Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 review – a confident, capable gravel bike

Trek's updated aluminum checkpoint is a surefooted, confidence-inspiring ride that's perfect for ruined back lanes, byways and well-laden travels.

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 gravel bike

BikePerfect Verdict

The reshaped Checkpoint frame neatly combines confidence-inspiring stability with a fun, engaging feel which goes well at all speeds on all sorts of surfaces. This might not be the lightest or fanciest build, but the key bits are great and the rest just quietly works.

Stable and predictable


Great shifting and brakes

Gearing a bit tall for the weight

Could use a dropper post

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The aluminium-framed ALR models sit at the bottom of Trek's Checkpoint range, with the lighter carbon SL and race-focused SLR bikes above, but in truth that's not a bad place to be. The ALR 5 gets a full set of excellent Shimano GRX components for the drivetrain and brakes, decent tires on tubeless-ready rims and lots of rack and fender mounts. 

The result is a surefooted, confident bike that's ready for exactly what Trek says it's for – gravel riding for fun, commuting or just general adventures. Which is pretty much what most people are after when looking for the best gravel bikes or best cheap gravel bikes .

Design and geometry

For 2023, the Checkpoint frame has seen some changes – basically it's got longer both in the front centre and the chainstays, and the stem is shorter to compensate. I tested a 58cm, and compared to the 2021 model it has 10mm longer chainstays, 20mm more reach and is 26mm longer overall. The 90mm stem and 60.9cm/41.1cm stack and reach figures keep the overall riding position fairly relaxed, with a usefully tall front end and slightly head-down, but certainly not front heavy, bias.

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 gravel bike seen from the front

The head angle is the same as before at 72.3 degrees, presumably to keep the steering decently snappy, as is the bottom bracket drop at 7.4cm. 

This might be the 'poor man's' model with its humble alloy frame, but that doesn't mean it's unsophisticated. The various touring-friendly mounts are complimented by internally-routed cables that help a lot when strapping on frame bags or cages, as well as keeping them generally out of harm's way. I did find several of the bungs protecting the mounting/cable holes disappeared overboard on rough trails though, so if you want to keep filth out of your threads/frame you might want to stock up – or wind in some actual bolts where you can.

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 gravel bike headtube detail

Components and build

Trek has spent the budget wisely here, speccing the excellent Shimano GRX shifters, levers and hydraulic brakes. The flat-fronted levers are particularly good for grip when it's rough, the shifts are always positive and the two-piston calipers are powerful and easy to modulate on the 160mm discs. Basically, the whole stop and go thing is covered perfectly.

GRX levers on a Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 gravel bike

Well, almost perfectly. The 2x11 drivetrain gives a very useable spread of ratios, but for the most serious off-road climbing it's a little high. At the top end it's good for 35mph before you spin out, which is great for the road and fireroad descents, but leaves the lowest gear (30/34t) slightly high for the steepest, techiest climbs. That's especially true if the bike's loaded up.

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 gravel bike seen from the rear

That's the lowest combination of ratios that will fit, though, so your options there are either to keep the bike as light as possible, fit a 1x crank and lose a fair bit of top speed, or get stronger...

The finishing kit is all in-house Bontrager stuff, and while it's all perfectly good they're pretty easy targets for weight loss upgrades. The Bontrager Elite Gravel bar is 44cm wide on this frame size with a good flare to the drops for extra leverage, and the comfy GRX hoods tilt inwards just enough to encourage a slightly elbows-out stance that's good for control.

The handlebars of the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 gravel bike

The wheels – Switch hubs, 21mm wide Paradigm rims (the SL version on one end, presumably the front) and 24 spokes on each – are similarly utilitarian, being strong, middling for weight and entirely decent for the job. Wearing Aeolus XXX rim strips they're tubeless ready, and so are the Bontrager GR1 Team Issue tires, which is nice – in fact, Trek lists 6oz of its TLR sealant as a 'tire part,' so presumably consumer bikes are supplied already set, just as our test bike was.

A gravel bike wheel and tire

The tires are predictable and confidence inspiring on the unusually dry terrain of our test period, as well as on tarmac both damp or dry, but are clearly not designed for mud. There's room in the frame for up to 45mm rubber should you want to go wider.

Oh, and while the front axle looks like you'll need to carry a hex key to get it out, the lever on the rear thru-axle actually pulls out to fit in either one. 

Close up of the tire and fork on a gravel bike


The Checkpoint has a confident feel – its length and reasonable heft keep it planted, while the steering is stable without being sluggish. It's the same whether you're on gravel or tarmac, and predictable in a friendly but not boring way. The chunky headtube and sizeable welded junctions do a great job of keeping it tracking where it's pointed in the rough.

Despite the chunky, almost box-section seatstays and generally rigid-feeling frame, it's comfortable for long rides, thanks to the high volume tyres, well-cushioned bar tape and a supportive, hammocky P3 Verse Comp saddle you really sit 'in'.

A gravel bike saddle

Get up some speed on gravel though and there's no disguising the aluminum build. By 30mph on a fireroad, your hands and feet are taking some serious vibes, and the chatter from sustained speed does reduce comfort. 

Switching to carbon at the bar (and at the Bontrager seatpost) would both increase comfort and reduce weight, and though I found the saddle supportive and comfy both for long rides and hard pedaling efforts, it does have steel rails – it's another easy and relatively cheap target for weight loss and vibe reduction.

Alternatively, if you want more speed whatever the trails do, fit the best dropper post that will suit the 27.2mm seat tube and reap the rewards.

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 gravel bike on a sunny trail

Personally, I would have quite liked the shorter cranks of the smaller sizes instead of the 175mm GRX RX600s fitted here, which would allow an even lower BB for descending confidence, but that's really just preference. The 7.4cm BB drop is pretty low in the scheme of things, cornering feel is predictable, and ground clearance is good.

This is an extremely usable yet still very enjoyable bike. It nails that '2/3rds road bike, 1/3rd XC bike' feel that makes gravel bikes so good for so many things – commuting while avoiding the worst traffic, touring, exploring dilapidated rural lanes, getting in hard climbing efforts away from ANY traffic, or just generally getting out there and enjoying the view. 

It's comfortable and reassuring from the off whatever the surface, and the money's been spent in the right places – this is a really solid base for years of riding fun.

Test conditions

  • Temperature: Rarely less than 20 degrees C and up to 35
  • Conditions: Dry, hard and dusty with almost zero rain
  • Trails: Mountain singletrack, bridleways, forest gravel and crumbling rural lanes

Tech specs: Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

  • Price: $2,500 / £2,400
  • Discipline: Gravel
  • Frame size tested: 58cm
  • Seat tube angle: 72.5°
  • Head angle: 72.3°
  • Effective top tube: 59.7cm
  • Bottom bracket drop: 7.4cm
  • Wheelbase: 105.8cm
  • Reach: 41.1cm
  • Frame: 300 Series Alpha Aluminium
  • Tires: Bontrager GR1 Team Issue 40mm, Tubeless Ready 
  • Drivetrain: Shimano GRX
  • Sizes: 49, 52, 54, 56, 58 (tested), 61cm
  • Claimed weight: 9.75 kg / 21.5 lb (56cm)

Steve Williams

Steve is a highly experienced journalist and rider who's been involved with bikes of all kinds for more years than he would care to remember. Based in South Wales, he has mile upon mile of swooping singletrack, an array of plummet and winch descents and everything in between right on his doorstep.

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2022 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Review

  • by Riding With Ryan (Official)

2022 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Review

The fastest growing discipline in cycling is gravel biking. The problem is, your road bike doesn’t make a good gravel bike. With the Checkpoint you get the best of both worlds. In this 2022 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 review I’ll explain why the Trek Checkpoint is the do-it-all bike of the year.

The 2022 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 is the perfect bike for road cyclists making the switch to gravel biking, as well as a great beginner bike for the new to cycling rider that wants to keep their options open.

A price tag of $2,499 scares away a large percentage of beginner cyclists, but it shouldn’t. With the Checkpoint ALR 5 you no longer need a road bike and a gravel bike.

The ‘A’ in ALR means this bike comes with an Aluminum frame. The ‘R’ indicates it is Trek’s Race aluminum, or lightest weight aluminum. On other Trek Bikes the SL and SLR mean carbon fiber and race carbon fiber, respectively.

Both the Aluminum and Carbon Fiber Checkpoint models have plenty of mounts for bags, racks, and storage. The Checkpoint ALR 5 also has clearance for 45mm tires, but it comes with Bontrager GR1 Team Issue 700x40mm tires.

The 2022 Checkpoint ALR 5 comes with a 2×11 Shimano GRX drivetrain. Crank arm length varies by frame size shown below, and all sizes have a 46/30T.

  • Size: 49 – 165mm Crank Arm Length
  • Size: 52 – 170mm Crank Arm Length
  • Sizes: 54, 56 – 172.5mm Crank Arm Length
  • Sizes: 58, 61 – 175mm Crank Arm Length

For cyclists looking to upgrade the crank, maximum chainring size is 1 x 44T from SRAM and 50T or 50/34 from Shimano.

The cassette is Shimano 105, 11-34. That means 11 teeth on the smallest sprocket and 34 teeth on the largest sprocket. Because this is an 11 speed cassette we know there are 9 additional sprockets in-between with the number of teeth on the sprocket increasing as they go up in size.

Shimano GRX is the gravel specific groupset. When comparing to road bike groupsets it is the equivalent of Shimano 105. In fact, there are some parts that still keep the 105 label on a gravel bike, like the cassette on this ALR 5.

Due to GRX being a gravel specific groupset, the engineers at Shimano were able to customize features to benefit gravel riders. The ergonomics of the shifters, and optimized gearing options are two key features from GRX.

Shimano GRX derailleurs feature a built in clutch. It keeps tension on your chain even when. the trail gets rough. A tight chain is less likely to slip or change gears unexpectedly.

Most importantly, the GRX groupset was built with durability in mind. The bumpy gravel trails and rocks getting kicked up can do serious damage to your bike. The beefy GRX groupset is able to handle the rocks and vibrations better than the Shimano 105 equivalent from the road side.

Key Features

The list of features included with this bike is long, but there are three key features I cannot go without mentioning. First is the number of integrated frame mounts. The Checkpoint ALR 5 is capable of being your bikepacking or touring mode of transportation.

