Skip to content
Home » Recent Posts » Trek Checkpoint Review

Trek Checkpoint Review

Trek Checkpoint Review

There are a lot of disciplines for cyclists to enjoy, and in this Trek Checkpoint review we will talk about a bike that is capable of handling them all. Road, gravel, bikepacking and more.

There are 8 different models of Checkpoint in 2022 that suit every level of cyclist. There are a few things you must know about the models from Trek.

If the Checkpoint model starts with an ‘A’ it has an aluminum frame. If it ends with an ‘R’ it is branded by Trek as being race quality, in other words – extremely lightweight. Finally, if it starts with an ‘S’ the frame is carbon fiber.

Here is a breakdown of each Checkpoint model released by Trek for 2022. You will also find links to a detailed review on each bike.

Checkpoint ALR 5 ($2,499)

The groupset on this bike is Shimano GRX. It is their gravel specific group, made to be more ergonomic and durable than the road equivalent of Shimano 105. Both GRX and 105 have proven to provide reliable and accurate shifting in all conditions. If your trails get rough, rest assured the clutch built in to the GRX rear derailleur will keep your chain in place.

There is plenty of range with the Checkpoint ALR 5 thanks to it’s 2×11 drivetrain. The front chainrings are 46/30, while the rear cassette is 11-34. That translates to faster speeds and easier climbing at the low and high ends, respectively.

The Checkpoint ALR 5 weighs 21.50 lbs, which is light for a do-it-all bike. For a more detailed review on the ALR 5, read: 2022 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 review.

Checkpoint SL 5 ($3,299)

The groupset stays consistent with Shimano GRX. It’s the perfect balance of durability on the rough terrain, and efficiency on pavement.

The drivetrain doesn’t change from the ALR 5 to the SL 5. It is the same reliable 2×11 setup that gravel bikers crave to maximize gear range and pedaling efficiency over long rides.

The 2022 Checkpoint SL 5 weighs 21.39 lbs, or just 50 grams less than the aluminum framed ALR 5. For a detailed review on this bike read: 2022 Checkpoint SL 5 review.

Checkpoint SL 6 eTap ($4,299)

There is a big change in groupset from the SL 5 to the SL 6 eTap. As the name implies, the SL 6 has SRAM’s Rival eTap AXS group. Electronic shifting is fast, reliable and precise. The hydraulic disc brakes allow you to stop quickly and safely.

With the new groupset the SL 6 eTap also gets a compatible drivetrain. Stealing from the mountain bike world, the Checkpoint SL 6 eTap has a 1×12 setup. There is plenty of range on the SRAM XG-1251, 10-44, 12 speed cassette.

Weight is 19.96 lbs., placing the SL 6 eTap firmly in the Super Bike category. For a detailed review read: 2022 Checkpoint SL 6 eTap review.

Checkpoint SL 7 eTap ($6,499)

With a $6,499 price tag the groupset better be great, and it is on the Checkpoint SL 7 eTap. You get an upgrade from Rival to Force, which translates to roughly 175 grams in weight savings.

The 2022 Checkpoint SL 7 eTap comes with a 2×12 drivetrain. The SL 6 comes with a 1X12 setup which is traditionally lighter, but those weight savings are gained back thanks to the switch from Rival to Force.

This bike weighs 19.63 lbs, which is pretty remarkable given its versatile uses. The sub 20 lbs weight makes the Checkpoint SL 7 eTap a capable climber, and it makes it almost unbelievable that this bike doubles as an all-road bikepacking rig. For a detailed review read: 2022 Trek Checkpoint SL 7 eTap review.

Checkpoint SLR 6 eTap ($7,799)

Surprisingly, the SLR 6 eTap takes a step backwards on the groupset. While the SL 7 comes with SRAM Force, the SLR 6 is equipped with SRAM Rival. It’s a surprising move from Trek considering the $1,300 price increase for a heavier groupset.

Groupset change aside, the Checkpoint SLR 6 eTap does come with a worthwhile upgrade. It has Trek’s 700 series OCLV Carbon Fiber frame. It’s the lightest frame Trek makes on its Checkpoint race bikes.

The drivetrain on Checkpoint’s SLR 6 eTap is 1×12 with a 40T chainring and a 10-44 cassette.

Thanks to the upgrade to 700 series OCLV carbon fiber, the SLR 6 eTap shaves a half pound off the SL 7 eTap weight. It weighs in at just 19.16 lbs.. For a detailed review read: 2022 Checkpoint SLR 6 eTap review.

Checkpoint SLR 7 ($8,349)

It’s an odd choice to see Trek go with GRX Di2 instead of Ultegra Di2 for this bike. GRX was made specifically for gravel bikes, but it is equivalent to Shimano 105, which is much heavier than the Ultegra and Dura Ace groupsets.

A 2×11 drivetrain gives you a plethora of range. It is worth noting, smaller cyclists riding 49 and 52 cm frame sizes do not have a 165 mm crank like the rest of the Checkpoint models. The shortest crank arm option is 170 mm.

Weighing in at 19.38 lbs. the SLR 7 is slightly heavier than the SLR 6 eTap. This is mainly due to the weight of the electronic shifting groups. Di2 has a wire running through your frame to all the components and the battery, while SRAM AXS is a true wireless setup. Shimano’s Di2 will get you better battery life in exchange for the additional weight. For a more detailed review, read: 2022 Trek Checkpoint SLR 7 review.

Checkpoint SLR 7 eTap ($8,499)

The 2022 Checkpoint SLR 7 eTap comes with SRAM Force eTap AXS. SRAM Force is their second-tier groupset behind SRAM Red. eTap is the name of SRAM’s road group, and AXS indicates wireless electronic shifting. Interestingly, any AXS component is cross compatible with other groups, even SRAM Eagle AXS.

This is a Project One bike, so you have plenty of options when ordering. SRAM Force comes in both 1x and 2x setups. If you are looking at a show room floor bike, odds are it will be spec’d with a 1x setup. Running a 2x setup adds a lot of weight from the front derailleur, and the bike already offers plenty of range with the 10-44 cassette.

If you want a lightweight gravel bike the SLR 7 eTap is for you. This thing weighs just 18.63 lbs. It shaves ..75 lbs. by making the switch from GRX Di2 to SRAM Force eTap AXS. For a detailed review on this bike read: 2022 Checkpoint SLR 7 eTap review.

Checkpoint SLR 9 eTap ($12,049)

The latest and greatest in electronic wireless shifting is the only way to define SRAM Red AXS eTap. The top of the line gravel bike from Trek went with the top of the line groupset and nailed it.

With a pride tag of $12,049 this isn’t a bike gravel enthusiasts will buy. It’s a trophy showing dominance for a doctor or lawyer, and its the best gravel bike on the market for professional and high level amateur racers. No professional will pay for this bike, and even the high level amateurs are getting a pro deal.

Your choice of drivetrain is 2×12 or 1×12. Keep in mind, there is a weight penalty for a 2×12 drivetrain due to adding the front derailleur. For a detailed review of this bike, read: 2022 Trek Checkpoint SLR 9 eTap review.

Trek Checkpoint Accessories

The bike comes incredibly well equipped thanks to the down tube storage compartment. That being said, there is still a need for a saddle bag on this bike.

The best saddle bag for Trek Checkpoint bikes, regardless of model, is the Topeak Wedge Dry Bag. (Check Price on Amazon). Pictured below, the mounting of this bag is clean, keeping with the aesthetic theme the Checkpoint already comes with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *