Michael Hanslip Coaching

If you want to go faster, you have to pedal harder

July 2023

The source of unwanted sounds

Back in the days when everyone rode steel frames, they made noise quite often because everything required frequent maintenance. Bottom brackets had loose bearings in them. Headsets had loose bearings in them. Pedals had loose bearings in them. Freewheels had loose bearings in them. One ride in the rain was sufficient for most bikes to contaminate at least one of these and cause noise.
I remember Saturday morning bike fixing when I was at university. There was always something that either drew attention from noise, or because it felt loose, tight or rough. High end gear was better, but it still needed a lot of TLC.
If you were a regular cyclist, you got in the habit of continuous maintenance just to keep your bike running well. I never knew a regular cyclist in those days who wasn't their own mechanic, so I don't know how someone went getting their shop to do it all for them - saving things up might well have ruined something or left the bike stranded.
But I digress. One thing you could count on with a skinny-tube steel frame is that it wasn't overly annoying to have a creak in it. Those thick, skinny tubes didn't amplify noises.

Fast forward to today. Everything is sealed. Sometimes beyond even replacing/adding grease to it. Headset and bottom bracket bearings are sealed collections of bearings that simply drop in in the case of headsets and press in with bottom brackets (even the threaded bottom bracket units have the bearings pressed into them - the current Shimano bottom brackets can have the bearings pulled and new ones pressed in for less $$ than a whole new assembly as an example). And everything is installed in a super-oversized thin-walled carbon frame. These bike frames isolate the sound from its source (where did that noise originate?) and amplify it to the point it cannot be ignored.
On the plus side, even when making noise there is seldom damage being done. These cartridge units can wiggle and make noise in the frame but be perfectly fine doing this for thousands of kilometres. Noise control is not about perfect adjustment - in fact there is seldom any adjustment possible. Instead it is about getting just the right compound in just the right place so that the motions continue silently.

Take my recently departed Checkpoint. It was an absolutely brilliant commuting bike. Comfortable. Speedy. Light. Top of the line gear in the form of mechanical shifting Campagnolo Record 12 speed. But it was noisy. For almost every ride over the three years I rode it. I made lesser and greater efforts to exorcise the noise. New bottom bracket bearings. Different cranks. Lubricate the adjustable dropouts. Check the torque on everything. Grease the headset. Grease the chainring/spider interface. Lube the through axles. And more. I went over absolutely everything at least 2x in 3 years. Then the shop had it for a total of 2 weeks where they did one thing I couldn't do (replace the bearing seats for the bottom bracket) and re-did everything I did do (lube everything and check the torque settings). And still it creaked. We could only conclude that perhaps there was a flaw in the carbon construction, somewhere invisible, that made a noise. Trek agreed and offered me a replacement frame.

Thanks Trek!

Even my racing bike, a Trek Madone, makes some crazy noises from time to time. I think that is just the way it is. This large volume, thin wall, carbon structure is light and fast and noisy. It has an almost identically Campagnolo Record mechanical 12 speed build as the Checkpoint had. Nothing is ever loose. And it almost never gets ridden in the wet. But it can make a noise sometimes.

As a bike shop mechanic there were many times that customers brought in weird ghost noises. Once it was one particular spoke crossing in the rear wheel - once lubricated with one drop of oil, the bike was silent. But it took hours to get to the spoke crossings.

Mountain bikes are even more prone to it with their suspension systems moving all over the place. I have two noises in my Ibis. One seems to come from the shock itself. Is it internally dry? Probably time to replace the seals on it just in case. The other comes from pedalling, but does not seem to be related to the mechanical components. Maybe a derailleur hanger? That was an early noise on the replacement Checkpoint on its first rides after it got damp - there is an aluminium derailleur hanger than interfaces on bare carbon. A touch of heavy grease made it quiet. Time to investigate the same pieces on the Ibis for noise.