The second key feature worth mentioning is the frame geometry changes Trek made for 2022. They call it a progressive geometry, but that simply means there is more slack in the fork. This provides stability and control on choppy trails, while also being quick and responsive.

Finally, the tire clearance on this road or gravel bike is insane. You can fit 45mm tires, which are perfect for gravel and winter riding. Switch to 35mm tires for the summer pavement rides. With two sets of tires you can eliminate the need for two separate bikes. The wheels are tubeless ready, and changing tires is an easy 15 minute task that gets completed at home.

Checkpoint ALR 5 Problems

If you do a lot of climbing the Checkpoint is not a great bike due to its weight. The 2022 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 weighs 21.5 lbs. Bike weight isn’t a big issue if you ride the flats, but when climbing a couple extra pounds will adversely impact your ride. Cyclists living in the mountains may prefer one of the lighter carbon fiber models.

Another common complaint about this bike is the saddle (seat) being uncomfortable. The best upgrade you can make to improve comfort on the bike is riding with cycling shorts. They have a built in pad called a chamois that will keep you comfortable. Pearl iZUMi Escape Quest shorts are great because they are comfortable, durable and the price is usually $50 or less. ( Check Current Price on Amazon Here ).

For the cyclist looking for a do-it-all bike, you won’t find a better value than the Checkpoint ALR 5. The price is great considering the GRX groupset and the lightweight race aluminum frame. Durability will not be an issue for gravel riders, and the lifetime warranty on the frame from Trek cannot be beat.

If you enjoyed this 2022 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 review, consider reading:

  • Types of Road Bikes
  • 10 Ways To Make Your Road Bike Lighter

2 thoughts on “2022 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Review”

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I don’t get the weight complaint. Unless the bike owner has less than 10% body fat and is maybe a Cat 1/2/3 and is seriously focused on racing, the fact that the ALR 5 weighs 21.5 lbs is, to me, a non-issue. And even if the owner wanted to try a gravel race, they would do well to focus on tire and inflation pressure choice and not get worked up over bike weight. I raced a 22 lb alloy gravel bike in the 2022 Truckee Tahoe Gravel Race and finished mid-pack in my age class and that’s with a flat repair. So, weight, smeight! My $.02.

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I got this bike and it is great. Re: carbon vs aluminum. I had an alu madone ( 2012 6 series- lightest at that time and made in USA) and an ALR. I stripped both frames and weighed them. 4 ounce difference. My alr road bike was just as comfortable as the 3x cost carbon one. And I have broken 3 carbon frames (have had 4), 1 out of 3 steel frames, and 0 of 3 aluminum frames.

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Trek Checkpoint ALR5 review

A fine all-rounder with special touches

Robert Smith / Immediate Media

Robin Wilmott

Fine frameset, good spec and great performance

It would be good to see bigger tyres fitted from new

gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

Owing far more to the fantastic Boone and Crocket cyclocross bikes than Trek’s road models, the Checkpoint has all the bona fide features you would expect for a bike of this genre. There is also a feature you might not expect — adjustable rear dropouts to support singlespeed riders.

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Trek Checkpoint ALR5 frame and kit

My ALR5’s aluminium frame has classic looks with unfussy round or ovalised tubes, neat welds and glossy paintwork. It sports numerous mounts for racks front and rear, mudguards, options for one bottle-cage on the seat tube, two on top of the down tube, and one beneath it.

There’s neat internal cable and hose routing through the down tube via a single port, externally on the fork, and beneath the chainstays, and for those who think this bike has 21 gears too many, Trek’s adjustable Stranglehold dropouts allow conversion to singlespeed.

The ALR5’s aluminium frame has classic looks

At first glance the barely more than 3mm gap between the left crank and chainstay could have been a concern, but it hasn’t proven to be.

For the dedicated gravelista, those same dropouts permit some wheelbase length alteration too, making room for bigger rubber — the ALR can take 45mm tyres — increasing stability, or keeping the rear-end tight.

Mudguard mounts make the bike all-weather ready

In standard form, the ALR5 shares its chainstay length and wheelbase with the equivalent-sized Boone, has a slightly slacker seat angle and fractionally steeper head angle, with a shorter head-tube, longer effective top tube and lower bottom bracket.

All that boils down to a bike that, although not aimed at cyclocross-level technical riding, is quick over mixed terrain, and super-stable, making a solid platform to add some luggage to.

At higher pressure the Schwalbe G-One tyres didn’t hold the Trek back on tarmac

Trek Checkpoint ALR5 ride impressions

It shifts on tarmac, with 50psi in the 35mm Schwalbe G-One gravel tyres, clipping along at 18mph-plus wasn’t hard, and I pedalled away from a road bike or two.

Hitting the potholed, dirt road, the Checkpoint displayed ’cross-bike agility to carve lines around the worst obstructions, although its near-10kg weight almost grounded the first bunny hop I tried.

The ride quality is firm but well damped on rough tarmac, and much the same on hardpacked dirt or gravel. Although I’d rather see bigger tyres supplied, the relatively thin 35mm tyres, generous pressures and only limited assistance from the aluminium vibration-reducing, gel-padded bar and 27.2mm seatpost, mean seated comfort wouldn’t be a concern for lengthier rides.

The plush Montrose Comp saddle helps too. With heaps of flex from its surprisingly mobile shell, and a central cutout, it’s a good match.

For its completely rounded ability, the Trek leaves the others in the dust

The drivetrain is all Shimano 105, with the RS505 hydraulic levers and calipers stopping the bike effectively. A 50/34 compact chainset mated with 11-34 cassette gives good, closely spaced ratios in almost every circumstance, with a 1:1 lowest gear for big climb grinds.

The frame’s detailing is excellent, and even Bontrager’s TLR tubeless-ready wheelset feels quite willing in this build, but there is a maximum total weight limit, including rider and luggage, of 125kg.

They’ll never be a fast option, but the TLRs are pretty robust, versatile and will give good service. Turning them tubeless or replacing them with something friskier could turn a satisfyingly composed frameset into a contender for your do-it-all bike.

The Checkpoint comes with a Shimano 105 drivetrain

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2022 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Review

Garret seacat, c.s.c.s..

gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

Reviewing the all-new 2022 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

The 2022 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 is a welcomed update to an already successful line of gravel bikes from Trek. As a long-time cycling coach and native of the Flint Hills of Kansas, we didn’t hold back on our Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 review. 

2022 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

  • Lighter frame than the previous version
  • Nicely equipped components.
  • Feels quick and nimble even with the long-wheelbase
  • Updated geometry
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • We don’t mind but the removal of sliding dropouts
  • Not as relaxed geometry as Trek Domane making it more of a race bike than a relax gravel bike

First Impressions

The Checkpoint needs almost no introduction to most riders familiar with the gravel scene but this year brought along an update to the already popular bike. While you could spend big money and go for the incredibly well-equipped and lightweight SLR model, we decided to stay more modest and review a more humble ALR 5 that will likely find its way into your garage.

Before we get too far, I want to mention I am VERY familiar with the Checkpoint, and this is the 4th different one I’ve owned. And well before that, I was part of a bike shop that helped contribute and give input on the “new gravel” bike from Trek, or what we would later learn was the first version of the Checkpoint. I sold my 2020 SL after just deciding it wasn’t the right fit for me, but here I am again with another Checkpoint added to the stable of bikes.

Straight out of the box, I was impressed with how light it was, even with all the stock components at the time. Also, the updated paint schemes on all the models are gorgeous in person! However, I quickly realized while assembling the bike my taste for carbon would likely result in some upgrades reasonably quickly to help lighten the bike even more and improve the feel. More on that later.

2022 Trek ALR 5 Review

Riding the Checkpoint

It wouldn’t be a Checkpoint ALR 5 review without putting it on the gravel in Kansas, and luckily that’s exactly where we are located. While you miss out on the Iso-Speed of higher-end carbon Checkpoints, you won’t notice it much. Having ridden a variety of carbon Trek bikes with Iso-Speed, I was pleasantly surprised at the ride quality of the ALR. To help take the edge off, I added an RSL seatpost, and then the bike came to match the ride quality of much more expensive bikes.

On the same idea of changing things, take the stock tires ASAP. They aren’t that good! They roll fast, but you will flat in no time and ruin that new bike experience.

After a quick 20-mile break-in ride with stock parts, I changed the wheels to a pair of Bontrager RSL 37V and changed the seatpost and stem to Bontrager RSL carbon bits. I also put a wider 44cm width bar on. Is this necessary? Absolutely not, but the bike really comes alive!

One note on the geometry, it feels great but is noticeably different than the previous model. While the effective top tube says it is longer it felt shorter! The wheelbase also got shortened this year but has more front toe clearance and a similar chainstay length to previous years.

Since putting this bike together, I have almost shelved my carbon bikes completely. I even went to a couple of gravel races and left the carbon race bike at home because I enjoy the new Checkpoint ALR 5 that much! The best part is having riders come over and pick it up and their shock when I tell them how much I have invested in it compared to what they have spent.

Final Thoughts

At $2500 retail, you cannot go wrong with the Checkpoint ALR 5. It is just a all around fun bike to ride. The stock Shimano GRX R600 and R800 components and tubeless-ready wheels will have you ready for whatever you want. If you can swing it, grab a carbon seat post, I recommend the Bontrager RSL for the “flex” to help take a little more out of the gravel.

If you can find a shop with an ALR 5 in stock then give it a ride and don’t think twice about taking it home if it fits!

Certified Cycling Coach Garret Seacat

Coach Seacat has carved a space for himself as an expert coach in the discipline of cycling. With 15+ years of coaching and prestigious certifications from USA Cycling and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), Coach Seacat brings a comprehensive approach to coaching that combines advanced training techniques with fundamental cycling strategies.

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trek checkpoint

The New Trek Checkpoint Line Is For Gravel Riders of All Kinds

Updated geometry and differentiated models for speed, adventure, and all purpose riding

The Takeaway: A great bike gets better, with geometry updates suited to the evolution of gravel.

