Is Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 A Good Bike? [Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Review]

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Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

  • Price: $2499.99
  • Category: Road Bikes
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Gear: 1×11
  • Tires: 700x45c

What we like about it: Flexible and stable progressive geometry helps you customize your adventure road trip.

What we don’t like about it: The excessive price relative to the components.

Rating (4.6/5)


Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

Do you like epic off-road adventures? End with a burger and beer shuttle burrito from Texaco for a well-deserved off-road adventure. If you can get preferred adventure options for every dollar you spend, then the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 would be the perfect fit. Quality parts, a durable alloy frame, and plenty of features like extra tire clearance make for a quality riding experience.

The 2×11 Shimano GRX  is an unbeatable conqueror of steep hills and rough gravel surfaces. Not only that, but the flexible and stable progressive geometry lets you find the right angle travel angle on different surfaces. Whether it’s sidewalk and dirt or grass sections, the 700x40c gravel tires grip the ground consistently. The extreme stability and traction guarantee you stronger, farther, and longer distances.

We’ve had two months of experience measuring the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5, and to make the results more informative for you, we’ll elaborate on the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5’s performance while riding, key features, components and specifications, and other versions of the series. If you’d like to see more versions, please refer to our review.

General Riding

Our team chose a flat and tidy road for our two-week test. This may not be a big challenge for Trek Checkpoint ALR 5. The Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 is also designed to be the most comfortable for the public. Its 53.8mm stack has been tested extensively to fit the public as much as possible.

I chose the m model and it was easy for me to straddle the body and maintain an upright and stable seating position. The new progressive geometry allows for fast, agile handling and keeps me stable and in control on rough descents.

I have to admit that the 300 series alpha aluminum is my ideal quality frame. Also, the hydroformed tubes allow me to maintain a relatively stable body condition. It has a durable life at a great price. This is good news for the price party.

I’ve always had high expectations of the Shimano brand, and the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 with the Shimano GRX RX600 continues to perform well, providing great traction even on slippery bermed roads. When I switched from flat roads to gravel roads, all I had to do was move the paddles at hand to shift gears. But the downside is that the 2x series takes more time to shift. Maybe the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 can try the Shimano 1x system in the next revision. I don’t mind the extra upsell price either.

Not only that, but I have to admit that the Bontrager GR1 was a reliable help in my travels, and the 700x45c size specification is perhaps not a very large and generous presence. But with the front and rear wheelbase of 1033mm, it gave me more responsive steering, and I was able to control the body well and drift at great speed in the many sharp turning areas in the line. What was clear was the rustle of tires colliding sharply with the ground. Yes, it was pretty crazy.

Long-Distance Riding

As the main battleground for gravel roads, the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 performed amazingly well. We chose a practice course dedicated to off-road road biking, which included sidewalks, dirt, and even the most complex gravel surfaces.

The GRX  is the anchor for the ride and I can travel at a very fast speed. Having a stable paddle makes the ride more reliable, even when the hills are full of debris and dead branches. Both the smooth, silky shifts and its rich, dense gear ratios provide fast, seamless shifts that are quiet and stable enough.

One thing that must be mentioned is that the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 accommodates the setup and it is your most loyal and reliable companion on long trips. The integrated frame bag and fender mounts make it easy to carry gear and water and essentials for the trip. During the final kilometer sprint, I could noticeably feel more bumps on the gravel road. But I firmly believe that the Bontrager GR1 wheelset is capable of handling such road conditions.

The TLR tubeless setup allows for the tire pressure I get in the middle of a run to increase traction and comfort. A special anti-puncture system ensures that the Bontrager GR1 wheelset will maintain a strong surface without the risk of blowouts. Meanwhile, Trek’s new flush-mounted disc brakes offer advantages over traditional mechanical braking. The lighter and smaller size allows me to keep maintain the ultimate body stability. I was also able to apply full emergency braking when driving on wet, muddy roads without creating more forward movement. This is something that makes me marvel at the power of Trek’s craftsmanship.

Main Features


Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

I have to admit, the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 will have a lot of details that are well thought out. The Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 keeps more color options including Era White / Trek Black; Satin Nautical Navy / Satin Red. Alpha Aluminum material is also the most cost-effective choice. The 300 series alpha aluminum material is the most cost-effective choice, maintaining a high level of performance at a lighter weight. Of course, in terms of cost-effectiveness, it is also the most affordable.

