Trek has taken the gravel racing world by storm with their Checkpoint SL carbon fiber bikes. This is their best version of the Checkpoint!
Every mile of a gravel adventure is tougher than the same ride over pavement. The bike needs to be light, smooth and -above all- tough as nails. The design team at Trek didn't cut corners for low weight or high strength. They used Trek's proprietary 500 Series OCLV carbon fiber to build the frame of the Checkpoint SL 7, ensuring feather-lightness and high torsional strength for instant power transfer. The frame's carbon fiber "recipe" also smoothes out rough surfaces at every point between the dropouts. The heart of the Checkpoint SL's ride quality magic is the IsoSpeed decoupler and no-cut seatmast at the top tube/seat tube juncture. This forehead-slap simple technology soaks up sudden impacts from harsh surfaces, making it an excellent choice for attacking washboard surfaces, crumbling fire roads and gravel paths for hours (or days) on end. A tapered head tube and 12mm thru-axles all add an extra dash of sharpness to the bike's handling, especially during high-speed turns and descents. The rear dropout is an adjustable Stranglehold sliding unit that allows the rider to change the wheelbase and tire clearance. A long wheelbase will improve stability in loose or sandy conditions, while a shorter wheelbase quickens the handing. The rear brake caliper mount moves with the left dropout, eliminating guesswork when making adjustments in the field. The aforementioned brake caliper mounts are also flat-mount versions, reducing overall weight further. Mounts for racks and fenders and up to 4 water bottles are found throughout the Checkpoint SL 7, bringing versatility to the bike. Control Freak internal cable routing keeps brake lines tucked in and rattle-free, while downtube-mounted Carbon Armor prevents chipped paint from flying debris off the front tire. If even wider tires are part of your Checkpoint SL 7's build, it can accept rubber up to 45c.
The Checkpoint SL 7 boasts cycling's latest tech: 12-speed wireless shifting from SRAM. Called eTap AXS, this is SRAM's cutting edge shifting technology, allowing a single-ring bicycle to run a gearing range of a cross-country mountain bike. With no wires, cables or housing to snag or foul, the Checkpoint SL 7 has a reliability advantage when charging across mud, dirt and gravel-strewn surfaces. A set of Force eTap AXS dual-control levers operate a SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS mountain bike rear derailleur, bringing lightning-quick operation (literally!) to every gear change. Time between recharges of the removeable derailleur-mounted battery is 25+ hours. A massive 10-50T SRAM Eagle cassette delivers 12 speeds along with a 40T single-ring SRAM Force D1 carbon fiber crankset. A unique SRAM Flattop chain with improved durability does power delivery duty.
Bontrager has been in the wheel business from the beginning, and the Aeolus Pro 3V wheelset found on the Checkpoint SL 7 is a classic example of their commitment to improving products for diverse needs. The "3V" designation is for their 25mm wide tubeless-ready version, allowing treaded gravel tires to produce a wider "footprint" on any given surface. Ready to take tubeless tires with sealant, gasketed valve stems and rim strips (sold separately), the Aeolus Pro 3V wheelset is better than narrower road wheels for rough terrain and long miles. The characteristic shallow aerodynamic rim profile is still there, making the wheelset an excellent choice for windy conditions in all directions. The cassette driver boasts 108 points of engagement, nearly eliminating "free play" with every pedal stroke. Weighing only 1575 grams for the set, Aeolus Pro 3V wheels won't hold you back when attacking challenging terrain or ferocious headwinds. Or both. Bontrager also supplies the 700x40c GR1 Team Issue tubeless-ready tires, offering excellent traction and a smooth feel over hardpan, gravel and broken blacktop.
SRAM Force hydraulic disc brakes cover stopping duties with excellent lever feedback and stopping power, even in wet and muddy conditions. Bontrager's Pro IsoCore VR-CF OCLV carbon fiber handlebars add an extra layer of defense from fatiguing vibration as well as keeping total bike weight very low. An accessory-ready alloy Bontrager Pro stem and Bontrager Arvada Elite saddle finish off the cockpit of this outstanding adventure machine.
A SRAM eTap battery charger is included with the purchase of this bicycle.
Yes, you read that right. The Gant Defy Advanced Pro 0 is equipped with a watt-measuring dual-sided power meter straight out of the box.
There is, of course, plenty more that Giant can brag about with the Defy Advanced Pro 0. Lots more...