On my single speed MTB, the dropouts move to provide chain tension. The eccentric bottom bracket alternative is a constant source of noises, and they tend to rotate and wreck carefully adjusted tensions. The sliding dropouts are a nice alternative. They also must move slightly in use. Every time I remove them, clean them, lubricate them and reinstall them at torque spec, they are quiet until they get wet/dusty again or about 3 rides, whichever comes first! I don't want to exceed specified torque for fear of breaking anything. So I have to put up with some noise in between services. This brings me back to where I started this entry - I could be doing this servicing after every second ride to prevent the noise from ever occurring. Lazy? Perhaps. But I also always have a backlog of much needed bike work to do so I don't want to do this non-vital work as well. Need time to ride!

The Canyon Sender DH bike also has a little "tick" noise in the drivetrain. I strongly suspect it is dropout related. The dropouts are many pieces permitting wheelbase adjustment. I think when moist/dirty, the pieces make noise. Given how little actual pedalling happens on the DH bike, I've been happy to ignore it. But not forever. I will get around to covering the pieces in grease to see if it quiets the noise.

My favourite no-longer pro rider, Phil Gaimon, even did a video on creaks. His TL:DR was that it is never the bottom bracket. And with current equipment this is 99.99% true. It really always sounds like, but never is, the bottom bracket. So do not start there. Unless you have a press-fit bottom bracket that isn't press fit properly. They can make noises. I put a thread-together bottom bracket in my first Slash not long before I sold it - instead of just pressing in, the two halves thread together in the middle ensuring they are parallel with each other and provide a good support to the axle, as well as ensuring they're tight in the frame. I didn't think the noise was the bottom bracket then either, but the replacement unit did make the bike quiet. At least until I sold it.
Suspect everything, except the bottom bracket. Even if you get through everything and the only thing left is the bottom bracket it is still not likely that. They basically don't seem to make noises any more. Hoorah.

Postscript: Today I got rid of a creak noise in my Ripley trail bike by snugging up the drive side bottom bracket cup. It was finger tight and that's why it creaked. So it can be the bottom bracket.

Good luck and good hunting.

The Potential Pitfalls of YouTube Skills

This entry comes out of a conversation I had at work recently. We were discussing how you can get so much contradictory advice from different YouTube presenters on any skill you care to investigate. That can be anything, but in this case we were discussing jumping a mountain bike.
Some presenters offer partial advice, which might seem in conflict with other partial advice - when the reality is they might both be offering advice with limited utility. To put it another way, they can both be right and seemingly in conflict. My favourite example of conflicting advice comes from the very professional and "they should know better" people at GMBN (Global Mountain Bike Network). There are several videos where the advice offered is to "make sure you get back sufficiently" and then in the demonstration they remain nicely centred on their bike throughout. I've not been able to figure out if they feel like they are moving back relative to their usual position, or if they believe they move back when they don't (and you shouldn't!). As former pro cyclists and obviously more-than-competent riders they know better than to get so far back that they unweight their front wheel and lose steering control, yet there are numerous videos where they offer this advice. I just don't get it.
Back to jumping. One guy (I think he is The Loam Ranger) offers "stand up to the jump" which is advice that is really good, if you can follow it. What does that mean? First it means don't let the jump push you around and make you into a passenger. Always be the driver, never be the passenger. Second it also means literally, stand up when you jump. Pushing down through your feet is the single most essential part of jumping and it naturally leads one to be standing up straight in mid jump. How do you "stand up to the jump"? By standing up when you jump. The hard part of this advice is how do you follow it if you can't follow it? He gives some examples of standing up and not standing up, but not a lot of advice for fixing problems preventing you from standing up straight.
Lee McCormack (
leelikesbikes - author and YouTube guy as well as in-person teacher to many pros) is so invested in his rowing methodology that he developed and sells a device called the RipRow that not only teaches you to hip hinge properly, but strengthens the move through adjustable resistance while doing it. (It is a set of handlebars on a vertical bar hinged to a base plate that you stand on and connected by a hydraulic strut that resists your push and pull motions - if that makes no sense then look it up for video.) For me, all the years of working with PMBI and doing jumps trails finally worked much better (no one would accuse me of being an amazing jumper, but at least now I can do most of the ones I ride on at trail speed without fear) when I tried Lee's rowing motion. It allowed me to coordinate everything I was doing with better timing for the lip of the jump, regardless of jump size or slope. So thanks Lee. But that rowing analogy doesn't work for everyone.
Some people talk about bunnyhopping off the face of the jump, and certainly that is what some people do - particularly to get extra height - but accentuating a bunnyhop involves moving hips backwards to get more pop and I'd heavily discourage anyone from trying this out on a jump face until first they are really good at jumping and bunnyhopping separately. It is a recipe for making it onto Friday Fails (a
Pinkbike recurring video of people crashing).