The Bontrager mixer stem allows you to clip on the equipment directly to the stem for a clean look, complete with internal alignment to maintain a clean heading. You won’t have to agonize over annoying cables. The new progressive geometry is the best feature of the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5. You can choose the right modification for your needs. You can add water bottles to both the top tube and the seat tube. And the integrated frame bag and fender mount make it easy to carry your gear.


The geometry of the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 does not disappoint the user. 73.7° seat tube angle is not an extreme setting. This not only takes into account the need for traction when ascending but also the need to maintain a comfortable seating position when descending in the first place.

The 1033mm wheelbase may not be a common presence for some people, so they may worry about losing control of the steering. Of course, many months of riding experience will tell you that there is no need for such anxiety. Don’t forget that the Bontrager GR1 is set up with a wider (700x45mm or 27.5×2.1) tire surface that allows you to handle thick gravel terrain. The lower BB center of gravity of 271mm also allows you to maintain stability while making agile steering.

Components and Specifications

Shimano GRX RX x600 11-speed Drivetrain

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Drivetrain: Shimano GRX RX x600 11-speed

Some people may think that the 2× speed change is more complicated to operate, so I asked a rider who is not very experienced to experience it. He told us that the Trek Checkpoint ALR 2× didn’t feel any different from the 1×. This may not make a big difference to a novice rider. But if you’re a pro like us, it’s probably not a good choice. Because personally, it’s too complicated. When I went from a smooth road to rough grass, it did take a lot of time to shift gears.

Shimano SM-RT70 Brake

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Brake: Shimano SM-RT70

The Shimano SM-RT70 is probably a good choice for every road ride. The 3-layer construction, an aluminum core, and two stainless steel outer layers reduce the rotor surface temperature by about 100 degrees Celsius compared to an all-steel rotor. It’s not as heavy as you might think, so it doesn’t put much of a damper on travel. Of course, it features a new brake track vent design for smooth, quiet braking performance. When I encounter an emergency and have to make an emergency stop, I can brake by simply pressing the control on the handlebars. In addition, the convenient and simple fuel line connection system makes my installation and adjustment process much easier and more convenient.

Bontrager TLR Sealant Tires

I have to admit that the Bontrager line of tires is still one of the most popular products among cyclists. The most distinctive feature is the flat protection seal, the latest Bontrager offering, and the slim 700x40c tire width gave me the first impression that it might perform better on asphalt. But as I rode over bumpy gravel singletrack trails, I found the tire’s grip to be commendable. Also, the puncture-resistant special material allows you to fight against sharp branches and gravel without fear.

Other versions of Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

To give you more possibilities in your choice, we tested other models of Trek Checkpoint ALR objectively and impartially and for a certain period.

These include the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless and the Trek Checkpoint SLR 5.

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless

2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless

To be honest, the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless is not much different in terms of materials and construction. 300 series alpha aluminum is equipped with 700c tires, keeping it stable and light at the same time (Trek Checkpoint ALR weighs 21.5 lbs, Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless 21.2 lbs. Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless is 21.2 pounds).

But the difference is that the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless has received a minor drivetrain upgrade. This greatly solves the problem of complicated speed adjustments and the inability to find the right gear. This may be good news for riders who seek high performance. Although in the price you need to pay $ 400 more.

Trek Checkpoint SLR 5

 Trek Checkpoint SLR 5

Thankfully, the Trek Checkpoint SLR 5 has made significant changes to the frame. It ditches the aluminum shell in favor of a higher-quality carbon material. This also means more toughness and greater shock absorption on the road. But it’s worth noting that the cost of $3,299 is a bit steep.

In terms of other component specifications, the Trek Checkpoint SLR 5 doesn’t make too many other changes. If you are looking for a good price/performance ratio, I still think Trek Checkpoint SLR 5 is the best choice for you.


1. What is the price of Trek Checkpoint ALR 5?

The Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 is priced at $2499.99.

2. What is the body material of Trek Checkpoint ALR 5?

The body material of Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 is 300 Series Alpha Aluminum.

3. What are the tire specifications for the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5?

The Trek Checkpoint ALR’s tire size is 700x45c.

4. What is the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5?

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 has a Shimano GRX RX x600 11-speed.

