Dear all,

This is my first post. I have read many articles here and believe they are top quality, very engaging! I want to purchase my first gravel bike and have done a fair share of research already. 

My choice now is between these two:

1. Trek Checkpoint ALR 5, which is aluminium frame

2. Specialized Diverge Sport, which has a carbon frame

I got a good price on Specialized (550$ more expensive than Trek aluminium).


What I would love to do:

1. Ride fast on the road, have great comfort riding

2. Going to the trails, forests and etc

I want to travel light and do not want to carry a lot with me, it is mostly for speed and adventure. 

People say that the future shock system of the Diverge is a big deal. I do not know if carbon has the advantage worth 550$. 

What do you think?




Baga [16 posts] 9 months ago

Just wanted to add. Maybe I did not add more specific questions. Are there people here on the board that own or have experience with this bike (Specialized Diverge Sport carbon 2019). 

What do you think about the carbon vs aluminium frame? is there any value in getting carbon?

What do you think about the future shock? Marketing gimmick or something that is here to stay and is a great improvement (desite the official recall)?

On paper, Trek checkpoint and Specialized Diverge look super similar. Are there any practical differences?


Pedaltopia [1 post] 7 months ago

I am glad you asked this.  I am going to test ride both of those bikes this weekend.  

Right now I am leaning toward the Trek.  It seems to have more "options" the Specialized does not have.  The sliding rear dropouts are nice; at least it gives me options for training on rail trails if I want to single speed, and that slider could come in handy if I bang up a rear derailleur on a Dirty Kanza.  The Diverge frame does not allow my frame bag to fit as well as it does on the Trek.  There are more bottle cage mounting options on the Trek.

Another reason I am leaning toward the Trek is because of the shop.  My local Trek shop has a great staff and they have great customer service.  The Specialized shop near by....well, not so much.

Just something to think about.  The bike purchase is just the beginning of a relationship with your LBS.

Hopefully I will be on a new bike this weekend.

Baga [16 posts] 7 months ago

I have purchased Specialized Diverge Sport 2019 carbon and I am EXTREMELY happy. But I would probably be as happy with Carbon Trek. I think the price and also the service is what it will get down too. I am the opposite. Great Specialized store just 3 min walk from where I live

L3gion [17 posts] 7 months ago

I was on the same mission myself a few months ago and I test rode a Trek Checkpoint SL6 and a Specialised Roubaix (can't recall exactly which variation, it was all black carbon fibre)

I found the future shock a little bit weird, but the Checkpoint had something really fun about the handling that I can't describe. So in the end I went for a Checkpoint SL5 and have to say I still really like it. It's coped really well with all sorts of outrageuous terrain (got 42m WTB resolutes on it) and is still pretty fast on the road, even with the resolutes @ 50psi.

I have to say that on extended long days with off-road riding I sometimes think the future shock would be nice as my hands/arms can get pretty pumped from the vibration but there is something about the checkpoint geometry that works nicely for me.


matthewn5 [1416 posts] 7 months ago

A colleague at work has a Specialized with an earlier version of the Future Shock and has had no end of problems with the headset in the long term. He says it has small bearings inside that continually have to be replaced. Hopefully it's all fixed now. Tell us how you get on in the long term?