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Trek Checkpoint as endurance bike

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Trek Checkpoint as endurance bike

Old 01-04-22, 07:30 PM
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Trek Checkpoint as endurance bike

I'm thinking about getting a Trek Checkpoint for use as an endurance bike rather than gravel bike. If you want to read my reasons, see below. I'm looking at carbon frame versions. It appears that the Checkpoint has a frame very similar to the Trek Domane endurance bike only a bit wider. But still some effort at aero design and tidy cabling. Of course, the wheels are different but I'd build up a set of carbon road wheels.

So, at the most basic level, what would I be giving up using a Checkpoint with road wheels vs a Domane?

My Reasons:
I'm heavy for a cyclist at 6'2" and 210 lbs, only been riding for 3 years so I'm not real strong (FTP = ~240 W) only about 2.5 W/kg.
I'm 60 years old so, while I've been riding quite a bit (about 8 hours per week) I'm not a youngster that's ever going to be at 4-5 W/kg.
Climbing is a big part of what I have available to me and in fact I really enjoy it, but I have short sections of 15+% grades and plenty of 8%+ and I don't think I can do it with road gearing.

I'd do some experimenting, but this bike buying decision has been brought on by a wreck and I have neither a bike or the ability to ride (broken collarbone). Otherwise I'd do some experimenting to see if in fact I could grind up some of these climbs using higher gearing. My damaged bike has an 11-40 cassette and 48/31 chainrings. So, climbing with a 34T chainring and 34 sprocket is a significant difference. Also, while I occasionally spin out on my 48T chianring and 11T sprocket, it's rare and going downhill at 36+ MPH. That's plenty fast for me. So, the higher gearing of a 50T chainring is pretty useless to me.

With a Trek Checkpoint I'd get lower gearing and a bunch of frame mounts. While I mostly ride road, I still like top tube bags and the Checkpoint has a bunch of frame mounts to hold a Bontrager frame bag designed just for it. I'd make use of that in the winter to stow jackets and other layers I may have to shed on longer rides. I live in Albuquerque NM and winter rides can start freezing and end warm.
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Old 01-04-22, 07:49 PM
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Go for it, if you can find it. Advantage to a gravel is you can buy a 2nd set of wheels, install wider gravel tires then what would fit on a Domane and ride the abundance of gravel roads in your area. My Topstone gravel with 28mm road tires is only maybe 1/2 MPH slower than the carbon road bike that is 5 lbs lighter. Any added weight of the Checkpoint over the Domane might not ever be noticed.
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Old 01-04-22, 07:58 PM
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Get the Checkpoint and a second set of nice road wheels. If you can find one that fits. I have a 2021 Domane SL6. I’d have gotten a Checkpoint SL6 if I could have found one in 58cm. I remember the wheels are the same but the Checkpoint came with wider more aggressive tires. I would have also looked for larger chainrings like on the Domane. But that’s me. I want a bike for lite touring and my get a Checkpoint AL5 for this in the future.
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Old 01-04-22, 08:06 PM
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seem like all good reasons ...
Trek Checkpoint seems a very nice bike, versatile, and having 2 wheel sets, one for road and one for the more varied conditions of gravel, is a nice way to config a bike like this.
If I didn;t have a bazillion bikes already and wanted 'one' bike to rule them all (which is, of course, impossible ... LOL!), I'd opt for something like the Checkpoint.
Ultimately its all about the motor, and unless your income rides on cycling, then it's what strikes your fancy and will do service for you.
You're not 'Old', so likely this won't be your last bike; if you're really infected by the 'terminal' illness, riding a bike... LOL!
Ride On
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Old 01-04-22, 10:01 PM
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I agree. Sounds as if you want the Checkpoint. It's not like it would slow you down or that you would care if it did. Will be a nice bike.
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Old 01-04-22, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
Go for it, if you can find it. Advantage to a gravel is you can buy a 2nd set of wheels, install wider gravel tires then what would fit on a Domane and ride the abundance of gravel roads in your area. My Topstone gravel with 28mm road tires is only maybe 1/2 MPH slower than the carbon road bike that is 5 lbs lighter. Any added weight of the Checkpoint over the Domane might not ever be noticed.
My wrecked bike is a Topstone 105 that I built up some carbon wheels for. I just ended up riding the road mostly and was getting an itch to perhaps get a more road specific bike. Now that I will be getting a new bike, I still have the same reasons I got the Topstone. I'm certainly not concerned about the weight of the bike. I'd have to drop 40 lbs of my own weight before I need to worry about any extra weight on the bike.

