Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon

22 Reviews for Chameleon

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 This is my favorite bike of all that I've owned. I have the older style frame with horizontal dropouts. I've run it single-speed and geared at different points in its life. It is truly a do-it-all hardtail. It can definitely take a beating at the jumps or down the tech lines at the local trails, but I also have no issues cranking out a 2-hour+ XC ride. I have mine set up with a Rockshox Revelation 20mm for a super plush yet torsionally stiff front end. It rails corners, it pops off jumps, it's super responsive when I pump it through the rollers, it's just the most fun you can have on a hardtail. There's a reason they're hard to find used... nobody wants to sell theirs because it's such an awesome bike! If you're freeride/dirt jump oriented, but you want an XC bike, look no further.
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 Bought one of the 2012 frames on the VPLS and built it up geared 2x9.
Build consists of SRAM X9 Shifter/Derailleurs, Hayes Stroker Trails / 8" rotors, Shimano XT crank with Blackspire 24/36 - MRP S4 Bash. Rockshox Recong Gold RL solo air (20TA, 120mm), XT/TX Hubs laced to Mavic XM321 Rims. Kenda Nevegal 26x2.5 F, Kenda Excavator 26x2.35 R, Thomson Post, Thomson Stem, WTB Speed V Saddle, ODI Rogues, Crowbar.

An all-mountain hardtail built like a brick shit-house!!!

Handles everything I throw at it. Perfect for very tech XC, lighter AM use. This bike has become my go to for local trails, and my Nickel for heavier tech/ mountains.

