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Need help deciding between these Trek bikes

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Need help deciding between these Trek bikes

Old 10-03-19, 07:42 PM
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basscadet
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Need help deciding between these Trek bikes

Hi all, could really use your expert and professional opinions on these 2 bikes I'm considering.

1 - 2019 Trek Checkpoint SL6. Large sporting good store discounting to $3200 down from $3800.
2 - 2020 Trek Checkpoint Sl5 - $2900 from local Trek store.

So $300 difference. I'm a novice (but very active, improving) rider, if I am not getting in 60 minutes on the bike a day I get grumpy. Currently on a Topstone 105 that I love but I'm returning to the shop as it has major issues with rear wheel they can't true.

The Sl6 comes with Schwalbe G-Ones, the SL5 comes with Bontrager GR1.
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Old 10-03-19, 08:55 PM
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If you love the topstone, just buy some new wheels.
$500 and you will have quality handbuilt wheels that weigh 300-400g less than the stock wheels.
A lot cheaper than either Trek and you keep the bike you love.

Stock wheels are a crapshoot. Some last forever and some are a constant pain. No reason to think the Checkpoint will be pain free.

As for your 2 options- it's basically a 105 bike for $2900 or an Ultegra bike for $3200.
6 of one, half dozen of the other right there. Neither is really better than the other and they are priced accordingly. 105 is a bit heavier than ultegra, but otherwise they are functionally and reliably both perfectly fine.
The sl6 has different wheels...I assume better...no idea since it's all just house branded bontrager. I would be skeptical that the wheels are noticeably different, but I'm a natural skeptic.
I guess I'd go with 105 because it comes in colors besides murdered out all black.

Yeah...topstone with some handbuilt wheels from prowheelbuilder looks way better.
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Old 10-03-19, 09:09 PM
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if the 2019 came with an RX RD I'd give it the nod. However it doesn't!

So I'd go with color between the Treks. pick the one you like the best.

I'll however (also) put the First Option towards, getting a wheelset for the Topstone. It is 99% more than likely that eventually you'll do this anyways, on any of the three bicycles here.
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Old 10-03-19, 09:40 PM
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what was wrong with the rear wheel? was it a rim defect? A replacement rim is probably around $50
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Old 10-03-19, 09:57 PM
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For $2900, I’d ditch the Trek and get a Niner with full Ultegra RX80. I have a carbon trek and a Niner. The Trek sits idle since the Niner does everything much better.

https://www.excelsports.com/main.asp...jor=8&minor=16
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Old 10-04-19, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
what was wrong with the rear wheel? was it a rim defect? A replacement rim is probably around $50
Iíd love to know, the dealer certainly canít figure it out and since they canít theyíre refunding my money as Iím still in the 30 day window. There also some shifting issues they canít figure out. Donít want to work with them anymore to be honest and just want to buy elsewhere.
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Old 10-04-19, 05:30 AM
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I have an SL5 and quickly updated wheels to Paradigm elites. I would get the SL6 because the wheels are much better than the SL5 plus the ultega.


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Old 10-04-19, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by pinsonp2 View Post
I have an SL5 and quickly updated wheels to Paradigm elites. I would get the SL6 because the wheels are much better than the SL5 plus the ultega.
P2
You bought $900 Paradigm Elite wheels that weigh 1500g.
The SL6 comes with Paradigm Comp wheels that cost $738 and weigh 1675g.


1- different wheels.
2- shockingly high price for the Comps compared to buying aftermarket.
3- surprising to see such light wheels as OEM on a bike thats even Ultegra level.
4- skeptical of the 1675g weight claim for Comps.
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Old 10-04-19, 07:57 AM
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Well, to each his own though it did reduce the bike weight by 1.5lbs over the stock on the SL5. That's why if a Checkpoint is the choice, the SL6 for $300 more is a better value based on the wheels and the ultegra. YMMV.

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Old 10-04-19, 08:23 AM
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I have a 2018 Checkpoint SL5. The SL6 is the better choice in that you get Ultegra. But if you are a relative novice, and can't do a lot of your own bike work, where you buy the bike is important. For that reason, I would get the SL5 from the Trek shop.
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Old 10-04-19, 11:21 AM
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Hmm at 3 grand you have a lot of options out there that aren't a Trek. Off the top of my head:

Niner RLT 9
Ibis Hakka MX (Jenson build)
New Santa Cruz Stigmata

All more versatile bikes with no gimmicky crap.
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Old 10-04-19, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
Hmm at 3 grand you have a lot of options out there that aren't a Trek. Off the top of my head:

Niner RLT 9
Ibis Hakka MX (Jenson build)
New Santa Cruz Stigmata

All more versatile bikes with no gimmicky crap.
i havenít seen anything to lead me to believe those are any better? Iím interested in hearing otherwise before buying. Also, the only local bikes for me to test are Specialized, Salsa, Trek, and Cannondale.
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Old 10-04-19, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by basscadet View Post
i havenít seen anything to lead me to believe those are any better? Iím interested in hearing otherwise before buying. Also, the only local bikes for me to test are Specialized, Salsa, Trek, and Cannondale.
Any of those three listed would be on my list, well above Trek for the $$, and I own a Trek in addition to my Niner. For that large purchase, you'd be better off exploring the offerings listed. I bought my Niner RDO online, but have zero regrets that I didn't get to test ride it first. All of the reviews I read were enough to convince me.
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Old 04-05-20, 09:56 AM
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I have rode the Trek Checkpoint SL5 and 6 on over 50 mile rides and feel the SL6 is worth the money (it is what I purchased). Sl6 is faster and smoother.
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Old 04-05-20, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by basscadet View Post
Hi all, could really use your expert and professional opinions on these 2 bikes I'm considering.

1 - 2019 Trek Checkpoint SL6. Large sporting good store discounting to $3200 down from $3800.
2 - 2020 Trek Checkpoint Sl5 - $2900 from local Trek store.

So $300 difference. I'm a novice (but very active, improving) rider, if I am not getting in 60 minutes on the bike a day I get grumpy. Currently on a Topstone 105 that I love but I'm returning to the shop as it has major issues with rear wheel they can't true.

The Sl6 comes with Schwalbe G-Ones, the SL5 comes with Bontrager GR1.
You spent about $1700 on the Topstone, have a bad rear wheel that Cannondale won't replace ?. That's odd. Then you are going to return this for a bike that is almost double the cost ?

Not understanding this.

As others have stated, "factory" wheels are a crapshoot and that includes the Bontrager wheels on the Treks. I have the same Topstone, been riding it since November, am a clyde and have no issues with the wheels, thus I suspect you've got a bad wheel. As well, I think one feature I hate on the Trek is the 50/34 crank. I'd much rather have the FSA 46/30 on the Topstone for gravel riding., thus would look at different bikes with a better component setup. Or buy new wheels for the Topstone, which was the first thing I did in any case, so as to have a ready-to-go set of road wheels with 28mm tires.

Unless there's more going on and you don't like the Topstone and have desired to just up the game with a lighter carbon. I can understand that. If Trek, C-Dale and Specialized are what the shops have, I think a Specialized Diverge Comp is better spec'd. Our LBS has these on sale for $2700. Has a FSA 48/32 crank with Ultegra elsewhere.

Last edited by Steve B.; 04-05-20 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 04-05-20, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Not understanding this.
op hasn't posted in 6 months, but you go get em!
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Old 06-02-20, 10:27 PM
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Hi, just wanted to update.

I was able to get nearly all my Topstone money back and after hundreds of miles on that bike, felt it was a good deal. My reasoning for the upgrade was mostly due to lack of confidence in the LBS and wanting a lighter and more road-friendly setup.

Based on advice from this thread and some test rides I bought the SL6 and have not regretted that decision. I’ve put nearly 3000 miles (Half of those virtual via Tacx Neo and Zwift) on it just since October and frankly if it disintegrated tomorrow I’d feel I’ve got my money’s worth. I ride primarily paved trails and crushed rock paths but have taken it to local gravel and single track and while not as comfortable on rough surfaces as the aluminum Topstone it’s far, far quicker and more alive.

At this point I am on the fence on whether to get some Zipp 303 carbon wheels or go through another bike upgrade to get a Di2 setup. Part of me wants better isolation up front, that hover bar thing on the Canyon Grail CF is mighty interesting...
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Old 06-02-20, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
Hmm at 3 grand you have a lot of options out there that aren't a Trek. Off the top of my head:

Niner RLT 9
Ibis Hakka MX (Jenson build)
New Santa Cruz Stigmata

All more versatile bikes with no gimmicky crap.
All better choices than the Trek and I'd put the Salsa Warbird at the top of all of those. The Warbird is on the fourth generation of the frame and they have it really dialed in after many years in gravel. The Checkpoint is still in the early stages of Trek figuring out what a gravel bike is. The Warbird handles beautifully and soaks up vibration like a sponge with no gimicks. You can even see the frame flex vertically while maintaining great comfort for an all-day gravel rout. Warbird is also a great value for what you get for the price.
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