  • Two centimeters longer reach and front center on all sizes
  • One centimeter longer chainstays
  • New race-oriented SLR platform
  • Additional cargo mounts

Price: $12,000 (SLR 9, as tested) Weight: 17.8 lb. (Size 54cm)

Trek’s gravel loving Checkpoint is all new front to rear, with new geometry (covered below) and features for the ever-evolving world of gravel riding. That evolution is why Trek differentiated the three complete bike platforms—SLR, SL, and ALR—for different kinds of gravel riders. I go into more depth below, but the short version is: SLR = race; SL = all-around, ALR = utility.

trek checkpoint slr

Threaded T47 bottom brackets now grace all Checkpoint frames, but Trek has done away with the sliding dropouts found on the previous generation Checkpoint. All eight builds get gravel gearing and clutch-style rear derailleurs (Shimano GRX or SRAM eTap AXS), as well as 40mm tubeless ready tires and tubeless ready rims. All models, and all sizes, can fit up to 45mm tires with plenty of mud clearance; which means riders in dry conditions can fit in even bigger tires. If you choose, you can fit the Checkpoint with 650b wheels—all models and all sizes come stock with 700c wheels—which bumps tire clearance up to 53mm (2.1 inches).

In the press release, Trek makes mention of “ Émonda -inspired aero tube shapes,” without providing any wind tunnel data. My suspicion is the tube shapes do save a few watts, though Trek isn’t leaning into gravel aero as much as 3T does with its Exploro RaceMax .

Trek Checkpoint — Geometry

trek checkpoint

Geometry is where the new Checkpoint sees the biggest change. While there are three Checkpoint frame platforms (outlined below), all three share the same, all new, geometry (see table above).

The overall theme to the geometry updates is “more progressive.” Trek took a page from the mountain bike playbook and stretched all sizes of the frame’s reach and front center by about two centimeters. Trek now fits shorter stems and shorter-reach bars to mitigate cockpit length changes. Chainstays on the frame grow by a centimeter (now 435mm on all sizes). Trail is also longer (about six millimeters) even though head angles remain about the same—new fork offset is 45mm, old was 49mm—and wheelbase grows as well. Frame stack bumps up a touch too.

trek checkpoint slr

Jordan Roessingh, Trek’s director of road product, says the new geometry aids stability, “It’s a longer bike, so whether you’re doing long Unbound type stuff where you’re just pointing the bike straight or you’re doing high speed stuff on gravel descents in the mountains, we believe this geometry lends itself to confidence. Getting that wheel out in front of you also unweights it makes you feel a lot more confident when you’re doing steep technical stuff—you don’t feel like you’re going to go over the bar. That front wheel is really easy to unweight and allows it to roll over a lot more stuff.”

Roessingh further explained that the new geometry also reduces toe overlap on smaller sizes and allows them to approve larger tires sizes for smaller riders, “On the previous [Checkpoint] we had to limit our small frame size tire size recommendations to only 40mm. Not because the frame didn’t have the capacity for 45, but when you put a 45 it created too much toe overlap.” The issue here was government regulations that outline a production bike’s maximum tire overlap. But with the new bike’s longer front end every size can, officially, run up to a 45mm tire.

One note on the geometry: The new Checkpoint is not suspension fork corrected. However, the Checkpoint has a 1.5-inch lower fork steerer diameter, so you can fit the new RockShox Rudy , a Suntour GVX, or Fox AX, but doing so will raise the front end and slacken its angles.

trek checkpoint slr

Trek Checkpoint — Where is the Front IsoSpeed?

One surprising omission from the new Checkpoint is IsoSpeed in the front, a feature found in Trek’s Domane all road bikes . According to Roessingh, IsoSpeed on the front of a bike with big tires, “Doesn’t provide a sufficient gain in compliance to make a real difference to the rider because a [larger than 32mm tire] is such a dominant aspect of the compliance,” so it was left off the new Checkpoint. The benefit is a less complicated front end, and some weight savings.

Rear IsoSpeed continues on all models. Roessingh explains that it has more deflection than front Isospeed so it offers additional compliance benefit even with larger tires.

Trek Checkpoint — Three Frame Platforms

The new Checkpoint comes in three platforms: SLR, SL, and ALR. The top of the line SLR (super light race) platform is new to the Checkpoint line. Previously, Checkpoint topped out with the SL model. All the models have T47 threaded bottom bracket, internal hose and housing routing, 45mm tire clearance, frame bag mounts, fender mounts, and come in six sizes: 49 to 61cm. SLR and SL carbon frames get the same in-frame storage system found on carbon Domane frames.

trek checkpoint slr

But though the three platforms share geometry and many features, they’re tuned to suit different riders.

The SLR is race oriented, so it gets the highest-grade carbon composite, a traditionally shaped (not flared) road bar, and forgoes cargo mounts on the fork. This model also has Trek’s no-cut seat mast with (non-adjustable) top tube IsoSpeed.

The SL gets an all-purpose gravel focus. It uses lower grade carbon than the SLR but adds adventure riding features like three-pack mounts on the fork legs, and a flared gravel bar. This model does have Trek’s IsoSpeed decoupler in the seat tube but fits a traditional 27.2mm seatpost: That makes this model dropper-post compatible.

The aluminum framed ALR is the least expensive of the new Checkpoints, and Trek’s representatives expect this to be a popular model with riders looking for a commuter or utility bike. It has the same geometry as the other platforms, and the same rack, fender, framebag and mudguard mounts as the Checkpoint SL, and it gets a flared gravel bar and 27.2mm dropper-post compatibility. The two features it lacks relative to the SL are the in-frame storage and an IsoSpeed decoupler.

Trek Checkpoint — Models, Prices, Weights

There are eight complete bikes for the USA: one ALR, three SL, and four SLR models. Prices and claimed weights are below, with a quick look at the build kits. All complete bikes roll on Bontrager GR1 40mm tubeless ready tires, have tubeless ready rims, and ship with tubeless valves, rim strips, and sealant.

trek checkpoint alr

  • Checkpoint ALR 5— $2,400, 21.5lb. Shimano GRX600 2x11 with 30/46 rings and 11-34 cassette
  • Checkpoint SL 5—$3,200, 21.3lb. Shimano GRX600 2x11 with 30/46 rings and 11-34 cassette, Bontrager Paradigm SL wheels (21mm internal width)
  • C heckpoint SL 6 eTap — $4,100, 20.0lb. SRAM Rival eTap AXS 1x12 with 40 ring and 10-44 cassette, Bontrager Paradigm Comp wheels (25mm internal width)
  • Checkpoint SL 7 eTap—$6,3,00 19.6lb. SRAM Force Wide eTap AXS 2x12 with 30/43 rings and 10-36 cassette, Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3V carbon wheels (25mm internal width)
  • Checkpoint SLR 6 eTap—$7,600, 19.1lb. SRAM Rival eTap AXS 1x12 with power meter, 40 ring and 10-44 cassette, Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3V carbon wheels (25mm internal width)
  • Checkpoint SLR 7—$8,300, 19.4lb. Shimano GRX815 2x11 with 31/48 rings and 11-34 cassette, Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3V carbon wheels (25mm internal width)
  • Checkpoint SLR 7 eTap—$8,300, 18.6lb. SRAM Force eTap AXS 1x12 with power meter, 40 ring and 10-44 cassette, Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3V carbon wheels (25mm internal width)
  • Checkpoint SLR 9 eTap—$12,000, 17.9lb. SRAM Red eTap AXS 1x12 with power meter, 40 ring and 10-44 cassette, Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37V carbon wheels (25mm internal width)

Trek Checkpoint — Ride Impressions and Review

Trek sent me the top-of-the-line SLR 9 eTap AXS well ahead of the bike's launch, and I’ve done my usual “gravel” shenanigans on this bike—long gravel rides, mixed media rides, some road riding, and plenty of singletrack.

On anything dirt, and especially on singletrack, the new Checkpoint is not just better than the previous generation, it’s one of the best gravel bikes I’ve been on. I love the previous generations above-average comfort and smoothness and that’s still present, but the geometry updates make the new bike much more capable: And the faster and more technical the dirt, the more the geometry pays off. It’s accurate, but not darty, and composed but appropriately flickable.

trek checkpoint slr

Here’s the rub: Give us geometry that lets us go faster and…we’re going to go faster. The Checkpoint is so damn fast on downhills singletrack that I take issue with Trek’s decision to forgo front IsoSpeed or correct the geometry for a suspension fork. I mean, this is a pretty compliant bike overall, but when you go faster the hits get stronger. Many times I wacked stuff that made my hands and arms stung. Bigger tires help, but a 45mm maximum isn’t that big (Canyon’s Grizl fits 50s, for example).

Basically, there were times I felt like the geometry was writing checks the Checkpoint couldn’t cash without some help from suspension. But then, when you add weighty suspension and fatter tires, you have a much different bike; so I’m also not sure that’s the answer. I think we’re at a very interesting point with “progressive” gravel bikes where they are tickling the edges of mountain bike capability and, if they go much further, suspension must be a part of the conversation.

On the flip side of the new Checkpoint’s added capability, it feels less chipper on paved surfaces. The old Checkpoint was almost a road bike that could do gravel while the new one definitely takes cues from the world of mountain bikes. On balance, this works out okay for the most fun and challenging parts of gravel rides, though the Checkpoint bike feels a bit logy on the liaisons between the best bits. That’s a compromise I’m okay with, but if you want more quickness on pavement from your gravel bike you might be happier on something like a Cervelo Aspero 5 or the 3T Exploro Racemax .

trek checkpoint slr

Trek isn’t breaking any new ground with the Checkpoint’s geometry and handing traits. This mountain bike influenced longer, more stable, geometry (oh, hello, Chamois Hagar ) is an increasingly popular trend, and already found in bikes like Canyon’s Grizl (which the Checkpoint reminds me of) and some other bikes. I’m curious to see how this geometry goes down with the general riding public, and how far brands push the geometry. When used for actual gravel and off-pavement riding and racing, this geometry makes sense. But if riders are buying gravel bikes because they want more capability and comfort out of a drop bar bike, but are mostly sticking to pavement, I don’t think this geometry suits that kind of rider.

Handling covered, let’s look at the rest of the Checkpoint’s attributes. The added cargo options (in frame storage, direct mount bag in main triangle) are great, almost mandatory, features for a gravel bike. My 54cm frame did have two water bottle mounts on the downtube, but it required a bit of trial and error with a Wolf Tooth B-Rad base to get two bottles to fit comfortably. With the Bontrager frame bag mounted, I needed to reposition the seat tube cage location to fit a bottle. Larger sizes have more space in the main triangle, so this won’t be an issue, but riders on frames smaller than 54 might need to look into alternative ways to carry water if they run the frame bag.

