Lively fun on the trail.
As one of the longest standing bikes in Santa Cruz's line, the Chameleon is a perennial favorite for its lively handling, ability to wheelie with ease, and versatility across a wide variety of trail ecosystems, ranging from flowy singletrack in the woods to rocky descents high above treeline. Santa Cruz revamped the Chameleon in 2017 to be longer, lower, and slacker than ever with its lengthy front end, low-slung 12.4-inch bottom bracket, and relaxed 67.5-degree head tube angle. This Chameleon 27.5+ D Complete Mountain Bike carries all of these updates with fresh color schemes for 2019, making it an absolute blast to rail around corners, plunge into steep descents, and even pedal a few laps around the bike park.
Originally conceived as a heavy-duty trail bike that could handle the rigors of bike parks and slalom courses, the Chameleon has evolved into a fun-loving trail bike that's compatible with multiple wheel sizes and moonlights as a practical solution for long-distance bikepacking missions. It's offered here as a 27.5+ trail bike for voluminous traction and greater compliance over rugged trails with its 2.8-inch Maxxis Rekon Tires, but it can be run as a fast-rolling 29er with its interchangeable dropouts. Also, these interchangeable dropouts allow you to swap out the gears for single-speed use, should you desire a no-nonsense drivetrain, or live in an area without major elevation changes. Note, you'll need to purchase separate dropouts if you'd like to convert it to singlespeed use or a 29er.
Seeing the Chameleon is designed to be a more utilitarian, low-maintenance trail bike, it's made from aluminum for optimal strength-to-weight, but without the added cost of carbon. This gives the Chameleon broader appeal than many of the full-suspension bikes, which is great considering it lowers the bar to entry for riders on a budget. This D-spec build is the most affordable build offered by Santa Cruz, offering a nice selection of parts for reliability and performance, but without incurring significant cost. The RockShox Recon RL 130-millimeter Fork smoothly tracks over rocky, root-latticed trail sections by soaking up all the bumps along the way. It's finished with a SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain that offers a wide selection of gears for long climbs and descents, all without requiring a 2x drivetrain that only clutters your bars and adds unnecessary complexity.
- Versatile hardtail with a fun-loving persona on the trail
- 67.5-degree head tube angle for confidence at higher speeds
- Longer front end, short chainstays for an agile, playful feel
- 27.5+ wheels maximize traction and compliance over rough stuff
- 130mm RockShox Recon RL Fork soaks up bumpy sections of trail
- Interchangeable dropouts allow you to swap 27.5+ for 29in wheels
- Aluminum frame optimizes strength-to-weight at lower cost than carbon
- SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain offers a wide range for climbs and descents