Trek Checkpoint SL5 – Review

Trek Checkpoint SL5 - Review 2022

Shop if:

If you enjoy overcoming the roughest, longest rides and the most progressive backpacking trips.

Available Size:

49 cm, 52 cm, 54 cm, 56 cm, 58 cm, 61 cm


Satin Mercury/Satin Carbon Smoke, Radioactive Red/Nautical Navy


56 – 9.70 kg or 21.39 lbs

Our Rating:




Trek Bicycle Corporation is a dedicated bicycle and cycling accessories distributor and manufacturer under Trek, Electra Bicycle Company, Bontrager, and Diamant Bikes. Through 1,700 independently owned bicycle shops across North America, Asia, Europe, and South Africa, Trek markets and distributors in 90 countries worldwide. Trek manufactures most bicycles outside the United States, including the Netherlands, Germany, Taiwan, and China.

Trek Checkpoint SL 5 is a devoted carbon gravel bicycle designed for monumental all-road adventures. Trek has used terrain-smoothing IsoSpeed and lightweight OCLV Carbon in the design of this bicycle. It is one of the best gravel bikes in its section, and in this Trek checkpoint sl5 review, we aim to cover all the crucial points like various features, components and specifications of the bike in detail.

Technical Specifications:

This section sheds light on the technical specification of the Trek checkpoint SL5 road bike. These specifications include drivetrain, frameset, wheels and various other cycle components that make it stand out from the rest.


Frame – 500 Series OCLV Carbon, IsoSpeed, internal cable routing, downtube storage door, 3S chain keeper, T47 BB, rack and mudguard mounts, integrated frame bag mounts, flat-mount disc, dropper post compatible, 142×12 mm thru-axle

Frame Fit – GravelFork – Trek Checkpoint, full Carbon, tapered carbon steerer, rack mounts, fender mounts, flat mount disc, 12x100mm thru-axleWheelsWheels – Wheels – Bontrager alloy, sealed bearing, CenterLock discTires – Bontrager GR1 Team Issue, Tubeless Ready, Inner Strength casing, aramid bead, 120 TPI, 700×40 cDrivetrainShifters – Shimano GRX RX600, 11-speedFront derailleur – Shimano GRX RX810, braze-onRear derailleur – Shimano GRX RX810, long cage, 34T max cogCrank – Shimano GRX RX600, 46/30Bottom bracket – Praxis, T47 threaded, internal bearingCassette – Shimano 105 HG700-11, 11-34, 11-speedPedals – N/AComponentsSaddle – Bontrager P3 Verse Comp, steel railsSeatpost – Bontrager carbon, 27.2 mm, 8 mm offset, 330 mm lengthHandlebar – Bontrager Elite GravelStem – Bontrager Elite, 31.8 mm, Blendr-compatible, 7-degreeBrakes – Shimano RX400 hydraulic disc, flat mount

Trek checkpoint SL5 frame design and size:

A 500 Series OCLV Carbon frame comes with Rear IsoSpeed and carbon armour. Trek offers a progressive geometry that remains stable even at speeds. The bike is very efficient for riders grinding up a climb. The frame also features internal storage and hidden cables that don’t interfere with bags. The riders can even run a dropper post to get low on long descents.

Stem length and handlebar reach are decreased by 1 cm to maintain a comfortable riding position. Head tube angles have slackened only by small margins, coupled with a drop in fork rake from 49 mm to 45 mm. The increased steering stability has enhanced the trail dimensions while keeping the trail fatigue minimal. Trek intends to add stability to this bike while retaining its hallmark agility. 

The following table shows the ideal height of riders for each of the Trek Checkpoint sl5 bicycle sizes available.

Trek checkpoint SL5

What are the different components included in Trek checkpoint SL5?

The Checkpoint SL5 has a cleverly integrated storage compartment in the down tube of the carbon fibre frame. A single lever secures the decent-sized concoct, ensuring enough room for storing an included tool roll with compartments for a CO2 cartridge and inflator, an inner tube, a tire lever, and other tools. You can also find a holder for a Bontrager mini-tool attached at the bottom of the hatch.

