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Sizing Question for gravel bikes

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Sizing Question for gravel bikes

Old 09-23-23, 06:19 PM
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Sizing Question for gravel bikes

Iím a roadie. I have 4 trek road bikes all in size 58. I decided to get a checkpoint the other day and I am having a hard time with the sizing. I am probably over thinking this. I brought home a 58 but it seems significantly bigger than my road bikes. The 56 was very close to my 58 emonda. However, the 56 seemed to small and the 58 seemed to big.

Ive checked other brands and it seems like with other brands the gravel bikes are bigger as well.

Is there a reason for this? Should the bike feel larger than a road bike? or is it custom to go a size down for gravel?

I only got to do a short test ride on both of them, and we got hit by the tropical storm today so I did not ride the checkpoint today.
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Old 09-24-23, 08:15 PM
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I don't have a modern Trek road bike for a comparison, but potentially the longer wheelbase and/or wider flared bars on the Checkpoint contribute to it feeling bigger?

My LBS said I could go a 54, but I bought the size 52 as I prefer my bikes on the smaller side.
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Old 09-25-23, 09:14 AM
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Why did you go with Trek for the gravel bike?...if its because you are a fanboi for Trek based on your road bikes, this is one(of a few) reasons why brand loyalty can be very limiting. If you dislike the Checkpoint geometry, then buy a gravel bike with different geometry from the 50 other brands. The one constant is that there is no one style of geometry for gravel bikes, so you will easily find something that feels different from the Checkpoint.

In general, gravel bikes as a whole have higher stack and shorter reach compared to a paved road race bike. It is easy to find examples that dont support this generalization though, and you seem like a candidate for one of those bikes.
The thought for higher stack and less reach is that a slightly more upright position is more comfortable on rough surfaces and on long rides(gravel has been viewed/pushed as 'adventure' and distance has been part of that). A slightly longer wheelbase smooths out bumps, a slightly longer front center helps with stability on rough decents, etc etc. But that doesnt mean everyone needs a gravel bike with these characteristics.

If you want a gravel bike that has geometry which mirrors your road bikes, then buy a bike that has that.
In your case, the Checkpoint is higher stack and longer reach too. Significantly longer wheelbase, more BB drop, noticably longer chainstays, etc.
https://geometrygeeks.bike/compare/t...l5-2022-58-cm/


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Old 09-25-23, 02:03 PM
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Using the geometrygeeks site left me really confused. At first it seemed that the 56 emonda should work to replace the 58 checkpoint, but when I did a comparison it didn't seem that was true
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Old 09-25-23, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Why did you go with Trek for the gravel bike?...if its because you are a fanboi for Trek based on your road bikes, this is one(of a few) reasons why brand loyalty can be very limiting. If you dislike the Checkpoint geometry, then buy a gravel bike with different geometry from the 50 other brands. The one constant is that there is no one style of geometry for gravel bikes, so you will easily find something that feels different from the Checkpoint.

In general, gravel bikes as a whole have higher stack and shorter reach compared to a paved road race bike. It is easy to find examples that dont support this generalization though, and you seem like a candidate for one of those bikes.
The thought for higher stack and less reach is that a slightly more upright position is more comfortable on rough surfaces and on long rides(gravel has been viewed/pushed as 'adventure' and distance has been part of that). A slightly longer wheelbase smooths out bumps, a slightly longer front center helps with stability on rough decents, etc etc. But that doesnt mean everyone needs a gravel bike with these characteristics.

If you want a gravel bike that has geometry which mirrors your road bikes, then buy a bike that has that.
In your case, the Checkpoint is higher stack and longer reach too. Significantly longer wheelbase, more BB drop, noticably longer chainstays, etc.
https://geometrygeeks.bike/compare/t...l5-2022-58-cm/


Dont buy based on brand, buy based on fit, quality, and price.

Not really a trek fan boy. I have tried ordering bikes online in the past and it didnít work out. We only have 2 bike shops in my immediate vicinity, trek being one and other rarely has many bikes in stock. I am good friends with the manager of trek, and the customer service is amazing so I have just kept buying from them. I went with the checkpoint because they had 2 readily available for me to try out. It came down to the checkpoint or the aspero apex. I could not test ride the aspero, it was going to be a 1x and the components were not great.