The Defy series of road bikes was designed to carry a rider over less-than-perfect surfaces, keeping them fresh for a final climb or finish line sprint. This is the Defy flagship for 2019, built around Giant's own Advanced-Grade Composite carbon fiber frame and fork. Astonishing lightness and an upright fit are only the opening features of the Defy Advanced Pro 0's frameset. The frameset's carbon fiber "recipe" was redone for 2019 to provide a more compliant ride and improved torsional strength. The faceted MegaDrive down tube takes advantage of the new carbon fiber layup, improving overall frame strength and pedaling response. In addition, the 1-1.25"-by-1.5" tapered OverDrive2 head tube/steerer tube adds precision to the Defy Advanced Pro 0's handling, especially in fast turns and descents. A press-fit PowerCore bottom bracket also eliminates power-robbing flex at the crankset. Internal cable routing keeps the Defy Advanced Pro 0 looking clean and sleek, while an aperture in the left chainstay fits the included RideSense speed/cadence sensor without the use of clumsy zip-ties. Flat-mount disc brake installation promotes more even pad wear over time as well as better brake lever feedback. The bike's overall geometry feels stable over rough and choppy pavement without handling like a Winnebago.
Shimano's iconic Ultegra group gets a full redesign with their 11-speed Di2/hydraulic disc brake "R8070" version. The new dual-control levers have been substantially reshaped from the previous ST-R785 version, making the levers more comfortable for riders with smaller hands. The lever reach is also more adjustable than ever. Under the levers' hood peak is a flush button that can be programmed (with Shimano's E-tube software) to operate the rear derailleur. Shift buttons have a more positive detent, making operation with heavy gloves much easier. The redesigned Shadow-style Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur features a more tucked-in profile for improved aero drag and faster operation while shifting under load. The front Ultegra Di2 derailleur has a reprofiled cage that reduces the chance of interfering with a wide rear tire. As always, the front Di2 derailleur automatically trims itself as the rear derailleur moves the chain across the cassette. Cool, huh? Up to 900 miles of riding can be done on a single Di2 battery charge. The recharging aperture is located in the right handlebar end, and has a charge indicator light for ease of use. An Ultegra compact crankset comes with a 50/34T chainring combination, bringing a wide gearing range to the Defy Advanced Pro 0. An 11-34T Shimano Ultegra cassette brings up the rear.
The SLR-1 wheelset found on the Defy Advanced Pro 0 is tubeless-ready, disc-specific and built from Giant's own Composite carbon fiber. Yes, you get carbon fiber wheels straight off the sales floor with the Defy Advanced Pro 0! The lightness, aerodynamics and smooth ride quality of carbon fiber hoops are already on the bike! Wrapped with 700x32c Gavia AC 1 tubeless tires, the Defy's handling over rough and choppy pavement will redefine what a bike can do for a rider looking to cover more miles over unpleasant pavement (or lack thereof...). Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes and SM-RT800 rotors ensure excellent stopping power and brake lever feedback in all conditions, rain or shine.
Now we get to the really good part: This bike includes a power meter preinstalled in the Ultegra crankset. A Power Pro dual-sided power meter will transmit vital metrics to any popular ANT+ head unit (Garmin, Giant NeosTrack, etc.) including watts, cadence, left-to-right pedal balance, and force angle with the aid of a multi-axis accelerometer. 150 hours of operation on a single charge makes training and riding endurance events worry-free. Use a Giant RideLink smartphone app to check battery charge, assist in calibration and update firmware.
Giant brings a proven (and head-slappingly simple) technology to the Defy Advanced Pro 0: D-Fuse. The bike's D-Fuse Composite carbon fiber seatpost has a D-shaped profile, allowing the post to flex backward about 10-12mm when tackling rough pavement. A Contact SL saddle, alloy Contact SL Stealth stem with internal cable routing and carbon fiber D-Fuse road handlebar completes this century dominator.
A Shimano charging cable and Giant Power Pro charging cable is included in the purchase of this bicycle. Additional accessory stem mounts for handlebar computers from Garmin and Wahoo (sold separately) are also included
If gravel racing and long-distance adventures are already your thing, you need to see the Revolt Advanced 0.
At first, gravel cycling was done on a garden-variety touring bike: Long wheelbase, stable geometry, room for wide tires, and durable components. It did the job sorta OK, despite the fact it handled like an artichoke. Plus lugging a 30+lb. bike up challenging inclines could get old pretty fast. When the gravel scene exploded, Giant knew it had to rise to the top of the food chain with lighter high-performance machines like the Revolt Advanced 0.