Checkpoint SL5 Frame

Cable routing is much better when compared to the earlier Checkpoint models. It can also be considered an improvement over some fully-internal setups used in most other drop-bar bikes.

The derailleur lines and brake hoses enter the frame through openings in the upper headset cover, giving it a clean and classic look. Hence, while the routing is tidier than it used to be, making it handy for running handlebar bags on this bike, it does not require much maintenance due to its fully integrated setup.

Trek Checkpoint SL5

Trek has also equipped those headset cover ports with rubber gaskets which helps keep the dirt and debris away from the rider. However, water will still trickle in those ports; hence, keeping that in mind while washing your bikes can help save a lot of problems.

How does it feel to ride a Checkpoint SL5?

The IsoSpeed decoupler in the Trek Checkpoint SL5 soaks up fatiguing bumps without bouncing you around. All-new progressive geometry is quick and handy yet keeps you stable and in control of fast, choppy descents. A compact internal storage compartment gives you a versatile spot to safely store the tools and gear. The tyre clearance allows the riders to use the tyres up to 45 c for added traction and stability in all conditions. Integrated frame bag mounts and rack and mudguard mounts make it easy to carry gear and water.

The Checkpoint SL5 bike is fast and comfortable. It gives you the unmatched ride quality of an OCLV Carbon frame with IsoSpeed and gravel-specific geometry and the internal storage and a drivetrain designed for rough terrain.

What We Like

  • Versatile, Comfortable and Responsive
  • It goes easy over fatiguing bumps
  • Quick, nimble and progressive geometry
  • Sleek internal storage
  • Good tire clearance
  • Integrated frame bag, rack and mudguard mounts
  • Excellent ride quality

What We Don’t Like

  • Slightly Heavier
  • No left side crank arm power meter compatibility

Why should you buy a Trek checkpoint SL5 road bike?

The new Checkpoint is better than the previous generation in handling and maneuverability over dirt and singletrack. It’s one of the best gravel bikes in the current market. The Checkpoint’s previous generations’ uniform comfort and smoothness are still present. The geometry updates made to this bike make it much more capable of speed, technicalities and mobility. It’s accurate and composed.

The Checkpoint is extremely fast on singletrack downhills, showing Trek’s belief in its decision to correct the geometry to forgo suspension fork and front IsoSpeed. Trek checkpoint SL5 is a pretty compliant bicycle, and it hits stronger when you go faster.

The weighty suspension and fatter tires give the bike much-needed stability. On the contrary to the new Checkpoint’s added capability, it feels less lively on paved surfaces. This feature works fine for the most challenging and fun parts of gravel rides.

Read Also – Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 – Review 2023

Is the Trek Checkpoint SL5 bike value for money? 

Keeping the versatility and adaptability of the bike in all the different treacherous and rugged terrains makes Trek Checkpoint SL5 one of the most comfortable and best carbon gravel bikes on the market. 

The built with lightweight OCLV Carbon, terrain-smoothing IsoSpeed, nimble-yet-stable progressive geometry, internal storage and loads of mounts allow the cyclists to take this bike for long, bumpy and adventurous trips and make the most out of the cycle.

Although the bicycle might seem a bit costly, the bike will offer more than what you paid for in the first place. It is a total value for money bicycle that compliments your adventurous side of yours.


The Endnote: 

Trek Checkpoint has combined many intelligent technologies to ensure this drop bar adventurer bike minimises rider fatigue by incorporating discreetly padded handlebar tops and drops. A ‘decoupled’ seat tube, a rocker cup in the steerer tube, and some seriously beefy 500 Series OCLV carbon tubing ensure the bike’s durability. 

The Checkpoint delivers on the promised combined benefit of these technologies. The bicycle is stiff, stable and responsive. It is a value for money bike that provides a smooth, fun and adaptive riding experience.

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