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Domane VS Checkpoint

Old 12-01-19, 08:33 AM
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O d gout
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Domane VS Checkpoint

Sorry if this has been asked before but I need some input before I buy. I just got back into cycling after more than 15 away (alway been a MB kinda guy) and really enjoyed the open roads last summer. I ride 90% road and the other 10% on old railway tracks converted in to tight gravel bike/hiking trails.

I was leaning towards the 2020 Domane SL5 but the folks at the LBS are really pushing me toward the checkpoint stating the Domane should not be taken on gravel at all and that the frames finish would be ruined. I heard this from multiple employees. Is this true? how would the Checkpoint ride on the roads? I really just want a comfortable bike for long rides and the odd tight gravel ride.

Any advice would be appreciated before I buy next spring.
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Old 12-01-19, 09:10 AM
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Yeah man the Domane is a little more well equipped for rough roads vs an Emonda but it is no gravel bike.

the geometry and tire clearance arenít really right to keep you comfortable and rolling through any kind of gravel.

the checkpoint is a fine bike, it too is limited in terms of tire clearance but is much more comfortable in a gravel setting than a Domane.
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Old 12-01-19, 09:33 AM
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The 2020 Domane allows for much wider tires than earlier models. It would be wide enough for me, but I would never ride any really rough gravel roads.
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Old 12-01-19, 11:11 AM
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Remember when Trek put disc brakes+wider tires on and called the Domane a gravel bike?https://roadbikeaction.com/first-loo...ne-gravel/amp/

Last edited by BarryVee; 12-01-19 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 12-01-19, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by O d gout View Post
I was leaning towards the 2020 Domane SL5 but the folks at the LBS are really pushing me toward the checkpoint stating the Domane should not be taken on gravel at all and that the frames finish would be ruined. I heard this from multiple employees..
I could understand if the LBS were discussing geometry or wheel/tire clearance differences, but I'm curious what the "finish would be ruined" is all about? A checkpoint SL5 vs Domane SL5.. stronger paint on one vs the other?

Also.. too bad the Checkpoint didn't get the newer T47 bottombracket update like the Domane did.

Last edited by Sy Reene; 12-01-19 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 12-01-19, 03:57 PM
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I've owned both the 2020 Trek Checkpoint ALR5 (105 equipped), and now a 2020 Trek Domane SLR (Ultegra Di2 equipped).

The Domane has more than enough clearance to be a proper "gravel" bike if that's what you want from it. But I do get where your LBS is coming from with the finish. I would never take my Domane off-roading. I paid too much for the Project One ICON paint scheme, and I just paid way too much in general for the bike. So if you're looking for a bike to use mostly on road, but sometimes off road...that's literally what the Domane is for. The Checkpoint is just a proper gravel bike, that can also be ridden on the road. My Checkpoint was gray, and would have hidden grime and dirt well. My Domane is "Molten Marble" which is a weird red mixture color...and the finish is WAY more smooth and glossy. This is mostly due to the difference between an ALR line bike and the SLR line of bikes...but still, it's something to consider. My Checkpoint was also "slow". You could just feel that the bike was working against you anytime you were on the road. The few times I took it on the gravel, it felt awesome, but that isn't where I ride, so there was no point in having a bike specially designed for that. The Domane, even with 32mm tires is just way faster, given the same rider and conditions. I have data that shows I was able to improve almost 15% with regards to climbing and straight-line cruising speed under the same amount of effort once I switched to the Domane. To me, that's pretty amazing!

My honest opinion is get the Domane which should come with 32mm and then grab a set of wider tires for when you want to go off-roading. I love my Domane and would never go back to a Checkpoint, but that's just my personal opinion.
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Old 12-01-19, 04:13 PM
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I own both a Domane SL 6 and a Checkpoint ALR 4. The Domane will be fine on gravel. It will easily run 32 mm tires. You can put some protection on the inside of the down tube to keep it from getting dinged up. I personally wouldn't take my Domane on really rough gravel roads, but it would be fine on some mild stuff. The Checkpoint will hold 47 mm tires for off roading or you could put some 32 mm slicks (or smaller) on it and ride it on the road comfortably. There's about 5 pounds difference in the two bikes, so the Domane is gonna be much snappier.