I do have a gripe with the road-bend bar on the SLR models. Trek sees this model as appealing to racers who are coming from a road background. This is why it gets a traditional, and lighter, road bar. But it’s still a gravel bike, and flared drops are awesome for comfort and control. Besides, flared bars are so awesome that once you ride them, you’ll want to put them on your road bikes. Thankfully, Trek didn’t do anything weird with the bar and stem on the new Checkpoint, so riders can fit anything they desire.

trek checkpoint slr

That’s my only gripe though. I love this bike, and the rest of the parts kit is dialed. I’m going to throw out special kudos for spec'ing the SRAM-equipped SLR models with power meters from the factory. I think that’s perfectly in line with this bikes purpose and customer.

Overall, the new Checkpoint is a wonderful gravel bike. It’s faster, better handling, and more suited to the needs of the today’s gravel rider.

Trek Checkpoint SLR 9 eTap

Checkpoint SLR 9 eTap

Would you like to test new gear for Bicycling ? Click HERE to find out more.

Headshot of Matt Phillips

A gear editor for his entire career, Matt’s journey to becoming a leading cycling tech journalist started in 1995, and he’s been at it ever since; likely riding more cycling equipment than anyone on the planet along the way. Previous to his time with Bicycling , Matt worked in bike shops as a service manager, mechanic, and sales person. Based in Durango, Colorado, he enjoys riding and testing any and all kinds of bikes, so you’re just as likely to see him on a road bike dressed in Lycra at a Tuesday night worlds ride as you are to find him dressed in a full face helmet and pads riding a bike park on an enduro bike. He doesn’t race often, but he’s game for anything; having entered road races, criteriums, trials competitions, dual slalom, downhill races, enduros, stage races, short track, time trials, and gran fondos. Next up on his to-do list: a multi day bikepacking trip, and an e-bike race. 

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Road Test: Trek Checkpoint ALR5 Driftless

Dan Meyer

This article first appeared in the July/August 2023 issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine.

The Driftless is a special edition of Trek’s Checkpoint gravel bike, and its moniker refers to the Driftless Area of the Midwest — specifically Wisconsin, Trek’s home state. Thanks to the internet, I now know that the Driftless Area was never covered by ice during the last ice age and therefore lacks glacial silt deposits, known as drift. Elsewhere in the Midwest, receding glaciers flattened the landscape; not so in the Driftless, where you’ll find steep hills and deep, narrow river valleys.

Trek’s Checkpoint is available in several iterations in carbon or aluminum and 1x or 2x drivetrains. The Driftless, however, comes in only one spec, but it’s a good one: aluminum frame, carbon fork, 1x drivetrain, dropper post, and bolt-on half framebag. The Driftless is also available in only one color, a dark red that Trek calls — wait for it — Satin Cobra Blood . If that didn’t come out of an ayahuasca fever dream, I don’t know what would. But look closely at the paint and you’ll see topographical lines that, according to Trek, evoke the Driftless Area. It’s a sharp-looking bike. And when you open the framebag, you’ll see the red topo pattern repeated on the interior fabric. That deserves a chef’s kiss right there.

The Driftless comes out of the gate ready for loaded adventures, featuring rack and fender mounts, four bottle mounts, triple mounts on the fork, and mounts for a top tube bag. With the framebag installed on the size 56cm I tested, I was able to fit a small bottle on the seat tube and a large bottle on the downtube. The framebag’s main compartment features three pockets, which is great for keeping things like your phone, wallet, keys, and a multitool handy without bouncing around. If you want to carry more water bottles, you can always remove the framebag to take advantage of the upper downtube bottle position: the inner triangle can carry up to three bottles.

For the drivetrain and brakes, Trek chose high-end Shimano GRX bits, which provided crisp shifting and easy, one-finger braking. With no front derailer, the left shifter is available to actuate the dropper post, a feature I absolutely loved. But with a 40T chainring and an 11–42T cassette, the Driftless had less gearing than I would prefer, especially on a bike named for a region with steep hills and with designs on loaded riding. The Easton dropper post provided only 50mm of travel, which for a bike like this is plenty. It’s just enough to lower your center of gravity but not so much that you can’t still get a few pedal strokes in.

As for the rest of the spec list, it’s a lot of Bontrager-branded stuff that worked quite well. I liked the shape and feel of the handlebar with its 13° flare, but I found the 420mm width a tad narrow. Likewise, the Bontrager wheels rolled just fine, but with only 24 spokes per wheel, they might not be ideal if you plan on really loading this bike up. The GR2 tires rolled quickly on pavement and provided a ton of grip on dirt, and they managed to survive the sharp rocks and scattered broken glass here in Salt Lake City, which is no small feat.

So aside from a cool paint job, a nifty framebag, and a dropper post, it’s just a gravel bike, right? Wrong. Somehow, the Wisconsin brand has created one of the most fun bikes I’ve ever thrown a leg over. The Driftless was screamingly quick on the road, even with its off-road tires — I quickly realized that being able to drop my butt 50mm on canyon descents makes me go much, much faster and with way more confidence — and with its short wheelbase and steep-ish head angle, it was an absolute riot on dirt, especially singletrack. A term we don’t often use in this publication is tossable , as in maneuverable, twitchy. With the slightest input, I could snake this bike around rocks and drift around corners like a hooligan. On one of the most fun days I’ve ever had on a bike, I rode the Driftless 20 miles on pavement to a trailhead, rode 20 miles of singletrack on green and blue mountain bike trails, and then rode 20 miles of pavement home. I couldn’t feel my legs the next day, but it was worth it.

So what’s this bike’s special sauce? I have no idea. The bike felt short and twitchy and pointy , as we say in the mountain bike world, but it was also surprisingly compliant. Something I’ve come to learn recently is that manufacturers have figured out how to make aluminum frames that don’t beat you up, and the Driftless is one such bike. But I also think the carbon fork and the low spoke count of the wheels played a role in the ride feel as well. Without isolating the various factors, it’s hard to point a finger at the source. But I tend to think that Trek hit upon a magical combination, and I’d be wary of replacing any one thing for fear of compromising this bike’s unique qualities.

Trek Checkpoint ALR5 Driftless

Best uses: Road, gravel, light touring, singletrack

Price: $2,800

Frame: Alpha Aluminum, rack and fender mounts, four bottle mounts, top tube mounts

Fork: Carbon, rack and fender mounts, triple mounts

Weight: 22.2 lbs. (with framebag and two bottle cages)

Available sizes: 49cm, 52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm, 61cm

Size tested: 56cm

gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

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Road test: ibis dv9, road test: fairlight faran 2.5, geared up: holiday bonanza 2023.

gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

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2020 Trek Checkpoint ALR5 – 1000 Mile Review/Upgrades

As I used this forum heavily during my research into gravel biking, I decided to give a quick review of my Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 in the hopes that someone will find it useful. For background, I have been a mountain biker all my life and only recently discovered “gravel grinding” while living in Geneva, Switzerland for work.  Geneva essentially sits in a bowl surrounded by mountains on all sides.  During normal times a quick car/train ride can bring you to some of the best downhill/XC single track in the world.  However, COVID-19 limited access to those locations so I was stuck with fire roads, gravel farm trails, and the occasional mud trail which led to my discovery of gravel riding.  I now live in Belgium and have loved every minute of the biking culture here (lots of gravel/mud). I purchased the ALR5 after a bit of research as Trek retailers are typically found everywhere in Europe and I have never had an issue with their bikes/service in over 30 years of riding.  Although I looked at Niner, Specialized, Salsa, Mason, and Pivot (love the Vault), I went with the ALR5 as I found it on sale, it came with common/quality components, and was aluminum.  We can debate all day over carbon vs steel vs Ti vs aluminum but for what I needed and was willing to pay, the ALR5 was a good fit. ACTUAL REVIEW:

2020 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5; Size 61; Grey/Black/Red

Total miles: 1,223 I purchased the bike for USD 1000 as it was a store demo and considered "used". The bike had no scratches and was basically in new condition but without the "new" price tag.  Time of purchase was everything as it was early in the COVID era and bike stores will still attempting push last years models out before the new ones came it.  Crazy to think how a few weeks later stores were essentially out of stock due to restrictions and a huge rush of new buyers wanting to "ride-out" the quarantine.  The first 350 miles were flawless and I can’t say enough good things about the Shimano 105 group set.  It’s a workhorse, is easy to work on, and the 2x system worked well for the flat roads in and around Geneva.  Also, chain slap from the rear derailleur was minimal for the type of riding I was doing.  During this period, I stripped the bike down to a bare frame and discovered a few things.  The shop I purchased the bike from had used M5 bolts to hold the cables in place just underneath the bottom bracket.  The bolts they used were so long they drove into the bearings, essentially destroying the BB.  I highlight this as I can see how someone could make this mistake and wouldn’t want anyone else to do the same. No other issues worth noting.  As I am also a welder in a past life, I can attest to the quality of the aluminum frame.  My only complaint is that Trek is a bit sloppy in their welds.  Solid welds, but they need some finishing.  I will also add that the BB was within tolerances but by no means exact.  I think Pressfit becomes an issue when the manufacturer allows tolerances outside of what the Pressfit BB can handle.  At least that is what Hambini tells me! Around the 500 mile mark, a close friend received the Shimano GRX 600 1x for demo and was allowed to keep it.  When he was done he gave it to me (free) so I threw it on the bike.  I immediately knew the type of riding I was doing was not a good fit for 1x.  I put back on the 105 crank/cassette/front derailleur, changed to a med cage GRX rear derailleur w/ clutch, and kept the GRX 600 shifters.  This combined the benefits of both groupsets into a durable 2x system.  I also swapped out the seat to a Selle Italia Gravel SLR which works well and was given a set of Mason Hunt 4 Season wheels which I ran WTB ByWays (700 x 40) and GravelKing SK Plus (700 x 43).  I had previously read that ALR5 topped out with a max tire clearance of 700x40 but this has not been my experience.  I have run 700-45 with a 2x drivetrain with no issue but admit this is likely do to the bikes large frame size and that I have the dropouts slide all the way back. With regards to the dropouts, I would have preferred not to have them for no other reason than it’s a point of failure in my opinion and I don’t notice a huge difference in ride style/quality when they are shifted forward/backwards.  This is just my opinion, I understand their purpose, and will be the first to admit that I am not a good enough rider to appreciate their true value. Two months ago I was provided (same friend) the GRX800 DI2 (FD, RD, and Shifters) free of charge.  I had debated the value of swapping out my mechanical to DI2 and ultimately decided I needed to try it as it only cost me time and a few (expensive) parts (battery, cables, wireless unit).  After a few YouTube videos, I found installation pretty straight forward and took about 4 hours out of my day for the install.  Due to the frame/components, I ended up with the junction box/battery in the seat tube as I did not want to drill any of the aluminum out of the frame near the BB to fit the junction box.  Additionally, I drilled two small holes in my drop bars to in order to hide the cables (thanks “Rides of Japan”).   After setup, I made a near fatal mistake as I attempted to update the firmware via the Etube application on my iPhone which bricked the system. I have since learned that this is a common issue.  I made several attempts to fix this (battery disconnect; all components disconnect) but nothing worked.  The internet recommendation was to reinstall all the firmware via the laptop version of etube.  As I run a MacBook and since Etube only runs on windows, I downloaded virtual windows machine and was eventually able to reboot the whole system.  Although Di2 is not something I would likely pay for in the future I can say that it is an amazing product.  The shifts are flawless, precise, and can be accomplished under load without issue.  I’ve put about 700 miles on the groupset and have not experienced any issues and the battery still has a full charge despite my aggressive shifting.  Although I was initially reserved in my off-road riding in an effort to avoid damage to the components, that has since changed and the can say everything has held up nicely despite a few crashes.  With regards to cleaning, I have always used warm water, muc-off, and cleaner without issue and this setup is no different.  Bottom line is this:  The bike fit my style, had/has quality components off the shelf, has stood up to some pretty rough riding, and fit my budget.  Most importantly it puts a smile on my face which for me makes the bike worth its weight in gold.      