The short of it is, be very wary of whose advice you pick on YouTube because there are no credentials to be a presenter there. All you need is a camera and an opinion. At least with an in-real-life teacher you can form an opinion of their teaching skills as you work with them. The good ones will make your riding easier, flowier and more confident very quickly.

SRAM hydraulic wireless brake levers

My first shift/brake levers (I cannot bring myself to call them brifters like "they" do on the Internet) were 8-spd Shimano. Then I changed to 10-spd SRAM. Both of these were obviously mechanical for rim brakes as that was the only option back then. Three years ago I changed once more, to 12-spd Campagnolo. Again with mechanical shifting but now with hydraulic braking. This was the third shifting pattern to learn, but as I always had the same shifting pattern on road and commuter bike it was easy to swap.
Now I've gone to Red AXS with its wireless shifting and hydraulic braking. After a couple of weeks of riding on it, it is time for an early review. Incidentally, this is the first time I haven't updated both race and commuter bikes at the same time. The race bike still has 12-speed mechanical Record on it. And it will forever as the frame cannot take a DUB axle and I've never seen a 12-speed Red GXP crank.
I really liked the feel and function of the Record hoods. The hydraulic master cylinder sticks up a long way above the brake lever pivot. This is a good spot to grab onto for the hands. The hoods feel quite slim, but not too slim. The hood rubber wore well, despite the big slot in the inside for the upshift lever to poke through.
The Red levers feel completely different. Without a shifting mechanism, there are no holes or gaps in the lever body so the rubber hood feels very solid. It also feels quite wide. I like it with my large hands, but I wonder if small riders don't feel like it is too much? The rubber is quite grippy and soft. The knobs and hooks on the rubber hood don't seem to lock onto the lever body quite as solidly as the Record design, but it hasn't proved a problem. The master cylinder is set lower in the lever body because there is no shift mechanism in the way, so they don't stick up quite as much as the Campagnolo ones, but enough that there is something to hang onto.
I was a tiny bit worried because so many reviews suggested that the Campag disc brakes were the best of the big three. However, I find the SRAM brakes almost identical to the Campagnolo ones in use. One finger braking is more than enough for most stops. The lever doesn't move much (it shouldn't, I'm competent at bleeding brakes after all these years) and there is good feel of how much slowing you're going to get. On the hood or on the drops, the brakes are good.
I set the levers up to flow straight out from the bar tops. One straight line in total. And the mix of these Bontrager bars and SRAM levers means the hoods are a touch higher than they would be with Campagnolo levers set up flat. Which moves the lever out from the drop a bit more. Not so much that I can't reach with my long fingers, and I can always wind the lever in a bit with the reach adjust, but usually I end up with them a little closer than I might like because of how low they are positioned on the curve of the drop.

The original 11-spd wireless Red shifting was simply e-tap (with the mechanical being called double tap, this was a cute play with words). Now 12-spd is AXS, but still e-tap. E-tap is, I believe, the shifting pattern. In the AXS world you can change the shifting pattern and even make it semi-automatic (you select up or down shift and the computer decides when to change the front and rear derailleurs), but the two lever system is preserved from 11-spd times. Default is the right lever moves the chain right at the cassette to a higher gear. The left lever moves the chain left on the cassette to a lower gear. And both levers in sync activate the front derailleur to move to the opposite chainring. With only 2 rings, it is super simple to just swap the rings. No need to tell it which way to go. I love it. Brilliant.
On installation I noticed two ports in the right lever body to add wired "blips", the remote buttons that sprinters, climbers or TT riders might want elsewhere on the bars. These are for historical reasons, mostly, because there are now wireless blips too. If you have a TT bike with only blips, you can run a wireless blip box to receive the signals and tell the derailleurs what to do. The blips can be programmed for function in the app too - whatever you want.
I'm shifting way more than I need to just because I enjoy playing with the system. I still occasionally try to flick a gear change with my thumb in the Campagnolo style - there is no button there to receive my command, but I guess I'll do this still because I have to shift that way on the racing bike.

