Grin-inducing fun on your favorite trails.
Seeing the Chameleon's been a staple Santa Cruz's line for over 20 years, it's certainly a perennial favorite for its lively handling and adaptability to a wide variety of trail ecosystems, ranging from smooth-buffed singletrack to steep, rocky descents that would normally overwhelm a racier hardtail. 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 particular Chameleon 27.5+ S Complete Mountain Bike carries all of these updates, just with fresh color schemes for 2019, making it an an absolute blast to rail around corners, plunge into steep descents, and even pedal a few laps around the local 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 plus-sized 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 have to purchase separate dropouts from Santa Cruz if you want to change wheel sizes or convert to singlespeed use.
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 in Santa Cruz's line, which is great considering it lowers the bar to entry for riders on a budget. This S build kit gives you a premium selection of parts, including a 130-millimeter Fox Performance 34 Fork for stiff, confident tracking over the rough stuff and plush absorption of the rocks and roots on the trail. SRAM's GX Eagle 1x12 drivetrain gives you a massive gear range with its 10 to 50-tooth cassette, so you can tackle a wider variety of terrain. It's rounded out with a RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper for getting the seat out of the way on those steep descents where you'd benefit from a more aggressive body position.
- Versatile hardtail with a fun-loving persona on the trail
- 67.5-degree head tube angle for confidence at higher speeds
- Longer front end, shorter chainstays for an agile, playful feel
- 27.5+ wheels maximize traction and compliance over rough terrain
- 130mm FOX 34 Performance Fork soaks up bumpy root and rock sections
- Interchangeable dropouts allow you to swap out 27.5+ for 29in wheels
- Alloy frame optimizes strength-to-weight at lower cost than carbon
- SRAM GX Eagle 1x12 drivetrain offers a massive usable gear range