Originally Posted by cyclezen
seem like all good reasons ...
Trek Checkpoint seems a very nice bike, versatile, and having 2 wheel sets, one for road and one for the more varied conditions of gravel, is a nice way to config a bike like this.
If I didn;t have a bazillion bikes already and wanted 'one' bike to rule them all (which is, of course, impossible ... LOL!), I'd opt for something like the Checkpoint.
Ultimately its all about the motor, and unless your income rides on cycling, then it's what strikes your fancy and will do service for you.
You're not 'Old', so likely this won't be your last bike; if you're really infected by the 'terminal' illness, riding a bike... LOL!
Ride On
Yuri
I don't consider myself old either, but 60 isn't 20. And I would also like to think I'll have other bikes as well. But realistically, I don't think a road bike with aggressive geometry is for me so that's what has me thinking endurance bike. Then I wonder what really is the difference between an endurance bike and gravel bike other than tire width and gearing. I prefer gravel gearing, for now, and can fit narrow wheels.

Originally Posted by shelbyfv
I agree. Sounds as if you want the Checkpoint. It's not like it would slow you down or that you would care if it did. Will be a nice bike.
What I'd like to have is a fast, aggressive road bike, but I'm pretty sure I'd find that too uncomfortable. So, that points me towards endurance bikes. So, really I'd like to talk myself into something considered a road bike, I.E., something like the Domane. But then I look at the specifics and it seems I would get about the same bike in a Checkpoint if I put on a wheelset with narrower tires and get gearing that works better for me and the riding I'm doing.

As for getting a bike, that's why I'm trying to get the ball moving now. I figure it's going to be months before I get something. So, if I can figure it out and get it ordered now, at least some of my recovery time where I can't ride will overlap the delivery time. I do still have my old 25-year-old hybrid "dad" bike to have something to ride until I get a new bike. Something is better than nothing at all. That will just make the new bike that much sweeter when I get it.
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Old 01-04-22, 10:37 PM
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Fyi

Trek stores near me are requiring full payment to get in line for checkpoints when they arrive. That date keeps shifting. Something to consider…
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Old 01-04-22, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by force10
Trek stores near me are requiring full payment to get in line for checkpoints when they arrive. That date keeps shifting. Something to consider…
I have an actual Trek store in my city and their normal policy is $100 deposit to order. But I can't say this is true of all models. My recent experience was with my daughter's bike. She ordered a Trek Dual Sport around last August 2021 with an expected delivery in March 2022. As mentioned $100 deposit. Fortunately the bike showed up much earlier and she got it in early December after "only" 4 months. I have no idea what delivery might be on a Checkpoint. I've got a bunch of other things I'm considering which I'll likely start other threads on. Point being I'm all over the map on what model to get. So, until I get a better handle on what I want, I'm not ready to talk seriously with the LBS about it. Though possibly if the model greatly affects delivery that could factor into my choice.

Fortunately, the older I get the faster time goes by, so at least wait times seem shorter.
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Old 01-04-22, 11:17 PM
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I did it

I went for the Checkpoint (2021 ALR5) myself, with two sets of DT Swiss GR1600 wheels, one for gravel (45c knobby) and one road (35c slick for winter, will do 30 or 32 in summer). It will fit a 50/34 crank when I need more speed but can also run 1x. I also appreciated the nice fender mounts as I live in Seattle and that’s a must here for winter. Have two stems, one to get an aggressive road position and another for gravel. I’m using the adjustable dropouts, I like the short position for road and longer wheelbase makes a difference for stable feeling off-road.
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Old 01-05-22, 06:27 AM
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Our local Trek store in Newport News Va told me before Xmas I could reserve a Checkpoint AL5 for delivery in Feb. had to post a 50% refundable deposit. At the time there were I think 57 left of various colors due in Feb. It was so tempting.