So far, so very good.

Unusual tools

When I made the switch to Campagnolo components, I purchased as many tools along with them as I knew I would need. That didn't begin to cover what I'd actually require over time. As lovely as Campag components are, perhaps their tools are nicer again. Many a shop mechanic loves to own a set of the traditional tools from Italy. I almost took a job once simply because I would get my hands on a multi-thousand dollar set of Campagnolo frame preparation tools (headset and bottom bracket facing tools, to name only two in the set).
The Campag chain is meant to be joined by their unique method. Like Shimano, there is a specific joining pin with a pilot that breaks off after use. Unlike Shimano, the ends of the pin need to be peened to assure a secure connection. So I got the Campagnolo chain breaker. It is a beauty. Not only does it have chain breaking and rejoining functions, but an anvil against which the pin can be peened and a retaining device to ensure the chain doesn't slip upwards and damage either the chain or the tool mid-use.
My chain whip is very old and I have repaired the chain on it numerous times. Plus it dates from 8-spd days, so it is a properly wide chain (perhaps 5-spd?). It really doesn't fit on 11 or 12 speed sprockets properly. The Campagnolo chainwhip came with a nice section of Campagnolo chain on it (not the cheap chain on my older one) and it is just pleasant to use.
Every hydraulic brake system is a bit different (size and type of opening, fluid requirements, etc) so I got the Campag bleed kit. Which is a re-badged Magura bleed kit as the calipers are so close to production Magura brakes that they share pads. It works really well.
The Hirth joint that connects the two half axles on the cranks uses a big Allen headed bolt. I didn't buy - or even check if they offer - the appropriate large allen key to drive the bolt, but I did purchase a socket driven Allen tool so I could put it on my torque wrench. It is unfortunate that the Super Record cranks use a left-hand threaded titanium bolt where the Record cranks use a right-hand threaded steel bolt. My, and most, torque wrench doesn't guarantee accuracy when used on left-hand threaded fasteners.
I have adjusted the rear hub several times in 3 years of riding the wheels. The axle is a large aluminium tube, onto which threads various pieces. To get the drive-side locknut off requires either two 18 mm cone spanners (I only have one of this size) or an 11 mm Allen key to fit the hex inside the axle shaft (I do not have nor have I ever seen - except in a Campagnolo catalogue - an 11 mm hex key). However, it doesn't need to be very tight so an 8 mm plus a 3 mm pair of Allen keys will fit pretty well inside, and if coupled with an 18 mm cone spanner on the opposite side it can be tightened sufficiently by using my smallest shifting spanner on the locknut. I had to do this to replace the freehub body (Campag to SRAM XDR) and all the videos are of people doing it with Zonda wheels. I can see from the info supplied with the freehub that both the Shamal Ultra and Zonda use the same freehub body - but the Zonda rim-brake wheels use a 6 mm Allen key in the axle making life so much easier. Of course it is left-hand threaded, which is unexpected but makes sense to keep it from loosening in use.
Way back when, the original Campagnolo cassette lockring tool also did double duty as a bottom bracket tool - the cartridge BBs had the same toothed socket profile around the axle. Two for one was nice while it lasted. It could hardly look different to the Shimano one, but it is enough different to necessitate a separate tool. SRAM just used Shimano's profile, even with the XDR cassettes.
I found that they make a caliper alignment tool that fits in the brakes in place of the pads with a slot for the rotor to get optimal alignment when building the bike. I probably would have purchased that if I knew about it first. I do have a Birzman alignment tool that fits a thin stainless plate between the pad and the rotor on both sides making it hard to get the alignment wrong. But the Campagnolo part is just nice.