You can't go wrong with either bike. The ALR 4 is a lot cheaper. And btw, the Tiagra on my Checkpoint is really good. It shifts smoothly and the finish on the group set is great. It's not quite as nice as the 8000 Ultegra on the Domane, but it's a dang nice group set. Don't let anyone tell you that Tiagra is not good stuff.
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Old 12-01-19, 05:27 PM
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Still confused.. A CF domane will chip and get damaged by gravel, but a CF Checkpoint won't?
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Old 12-01-19, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Still confused.. A CF domane will chip and get damaged by gravel, but a CF Checkpoint won't?
What I'm getting at is the finish on the bikes. It's almost like Trek knew people would be taking the Checkpoint offroad and the finish supports that. Also, the Checkpoint ALR is aluminum. And that's most likely what OP is talking about. If they're talking about the SL line of Checkpoint bikes, then yea...I have no experience with the carbon line of Checkpoint bikes. Soooo, who knows?

Last edited by N00b_Cyclist; 12-01-19 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 12-01-19, 08:28 PM
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The Checkpoint has what Trek calls carbon armor on the down tube to protect it from damage.
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Old 12-01-19, 08:48 PM
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At 90% road I’d be getting the Domane.

The 2020 comes with a 32mm tire, likely will fit larger if you want. Thus can readily do gravel as desired and I wouldn’t worry too much about carbon resistance to hits from stones.
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Old 12-01-19, 10:02 PM
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Only reason I’d get the Checkpoint over the Domane, in your situation, is if I wanted to run 42mm or wider tires. The Domane comes with 32 mm, is officially rated by Trek to accept 38mm tires, and will easily hold a 40mm tire.

I’ve extensively test ridden the Domane as well as many of the comparable bikes from other manufacturers, and the Domane is pretty impressive for an endurance bike. I plan to add one to my stable in the near future, SL5.

And I don’t understand why the Trek paint is supposedly so fragile on the Domane for gravel. If that’s a concern, just install some clear bra on the bottom part of the downtube.
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Old 12-02-19, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Still confused.. A CF domane will chip and get damaged by gravel, but a CF Checkpoint won't?
the CF Checkpoint has what Trek calls carbon armor on the down tube to protect the frame. Looks kind of like a plastic mud guard and I'm sure this is what the lbs is referring to.
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Old 12-02-19, 05:16 AM
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I've been riding an SL6 Domane for 3 years, about 95% on road - the occasional gravel stretch of a few miles during a 50 mile road ride, and the occasional crushed limestone rail trail. I run 32mm tires.

The Doimane is not great on actual gravel and the tires I run (Continental GP 5000s) are probably the biggest downside. The Domane and those tires are OK for the riding I describe above but I wouldn't do a "real" gravel ride on those tires, and since I weigh 230 I'm not convinced the rear wheel (Vision 40) and spokes are good choices for gravel either. But, if your non-paved riding will be mostly crushed limestone rail trails, I think the Domane will be fine. On that type of riding on the Domane, I haven't seen any finish damage - just lots of dust!

Since I want to do more/longer gravel rides, I considered buying a second set of wheels for the Domane. That would be a good compromise.

But, I have an old beater hybrid bike that I had been using on pure gravel or rail trail rides, and a old Trek 520 that I use on multiday road tours. In the end, I decided to do a "N-2+!" - I donated the old bikes and bought a Jamis Renegade steel bike as a touring/gravel bike.

I could have saved money by buying the wheels, but this way I could justify a new bike by ending up with fewer bikes! But, it is a cheaper alternative. If you aren't a "clydesdale" like me, you could just swap tires for actual gravel rides but to me that is a pain and increases the chances of nipping a tube (I have not gone tubeless) and causing self induced flats.

Armor for carbon finish: on my 2017 Domane, the rear brake and derailleur cables are external from the levers to the down tube, then they are routed internal to the downtube. Where they go around the headset, the cables chafed a bit. So, I put clear contact paper/shelf liner over the wear spot, which is what I've done for years on bikes and kayaks at wear points. Similar to what most bikes have on the chain stay under the chain. You could put some of that on the bottom of the down tube if you were worried about the finish.