As for Checkpoint vs Domane. I did it but think the 2022 Checkpoint SL has isospeed front and rear. I think they just added it to the front but may be wrong. To the point the Domane is a sweat ride. If you don’t think you’ll need all the Checkpoint attachment point the Domane you will like.
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Old 01-05-22, 07:06 AM
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I have a Specialized Diverge which is a gravel bike. I bought it to use as a touring bike as I don't plan on riding gravel. I haven't had a chance to do a tour, but I've done a fair amount of road rides with it.

It came with 35mm tires which I usually pump up to about 60 PSI and while it's a little slower and heavier than my regular road bike, it's not by much and I enjoy it regardless. I wouldn't use it for a club ride, but I don't do many of those anyway.

Riding my Diverge puts me in a different mindset. It's more about just getting out there and less about wattage or speed. One of my favorite things to do is to pick up lunch on a ride, stash it in the trunk bag (I wouldn't put a rack on my regular road bike) and ride to a nearby park to enjoy the scenery and a meal.
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Old 01-05-22, 07:42 AM
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Admittedly I'm not fluent in bikes that are new or a just a couple years old, but it appears, marketing buzz aside, the Checkpoint & Domane are very similar bikes.



Bike Insights probably have 2022 models available to compare. Also, scroll down for a spec comparison.

https://bikeinsights.com/compare?geo...789300177deaf0,

I'm of a similar age as the OP. If it were me, given a choice of a road bike and a gravel bike that are basically the same, I'd take the gravel bike in a heartbeat. Fast, wider tires are addicting and the ability to run them pretty much steers my selection on n+1 bikes as time goes on. I spend most of my riding time on a pair of Lemond Poprads running 38mm tires. Fast, good handling, smooth ride..works for me...and the OP too I suspect.
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Old 01-06-22, 11:50 AM
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Checkpoint geometry changed (fairly substantially) for 2022.

https://bikeinsights.com/compare?geo...d258001c352bfb,,
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Old 01-06-22, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by force10
Checkpoint geometry changed (fairly substantially) for 2022.
It's my understanding that they increased the wheelbase by 2 cm but compensated with a shorter stem and reduced reach on the handlebars. I assume this makes the bike more stable. For my purposes, more stability is probably a good thing.
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Old 01-06-22, 02:54 PM
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I'd be surprised if there is any noticeable weight difference between a Domane and Checkpoint with equal parts on them. The geometry differences would be the only thing you'd really notice, and maybe some slight aero penalty on the Checkpoint with larger gaps around the tires. Unless you're regularly chucking your bike into high speed crit racing corners or sprinting off the front of a pack, I doubt you'd find the road handling of a Checkpoint to be sub-par. You would likely need to ride these two bikes back-to-back to notice any real differences.

For context, I currently own a Cannondale SuperX that I ride road with, on a set of carbon wheels with 28mm rubber. It's roughly 17lbs. I'm not doing road races or crits on this, but I have no problem keeping up with the team on our group training rides. If my SuperX was 2x I'd have zero need for a pure road bike outside of racing.
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Old 01-07-22, 07:10 AM
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Just for grins, I was wondering just how much of a difference there was between what I ride most of the time (2003 Lemond Poprad) and the newer (2020) Checkpoint...and by extension Domane. I see this over and over and over...It always surprises me how much folks waft and wane about how different various bikes are. I've rented a couple modern "wunderbikes" and I honestly can't feel much of any gamechanging-level difference between them and my older bikes. There are differences to be sure, but relatively subtle.

As for the frame comparison below (56cm Checkpoint vs 55cm Poprad, 853 steel), difference in frame material and a bit more stack on the Checkpoint..otherwise not a whole lotta difference in basic geometry, after 20 years.