Now that I've swapped to SRAM on and off the road, I don't see many specific tools that I either don't already have or aren't included with the parts. An example of the former is the bleed kit. I have a SRAM professional bleed kit with both threaded and push-fit ends so I can bleed road or MTB brakes with bleeding edge calipers as well as the older threaded port calipers. My original Eagle XO1 bikes didn't come with the B-tension gauge tool. My Eagle AXS XX1 bike did come with the - different - B-tension gauge tool. My new Red AXS derailleur came with the - road specific - B-tension gauge tool. And the front derailleur came with the alignment tool installed, ready to go on the bike perfectly. Shimano used to have dealer-only front derailleur alignment gauges that were harder to use than the eyeball method most mechanics were used to. But this SRAM tool sits on the teeth of the big ring over enough teeth to practically ensure perfect alignment by even a semi-competent mechanic. The derailleur cage has alignment marks on it too, so should it ever come loose or get bumped it will be easy to see it is out of position.
Thankfully, I didn't encounter any tools I required but didn't have in assembling my Checkpoint because I wanted to get it ride-ready as soon as possible. I have three chain breaker tools and only one fits the flat top chain large diameter rollers in its guide, but one was sufficient to shorten the chain for installation.
The T47 DUB bottom bracket - of course - doesn't use the same installation tool as the BSE DUB bottom bracket tool. Therefore it was serendipity that the bike shop installed it for me before I took the Red ensemble away.
The brakes appeared to be fully bled on delivery. That won't work for me because the hose has to run through the frame to near the axle before emerging, and the tunnels they run in are so narrow the olive has to be cut off the hose to slide it through. Luckily I know how that all works from lots of SRAM brakes around the house.
SRAM doesn't really make tools aside from the mentioned ones (bleed kit, b-tension gauge). So there are fewer opportunities for a weird one to pop up in assembly - if it is a routine tool then I have it and if it is a very specific purpose tool then they probably make it and I'd know I need it.
The rollers on SRAM 12-spd chains are larger in diameter than any other chain, even though they retain the 1/2" pitch of other bike chains. That means that you shouldn't try a Red chain on another brand's rings or cassette, nor should you try another brand's chain on Red sprockets. It is a good thing that they are a decent chain given the lack of options. My chain wear checking tool (a Shimano one - almost all the tools for this on the market are useless, although more 3-points-of-contact checkers are around than before) probably won't do the trick. I rarely use it anyway because a 12" ruler is best.

Optimal cadence

TL:DR - faster is always better, except when it isn't

When you spot a cyclist who is struggling along in too big a gear, pedalling at an ultra-slow cadence, what do you think? I always think how much easier it would be if they would shift to a smaller gear and pedal faster. For most people, that impression probably only applies at numerically low cadences, such as 40 or 50 rpm. As a coach, I still feel that way sometimes at 90 rpm.
If there is one lesson I try to impart onto every cyclist I coach, it is an ability to pedal quickly. If you are a track cyclist, the only way to go faster is to pedal faster (only one gear on a track bike). Your top speed is usually governed by how fast you can pedal rather than pure power limitations. So, to be more competitive, you need more leg speed - more top end cadence.
Most of us aren't track racers. Yet it still applies that an ability to pedal smoothly to a higher cadence limit gives a rider more flexibility in their riding. Everyone can stop pedalling and just coast when it gets too hard to pedal faster. Usually you can shift up to a larger gear and continue to pedal. But for a short time the best option is to just pedal faster.

It is true that cadence opposes efficiency. It takes extra oxygen to move legs faster - more than the increase in power would demand. Thus the efficiency is decreased. Yet most good cyclists will instinctively up the cadence when they up the pace.
The Lance Armstrong years are way behind us now. One thing he changed about competitive cycling was use of cadence. (Oversimplified but essentially true) A low rate puts the demands on the muscles of the legs. They get tired. A high rate, however much more inefficient it might be physiologically, moves at least a portion of the demand to the cardiovascular system. By spreading demands across systems the rider can go faster for longer. If the CV is up to the challenge. And Lance was on the best drugs available, ensuring his CV was up to the challenge.

My cadence strategy for any race is to start out as fast as possible and slow down as you get tired through the event. Use aerobic fitness for as much and as long as possible. Rely on leg strength at the end when necessary. The problem with trying to do the reverse is that tired legs don't respond to the cardiovascular but can continue without it - the order must go that way.

