Built with versatility in mind, the Trek Checkpoint ALR 4 is a value-offering gravel bike with a passport for adventure. It’s not half bad on road rides or commutes either.
|Sizes Available||49, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61|
|Frame Material||300 Series Alpha Aluminium, tapered head tube, BB86.5, flat mount disc brakes, Stranglehold dropouts, 12 mm |
|Fork||Checkpoint carbon disc, alloy tapered steerer, flat mount disc brakes, rack mounts, hidden mudguard mounts, 12 mm thru axle|
|Wheelbase||102 or 117|
|Chainstays||425 or 440|
|Stem||Bontrager Elite, 31.8 mm, 7-degree, w/computer and light mounts|
|Shifters||Shimano RS405, 10 speed|
|Seatpost||Bontrager Approved, 2-bolt head, 27.2 mm, 8 mm offset|
|Seat||Bontrager Montrose Comp|
|Front tyre||Schwalbe G-One Allround, 35mm|
|Rear tyre||Schwalbe G-One Allround, 35mm|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano Tiagra|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Tiagra|
|Bars||Bontrager RL IsoZone VR-CF, 31.8 mm, 44|
|Cassette||Shimano Tiagra, 11-34, 10-speed|
|Cranks||Shimano Tiagra, 50/34 (compact)|
|Brakes||Shimano RS505 flat mount hydraulic disc|
|Front wheel||Bontrager Tubeless Ready with alloy sealed bearing, 12 mm alloy axle, CenterLock|
|Rear wheel||Bontrager Tubeless Ready with alloy sealed bearing, 12 mm alloy axle, CenterLock|
Trek’s Stranglehold sliding rear dropout system alters the chainstay length by 15mm which has a significant impact on the ride feel. In the short
The geometry includes more fork rake, with less trail and a lower BB height which is set to improve stability on gravel adventures by keeping the center of gravity down, help the rider ‘sit into’ the bike and tame the steering. The front end of the bike is a little higher to optimize off
Front and rear quick release 12mm thru axles are the business for a versatile road / adventure machine and commuters will love this spec too. The Checkpoint is ready for any adventure with neatly hidden mudguard mounts, rack mounts and up to four hydration mounts.
The frame, complete with punchy Orange paintwork, neat welds
A Shimano Tiagra drivetrain in 50/34 compact and 11/34 rear iteration offers close-spaced ratios with a 1:1 lowest gear for the big climbs. Tiagra front and rear derailleurs are on mech duty whilst braking is handled by Shimano RS505 flat mount hydraulic disc brakes. The Trek Checkpoint has an integrated chain-catcher too.
COMFORT & HANDLING: The Bontrager Isozone bars in 44 width favor stability and control over aero points – and I love them. Trek opted for the zero flare bar which is in line with the overall objective of a do-it-all bike. The Bontrager Montrose Comp saddle is well padded and offers good comfort in all conditions. From the first ride, without needing to stop and tinker the Checkpoint was very comfortable. The cockpit ergonomics are superb, uncompromised. A bike that handles well will tell you so – there will be no ‘hey buddy, maybe you wana slow down a little?’ sensations coming to to the rider. With the Trek Checkpoint the messaging on my first 65kph tar descent was, ‘you got this, let it roll’ – and I obliged. The handling can be summed up as minimal twitch with maximum stability.
TARMAC: As on an Endurance road bike, the upright riding position is confidence inspiring and a whole lot safer than a slammed, tucked in performance road setup. On
GRAVEL: I used a combination of bumpy and smooth gravel roads in the Winelands for the test rides. Considering this is a base level gravel bike without an IsoSpeed decoupler or any compliance inserts or the like the Checkpoint is a pretty remarkable ride. Being a base-level drivetrain without a clutch derailleur means there is a little extra noise coming from the drivetrain, especially when descending and not under tension. On the upside, no chains were dropped during the testing period. Not once.
There is good modulation as well as all-out stopping power with the Shimano system, in
IF THIS IS YOUR QUIVER KILLER…
First off a massive congratulations to you because it’s a great buy. Secondly, it’s a great idea to get a second set of tyres to amplify the versatility of the bike. The Schwalbe G-One’s are the business, but throwing a set of fast-rolling road tyres into your shopping basket will give you the option to roll with the big dogs on those ‘tarmac only’ days. On the other hand if you are going to ride undulating singletrack then think about adding a dropper post to the bike to improve the handling (and your safety) on the steeper more technical sections.
You can learn more on this bike here but what I can tell you is at R27 999 the handling, comfort