Last edited by fishboat; 01-07-22 at 07:38 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-07-22, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat
Just for grins, I was wondering just how much of a difference there was between what I ride most of the time (2003 Lemond Poprad) and the newer (2020) Checkpoint...and by extension Domane. I see this over and over and over...It always surprises me how much folks waft and wane about how different various bikes are. I've rented a couple modern "wunderbikes" and I honestly can't feel much of any gamechanging-level difference between them and my older bikes. There are differences to be sure, but relatively subtle.

As for the frame comparison below (56cm Checkpoint vs 55cm Poprad, 853 steel), difference in frame material and a bit more stack on the Checkpoint..otherwise not a whole lotta difference in basic geometry, after 20 years.
Looks like you found an example that has kept geometry pretty consistent. Maybe Trek landed on something they think works, based on the Poprad, and have continued to roll with it. But that doesnt mean after 20 years there is little change in geometry for gravel bikes. It just means you reference two bikes that are similar. Gravel bike geometry at this point spans anywhere from trail in the high-50s to trail in the mid-90s. That is a crazy large range for how a bike will feel when steering at high and low speeds. Some gravel bikes are high stack short reach. Others are long front center and short stem. Ritchey's offers 453mm chainstays that put some traditional touring frames to shame.
Geometry is all over the place now because there are so many offerings to cover so many different styles of riding.


...but ultimately, yeah geometry doesnt need to change much if the new bike is for a similar use as the old bike. Why change geometry that works?...that shouldnt be seen as an expectation of progress.
Its the same for road bikes- a 74/73 from 40 years ago is still used now on some race geometry bikes, a 73/73 from 40 years ago is still used now on some all around geometry bikes, and a 72/72.5 from 40 years ago is still used now on some endurance geometry bikes.

I am surprised a Poprad has what looks to be the same 76mm of bottom bracket drop as the Checkpoint. That seems pretty low for an early '00s CX bike as I thought many were still in the 55-65mm of drop back then.
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Old 01-07-22, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Looks like you found an example that has kept geometry pretty consistent. Maybe Trek landed on something they think works, based on the Poprad, and have continued to roll with it. But that doesnt mean after 20 years there is little change in geometry for gravel bikes. It just means you reference two bikes that are similar. Gravel bike geometry at this point spans anywhere from trail in the high-50s to trail in the mid-90s. That is a crazy large range for how a bike will feel when steering at high and low speeds. Some gravel bikes are high stack short reach. Others are long front center and short stem. Ritchey's offers 453mm chainstays that put some traditional touring frames to shame.
Geometry is all over the place now because there are so many offerings to cover so many different styles of riding.


...but ultimately, yeah geometry doesnt need to change much if the new bike is for a similar use as the old bike. Why change geometry that works?...that shouldnt be seen as an expectation of progress.
Its the same for road bikes- a 74/73 from 40 years ago is still used now on some race geometry bikes, a 73/73 from 40 years ago is still used now on some all around geometry bikes, and a 72/72.5 from 40 years ago is still used now on some endurance geometry bikes.

I am surprised a Poprad has what looks to be the same 76mm of bottom bracket drop as the Checkpoint. That seems pretty low for an early '00s CX bike as I thought many were still in the 55-65mm of drop back then.
Admittedly, my observation in this case is based on a very small sample. Over the years I have done many comparisons of bikes I ride(those that I'm very familiar with) compared to other similar (endurance road, gravel, rigid mtn) bikes, including non-Trek models, and I see things like I posted above more often than not. It's just a curiosity for me.. as folks tend to gravitate to certain bikes/models as classic/desirable examples of a type & I wonder why. The LHT for example. Until the most recent LHT frame geo change, the 26" LHT had 71* head tube and 73* seat tube (56cm)..same as my early-mid '90s Trek 970(mtn), my GF's Trek 750(hybrid), and the Trek 520(touring). The 71HT/73ST combo seems to be very popular for bikes from the 90s to today. While I realize the bottom bracket drop does vary between road, hybrid, touring, gravel, and rigid MTBs(newer MTBs are a whole different animal), I don't really feel the impact of those changes, consciously at least. Granted, I'm not doing direct comparisons between the more extreme examples within each type.. Someone here mentioned a while back that my Trek 970 DB converted touring bike was less stable than other classic touring bikes due to the higher bottom bracket on the 970. Technically that may be correct. Shrug. Possibly, but that 970 feels as stable to me loaded or unloaded as any other bike I ride, road or off-road.