I'm really enjoying the Jamis and the 1x drivetrain, but I really, really love that Domane and those Vision 40 wheels. If my riding mix went to 50/50 and I had to choose one bike only, if I could afford spare wheels I would definitely choose the Domane. If I couldn't afford spare wheels, and the 50% gravel was all rail trails, I'd probably stick with the Domane and live with higher rolling resistance tires on my road rides (I'm not a racer, but do like keeping up with the group on group rides!) that have some tread and better puncture resistance.

If that 50% was going to be more dirt roads and loose gravel, I'd probably go with the Checkpoint. I went with the Jamis steel bike because friends who have them are fanatics about Jamis, steel was cheaper than carbon.
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Old 12-02-19, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by drewtk View Post
And I don’t understand why the Trek paint is supposedly so fragile on the Domane for gravel. If that’s a concern, just install some clear bra on the bottom part of the downtube.
Yeah, it's a pretty ridiculous assertion by the shop. The Checkpoint does have the "carbon armor" on the downtube only, but if you follow any Facebook groups related to the Checkpoint, there are MANY instances of paint getting nicked up on the fork, stays, and elswhere on many Checkpoints. BOTH bikes will get nicked up by riding on gravel.

I would probably apply some strategic "helicopter tape" to vulnerable areas on my Domane if I planned to use it on gravel, however.'

And the front IsoSpeed, threaded bottom bracket, improved seat post situation, and other cool features of the 2020 Domane would put me firmly in that camp if I planned on doing a lot of road riding with the bike.
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Old 12-02-19, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
Yeah, it's a pretty ridiculous assertion by the shop. The Checkpoint does have the "carbon armor" on the downtube only, but if you follow any Facebook groups related to the Checkpoint, there are MANY instances of paint getting nicked up on the fork, stays, and elswhere on many Checkpoints. BOTH bikes will get nicked up by riding on gravel.

I would probably apply some strategic "helicopter tape" to vulnerable areas on my Domane if I planned to use it on gravel, however.'

And the front IsoSpeed, threaded bottom bracket, improved seat post situation, and other cool features of the 2020 Domane would put me firmly in that camp if I planned on doing a lot of road riding with the bike.
Ah, wasn't aware of the Checkpoint's extra protection on the downtube (good to know). Even so, I wouldn't let that one feature make the decision for me.
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Old 12-02-19, 02:40 PM
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As others have posted already, the Domane will fit 38 mm tyres. Also, this is the bike Trek uses in Paris Roubaix. So get the Domane and just don't ride on conditions worse than Paris Roubaix.
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Old 12-02-19, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by imakecircles View Post
As others have posted already, the Domane will fit 38 mm tyres. Also, this is the bike Trek uses in Paris Roubaix. So get the Domane and just don't ride on conditions worse than Paris Roubaix.
That's some big gravel! (But it's mired in mud.)
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Old 12-02-19, 04:37 PM
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Thanks for the input gang! Domane was my first choice but I wanted so input before buying. The more I think about it purchasing a gravel bike when I would only be riding limestone trails 5-10% of the time seems silly.

Domane SL5 will be mine in the spring.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-02-19, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by O d gout View Post
Thanks for the input gang! Domane was my first choice but I wanted so input before buying. The more I think about it purchasing a gravel bike when I would only be riding limestone trails 5-10% of the time seems silly.

Domane SL5 will be mine in the spring.

Thanks again.
Glad to hear it! You will love it I'm sure! Post back when you get it and include pics!!
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Old 12-02-19, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by O d gout View Post
Thanks for the input gang! Domane was my first choice but I wanted so input before buying. The more I think about it purchasing a gravel bike when I would only be riding limestone trails 5-10% of the time seems silly.

Domane SL5 will be mine in the spring.

Thanks again.
Good choice.

When I sold bikes for a living, my first question was what are you going to be doing with the bike MOST of the time? That answer dictates the type of bike that will be best suited for your riding. You answered this exact question and came up with your answer.

Congratulations on your new spring ride.
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