Get yourself a Chameleon!!!
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 I'm a born-again XC rider. I quit years ago and picked it up again last year. I had an older Chameleon last year with a rigid front fork and a basic LX set-up. It was fantastic on the trails and even jumps. Technical rising was a breeze. So responsive. I am now on an Ellsworth Truth...but I've kept my Chameleon and transformed it into a single speed commuter. I stripped of the rear brake. I've got an old-school magura rim brake on the front. Same old rigid fork. And the middle chain ring from when it was a MTB. It is super light, fast and beautiful to look at.
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 This is the best bike! It can be use for many different styles of riding such as jumping, very light freeride, single-tracks cross country, and all mountain. On of the best parts about it is that it comes as a singlespeed but it comes with a derailleur hanger on the frame incase you want to change it into a multiple speed bike. This bike is awesome!!
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 This is the best bike! It can be use for many different styles of riding such as jumping, very light freeride, single-tracks cross country, and all mountain. On of the best parts about it is that it comes as a singlespeed but it comes with a derailleur hanger on the frame incase you want to change it into a multiple speed bike. This bike is awesome!!
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 Best bike I have ever owned. Super versatile! Just make sure you are ok with tire clearance and what not. I have not had one complaint about my Chameleon. Super stiff rear end makes this thing and tank as well as an amazing climber.
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 Solid frame with geometry suitable for use as a city bike, XC or even AM riding. You are limited to about a 2.3 tire as the chain stays are not as wide as most AM bikes. I run a 2.1 Kenda Small Block 8 for hardpack and pavement or a 2.1 Panaracer Fire Pro XC for trail riding. I built the bike with Shimano XT, a Rock Shox Reba Race 100mm, Magura Marta brakes and Mavic XC717/XTR Hub wheels. It weighs 11.3kg/ 25lbs which is pretty good for such a stout bike. I recently let a road bike rider who had never mountain biked ride it for a day and they were comfortable and confident on it. If you like the pedaling efficiency of a hardtail (and lack of pivot points to maintain) and want a solid bike that can be used in a variety of elements, then its a good choice.
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 I have ridden this bike in many varying conditions and terrain. Set up as a single speed makes this a stealthy, quick ride and light enough to throw over the shoulder when the going gets tough. But ultimately it is like the name it's given, it can be set up however the hell you want it, and with the eccentric BB this is one adjustable bike. Doesn't break the bank either.
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 This relates to a 2010 frame with EBB. I love this bike! It is everything a hardtail should be and more. Depending on how you build it this can be an XC marathon racer, an uplift shredder, or a proper AM tool. I use it as the later with a 140mm form and high end components. It is stiff! But what it lacks in compliance, it doesnt give away in speed. I have almost S0 strava KOM's on blue red and black DH segments in the Southern Alps on mine, Ive lost track oh how many top 10 segments I have. I would recomend one to anyone. Only gripe being I wish it had ISCG05 tabs and a tapered headtube. I dont like the geometry on hte '13 Chameleon so wont be upgrading.
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 This is the 27.5" '16 model - but i'm running it with 26" wheels and fork.
i have a Marz 55CR set at 140mm travel and i'm using 26x2.5" tires. My BB height is higher than the the last 26" spec, but about 1/8" lower than the 27.5" spec.
It feels a bit heavy. i sure didn't build it light, but it feels much heavier than i think it should. i'll have to weigh it but it's surprising how heavy it seems.
i've sent it down 30' of stairs and it really wasn't that bad. i think the 2.5" tires might have had something to do with that, though.
i've built it with an M820 Saint 1x10 (34T/11-28T) drivetrain and brakes (180mm F/160mm R), rolling on Mavic EX729 hoops laced to Hope PRO4 hubs with straight 14G DT Champions.
Hope BB, stem and headset, Answer bar and pedals, Chromag saddle.
This bike is the most stable thing i've ever rode. It handles reasonably quick, but not as quickly as i thought it might. It's also not as stiff as i was hoping it would be, either. That's not to say i'm disappointed; i think this might be the perfect bike to do everything/anything on. Not perfect at any one thing, but more than competent at everything is by rights better than perfect at one thing. i wish the saddle could get a little lower, but that's because i run medium frames when i should be going large. i would rather be a hint bigger than the frame was designed to suit because it makes it easier to throw around and this is the trade you make for that.
i haven't had the chance to roll on the rocks yet, so i'll have to amend this after such a time as i've had the chance to so i can comment on how it copes with the rough.
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 I have ridden a Chameleon for over ten years now and it works in every situation. It's a super tough frame and can adapt to any riding style. I'd defiantly recommend this frame to anyone looking for a do all hardtail.
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 Love this bike. Climbs very well. Jumps really even. Shines in the fast twisty sections. The most nimble bike I've ridden. Would only get rid of it to trade up for a newer Chameleon.
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 I am a big guy who uses this bike for x-c rides and the occassional commute. Have never had a problem and it remains rock solid. It is even great for the occassional (attempted) jump session.
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 Love My Chameleon! It's the perfect bike for a one-bike budget. It's tough enough to take abuse, but with the geometry and weight to have a ton of fun on.
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 Amazing all round hardtail, will take anything you throw at it, been rding one for years now, they last super long, work best at about 110mm travel.
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 I've been riding a chameleon for a copple of years now , it's been a freeride , dirtjump and all-mountain bike . Even with some big tires you can take it on a downhill-course
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 this bike is brilliant. taken me to victory at xc races, taken me down dh tracks while keeping me up with the dh riders and most importantly very stiff!
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 Greatest hardtail ever! I pieced a 2007 gang green together last year and love the way it rides. It goes up, down, left, right.... pretty much any way you please.
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 Bought a 2009 Large Lime Green frame late last year was $800, still building it up, will report back when i have done some riding on it.
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 I still cant believe how good this frame is. Its as good going up as it is going down, no wories about strength but its also light. Looks great it white!
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 This bike is great.
You are not a real mountainbiker unless youve owned one. you can do anything with it. I use mine for all mountain and urban riding. Its great.
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 it really is the only do-it-all hardtail. hard being the key word. its a very stiff frame. looks good too.
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Avg: 5 (22 votes)
Write a Review
Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon (MSRP $5599.99) — It can't change color, and it's made out of metal, but the name is still appropriate. With a stiff and sharp handling aluminum frame designed around the ability to run any length fork from 100 to 160mm, an eccentric bottom bracket to allow the option of geared or singlespeed use, enough material to stick some hard landings but still light enough to climb like it means it, the Chameleon is the kind of bike that can be built to be at home in whatever surrounding you might have in mind. Do you want your lizard to run fast, or jump real high? Your call...

Specifications Compare to other All Mountain/Enduro/XC

Price $5,600

Dimensions

Size SM M L XL
Frame Weight
Bike Weight
Headtube Angle 68 ° 68 ° 68 ° 68 °
Seattube Angle 72 ° 72 ° 72 ° 72 °
Headtube Length 99.06 mm 109.22 mm 129.54 mm 149.86 mm
Chainstay Length 419.1 mm 419.1 mm 419.1 mm 419.1 mm
BB Height 330.2 mm 330.2 mm 330.2 mm 330.2 mm
BB Width
Seat Post Diameter 30.9 " 30.9 " 30.9 " 30.9 "
Front Derailleur Width
HeadTube Diameter 1.125 1.125 1.125 1.125
Top Tube Length 546.1 mm 571.5 mm 596.9 mm 622.3 mm
WheelBase 1 049.02 mm 1 074.42 mm 1 102.36 mm 1 127.76 mm
Standover Height 716.28 mm 728.98 mm 774.7 mm 774.7 mm

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