Trek Checkpoint SL Review – What’s the Hype All About?

What if you combined Trek’s Boone cyclocross bike and Domane Road Bike? You would get the Trek Checkpoint SL. Many may think that it looks like Domane or Boone, but if you look closely, there are many differences. The stealthy black frameset is the prime example of the difference between these models. This one has a gentle curve that almost resembles your body position while you are on the bike. It allows you to peddle quicker than other bikes. Plus, the thru-axle offset along with the race mounts and mudguards give a nice balance to this bike.

Excellent construction

There are two things that make the Trek Checkpoint SL a unique bike: the large down tube that comes with an internal cable routing system from Trek’s Control Freak. Second, the rear IsoSpeed decoupler on the semi-compact frame. This makes the bike look minimalistic. It doesn’t have wires hanging from the sides and the back. This also gives a cleaner and neater look. The rear brake hose on the top of the tube and all the other cables come inside the cable routing system.

Apart from the neat cabling unit, the makers also added polymer impact guard covers in the lower half of the down tube. It continues until the chainstay, separated by a bottle cage mount.

Probably the most significant point of difference of the Trek Checkpoint SL from Domane and Boone is the heavily dropped rear end. Its intricate shape alongside the driveside chainstay allows space for double chainset and extra tire clearance. You also see a difference in the seatstays. They have a square shape and bow upwards gently. The rack mounts and mudguards are tucked underneath the bridge to make the bike look neat.

Extraordinary performance

Riding on this bike feels like cutting butter with a knife. You cannot imagine how smooth the performance is until you take it for a ride. Whether you take it on a gravel track or a flat road, this bike will not disappoint when it comes to performance. The 40psi in its 35mm tires glides charismatically across any turf.

The shallow, closely-spaced, round tread block rolls gently, offering enough grip to the tires to provide ample support even while riding at your highest speed. Paradigm Comp’s lightweight carbon wheelset, together with the incredible frame stiffness, make for an excellent combination that allows you to accelerate ahead of the others. Even if you fall behind in the race, you can cover the ground quicker than you expect.

Another unique feature about the Trek Checkpoint SL is its Montrose saddle. It is both comfortable and supportive, making the ride smoother and giving you full control at the curves and sharp turns.

Final verdict

Trek Checkpoint SL excels at every possible feature you can think of in a gravel bike. Starting from the comfortable seats to the high-end performance, you can’t see any drawback. Take this bike out for a ride, and you will probably come back home buying it along with several other riding gears.