Trek still does not make an actual Gravel Bike.  

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2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless Review

Are you searching for an endurance gravel bike that combines lightweight performance and severe loyalty to the cause? If so, the 2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless may be the perfect choice for you.

The latest version of the Check Point ALR 5 is a future-proofed long-distance gravel bike that has been heavily developed over several years. 

It features an all-new lightweight Alpha Aluminum frame and some seriously impressive technology, flat mount brakes, hidden fender mounts, and even a small frame bag.

2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless Review

All of this comes together to create an agile, long distance experience that packs in comfort without compromising on speed and control. 

In this review we take a closer look at what makes the 2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless so special and why it could be one of the best options available on the market today.

2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless Review

The 2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless was released recently and the anticipation for the bike has been huge. 

This high-performance all-road gravel bike offers a lightweight, responsive package that is built for long rides and intense races. 

Built with an aluminum frame and carbon fork, this Checkpoint comes packed with features like an 11-speed Shimano drivetrain and hydraulic brakes. 

In this review, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the 2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless and seeing how it performs on the trail.

2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless Review

Frame Design

The Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless features an aluminum alloy frame that is designed to offer good power transfer while remaining light weight. 

The frame has clearance for 700x45c or 650×2.1″ tires, allowing you to take on more challenging road surfaces with confidence. 

The frame also uses Trek’s Control Freak internal cable routing system which helps to streamline the design by tucking away all of the cables inside of the frame.

2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless Review

Groupset and Components

This version of the Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless comes equipped with a Shimano GRX 11-speed groupset which includes a shifter/brake lever combo, front/rear derailleurs and a 11-42t cassette. 

When it comes to braking, this bike features flat mount hydraulic disc brakes from Shimano which offer reliable stopping power even on wet or muddy roads. 

As for suspension, this Checkpoint model uses a rigid carbon fork to provide some comfort without taking too much away from its agile feel.

2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless Review

The wheels on this model are Bontrager Paradigm tubeless compatible wrapped with Bontrager GR2 Team Issue Elite 700x40c tires. 

These rims are strong and light, making them ideal for gravel riding where speed changes frequently and terrain can get rough or technical at times. 

They even include a small bottle of tubeless sealant should you choose to run them tubeless.

2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless Review

Overall Ride Feel

As far as ride feel goes, this Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless has a stiff and snappy feel thanks to its lightweight construction and rigid carbon fork design. 

The geometry of this bike helps foster good power transfer throughout pedal strokes while still allowing you to stay agile around tight corners or when navigating through technical terrain at higher speeds. 

With its dependable components like Shimano’s GRX 11-speed groupset and hydraulic disc brakes you get great performance in any condition whether you’re racing against your friends or just out exploring some local trails.

Order online and have it shipped to your local dealer for final assembly!!

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gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

  • Rider Notes

2024 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 AXS

gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

An aluminum frame gravel bike with upper mid-range components and hydraulic disc brakes. Compare the full range

Checkpoint ALR 5 AXS

In Stock: 49, 52, 54, 56, 58, & 61cm

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Based on frame geometry and build specs.

A bike with lower gearing will be easier to ride up steep hills, while a higher top end means it will pedal faster down hills.

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  • 5'7", size 54, Fits large
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Gran Fondo Magazine

Jan 2024 · Calvin Zajac

Is Trek’s mid-range gravel machine better than its top-end twin? The Checkpoint SL 7 offers adventure on a (slightly) lower budget, but is that enough to beat the competition in our adventure gravel bike group test?

Outstanding versatility

A lot of practical features

High-quality design, boasting first-class workmanship

No chainstay protector

Read Review


Nov 2023 · Oscar Huckle

How does the Checkpoint platform translate into aluminium?

Well mannered on tamer terrain

Lots of eyelets

Eschews integration

Clean dropper post actuation

Not the most exciting ride

Harsh through the front end when unloaded

Oct 2022 · Mat Brett

Get all the details of this fiery red gravel/adventure bike with Trek’s gravel-smoothing IsoSpeed

Cycling News

Sep 2022 · Josh Ross

The Trek Checkpoint is the only bike you need to take you on every adventure

SRAM Rival AXS is the perfect groupset for an all-arounder

Mud-guard mounts

Mounting points for every bag you can think of

Non-proprietary seat-post provides options

Internal storage is convenient

Downtube protection eases worry

Threaded bottom bracket

Ideal all-around gearing

Short stem for added stability means handlebar/knee interference

Lacks included protection for the chain stay

Detail behind the fork steerer collects water and is difficult to clean

Sep 2022 · Steve Williams

Trek's updated aluminum Checkpoint is a surefooted, confidence-inspiring ride that's perfect for ruined back lanes, byways and well-laden travels

Stable and predictable


Great shifting and brakes

Gearing a bit tall for the weight

Could use a dropper post


Aug 2022 · Sam Challis

Neat tricks combined with smart design equals good fun. The Checkpoint SL is the sweetspot in Trek's gravel range

Effective geometry

Sensible spec

Neat extra frame features

Non-removable front derailleur mount

Headset cable integration design isn’t watertight

Feb 2022 · Betsy Welch

Rockwell's bike pays tribute her home, and of eras gone by.


Updated geometry and differentiated models for speed, adventure, and all purpose riding

99 Spokes on YouTube

Last updated April 13

  • Checkpoint ALR 5

We'll take care of you. Period.

It's our mission to provide you with world-class hospitality every time you visit us online or in-store. We're always here to help you. It's the Trek way.

Free shipping and professional assembly

All bikes ordered online ship for free to your local Trek shop for professional assembly. Participating retailers will even deliver your new ride to your doorstep!

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If for any reason you aren't 100% happy with your purchase, you can return it in like new condition within 30 days - no questions asked.

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"An excellent gravel race bike"

"Trek's new Checkpoint SLR 9 eTap is an excellent gravel race bike, built with features and geometry that calm rough surfaces without the handling feeling vague or sluggish. After two months on it, I can say that the bike we named the 2021 VeloNews Bike of the Year has only gotten better."

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"What Trek gets right with the Checkpoint is the handling, the comfort, the storage options, and the flexibility to alter the cockpit or the drivetrain. The attention to welcome and warranted for a top-end machine."

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"One of the best gravel bikes I’ve been on"

"Overall, the new Checkpoint is a wonderful gravel bike. It’s faster, better handling, and more suited to the needs of the today’s gravel rider."

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"More capable….easier to ride on fast on unpaved surfaces"

"As with other bikes with similarly long front ends, the revamped Checkpoint is easier and more confidence-inspiring to ride off-road on even moderately steep or loose terrain than before."

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"Progressive geometry and frame storage"

"Trek has revamped its Checkpoint line-up, with the updated gravel bike coming in not one but three different flavours, catering for the needs of go-fast racers, rough-and-ready adventurers and riders looking for a versatile N+1."

More options

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Review: Is It A Good Bike To Have?

  • By Daniel Shakibaie
  • Road Bike , Trek Bikes

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Review

Your bike should be able to take you everywhere your car can. Sure, it might take longer, but unless you’re looking for a bike that’s only designed to handle asphalt, you’ll probably need something a little more rugged than your average road bike. 

Enter the Trek ALR 5 . While this bike isn’t a mountain bike, it’s a more rugged design and gravel-eating geometry means that you can take this bike… pretty much anywhere. It is one of the most popular rugged bikes of the Trek Checkpoint line.

Still, you should know what you’re getting into before you invest in any new bike, especially a more expensive model like ALR 5. 

The Checkpoint is Trek’s entry into the gravel bike market, but it’s status as a relative newcomer shouldn’t fool you. Instead, consider Trek’s late entry a combination of waiting to see if the market was a fad and waiting until they had a high-quality build that really stood out among the best gravel bike models. 

The ALR 5 is a good mid to premium bike model with a maximum total weight limit of 275 pounds that performs about how you’d expect from a bike in this price range. It’s more rugged design means that this bike won’t ever be the fastest kid on the block, but it’s a well-balanced option. 

Better yet, it accelerates and maintains speed well enough that experienced cyclists might find themselves outpacing the local road bikes, at least as long as they have the component and experience advantage. 

The ALR 5 isn’t a bike that’s really designed for new cyclists. It’s also not really meant for the most technical trails or hardcore crosscheck, which can be a downside for some riders. 