Giant started with their own Advanced-Grade Composite carbon fiber, ensuring excellent quality control, light weight and durability. By utilizing a geometry for gravel (not overloaded touring), the Revolt Advanced 0 brings instant pedaling response and confident handling to every ride. A massive down tube, press-fit bottom bracket and 12mm thru-axles adds impressive torsional strength for razor-sharp handling and effective power transfer. No wasted energy means more speed. An OverDrive tapered head tube/steerer tube interface adds an extra level of handling precision in all conditions. The Revolt's overall geometry is more upright, allowing a wider range of riders -and rider flexibilities- to get comfortable over multi-hour adventures. Every ride could last all day in the rough stuff, and Giant added useful details to the Revolt Advanced 0. An X-Defender downtube guard helps deflect rocks and gravel, while a smart mounting system allows rack installation. There's even room for tires up to 45mm wide. When Shimano released their GRX gravel/adventure components to the world, everyone scrambled to get it on their bikes. With good reason! Shimano GRX makes tackling off-road tours, adventures and gravel racing easier and more fun! The Revolt Advanced 0 is equipped with GRX810 components for top-of-the-line performance. The rear GRX810 derailleur boasts a clutch that helps keep the chain engaged while hammering over washboard surfaces. The GRX front derailleur features a toggle-pivot design that requires less hand strength to operate under pedaling loads. An 11-34T Shimano cassette and GRX810 crankset with sub-compact 48/31T chainrings bring a massive gearing range to the Revolt Advanced 0. New GRX810 dual-control levers boast a new texture and profile, improving grip and comfort on rough terrain. The rolling stock on the Revolt Advanced 0 really hits it out of the park: Tubeless carbon fiber wheels! Giant's CXR-2 Carbon Disc wheelset adds next-level performance to the bike with a feathery-light 1518 gram weight. The rim profile measures 35mm for a bit of aero improvement. A 25mm inner rim width allows wide tires to spread out on rough surfaces for better grip and lower rolling resistance. Maxxis provides the tubeless-ready 700x40c Velocita tires. Giant's Contact XR D-Fuse road handlebar soaks up fatiguing vibration, while a composite D-Fuse seatpost does the same job out back. A Giant Approach saddle completes this smooth-riding adventurer.
The VR5 is built for more than just an hour on the bike path. Centuries, "double metrics" and challenge rides are what this bike is built for.
Felt's VR geometry allows a wide range of riders -and rider flexibilities- to get comfortable for multi-hour rides with a tall head tube and a long wheelbase. By using their proprietary UHC Performance carbon fiber, Felt combined that geometry with an outstanding chassis, allowing the bike to soak up fatiguing vibration over rough pavement. A ControlTaper tapered head tube and BB386 bottom bracket improves overall frame rigidity, along with 12mm thru-axles for reduced wheel flex in turns. This all combines to make the VR5 very efficient when tackling steep ascents, especially out-of-the-saddle charges.
Felt selected Shimano's recently redesigned 105 components, making the VR5 a precise performer when shifting and braking. An 11-30T cassette and an FSA Gossamer Pro 50/34T alloy crankset brings a huge gearing range for roller-coaster hills. Tubeless-ready alloy Devox Road RLS1.9 wheels are wrapped with 700x28c Vittoria Rubino Pro tires, making for easy acceleration and a confident feel in fast turns and descents. Speaking of descents, the VR5 is equipped with Shimano's latest hydraulic disc brakes, making stopping much more controlled in all conditions, rain or shine. A Prologo Kappa Space saddle sits atop a UHC Performance carbon fiber seatpost, while an alloy Devox stem and Devox Ergonomic road handlebar completes this century-ready machine.
The Revolt Advanced 2 is a new from the ground up gravel/adventure machine that caught the eye of many last year. Now there are a few upgrades...
Giant's Revolt Advanced 2 is designed with geometry unique to the model. Predictable handling was a priority with the Revolt Advanced 2, giving the rider confidence when the riding surface changes for the worse. The bottom bracket position keeps the rider's center of gravity low, allowing the rider to feel "in the bike" and between the wheels, rather than just perched on top. A more upright fit was needed for riders that are more interested in simply completing challenging rides and events rather than winning them. But just to make sure it was race-ready, the Revolt Advanced was thrown into the hardest gravel race out there: The Dirty Kanza 200. Giant Factory rider Josh Berry made the podium on one in 2018!