5. How do I choose the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 size?

SizeRider HeightInseam
49156 – 163 cm5’1″ – 5’4″74 – 77 cm29″ – 30″
52163 – 168 cm5’4″ – 5’6″76 – 79 cm30″ – 31″
54168 – 174 cm5’6″ – 5’9″78 – 82 cm31″ – 32″
56174 – 180 cm5’9″ – 5’11”81 – 85 cm32″ – 33″
58180 – 185 cm5’11” – 6’1″84 – 87 cm33″ – 34″
61185 – 191 cm6’1″ – 6’3″86 – 90 cm34″ – 35″

Comparison Table

BicyclesPriceDrivetrainTiresClick view
Marin Headlands 1 $2679Shimano csm800011 Speed 700x44cClick view
Trek 1120$2999 Shimano SLX m7100 speed29×3.00”Click view
Framed Mallorca Disc Road Bike$2500 Shimano 105 11 speed700x40cClick view
Salsa Journeyer GRX 810 700c $2799 Shimano M7000 1142t, 11-speed700x38cClick view

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 vs Marin Headlands 1

 Marin Headlands 1

On top of the nearly $200 increase, the Marin Headlands are made of carbon. Simply put, the 300 series alpha aluminum will improve some toughness and damping ability compared to the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5. But it’s worth acknowledging that the 300 series alpha aluminum has achieved the peak of the alloying process.

Meanwhile, Marin Headlands used 700x44c, vee tires compared to the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5’s 700x45c to see the excellent smoothness and grip of the two played a tie.

In addition, the Marin Headlands uses the Shimano CSM8000 1×11 speed  option to keep the lighter body under the lighter drive housing. But if dealing with more complex terrain, I think the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5’s 2×11 speed has more options and also provides freer riding support.

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 vs Trek 1120

Trek 1120

Compared to the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5, the Trek 1120’s 31.0lbs. weight was the heaviest of all the weights tested. Despite the tire set-up, the Trek 1120 chose to roll on more efficient 29″ tires. However, the excessive weight of the body will also have a greater impact on speed during rapid driving.

However, it is worth noting that the Trek 1120’s 1×12 speed drivetrain is less complicated to operate than the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5’s 2×11 drivetrain. This allows for silky smooth shifting.

Comparing the two each has different advantages. But when you look at them all together, I think the Trek 1120 has a higher degree of fit between the various components and more extreme pursuit of speed.

Trek 1120 Review – The Road Is No Longer Far But Under Your Feet

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 vs Framed Mallorca Disc Road Bike

Framed Mallorca Disc Road Bike

The Framed Mallorca Disc Road Bike is positioned as a versatile road bike, so it is not as fast as the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5. (For reference: the Framed Mallorca Disc Road Bike is 26mph, and the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 is 36mph.)

Due to the close price of both, hydraulic disc brakes are used for the braking options. The convenient and simple connection system makes the installation and adjustment process much easier. So in the test of an emergency stop, the two played a tie.

Also, if you notice the choice of the wheelset, the Framed Mallorca Disc Road Bike’s 700x40c size compared to the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5’s 700x45c, the narrower tires will create a drifting sensation on some muddy and slippery roads. It can’t do more stable control.

Learn more:Top 8 Best Road Bikes Under $3000

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 vs Salsa Journeyer GRX 810 700c

Salsa Journeyer GRX 810 700c

Journeyer Drop-Bar thru-axle carbon is the body material of choice for the Salsa Journeyer GRX 810. Although more malleable, the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5’s 300 series slpha sluminum also takes the advantages of the alloy to the extreme. It’s light enough to rival carbon and will be more resistant to outdoor friction.

In addition, the 700 x 40C tire setup is narrower than the 700 x 45c of the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5, making it difficult to give enough stable support for extreme speeds on slippery roads. This is the biggest regret in my opinion.

In terms of choice, the Salsa Journeyer GRX 810’s 1×11 drivetrain enhances ease of operation at the expense of a wider range of speed control.

As a whole, I think the high performance of the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 is more likely to be reflected in the ride.

In case, the above comments are helpful to you, please remember to share the subscription. Have a great day!

Learn more: Is Salsa Journeyman Sora 700 Worth Buying? [Salsa Journeyman Sora 700 Review]

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