Still, the flexible design makes this a good do it all bike, especially for riders who are looking to have some run and explore more than they’re looking to beat record racing times or rock a near-impossible trail without wiping out. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Gravel Bike 

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

Gravel bikes are exactly what they sound like. They are designed to handle all-terrain conditions like a mountain bike, but generally don’t have the jump and bump suspension you need for a dirt trail. Instead, gravel bikes like to create a steady and relatively smooth ride quality over difficult surfaces, gravel in particular. 

If you’ve ever ridden a road bike or a commuter bike over treacherous gravel roads, you know why this specialization is so important. 

However, the best value gravel bike is heavier and a little slower and chunkier than their speedy competitors, which makes them less suitable for urban riders. They also don’t usually have the same kind of suspension system as a good mountain bike. 

That’s not to say that you couldn’t hit some mountain trails on a gravel bike, you can. But you should expect that it’s going to perform differently, and you might get hung up on obstacles your mountain bike can easily mount or jump. 

Essentially, remember that a best-value gravel bike isn’t truly designed for everyone, even though it is one of the more popular do-everything bike types. 

Features & Benefits

We’ve talked a little about how Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 performs when it’s all put together, but that isn’t everything. You should still know what kind of components you’re working with and how those components will affect bike performance overall. 


This bike has an aluminum frame instead of a lighter carbon design. The new alloy, 300 Series Alpha Aluminum, performs even better than Trek’s older aluminum frames, absorbing a little more road vibration without adding weight or losing durability. 

Its circular and oval frame shape is fairly straightforward, but a glossy and incredibly clean paint job adds a little flair. 

More importantly, the ALR 5 has consistently good welds, with high durability which makes it much less likely that you’ll break a weld while you’re riding. 

The internal cable routing, aluminum tapered head tube, seat tube and down tube make ALR 5 a professional looking and a great bike. Internal routing also keeps your bike looking and riding cleaner while protecting component wires and reducing the wear and tear on your bike. The 300 series alpha aluminum tapered head or seat tube along with a sturdy down tube of ALR 5 makes your ride smooth and comfortable.

The ALR 5 might not come with any racks or integrated frame bag mounts, but the frame is pre-drilled for all the standard accessories, saving you money and time. 

Suspension System

Suspension System

The Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 ‘s fork has carbon fiber checkpoint models, which is a lightweight suspension solution a little different from your average suspension fork. Instead of absorbing big impacts and providing travel space for jumps and bumps, this fork is focused on reducing road vibration and preventing constant low-level impacts from traveling up the bike. It also has fender mounts and 12x100mm thru axle.

That means that you’ll be able to ride over gravel without feeling like you’re being shaken apart, but you’ll still feel every pothole on the road. 

While this suspension style is different, it’s very effective overall. 

More: Pure Fix Bike Review: Is It A Good Bike To Have


The tubeless-ready rims are a real boon on this bike since they make it even easier to get a smooth ride over gravel. 

However, you won’t be getting tubeless tires standard and massive tire clearance with the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5. Instead, you’ll be getting a set of fairly standard tires with a reasonable, but slightly outdated, tread. 

The high-pressure tolerance of these tires makes them an understandable choice for Trek, but they’re also one of the first things that many cyclists upgrade when they buy this bike. 


The 21 gears on this bike are a nice, flexible addition to the bike. But, in the gravel bike crowd, many people think that that many gears are overkill and unnecessary. 

Thankfully, Trek seems to have anticipated that complaint and also lets you switch this bike over to a single-speed, and back, very quickly.

The combination of both the 21-speed mode and the single-speed mode makes this bike a good fit for most riding styles and a wider range of trails. 

More: Discover The Best Road Bikes Under $1000 Has to Offer

hydraulic disc brakes and tapered head tube

Like many of the most important components on this bike, the brakes are from Shimano. That means that you’re likely to get high-quality and very consistent results from these brakes, even if you haven’t used a set of flat-mount disc brakes before. 

The hydraulic disc brakes on this model are particularly important since they are much less likely to get gravel stuck in them and cause damage. 

Fortunately, they also offer highly responsive performance without stopping you to fast to be dangerous on gravel trails. 

Is the Trek Emonda ALR 5 Suitable for Riding on Tough Terrains?

The trek emonda alr 5 review reveals that it is a suitable choice for riding on tough terrains. With its aluminium frame and carbon fork, it offers a balanced combination of strength and comfort. The Shimano 105 groupset ensures smooth shifting, while the Bontrager wheels provide stability. Its lightweight design allows for agility in challenging conditions.

Other Customers Reviews

Customers generally love that the Checkpoint ALR 5 is more rugged than many of the more popular bike models out there. It’s also clearly a durable option, and gravel riders love a bike that can take a hit. Take a look for yourself: 

Customers Reviews


Trek checkpoint alr 5 vs cannondale topstone 105.

Both of these bikes are high-quality gravel bikes with lots of gears and a rugged design that can hold up to a beating. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any major differences between the two. The Topstone 105 has a serious advantage in the dropper component that will let you drop your saddle for more maneuverability on the go. 

The Topstone also comes with tubeless-ready tires (however, no massive tire clearance), which also gives it a little bit of a boost as the more versatile and adaptive of the two bikes. 

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 vs Trek SL5

The Trek SL3 is still a Checkpoint model, but it’s higher price point comes with several important innovations over the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 . The big advantage is that the SL5 smooths your ride even more than the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5. 

It’s snazzier appearance and equally, rugged durability makes the SL5 a good option if you’ve got a little extra cash to spend. 

However, the core of both bikes is similar. The ALR 5 still has the hydraulic disk brakes, tubeless-ready wheels, and high-end carbon fork you want for good gravel and drop bar bike. So while the SL5 does have some performance improvements, many riders will be just as happy with an ALR 5. 

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 vs ALR 4

The Trek Checkpoint ALR 4 has just had a new release for its 2021 model, which comes in several sleek and eye-catching colors, and has the same basic geometry and aggressive rider position as the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 . 

The ALR 4 is the more affordable of the two, and even in this newest model, you’re looking at several slight downgrades in almost every component set. Where it matters you’ll still be getting similar components. 

It’s still a Shimano drivetrain and brake set, for instance. Still, when you put it all together this model will be able to do just a little bit less than the ALR 5. By design. 

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 vs Specialized Diverge Comp E5

Another very similar model, the big difference here is that the Specialized Diverge Comp E5 uses a Tektro mechanical disc brake vs the ALR 5 ‘s Shimano hydraulic flat mount disc brake. Both are great braking systems, though the hydraulic is slightly nicer.  

Really though, we’d say that between these two brake models performance differences are so slight that it’s more a matter of what you prefer rather than what works better. 

More: Kestral Talon X Tri 105 Review

Overall, while the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 isn’t necessarily the best gravel bike you can get your hands on, it’s got a good component set and is a high-value option for its price. When you start looking at better bikes than this one, you’re looking at much bigger cost differentials for smaller and smaller performance increases. 

The extra cost might be worth it for some, but in our opinion, this bike is a solid option for gravel riders at all experience levels. So, next time you stop at a bike shop, don’t miss checking such mountain bikes to ensure you enjoy riding.

About The Author

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Daniel Shakibaie

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REVIEWED: 4 Gravel Bikes for the Adventure-Seekers


gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

We review four gravel bikes designed for long-haul missions to faraway places.


The Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 gravel bike

The CHECKPOINT is a fantastically versatile gravel bike, especially this base model with an alloy frame.

Everything about the ALR 5 says ‘no-nonsense’. The frame is beautifully made, with sleek lines and smooth welds; the wheels and tyres are good; and the mechanical 2×11-speed Shimano GRX drivetrain is one of the most dependable around. The brakes are Shimano GRX hydraulic, and they work brilliantly.

Although it’s modern in geometry and spec, the Checkpoint is also surprisingly uncomplicated: the bottom bracket is threaded for creak-free performance in all weather, the seat post is a standard 27.2mm diameter, and there’s no proprietary integrated handlebar/stem combo. It’s a bike mechanic’s dream.  It’s also light, coming in at less than 10kg with stock parts.

The ALR 5 comes standard with alloy Bontrager Paradigm SL wheels and 40mm Bontrager GR1 tyres. They’re a nice all-road option, but you can squeeze 45s into the frame if you’re planning on riding gnarlier routes.

Why is this bike in the ‘Adventure’ section, you may ask, and not the ‘All-road’ section? That’s a good question; we could easily have put it there instead. And ‘All-road’ is probably where we’d put this Checkpoint’s carbon cousins, with their IsoSpeed decoupler seat posts and engineered frame compliance.

The aluminium bike is different, though. It’s robust and utilitarian, and begs you to do something more than a race or a coffee ride. There are mounting points everywhere – on both sides of the down tube, on the top tube and on the fork legs – for bags and bottles and whatever else you might need on your Cross Cape odyssey.

We were huge fans of Trek’s now-discontinued 920 touring bike, which came with racks and had clearance for 29-inch mountain-bike tyres; but the Checkpoint ALR 5 is a worthy successor. It’s definitely lighter and faster when it’s unloaded, which you’ll appreciate 90% of the time; but it also has the capability to carry lots of gear, and take you far on lonely roads.

At the price, it’s a steal.


The ACME CAM adventure gravel bike

ACME WAS founded BY TWO globe-trotting South Africans, Raoul de Jongh and Charl Dettmer, and the brand is currently operatingout of Girona, Spain, where Raoul lives with his family. Still, the SA roots are strong – especially in the CAM, which is their big-wheeled bike for wild adventures.

In the same genre as the Curve Big Kev and Sling Tagati, the Cam blurs the line between hardtail mountain bike and gravel bike, with clearance for 29×2.35” tyres and frame geometry that’s just right on rough and rugged roads.

You can go anywhere and do anything on the CAM. It has bosses galore, for bottle cages or bags, and it even has rack mounts in case you want to load up with panniers and ride to Timbuktu. But we also found the ride to be very engaging when the bike was unloaded; it felt light and stiff and fast, and challenged us to take weird detours (and even the occasional singletrack).

We have three titanium bikes in this section for a reason: titanium is expensive and it’s hard to work with, but it’s also virtually indestructible.  Components and wheels might come and go; but your CAM frame is for life, and it will still be going strong when your kids decide one day that they also want to try riding across the country.



The Sling Tagati Gravel Bike

As a company, Sling is better known for making aeroplanes… They’re based out of Joburg, and they’ve supplied more than 750 planes across the world. The Tagati is their first foray into making bikes, and it’s fabricated from the one material they really know how to use: titanium.