I've seen many clients for years of training. They have all improved their default cadence upwards, expanded their range of possible pedalling speed and therefore gotten faster for longer. By pushing the boundaries of what is possible on any given day to achieve just a couple more rpm. There are numerous muscles in the legs that coordinate to pedal. This requires neurological training. A new bike rider cannot pedal comfortably and with souplesse at a high rate nor for that long because their nerves aren't trained for the motion. That takes hours to develop. And years to perfect.
Pro cyclists mostly make it look easy because their office is their bike and they spend every day at their "desk".

No matter if you are pedalling an e-enduro bike, a light XC hardtail, a touring bike laden with panniers or a sleek time trial bike; they all go better if you are smooth and relaxed in pedalling and better again if you have a wide range of cadence to select from.

Design decisions

Is a gravel bike a road bike that takes fat tyres, or a mountain bike with drop handlebars?
With the Trek Checkpoint, Trek's design decisions place the frame somewhere in the middle of these two alternatives and have had multiple impacts on my commuter bike.
A bit over 3 years ago, Campagnolo released the Record 12 speed group. I had ridden the 11 speed disc brake option at Campagnolo Press Camp the year before, and I was sold. As I have put it many times, I didn't know I wanted disc brakes on a road bike until I tried them. They were that good. I purchased 2 groups from Campagnolo and then found frames to hang them on. For commuting duties, I picked a Checkpoint. I would have had fewer issues if I picked an Emonda, a Domane or even a Boone, but none of these frames will take a rack. I learned a long time ago that panniers beat a backpack without question.
There is a Trek kit to fit Campagnolo cranks in the BB90 bottom brackets most Trek frames had up until recently. This involves gluing some pieces into the BB bearing seat area to fully support the bearings that are pre-installed on Campag cranks. Then it is just bolt them in place and go. But that wasn't so simple with the Checkpoint. The chainstays bulge right behind the bottom bracket shell to make room for a fatter rear tyre. And the very straight arms of the Campagnolo Record crank wanted to pass through the left stay. Suddenly I had cranks I couldn't use.
After a lot of looking and frustration, I ended up with a set of Red 10 spd cranks with a 130 BCD spider for 39/53 rings. Before they even arrived I learned that they wouldn't fit on the bike either. That 39T inner ring would contact the right chainstay, and the 53T big ring was too tall for the front derailleur to clear at the top of the mounting slot. Those cranks went back and a set of 110 BCD compact Red cranks were purchased. Onto these went Praxis 34/50 chainrings. These fit fine.
Except the glued in Campagnolo adapter pieces were slightly in the way. And by slightly, I mean that when the cranks were installed, the inner face of the arms just around the bottom bracket shell lightly touched the rings on both sides. Ideally, they wouldn't be there. But the glue used was very strong and I was afraid of trying to remove them and damaging my still unridden frame.
Everything (except one thing - I'm coming back to this in a minute) was fine for 26 months. When the Red cranks broke at the pedal eye. Not a catastrophic failure; the pedal remained in the crank. But it wouldn't have taken many more kilometres to break it completely. With a 24 month warranty, SRAM said they would give me a discount on new Red cranks - only they didn't have any in stock.
To keep riding to work I installed a set of older Rival cranks I had on hand. With a 130 spider, my only option was to run the small chainring on the outside and remember not to touch the front derailleur for fear of losing the chain into the space where a small ring was meant to be. This went on for far too long. 39/11 is not a large top gear!
Eventually I found some near-new Rotor cranks that were old enough they had a 24 mm axle (new ones have 30 mm axles) and therefore fit in the frame (BB90 cannot accept 30 mm axles without running incredibly tiny and fragile bearings). These happened to have the same Praxis 34/50 rings on them as I had been running on the Red cranks. So they just bolted in and away I went with front gears again.

Back to my exception. The frame had a little temperature sensitive creak in it from day 1. I spent hours hunting the creak. Check bolts, lube things, pad things, remove things - nothing made the creak go away except really cold weather. Across the three different cranks the noise went on unaffected. It could not have been anything to do with the cranks or their bearings (the Red and Rival cranks used different bearings than the Rotor cranks - and I swapped bearings a couple of times just in case). I ran a different set of wheels. I removed the mudguards and rack, just to check. Swapped pedals. Got the torque wrench on the bar and stem.
The bike shop offered to replace the bearing seats for me. Trek customers used to have to toss their frames if they had a bearing seat issue in the bottom bracket before they developed a solution. There is a cutting tool to remove the existing seat surface, some new carbon bearing seats, some high-strength glue and a jig to ensure the new seats go in square to the frame. And as I left the shop after all this, it creaked.
The bike shop owner got the bike for a week and unbolted absolutely everything. He lubed and used a torque wrench and checked everything from pedals to water bottle cages to seat rails. He reinstalled my mudguards and rack in a slightly different way. And as I left the shop after all of this, it creaked.