The frame and fork of the Revolt Advanced 2 is built with Giant's own Advanced-grade Composite carbon fiber, ensuring feather-lightness and impressive torsional strength. The Advanced-grade carbon fiber "recipe" soaks up tiring vibration, allowing a rider to cover longer distances in comfort. A tapered OverDrive head tube/steerer tube enhances the bike's handling precision, especially in fast turns and descents. The chainstays have an almost droopy look to them, allowing very wide tires to be used (up to 45mm!) when tackling terrible gravel. 12mm thru-axles not only ensure proper disc brake alignment when installing wheels, but also improve overall torsional strength for improved handling. A press-fit PowerCore bottom bracket anchors the Praxis crankset, providing flex-free power delivery with every pedal stroke. Internal cable routing keeps the bike looking clean and sleek as well as extending shifter cable life in dirty conditions. Even the front disc brake hose runs inside the fork leg. The usual bottle cage mounts are found in the main triangle, but a third bottle mount is found under the down tube for especially long and hot rides. Cool, huh? Giant's clever D-Fuse Composite carbon fiber seatpost soaks up hard impacts with up to 12mm of flex, enhancing ride quality further.
Shimano's excellent 11-speed 105 components are found throughout the drivetrain of the Revolt Advanced 2. The adjustable-reach 105 levers feature an improved hood shape and texture, keeping the rider's hands fresher over broken jeep double-track. The new long-cage 105 rear derailleur is a Shadow-style unit, enhancing shifting performance under load. It even has a 34T large cog capacity. The 105 front derailleur is a new toggle-pivot unit, reducing the effort needed to shift to the large chainring. Cable tension can even be adjusted from the derailleur, eliminating the need for in-line barrel adjusters. Praxis supplies the alloy Alba crankset with a 48/32T chainring combination, bringing incredibly low gearing to the Revolt Advanced 2. Out back, a Shimano 105 rear cassette boasts an 11-34T gearing range. Yes, that's less than a one-to-one ratio for attacking the crazy-steep climbs while loaded down with gear!
Giant's own S-X2 Disc alloy wheels are tubeless-ready and are wrapped with tubeless 700x38c CrossCut AT1 tires that dig into dirt with aggressive tread. Helping to keep speed in check is a pair of Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes that work brilliantly in all conditions, rain or shine (or mud). A Giant Contact saddle sits atop the aformentioned D-Fuse seatpost, while an alloy Connect stem and alloy Contact XR D-Fuse road handlebar completes the cockpit of this gravel challenger.
If you're looking for a bike that has that magic combination of comfort, durability and lightness -and still offers lots of value-for-dollar- the VR5 should be on your list.
The Felt VR5 was built from the ground up as a bike for more than just long days in the saddle. It was built for day-long adventures. When the road surface gets broken (or disappears entirely), the VR5 is up to the challenge. Felt's UHC Performance carbon fiber is built around a stable platform, giving the VR5 a confident feel on rough and choppy pavement. The long wheelbase provides a stable feel on fast descents that might be less than perfect. The tall head tube allows the VR5 to fit a wider range of riders -and rider flexibilities- comfortably with minimal fit changes and component swaps. A press-fit BB386 bottom bracket is built to give the VR5 flex-free power delivery with every pedal stroke, especially on steep inclines. The head tube is tapered from 1-1/8"-to-1-1/2", improving steering precision in high-speed descents. 12mm front and rear thru-axles not only improve torsional strength, but also make wheel installation and disc brake alignment a breeze. Internal cable routing and flat-mount brake caliper mounts adds a clean look to the VR5 as well. An inexpensive upgrade kit is available for rear rack installation.
Shimano's 11-speed 105 derailleurs are an excellent choice for the VR5 -including the long-cage version of the rear derailleur- giving quick shifting operation even under hard pedaling loads. The crankset isn't a Shimano unit, but an alloy FSA Gossamer Pro ABS Adventue crankset with a 48/32T chainring combination. When paired with a 12-32T Shimano cassette, the VR5 can challenge even the most intimidating grades. The 11-speed Shimano RS505 hydraulic-ready dual-control levers boast adjustable reach and excellent lever feedback under braking. Shimano also provides the RS505 hydraulic brake calipers ensuring positive stopping power in all conditions, wet or dry.
Wheels and tires can make all the difference on multi-surface rides, and Felt has selected a balanced component list when it comes to the VR5's rolling stock. The tubeless-ready alloy VR19 wheels feature a 19mm-wide inner width and a robust 28-spoke build; perfect for wide rubber and unpleasant roads. A 23mm rim depth add a dash of aerodynamics for when the headwinds come calling. 700x28c Vittoria Rubino Pro G+ tires are slightly treaded, giving the VR5 additional bite on hardpan surfaces. A Felt VR UHC Performance carbon fiber seatpost is topped with a Prologo Kappa Space saddle, while an alloy Felt VR stem and alloy Superlite road handlebar complete this excellent machine.