Yesterday I spent about 3 hours at trek hopping from the 56 to the 58. I had them flip the stems, and at the end of the test riding I decided to bring home the 56. At that moment it felt like what I was used to as far as how my road bikes feel. I talked to some gravel riders on my race team, and after riding it this morning for 40 miles decided to take it back for the 58. I was too cramped, and throwing a longer stem on it defeats the purpose. Happy with my decision.
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Old 09-26-23, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06
Iím a roadie. I have 4 trek road bikes all in size 58. I decided to get a checkpoint the other day and I am having a hard time with the sizing. I am probably over thinking this. I brought home a 58 but it seems significantly bigger than my road bikes. The 56 was very close to my 58 emonda. However, the 56 seemed to small and the 58 seemed to big.
Not sure why; if anything I would think the shorter reach and taller stack of gravel frames should feel smaller than a road bike of equivalent size. I ride 56cm road frames and my "gravel" bikes (in quotes because they are sold as CX bikes) also in 56cm feel smaller to me. So when you say the gravel bike feels bigger, what do you mean by that? Are you more stretched out? Does the longer wheelbase and longer chainstays make you feel less nimble? Does the taller head tube make you feel more upright and thus sitting higher in the cockpit?
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Old 09-27-23, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06
Not really a trek fan boy. I have tried ordering bikes online in the past and it didnít work out. We only have 2 bike shops in my immediate vicinity, trek being one and other rarely has many bikes in stock. I am good friends with the manager of trek, and the customer service is amazing so I have just kept buying from them. I went with the checkpoint because they had 2 readily available for me to try out. It came down to the checkpoint or the aspero apex. I could not test ride the aspero, it was going to be a 1x and the components were not great.

Yesterday I spent about 3 hours at trek hopping from the 56 to the 58. I had them flip the stems, and at the end of the test riding I decided to bring home the 56. At that moment it felt like what I was used to as far as how my road bikes feel. I talked to some gravel riders on my race team, and after riding it this morning for 40 miles decided to take it back for the 58. I was too cramped, and throwing a longer stem on it defeats the purpose. Happy with my decision.
- I said 'fanboi' and recognize that is usually used in a dismissive and insulting manner, but really didnt mean for it to be used that way. If you read it that way, my apologies. I was moreso commenting on your (justified based on explanation) multiple Trek bikes already owned, so if you were going to that brand just based on brand, it may not be a great idea.
- A 58 Checkpoint is definitely larger feeling than a 58mm Emonda, based on published geometry.
- If the 58 Checkpoint works best in the end, thats awesome.
- Funny that you mentioned an Aspero because that bike's geometry in a 56 is very similar to a 58 Emonda. The same stack and reach(within 1mm each), a shorter wheelbase than a 58 Checkpoint, shorter chainstays than a 58 Checkpoint, and steering that is identical in trail to the Checkpoint(which will be slightly slower than the Emonda). Its one that I would have suggested based on the basic idea of 'race bike with large tires', but yeah I can definitely see why the 1x Apex option wasnt appealing. From what Ive read that is a bombproof group, but its also made of lead. And if you dont want 1x, well thats a deal breaker too then. The Aspero RX600 is slightly more cost than the Apex model, but offers 2x and if I had to pick one or the other it would be the 2x for sure, so I get it.


I know it likely isnt what you would want in material, and you have settled on a 58mm Checkpoint so its a moot point, but a Fairlight Secan 2.5 in the 56R size is even closer to fit to your Emonda. The reach is identical, stack is actually 9mm lower, so easily adjusted for with spacers, the trail measurement is closer, the wheelbase is slightly tighter, and BB drop will more fully account for the larger difference in tire size.
Just mentioning as an example of looking at geometry first.

But again- buying based on what is available to you makes perfect sense. Hopefully the 58 settles in quickly for you and works well for what you want.
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Old 09-27-23, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
- I said 'fanboi' and recognize that is usually used in a dismissive and insulting manner, but really didnt mean for it to be used that way. If you read it that way, my apologies. I was moreso commenting on your (justified based on explanation) multiple Trek bikes already owned, so if you were going to that brand just based on brand, it may not be a great idea.
- A 58 Checkpoint is definitely larger feeling than a 58mm Emonda, based on published geometry.
- If the 58 Checkpoint works best in the end, thats awesome.
- Funny that you mentioned an Aspero because that bike's geometry in a 56 is very similar to a 58 Emonda. The same stack and reach(within 1mm each), a shorter wheelbase than a 58 Checkpoint, shorter chainstays than a 58 Checkpoint, and steering that is identical in trail to the Checkpoint(which will be slightly slower than the Emonda). Its one that I would have suggested based on the basic idea of 'race bike with large tires', but yeah I can definitely see why the 1x Apex option wasnt appealing. From what Ive read that is a bombproof group, but its also made of lead. And if you dont want 1x, well thats a deal breaker too then. The Aspero RX600 is slightly more cost than the Apex model, but offers 2x and if I had to pick one or the other it would be the 2x for sure, so I get it.