I've been riding for just-shy of 45 years, road & gravel. No doubt I'm overly simplifying things.

(Apologies to the OP for the slight derail, but I think your initial questions have been answered.)
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Old 01-13-22, 10:38 PM
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FYI, I opted for the Checkpoint. There's several other things that went into the choice beyond just whether it would work well as a road endurance bike, with proper wheels. In the end I have a Checkpoint SL 5 on order. I should have it no later than the end of March. My plan is to add significant mods to it. The first one being a carbon wheelset. I actually want GRX Di2, but in the Checkpoints this is only available on the SLR 7 which has the more expensive version of the carbon frame. I don't need that. So, choice was to go with the SL 5 and upgrade, or buy more bike than I wanted with the SLR 7. The deciding factor was that I can get the SL 5 within 2-3 months and the SLR 7 was over 1 year!
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Old 01-14-22, 06:22 AM
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Congrats! That's a very good time frame for delivery.
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Old 01-15-22, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by fishboat
Admittedly, my observation in this case is based on a very small sample. Over the years I have done many comparisons of bikes I ride(those that I'm very familiar with) compared to other similar (endurance road, gravel, rigid mtn) bikes, including non-Trek models, and I see things like I posted above more often than not. It's just a curiosity for me.. as folks tend to gravitate to certain bikes/models as classic/desirable examples of a type & I wonder why. The LHT for example. Until the most recent LHT frame geo change, the 26" LHT had 71* head tube and 73* seat tube (56cm)..same as my early-mid '90s Trek 970(mtn), my GF's Trek 750(hybrid), and the Trek 520(touring). The 71HT/73ST combo seems to be very popular for bikes from the 90s to today. While I realize the bottom bracket drop does vary between road, hybrid, touring, gravel, and rigid MTBs(newer MTBs are a whole different animal), I don't really feel the impact of those changes, consciously at least. Granted, I'm not doing direct comparisons between the more extreme examples within each type.. Someone here mentioned a while back that my Trek 970 DB converted touring bike was less stable than other classic touring bikes due to the higher bottom bracket on the 970. Technically that may be correct. Shrug. Possibly, but that 970 feels as stable to me loaded or unloaded as any other bike I ride, road or off-road.

I've been riding for just-shy of 45 years, road & gravel. No doubt I'm overly simplifying things.

(Apologies to the OP for the slight derail, but I think your initial questions have been answered.)
I know what you mean.. I had to rent an bike for an event out west and the shop just did Emondas, and wanted to compare to how new Emonda geo might compare to my 19yr old merlin..

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Old 02-27-22, 09:52 PM
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I just thought I'd provide an update on this. The new Trek Checkpoint SL5 (size 58) came in about a month early and I picked it up today. So, something like 6-7 weeks total wait time. Only a short test spin but I'm confident I chose the correct size and it's what I expected with one exception. It was spec'd to have a GRX 600 crankset with 46/30 chain rings and came with a Praxis crankset with 48/32 chain rings. I actually prefer the 48 for the large ring so this is more to my liking. It's one of those "specifications subject to change" things. And I was already expecting to put on a GRX 800 48/31 crankset so if this works well, I might not need to do that.

I asked the sales guy about current delivery and he confirmed that factory lead time is into Jan 2023 on these bikes. He said that they get them quicker because they get them from a large warehouse that feeds all the stores and they've had these bikes on order for months. Though they are a Trek store, so perhaps this helps. I would imagine any large retailer has done the same thing. Regardless of the how and why, I'm happy to have gotten the bike I wanted so quickly.
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Old 02-28-22, 04:32 PM
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Sweet, congrats on the new bike.

I have a friend who purchased a Checkpoint last summer and was told February '22 delivery. He's still waiting.
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