Know what this blog needs? More voices.
Our Man Jim Kindle got a new Checkpoint SL 6 a little while ago, and he’s nice enough to write a few words about the budding relationship between man and bike.
I got this bike because gravel riding and racing have become some of my favorite types of riding, and I wanted to compare it to the 2017 Trek Boone 7 that I have been using for these purposes for two years. I’ll get to the point real fast – I think the Checkpoint is far and away the better bike for these purposes. To be fair, the Boone is a CX bike and was designed for a different type of riding.
I have ridden the Checkpoint over 300 miles in the last four weeks, on pavement and gravel, and find it to be capable on both. The first ride I took was a pavement club ride. Even with the Schwalbe G-One 35mm tires, it was fast enough to stay with this ride. The Checkpoint rides and feels very much like a road bike and since I’m mostly a roadie that could be why I like it so much. The Ultegra compact 11 speed drivetrain works flawlessly and has plenty of gearing for climbing up the steep hills, those mid 20 mph flats, and those high 30 mph downhills. The hydraulic disc brakes scrub this speed quickly and smoothly. I have the Stranglehold sliding dropouts set at the back giving the bike a more stable ride and the IsoSpeed Decoupler helps take out the sharp jolts that gravel roads with holes and washboard can generate.
There are a number of reviews out there on the Checkpoint but none describe my feeling about it more than the one from bikepacking.com right here.. You can find that review here. This guy is a much better writer than I.
If you’d like to test ride the Checkpoint (it’s a 58) just let me know at the downtown store and I’ll make it available.