Many of my friends, as well as bike shops, have heard me constantly talking about if I should buy a Trek Checkpoint SL6 to use as my fulltime cross country bike or not. I’ve weighed the pros and cons to the best of my abilities given the fact that no one has the bike for me to try it out. I’ve looked over the specifications of the Trek Checkpoint SL6 over and over and based on looking at stats it seems to be the dream bike however based on reviews by people who have ridden the bike this is a bike no one should buy.
Now they’re many reasons that I’ve given up on trying to purchase this bike and none of them are due to the huge amount of reviews saying that it is not a good bike. Let’s start with the list of reason in order.
- Trek doesn’t want to sell the bike.
- Bike shops that sell Trek bikes will not order the bike and state clearly that they have no intentions of ever doing so.
- The only place online that states the bike is a good one are the Official Trek website which gives it 5 Stars, nowhere online gives this bike over 3 Stars.
- I haven’t found a good review on the Trek Checkpoint SL6, in fact, the only fair review stated in their video that “if you’re considering a fair cyclocross bike then you may consider bikes like this one” and it was said as if he really didn’t want to say it.
Now let’s start with reason #1, “Trek doesn’t want to seel this bike”. I’ve reached out to Trek directly via email, social media, and phone calls; I’ve not gotten any responses whatsoever. I even sent a specific direct message on Twitter as a last resort and nope nothing. The reason I reached directly out to Trek is due to reason #4 “bike shops that sell Trek will not carry this bike”.
Every bike shop in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area does not have this bike and stated very clearly that they won’t carry it. Now my local bike shop will order it if I pay in full which I can easily do online but the issue is there isn’t a way to test ride this bike to see if it is the right bike. The Trek Checkpoint SL6 is a frame built by Giant which has all the bells and whistles in Ultegra and the frame is carbon. This bike has a 50/36 front crank with an 11-34 rear cassette, which is why I want the bike. This bike is basically a Giant ToughRoad in a carbon frame with a $3k price markup for the Trek logo. I’ve ridden a Giant ToughRoad and it is an Okay bike, not great and not good enough for what I am wanting this type of bike for. The ToughRoad also doesn’t have that front chainring or rear cassette that the Trek Checkpoint SL6 does which brings me to reason #4.
Reason number 4 is about the reviews and feedback by persons who actually have the bike and have made review videos. All of the review videos other than 1 speaks about the drivetrain, they say given the geometry that the drivetrain doesn’t work well as the gearset it too tall for the build. The only that didn’t point this out it was someone you could certainly tell was kissing butt for some product love. I’ve looked at this bike over an over online and I’ve also only seen 1 person use this bike for Transcontinental and I’m certain that they weren’t in the top 20 racers.
With the reasons above I’ve finally given up all interest in purchasing this bike, it does look nice and the stats look great, however; when dealers refuse to carry it and the manufacturer won’t respond I have no choice but to pass on Trek as a name brand in full.