Trek Checkpoint ALR 4 Tailored Ride - Bikepacking across the Downs (and Beyond)

We got contacted by this customer regarding the Trek Checkpoint ALR 4, originally they were looking at adapting a hardtail mtb they had to be a bike setup to do some overnight bike packing around the South Downs, and possibly further afield later on.

The Bike - 

Once we had established what the customer was looking to do, the conversation turned to the Checkpoint ALR 4 that we had on the shop floor, mainly as we were explaining the benefits of narrower tyres (gravel tyres) and the mounting points for bags, bottle cages and other accessories. But the customer loved the idea of drop bars and the lighter weight of the Checkpoint over the Hardtail.

We went through the range that Trek offer, Multiple Alloy and Carbon models, Electric Vs mechanical drivetrains, Mechanical Vs hydraulic brakes. Once we had determined that Alloy frame, with Mechanical components was the most suitable for budget and mainly self sufficient serviceability, the ALR 4 was the one!

We then ensure the sizing is correct and we can set the bike up to fit the customer best, a 58cm Frame was perfect, without replacing stem or crank length.

The Accessories - 

Once we had found the right bike, it was time to talk about what the customer was looking to carry when bike packing, and the best way to do this. They had decided to do 'Credit Card Touring', which essentially means carrying as little as possible and staying in BnBs / Pubs, and eating as you go.

Because of this, we were able to look at more simple storage and lighter options too. With this, we first went to Aeroe, this is a new brand to us at All Ride Now. Aeroe offer simple and lightweight Racks to fit all bikes, which suited perfectly for the rear of the bike, matched to the Aeroe 12L Dry Bag mounted on top. This rack and bag is doing the bulk of the work, for clothing and most essentials needed inbetween rides, plus the rack has the ability to take more brackets on the sides to carry more bags if required in the future.

For the extra bits needed while riding, we found the Topeak Top Loader and Mid Loader bags were perfect. The Top Loader mounts behind the stem, making it perfect to carry energy and nutrition required when riding, also the customer was unsure about mounting their phone to the bars so this holds it too. The Mid Loader mounts inside the main frame, ready to carry a packable waterproof coat, spare gloves and any other spares required,  such as inner tubes, tools, cables etc that are needed to keep the bike running if a bike shop isn't nearby.

The customer said there was no questions when it came to water bottles, he knew he wanted two on the bike, and liked the idea of one being top loading and one being side accessible. 

Lastly, safety and security! As the bike will most likely be left outside while they are staying in accommodation, a secure lock was key. We went through the different options and our most popular lock stood out, the Bontrager Folding lock with keys, firstly as it is a really secure lock, but secondly it comes with a well designed holder that mounts to the frame, meaning the lock is not intrusive when it isn't being used, but always to hand when needed. 

The customer asked us about tracking and alarms for the bikes, which we had the perfect answer to. With the average price of a bike rising year on year, and everyone having smartphones, we found the Knog Scout to be perfect for this. The Knog Scout is a bicycle alarm that is Apple 'Find My' Compatible, essentially this means it works as an AirTag and is traceable on the Apple 'Find My' App. This was important for the customer as the alarm can be silenced (you get a notification but the actual Knog Scout stays Silent) and he can keep an eye on it, even when out of sight. Mounting neatly underneath one of the bottle cages, its discrete and clean looking.

 We also got some lights on the bike for the longer days when the dark catches you out, but also as daytime running lights for extra safety on the busier roads. The Trek Ion 450 (two of them on the bars) for the front and the matching Trek Flare R City on the back were the lights of choice. Due to the Garmin mount being Trek Blendr Integrated bracket to the stem, the lights needed to be banded on with the generic brackets they come with, but the rear light could be mounted using the Saddle Blendr mount neatly below the saddle but above the rear bag.

The Bottom Line - 

What's the Verdict? One very happy customer with a really solid bike and kit ready for long weekends away on the bike, and the ability to take the bike further at little cost in the future.

I Want One! - 

If this bike and package is what you are looking for, or you would like to talk to one of our experts about building you the right bike and tailoring your ride, simply follow the links below!


This bike and Accessories - Click Here.

Speak to an expert to Tailor Your Ride - Click Here.