 100x12mm thru-axle offers several features that make it a popular choice among cyclists. One key advantage of this hub is its durable construction, which is designed to withstand the rigors of off-road riding. The alloy material is lightweight and strong, providing a great balance between strength and weight savings. The sealed bearing design also helps to improve durability and reduce maintenance needs, as the bearings are protected from dirt, moisture, and other contaminants that can cause damage or wear over time. Additionally, the CenterLock disc mounting system allows for easy and secure installation of disc brakes, providing reliable and consistent stopping power in a range of conditions. The 100x12mm thru-axle design also enhances stiffness and steering precision, allowing for more confident handling and better power transfer from the pedals to the wheels. Overall, the Bontrager alloy front hub with sealed bearings, CenterLock disc, and 100x12mm thru-axle is a high-performance component that can help serious cyclists improve the reliability, durability, and efficiency of their bike’s front wheel.

Skewer

  • Bontrager Switch thru axle, removable lever

The Bontrager Switch thru axle with a removable lever is a high-quality front skewer designed to provide a secure and convenient way to attach your wheel to your bike. The Switch thru axle system is an excellent option for those who want a reliable, easy-to-use skewer that can withstand the demands of aggressive riding.

The Bontrager Switch thru axle features a durable construction with a sturdy axle and a secure, removable lever. The removable lever makes it easy to install and remove the wheel from the bike, without having to use any tools. This can be particularly useful for quick wheel changes during a race or ride.

The axle is designed to fit a wide range of bikes and is compatible with most forks that use a 15mm thru axle. The Switch thru axle is also available in a range of lengths to suit different bike and fork configurations.

Overall, the Bontrager Switch thru axle with a removable lever is a top-quality skewer that provides a secure, reliable connection between your bike and wheel. It is a great option for those who want a high-performance skewer that is both easy to use and durable enough to withstand the rigors of aggressive riding.

Rim

  • Bontrager Paradigm SL, Tubeless Ready, 24-hole, 21 mm width, Presta valve

There are several benefits to using the Bontrager Paradigm SL rims for your bike, especially if you are interested in running tubeless tires. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider using these rims:

  1. Tubeless compatibility: The Bontrager Paradigm SL rims are designed to be tubeless-ready, which means that you can run them without an inner tube. Tubeless tires offer several benefits, including improved traction, reduced rolling resistance, and a lower risk of punctures.
  2. Lightweight: The Paradigm SL rims are designed to be lightweight, which can help to improve the overall performance of your bike. The rims feature a 24-hole design and a 21mm width, which helps to keep the weight down while still providing plenty of strength and durability.
  3. Wide compatibility: The 21mm width of the Paradigm SL rims makes them compatible with a wide range of tire sizes, from narrow road tires to wider mountain bike tires. This makes them a versatile option that can be used on a variety of bikes.
  4. Presta valve compatibility: The rims are designed to work with Presta valves, which are commonly used on high-performance bikes. The Presta valve is known for its ability to hold higher pressures and for being less prone to air leaks.

Overall, the Bontrager Paradigm SL rims are a high-quality option that offer several benefits for riders who are looking for a lightweight, tubeless-compatible rim that is versatile and compatible with a wide range of tire sizes.

Tyre

  • Bontrager GR1 Team Issue, Tubeless Ready, Inner Strength casing, aramid bead, 120 tpi, 700×40 c

The Bontrager GR1 Team Issue tires are a high-quality option for riders looking for a versatile tire that can handle a range of riding conditions. The tire’s tubeless-ready design allows for improved traction, reduced rolling resistance, and a lower risk of punctures. The Inner Strength casing provides extra durability and protection against punctures, while the aramid bead ensures a secure fit to the rim. With a 120 tpi construction and a size of 700x40c, these tires offer a smooth, comfortable ride with excellent handling and traction on both road and off-road terrain. Overall, the Bontrager GR1 Team Issue tires are an excellent choice for riders who want a high-performance tire that can handle a variety of riding conditions.

Review of Trek Checkpoint SL 5 Gravel Bike

Trek Checkpoint SL 5 is a carbon trek e gravel bike that is designed for epic all-road adventures. It is equipped with hydraulic disc brakes and a Shimano GRX drivetrain. But the main features of this model are the lightweight OCLV carbon frame with IsoSpeed, and a decoupler at the top tube or seat tube junction, providing additional compliance over bumpy terrains. So, you can enjoy your biking longer and stronger. It comes only in one colour, which is dark olive/

The Checkpoint SL 5 might look like a road bike when you look at it from afar. But when you look at it more closely, you will notice frame features that you probably never see on a classic road bike. It has several water bottle cage mounts, rack mounts, adjustable wheelbase, impact protection under the downtube, 12m thru-axles, and loads of tyre clearance. As it is said before, this gravel bike features IsoSpeed, which is Trek’s unique vibration dampening system.

It basically uses an axle and bushing arrangement at the junction of the seat tube and top tube to allow the seat post to independently bend backwards from the top tube. This will lead to additional comfort when you sit on it. The seat tube and top tube are totally separate parts, joined by the decoupler unit.

Whom is the Trek Checkpoint SL 5 for?

If you prefer to spend your money for a lightweight carbon frame to a top-of-the-line drivetrain, the Checkpoint SL 5 is the right choice for you. Though the frame is made of a lightweight carbon, you can still expect nice performance from this gravel bike. It is fast and comfortable to ride. With Trek Checkpoint SL 5 gravel bike, you will be able to enjoy far, fast, and great adventures. So, are you ready to have a great time with this gravel bike?

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