Santa Cruz Chameleon - First Look

The Chameleon has been in the Santa Cruz lineup for a long time and this is actually the seventh revision on this hardtail platform. Now the one frame allows you to run 29-inch wheels with tyres up to 2.5 inches wide, or 27.5+ wheels up to a 3.0 width via an interchangeable dropout system. Each of these options can also be used with gears (running a 148mm ‘boost’ hub spacing) or with single speed dropouts (and a 142mm rear axle spacing).

The flexible dropout design also allows you to adjust the chainstay length; anywhere between 415 and 430mm is possible. Suspension wise, the Chameleon can accommodate anywhere between 120 and 140mm of travel up front.

Adding further to the diverse potential of the Chameleon, the frame will still accept a front derailleur and it has two water bottle mounts (although one is located underneath the downtube where it’ll get covered in mud). It will accept a stealth dropper post too and the threaded bottom bracket will keep the home mechanics happy.

The geometry is very modern with long reach measurements and short seat tubes across the board. A medium has a 440mm reach with a low 420mm seat tube while the reach on a large goes up to 460mm with a still short 450mm seat tube. At just over 67-degrees, the head angle is reasonably slack and the 73-degree seat angle should produce a reasonably forward seated climbing position.

The 2,130g claimed frame weight is consistent with most plus-compatible trail hardtails. For the Aussie market the Chameleon will be offered as a frame only for $1,050 or with two SRAM NX build kit options; with a RockShox Recon it sells for $3,399 or you get it with a Fox Rhythm fork for $3,999.

Click here for all the details on the bike as well as the build kit spec's.

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