We’ve been riding a Tagati for more than a year, and we’re sold.

We’ve been riding a Tagati for more than a year, and we’re sold. It slots firmly into the adventure bike genre, accommodating fatter tyres than a normal gravel bike (29×2.3” mountain-bike tyres fit fine); and the geometry is designed for poise on rough roads, as well as for all-day comfort.

Of course, South Africa doesn’t have super-smooth gravel roads like they do in Switzerland and Tuscany; we have rocks, ruts and corrugations. And yet, even with the big tyres, the Tagati doesn’t feel sluggish. Our test-bike build weighed 10.3kg with alloy wheels, pedals, bottle cages and sealant – surprisingly light for a bike this tough.

There are so many details that scream, “Ride me somewhere stupid!” There are mounts for three bottle cages on the frame, and the carbon fork can take a kilogram on each side without worrying the warranty. That’s enough water to get you to a lot of stupid places…

There are also mounts for racks, bags and more, and a never-creak threaded bottom bracket. There’s very little you would want to change to make this the ultimate exploration bike – and one that will last for life.



The Curve Big Kev Gravel Bike

This is the bike that Kevin Benkenstein rides. There – end of review.

What? You don’t know who Benky is? Okay, fine; we’ll elaborate. He’s South Africa’s most decorated ultra-endurance cyclist, who’s won everything from the Munga to the Rhino Run (a self-supported, 2 700km race from Plett to Windhoek). He’s ridden the Atlas Mountain Race in Morocco, and he’s competed in gruelling gravel races in the US. So, when Benky has a hand in designing the ultimate long-distance landscape-eater – the bike that he uses himself – you know it means business.

It’s not the biggest, baddest bike in the Curve line-up. That would be the GMX+, which has clearance for 29×3” tyres and is popular with bikepackers who take on extreme trails fully loaded. No, the Big Kev is an evolution of the original Kev, which was meant to be an all-rounder: fast on the flats, and more than capable in the rough.

The geometry is optimised for 29×2.1” tyres, which strike the right balance between rolling resistance and comfort. But you can squeeze slightly wider tyres into the frame, or you can downsize if you don’t need all the extra squish. A custom yoke with asymmetrical chain stays and dropouts (pictured below) allows for the wide tyre clearance while retaining a road Q-factor – the width of your pedal stance, in other words. This also adds to the speedy feel of the bike.


How do you choose between the ACME, the Sling and the Curve? It comes down to tiny details. Educate yourself about geometry and study the numbers in your chosen size. But also listen to your heart; because buying a ‘life bike’ like this is an emotional decision, and it should make you feel something every time you see it parked in the garage.

READ MORE ON: adventure bikes bike review Bike Test gravel bikes

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The Most Beautiful Stations on the Moscow Metro

gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

You might have heard that there are some beautiful metro stations in Moscow. Soviet decorations, chandeliers, mosaic painting and statues are common in many of the stations. The good news is that the Moscow Metro does not cost a lot of money and many of the most beautiful stations on the Moscow metro are on the same line, so you can almost get on and off at each station to visit these. Over the New Year holidays, I had a free afternoon and decided to visit some of these stations. Check out what I found below…..

The main stations that you will want to visit are on the Number 5 line, also known as the Circle Line. An advantage of this line is that you can get to it very easily and quickly no matter where you are in Moscow. The announcements on the metro are in Russian as well as English so you don’t need to worry if your Russian language skills are not good.

If, like me, you arrive in Moscow via train from Kyiv , then you will arrive at a metro station which many Muscovites believe to be the most beautiful of them all…..

Kievskaya metro station was opened in 1954 and features white marble walls which curve upwards and have with large mosaics surrounded by a gold trim in a very classical style. The mosaics depict life in Ukraine and was designed by a Ukrainian who wanted to display Ukraine’s influence and contribution to Soviet Russia.

Kievskaya, one of the most beautiful stations on the Moscow metro

Kievskaya, one of the most beautiful stations on the Moscow metro

Soviet era artwork between the arches

Soviet era artwork between the arches

Mosaic with golden trim

Mosaic with golden trim

People carrying flags is a common theme

People carrying flags is a common theme

Going into battle

Going into battle


If you look at a map of the metro , you will want to go in a clockwise direction on the circle line. So you will want to get on the train going in the Barrikadnaya direction and not Park Kultury. Stay on this line until you reach the 2nd station, Belorusskaya. This station was built in 1952 and like Kievskaya also features white marble pylons and a plaster ceiling.

The ceiling features 12 mosaics in an octagonal shape depicting Belarusian life, while the tiling on the floor is said to resemble a Belarusian quilt. One of the passageway exits of the station has a statue called ‘Belarusian Partisans’ of three men wearing long coats, holding guns and carrying a flag.”

Belorusskaya metro platform

Belorusskaya metro platform

Belorusskaya metro platform

Soviet artwork on the roof

The hammer and sickle features prominently in the metro artwork

The hammer and sickle features prominently in the metro artwork

Three men carrying guns, holding the flag...

Three men carrying guns, holding the flag…


To get to the next station, we need to change onto the green line (line 2) and go just one stop to the station of Mayakovskaya. This station has an art deco theme and, for some, resembles an elaborate ballroom. The columns are faced with stainless steel and pink rhodonite while the marble walls and ceiling have 34 mosaics with the theme “24-hour Soviet Sky. Apparently, Stalin resided here during the 2nd World War as the station was used as a command post for Moscow’s anti-aircraft regiment.

Mayakovskaya metro

Mayakovskaya metro

Mayakovskaya metro

24-Hour Soviet Sky mosaic

Bomber planes

Bomber planes

24-Hour Soviet Sky mosaic

It looks like planes flying over Red Square



It’s time to get back on the metro and return to Belorusskaya. At Belorusskaya, change to the circle line again and continue clockwise to the next station, Novoslobodskaya. With its 32 stained glass panels, this station reminds me of a church. The panels were designed by Latvian artists and are surrounded by a brass border.

Novoslobodskaya metro

Novoslobodskaya metro

The platform of Novoslobodskaya metro

The platform of Novoslobodskaya metro

The platform of Novoslobodskaya metro

Stained glass artwork

The golden trim around artwork is also very common

The golden trim around artwork is also very common

Stained glass artwork

Prospekt Mira

Back on the metro and again just one stop until our next station, Prospekt Mira. This station was originally called Botanichesky Sad after the nearby Botanical Gardens of the Moscow State University. The pylons are covered in white marble and decorated with floral bas-relief friezes. The ceiling is decorated with casts and several cylindrical chandeliers.

Prospekt Mira metro station

Prospekt Mira metro station

Notice the floral decoration

Notice the floral decoration


On the metro once more and once more we are going just one stop to the next station – Komsomolskaya. This station is famous for its its yellow ceiling. The chandeliers in this station are huge. The photos below do not do this station justice.  For me, this station resembles a presidential palace.  You hace to see it for yourself to truly appreciate it.

Because of it’s location, this is one of the busiest stations in the Moscow metro as it serves three of the main train stations in the city – Leningradsky, Yaroslavsky, and Kazansky so be prepared for a lot of people.

Komsomolskaya metro

Komsomolskaya metro

The yellow ceiling seems to go on forever

The yellow ceiling seems to go on forever

Yellow ceiling and artwork

Yellow ceiling and artwork

One of the ceiling mosaics

One of the ceiling mosaics


When you are ready to leave Komsomolskaya metro station behind, then get back on the circle line and go one stop to Kurskaya and change to the blue line (line 3) and go to two stops to the Elektrozavodskaya station. This station gets it’s name from a nearby electric light bulb factory and has a somewhat industrial but also futuristic style, with 6 rows of circular lamps (there are 318 lamps in total). I think this is one of the most beautiful stations on the Moscow metro for how unique it is. The station was opened in 1944 after a delay because of the 2nd World War and features 12 marble bas-reliefs of the struggle on the home front during the war.

The Komsomolskaya metro station

The Komsomolskaya metro station

The struggles of war at home

The struggles of war at home

Fixing machinery

Fixing machinery

Hard at work

Hard at work

Making weapons

Making weapons

Building a tank

Building a tank

The struggles of war at home

Even the station sign is elaborate

Ploschad Revolyutsii

Back on the metro line 3 (but in the other direction), getting off at the 3rd stop – Ploschad Revolyutsii (Revolution Square). This is located underneath the square in Moscow of the same name and is a short walk from Red Square in the city centre. It is the perfect place to end a visit around Moscow’s metro. The station features red and yellow marble arches with a total of 76 sculptures in between each arch. The sculptures are supposed to represent the people of the Soviet Union and include soldiers, farmers, industrial workers, children etc… I noticed a lot of people touching the golden chicken in the photo below as well as the show of the woman. I am assuming that this is for good luck.

Industrial worker

Industrial worker

Touch the chicken for good luck

Touch the chicken for good luck

Sculpture of the people of the Soviet Union

Sculpture of the people of the Soviet Union

Woman reading a book - touch the shoe for good luck

Woman reading a book – touch the shoe for good luck

In education

In education

Parent and child

Parent and child

These are some of what I think are the most beautiful stations on the Moscow metro. Which ones are your favourite? Would you add any to this list?

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gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

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Kievskaya definitely caught me off guard. Didn’t know Moscow metro stations were THIS extravagant! Mayakovskaya is gorgeous too with the marble walls and mosaics. I might just need to book a flight over to admire all of these!

gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

Do it! Kievskaya was my first introduction to the Moscow metro as I got an overnight train from Kyiv.

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You know, in the States, all we ever hear is bad stuff about Russia. It’s nice to see other (and lovely!) dimensions of such a controversial place.

It’s the same in the UK which is why I prefer going to see somewhere and making up my own mind. It’s all ‘politics and bullshit’ as I say

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I went to Moscow about 13years for Christmas and went to train stations, so I can see these amazing mosaics and chandeliers. I agree with you that are beautiful Stations for sure and I could of wandered around for days. I think Kievskaya is definitely my favourite out of them all and I even have some similar pictures as you.

I imagine Moscow would have been a little different 13 years ago but these stations have probably always looked beautiful

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Food and Footprints

You chose some great stations for this write up! Beautiful details in these stations and would love to visit them sometime. Particularly like the Komsomolskaya station with that yellow ceiling!