I know it likely isnt what you would want in material, and you have settled on a 58mm Checkpoint so its a moot point, but a Fairlight Secan 2.5 in the 56R size is even closer to fit to your Emonda. The reach is identical, stack is actually 9mm lower, so easily adjusted for with spacers, the trail measurement is closer, the wheelbase is slightly tighter, and BB drop will more fully account for the larger difference in tire size.
Just mentioning as an example of looking at geometry first.

But again- buying based on what is available to you makes perfect sense. Hopefully the 58 settles in quickly for you and works well for what you want.

Itís all good. I went with whatís available. I put an 80 mm stem on it yesterday dropped it 10 mm and put 42mm road bars on it for now. Still have not gotten to ride it but sitting on it, it feels good.

I have very little experience with gravel riding. Did my first gravel ride a few weeks ago on a pinarello. The frame was the correct size but the guy I borrowed it from likes to be stretched out so the stem was long.
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Old 09-28-23, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06
Itís all good. I went with whatís available. I put an 80 mm stem on it yesterday dropped it 10 mm and put 42mm road bars on it for now. Still have not gotten to ride it but sitting on it, it feels good.
I have very little experience with gravel riding. Did my first gravel ride a few weeks ago on a pinarello. The frame was the correct size but the guy I borrowed it from likes to be stretched out so the stem was long.
I understand you have several trek road bikes but what are they and how old are they? The reason I ask is because you need to compare equivalent. Many bike fitter have noticed that bike have "grown" recently. Many people used to ride 54 bikes in the 2000's and early 2010's and now ride 52 bikes now because the effective top tube/reach and stack are bigger than what they were. I am between 2 sizes and used to ride 54 for 20years, I now need a 52 or S.
So, what are the geometry of your road bikes?

Then, if you go for flared bars, there is a rule of thumb you can use:
if on the road bike you have a 400mm dropbar and a 100mm stem, for a 420mm dropbar or 400 flared (420mm in the drop by the lever), you need a 90mm stem.
Basically for every 20mm wider on the dropbar, the stem needs to be shorten by 10mm and vice versa.
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Old 09-28-23, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Fentuz
I understand you have several trek road bikes but what are they and how old are they? The reason I ask is because you need to compare equivalent. Many bike fitter have noticed that bike have "grown" recently. Many people used to ride 54 bikes in the 2000's and early 2010's and now ride 52 bikes now because the effective top tube/reach and stack are bigger than what they were. I am between 2 sizes and used to ride 54 for 20years, I now need a 52 or S.
So, what are the geometry of your road bikes?

Then, if you go for flared bars, there is a rule of thumb you can use:
if on the road bike you have a 400mm dropbar and a 100mm stem, for a 420mm dropbar or 400 flared (420mm in the drop by the lever), you need a 90mm stem.
Basically for every 20mm wider on the dropbar, the stem needs to be shorten by 10mm and vice versa.

2022 Madone SL/SLR 58
2023 Emonda ALR 6. 58
2013 Madone 58
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Old 09-28-23, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06
2022 Madone SL/SLR 58
2023 Emonda ALR 6. 58
2013 Madone 58
Emonda ALR 58
E ó Effective top tube : 57.4
N - Frame stack: 58.1

CheckpointALR 58
E ó Effective top tube : 59.7
N - Frame stack: 60.9


CheckpointALR 56
E ó Effective top tube : 58.4
N - Frame stack: 59.2

CheckpointALR 54
E ó Effective top tube : 57
N - Frame stack: 57.1



Your emonda is between a 54 and 56 checkpoint. you would possibly need a 56 with a stem 10mm shorter than the emonda stem.
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Old 09-28-23, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Fentuz
Emonda ALR 58
E ó Effective top tube : 57.4
N - Frame stack: 58.1

CheckpointALR 58
E ó Effective top tube : 59.7
N - Frame stack: 60.9


CheckpointALR 56
E ó Effective top tube : 58.4
N - Frame stack: 59.2

CheckpointALR 54
E ó Effective top tube : 57
N - Frame stack: 57.1



Your emonda is between a 54 and 56 checkpoint. you would possibly need a 56 with a stem 10mm shorter than the emonda stem.

56 checkpoint was too cramped. If anything I was going to have to put a longer stem on it which defeats the purpose. Brought home the 58. Rode it yesterday and today, fits like a glove.





Threw some road wheels on it for the ride I am doing tomorrow. Going up the blue ridge parkway. Handles great on the road, and didnít really notice that much of a drop in speed. Figured the more upright position would be better for climbing. My emonda is slammed with 120 mm stem and 17 degrees of drop.
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