Trek Checkpoint SL 7 gravel bike review: a true all-terrain vehicle

Trek's 'Adventure focused' lives up to bikepacking expectations, with stable geometry and practicality

Trek Checkpoint SL 7 blue gravel bike shot on light blue background front side on
(Image credit: Future (Richard Butcher))
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Trek Checkpoint SL 7 is an outstanding all-rounder when it comes to all-terrain riding. A true ATV, the Checkpoint provides a planted, confidence-inspiring ride feel which is great for tackling more technical terrain. It might not be as supple as the likes of the Cannondale Topstone, but if long-distance trekking on tough terrain is your bag, the Checkpoint SL 7 is right on the money.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Planted ride feel

  • +

    Compliant frameset

  • +

    Handles luggage weight very well

  • +

    In-frame storage is genuinely useful

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Rugged ride feel won't be for everyone

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Gravel riding is a discipline that holds a vast range of different bikes within its sphere, from gravel race bikes, to do-it-all rugged machines. Trek markets the Checkpoint SL range as its 'Adventure-focused' line, and I think they've got it spot on.

Having tested the Checkpoint SL on everything from roaming local trails to an overnight bikepacking excursion (fully laden with camping gear) I can confirm that if you are on the hunt for your next adventure gravel machine, then the Checkpoint SL 7 might just be one of the best gravel bikes on the market.

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Frame500 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, 142x12 mm thru axle
ForkTrek Checkpoint, full carbon, tapered carbon steerer, rack mounts, fender mounts, flat mount disc, 12x100mm thru axle
WheelsetBontrager Aeolus Pro 3V, OCLV Carbon, Tubeless Ready, 25 mm rim width, 100x12 mm thru axle
GroupsetSRAM Force eTap AXS, 12-speed (chainset 43/30, Cassette 10-36)
HandlebarsBontrager Elite Gravel, 42 cm width
StemBontrager Pro, 31.8 mm, Blendr-compatible, 7-degree, 80 mm length
SaddleBontrager Verse Comp, steel rails, 145 mm width
Bottom bracketSRAM DUB, T47 threaded, internal bearing
TyresBontrager GR1 Team Issue, Tubeless Ready, Inner Strength casing, aramid bead, 120 tpi, 700 x 40 c
Weight8.90 kg
Row 10 - Cell 0 Row 10 - Cell 1

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