Thank you very much. Komsomolskaya seems to be a lot of peoples favourite stations too

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Sumit Surai

Wow! Without the text I would have thought them to be some museum or gallery.

I know exactly what you mean!

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Rosie Fluskey

Wow, it is just stunning! How does anyone get to work with so much to look at. I’m surprised at the very bourgeois-looking Komsomolskaya station. I would have thought it was all too Tzarist looking, but then I haven’t been to Russia yet lol. This has just made me want to go more!

' src=

Wow, that’s a lot of artwork. I wonder how old some of these pieces are?

Generally most of the stations are from 1940-1960 approximately. The later stations are more functional than style.

' src=

My mother-in-law was in Moscow fifty years ago and still raves about the metro stations. So far, I could not imagine much. But now! The pictures are great and I think it’s almost a pity that this splendor is underground. But for every user of the Metro can enjoy a free trip to the world of art. Susanne

True. It is like having a free trip to an art museum/gallery. I hope that you can one day visit Moscow and see for yourself.

' src=

Oh wow, I would never have known that these were metro stations. The ceilings remind me of how you need to look up sometimes, even in the commuter rush!

It is true about life in general, we just go from A to B looking directly in front of us instead of around us

' src=

Wow, I would have never guessed that these were stations. The decor is so pretty and not one I’m used to seeing at metro stations. Love the ceiling at The Komsomolskaya metro station.

They certainly don’t look like metro stations. The ceiling there is one of my favourites too!

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40 facts about elektrostal.

Lanette Mayes

Written by Lanette Mayes

Modified & Updated: 02 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Elektrostal is a vibrant city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia. With a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving community, Elektrostal is a city that has much to offer. Whether you are a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply curious about different cultures, Elektrostal is sure to captivate you.

This article will provide you with 40 fascinating facts about Elektrostal, giving you a better understanding of why this city is worth exploring. From its origins as an industrial hub to its modern-day charm, we will delve into the various aspects that make Elektrostal a unique and must-visit destination.

So, join us as we uncover the hidden treasures of Elektrostal and discover what makes this city a true gem in the heart of Russia.

Key Takeaways:

  • Elektrostal, known as the “Motor City of Russia,” is a vibrant and growing city with a rich industrial history, offering diverse cultural experiences and a strong commitment to environmental sustainability.
  • With its convenient location near Moscow, Elektrostal provides a picturesque landscape, vibrant nightlife, and a range of recreational activities, making it an ideal destination for residents and visitors alike.

Known as the “Motor City of Russia.”

Elektrostal, a city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia, earned the nickname “Motor City” due to its significant involvement in the automotive industry.

Home to the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.

Elektrostal is renowned for its metallurgical plant, which has been producing high-quality steel and alloys since its establishment in 1916.

Boasts a rich industrial heritage.

Elektrostal has a long history of industrial development, contributing to the growth and progress of the region.

Founded in 1916.

The city of Elektrostal was founded in 1916 as a result of the construction of the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.

Located approximately 50 kilometers east of Moscow.

Elektrostal is situated in close proximity to the Russian capital, making it easily accessible for both residents and visitors.

Known for its vibrant cultural scene.

Elektrostal is home to several cultural institutions, including museums, theaters, and art galleries that showcase the city’s rich artistic heritage.

A popular destination for nature lovers.

Surrounded by picturesque landscapes and forests, Elektrostal offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and birdwatching.

Hosts the annual Elektrostal City Day celebrations.

Every year, Elektrostal organizes festive events and activities to celebrate its founding, bringing together residents and visitors in a spirit of unity and joy.

Has a population of approximately 160,000 people.

Elektrostal is home to a diverse and vibrant community of around 160,000 residents, contributing to its dynamic atmosphere.

Boasts excellent education facilities.

The city is known for its well-established educational institutions, providing quality education to students of all ages.

A center for scientific research and innovation.

Elektrostal serves as an important hub for scientific research, particularly in the fields of metallurgy, materials science, and engineering.

Surrounded by picturesque lakes.

The city is blessed with numerous beautiful lakes, offering scenic views and recreational opportunities for locals and visitors alike.

Well-connected transportation system.

Elektrostal benefits from an efficient transportation network, including highways, railways, and public transportation options, ensuring convenient travel within and beyond the city.

Famous for its traditional Russian cuisine.

Food enthusiasts can indulge in authentic Russian dishes at numerous restaurants and cafes scattered throughout Elektrostal.

Home to notable architectural landmarks.

Elektrostal boasts impressive architecture, including the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord and the Elektrostal Palace of Culture.

Offers a wide range of recreational facilities.

Residents and visitors can enjoy various recreational activities, such as sports complexes, swimming pools, and fitness centers, enhancing the overall quality of life.

Provides a high standard of healthcare.

Elektrostal is equipped with modern medical facilities, ensuring residents have access to quality healthcare services.

Home to the Elektrostal History Museum.

The Elektrostal History Museum showcases the city’s fascinating past through exhibitions and displays.

A hub for sports enthusiasts.

Elektrostal is passionate about sports, with numerous stadiums, arenas, and sports clubs offering opportunities for athletes and spectators.

Celebrates diverse cultural festivals.

Throughout the year, Elektrostal hosts a variety of cultural festivals, celebrating different ethnicities, traditions, and art forms.

Electric power played a significant role in its early development.

Elektrostal owes its name and initial growth to the establishment of electric power stations and the utilization of electricity in the industrial sector.

Boasts a thriving economy.

The city’s strong industrial base, coupled with its strategic location near Moscow, has contributed to Elektrostal’s prosperous economic status.

Houses the Elektrostal Drama Theater.

The Elektrostal Drama Theater is a cultural centerpiece, attracting theater enthusiasts from far and wide.

Popular destination for winter sports.

Elektrostal’s proximity to ski resorts and winter sport facilities makes it a favorite destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.

Promotes environmental sustainability.

Elektrostal prioritizes environmental protection and sustainability, implementing initiatives to reduce pollution and preserve natural resources.

Home to renowned educational institutions.

Elektrostal is known for its prestigious schools and universities, offering a wide range of academic programs to students.

Committed to cultural preservation.

The city values its cultural heritage and takes active steps to preserve and promote traditional customs, crafts, and arts.

Hosts an annual International Film Festival.

The Elektrostal International Film Festival attracts filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts from around the world, showcasing a diverse range of films.

Encourages entrepreneurship and innovation.

Elektrostal supports aspiring entrepreneurs and fosters a culture of innovation, providing opportunities for startups and business development.

Offers a range of housing options.

Elektrostal provides diverse housing options, including apartments, houses, and residential complexes, catering to different lifestyles and budgets.

Home to notable sports teams.

Elektrostal is proud of its sports legacy, with several successful sports teams competing at regional and national levels.

Boasts a vibrant nightlife scene.

Residents and visitors can enjoy a lively nightlife in Elektrostal, with numerous bars, clubs, and entertainment venues.

Promotes cultural exchange and international relations.

Elektrostal actively engages in international partnerships, cultural exchanges, and diplomatic collaborations to foster global connections.

Surrounded by beautiful nature reserves.

Nearby nature reserves, such as the Barybino Forest and Luchinskoye Lake, offer opportunities for nature enthusiasts to explore and appreciate the region’s biodiversity.

Commemorates historical events.

The city pays tribute to significant historical events through memorials, monuments, and exhibitions, ensuring the preservation of collective memory.

Promotes sports and youth development.

Elektrostal invests in sports infrastructure and programs to encourage youth participation, health, and physical fitness.

Hosts annual cultural and artistic festivals.

Throughout the year, Elektrostal celebrates its cultural diversity through festivals dedicated to music, dance, art, and theater.

Provides a picturesque landscape for photography enthusiasts.

The city’s scenic beauty, architectural landmarks, and natural surroundings make it a paradise for photographers.

Connects to Moscow via a direct train line.

The convenient train connection between Elektrostal and Moscow makes commuting between the two cities effortless.

A city with a bright future.

Elektrostal continues to grow and develop, aiming to become a model city in terms of infrastructure, sustainability, and quality of life for its residents.

In conclusion, Elektrostal is a fascinating city with a rich history and a vibrant present. From its origins as a center of steel production to its modern-day status as a hub for education and industry, Elektrostal has plenty to offer both residents and visitors. With its beautiful parks, cultural attractions, and proximity to Moscow, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this dynamic city. Whether you’re interested in exploring its historical landmarks, enjoying outdoor activities, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Elektrostal has something for everyone. So, next time you find yourself in the Moscow region, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the hidden gems of Elektrostal.

Q: What is the population of Elektrostal?

A: As of the latest data, the population of Elektrostal is approximately XXXX.

Q: How far is Elektrostal from Moscow?

A: Elektrostal is located approximately XX kilometers away from Moscow.

Q: Are there any famous landmarks in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to several notable landmarks, including XXXX and XXXX.

Q: What industries are prominent in Elektrostal?

A: Elektrostal is known for its steel production industry and is also a center for engineering and manufacturing.

Q: Are there any universities or educational institutions in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to XXXX University and several other educational institutions.

Q: What are some popular outdoor activities in Elektrostal?

A: Elektrostal offers several outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and picnicking in its beautiful parks.

Q: Is Elektrostal well-connected in terms of transportation?

A: Yes, Elektrostal has good transportation links, including trains and buses, making it easily accessible from nearby cities.

Q: Are there any annual events or festivals in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including XXXX and XXXX.

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Things to Do in Elektrostal, Russia - Elektrostal Attractions

Things to do in elektrostal.

  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Good for Kids
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Adventurous
  • Budget-friendly
  • Hidden Gems
  • Good for Couples
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

1. Electrostal History and Art Museum

gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

2. Statue of Lenin

gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

3. Park of Culture and Leisure

4. museum and exhibition center.

gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

5. Museum of Labor Glory

gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

7. Galereya Kino

8. viki cinema, 9. smokygrove.

gravel bike trek checkpoint alr 5 test

10. Gandikap

11. papa lounge bar, 12. karaoke bar.

  • Statue of Lenin
  • Electrostal History and Art Museum
  • Park of Culture and Leisure
  • Museum and Exhibition Center
  • Museum of Labor Glory
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  • Useful links
  • Becoming a supplier
  • Procurement
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