Trek, to their credit, heard all of this (but they didn't get to hear my creak!) and agreed to replace the frame with a current equivalent (or credit me a frame's worth on a full new bike if I chose that option). As luck would have it, the colour they had in my size was one I loved. As the old Checkpoint used a seat mast and the new one a seat post, and because I had upgraded my aluminium mast to a carbon one, they replaced it with a carbon seat post. New Checkpoints use T47 bottom brackets (now you can use a 30 mm axle) and Trek put a new T47 bottom bracket for 24 mm axles in the box.
What we didn't know until I tried to assemble the new bike in my head (this will go here, this will go there, do this first, do this second ... etc) was that there is no cable stop for the front derailleur cable. Look at just about any bike, including my older Checkpoint, and you'll find that the cable housing stops on a fitting on the frame at the bottom of the downtube, and the bare inner wire runs around the bottom bracket and up to the arm on the front derailleur to pull it down for a shift to the big ring. Not on the the new Checkpoint. Trek's bike lineup of Checkpoints has one inexpensive mechanical Shimano drivetrain model, and Shimano's newest mechanical derailleurs have their own housing stop built into the front derailleur - and all the rest of the models are either one-by drivetrains (no front derailleur at all) or electronic shifting. Trek had no solution for my Campagnolo front derailleur.
I checked for solutions online. I can imagine a solution that is a cross between a chain drop device that attaches to the front derailleur bolt (it prevents the chain from moving inside of the inner ring when properly positioned) and a cable housing stop for cantilever brakes that hangs from the seat post binder bolt. No one makes such a thing that I could find. I guess the total market for these things is about 10 people.

If I wanted to go one-by, I would need a narrow-wide chainring and a K-Edge single ring road chain guide up front with a wide-ratio cassette at the back to give me close to my usual top and bottom gear choices. Unfortunately, I had ridden the bike as a one-by for some months and didn't like it much. And I have recently purchased a new close-ratio cassette to go on the new frame. Super Record cassettes are not cheap. It would bug me to purchase another in such short order.
The second option that came to mind was the recently announced Super Record wireless shifting. Then everything would either stay or be replaced with another Campagnolo part. Unfortunately, these pieces are not currently available. There is no solid time frame for when, either.
Option three was to go with the now obsolete wired Super Record option. It bugged me to buy more tools and a charger that will only ever be used on one bike, but it was a decided option. It not only has the benefits of option 2, but the shift levers are almost identical between mechanical and wired electronic, and it was all in stock.
The final option I considered was SRAM Red AXS. Super Record is so expensive, I thought a full Red gruppo might be about the same price as a partial Super Record one. Turns out it is a bit more, but not all that much more. The advantage of AXS is that I already have 3 bicycles at home in the AXS app (used to update firmware, control options in setup and view battery charge levels) and two that use the universal batteries (so loads of chargers and batteries to move around as needed).
Yes, I could have put a 105 mechanical or even electronic gruppo on for less than any of these other options (well probably more pricey than the one-by option), but I haven't liked anything Shimano since about 9 speed. I could have gone "gravel" and opted for Campagnolo Ekar, but I didn't know if the cranks would fit and my wheel (yes, Campagnolo brand) is not Ekar friendly - so new wheels necessary.
I chose Red. I still have Force on my old Madone, and the single shift lever per brake lever works a little differently for AXS than for mechanical, but I think I'll adjust quickly. I've ordered the SRAM-friendly freehub body for my Campagnolo wheels too (even got it on sale); odd that I can change to Shimano or SRAM but not to new Campagnolo with this wheel.

Every decision Trek made might have simplified their life, but it surely complicated my bike-building journey.

You can expect some Red reviews soon.