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Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon 29 Mountain Bike Frame - 2018

Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon 29 Mountain Bike Frame - 2018
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$749.00

Item # SNZ00FL

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  • Olive Green/Purple, S ($749.00)
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Description

Go Anywhere

Sure it's a tall order, but the Santa Cruz Chameleon frame may be the basis for the world's most versatile bicycle. Ready for 29 inch or 27.5 Plus wheels, and built to handle everything from bikepacking, to hardcore trail riding, to mid-week cross country races, consider this the starting point for a machine that will cover more bases than any other bikes in your quiver. 


The Chameleon has become one of Santa Cruz’s longest running and most beloved models in a large part because of its no-nonsense functionality. Originally conceived as a heavy-duty trail bike that could handle jumping, slalom, and a plethora of build options, the Chameleon has adapted to modern trends, but retains 100% of its trademark utility. 

This version of the Chameleon is compatible with both 29-inch and 27.5+ wheels. The change requires different dropouts, which are available separately from Santa Cruz, should you want to get a second wheelset. The dropouts also provide adjustable chainstay length, which can be used both to fine tune handling, and to provide chain tension should you opt for a singlespeed build in the future. 

As befits a truly utilitarian steed, the Chamelon is built from aluminum, which is both impervious to rust and highly resistant to impact damage. This choice of materials also results in a fairly modest asking price, which makes the Chameleon both an excellent introductory mountain bike, and a tempting addition to any well-equipped stable. 

Geometry plays a key role in the Chamelon’s versatility, with short chainstays, fairly long reach measurements per size, and a relaxed 67.5-degree head tube angle. The 5-inch fork takes the edge off of rough trails without resulting in the dramatic geometry shifts that can occur on hardtails with longer travel forks. And while it’s certainly a jack of all trades, the Chameleon shines in a number of different roles, and practically begs to be reconfigured over time to meet your changing needs.

  • Versatile hardtail for trail riding, bikepacking, and adventure
  • 67.5-degree head tube angle for confidence in technical terrain
  • Swapping dropouts adapts the frame to 27.5+ or 29in wheels
  • Aluminum frame is built to go the distance
  • Easily convertible to singlespeed with replaceable dropouts

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
Aluminum
Wheel Size:
29 inch, 27.5 Plus
Fork Travel:
120mm
Head Tube Diameter:
IS41 Top/IS52 Bottom
Headset Included:
No
Bottom Bracket Type:
73mm BSA
ISCG Tabs:
ISCG05
Cable Routing:
Internal
Front Derailleur Mount:
Low Direct Mount
Brake Type:
IS
Seatpost Diameter:
31.6mm
Seat Collar:
Santa Cruz
Rear Axle:
DT RWS 12x148mm Boost
Dropouts:
Swappable
Recommended Use:
Trail Riding, Bikepacking, All-Rounder
Manufacturer Warranty:
Lifetime (frame)

Geometry Chart

Santa Cruz

Geometry Chart

 

Chameleon 27.5+
120mm Travel Fork
 

Seat Tube

(c-t)

Effective Top Tube

(eTT)

Stack

(S)

Reach

(R)

Stand Over

Head Tube

(HT)

Head Tube Angle

(HT°)

Seat Tube Angle

(ST°)

Bottom Bracket Height

(BBH)

Chainstay

(CS)

Wheelbase
S 15.35in 23.46in 24.21in 16.34in 27.13in 3.94in 67.5° 73° 12.4in 16.34in 43.9in
M 16.54in 24.45in 24.21in 17.32in 27.76in 3.94in 67.5° 73° 12.4in 16.34in 44.88in
L 17.72in 25.28in 24.21in 18.11in 28.39in 3.94in 67.5° 73° 12.4in 16.34in 45.67in
XL 19.29in 26.54in 24.57in 19.29in 29.09in 4.33in 67.5° 73° 12.4in 16.34in 46.97in
Chameleon 29
120mm Travel Fork
 

Seat Tube

(c-t)

Effective Top Tube

(eTT)

Stack

(S)

Reach

(R)

Stand Over

Head Tube

(HT)

Head Tube Angle

(HT°)

Seat Tube Angle

(ST°)

Bottom Bracket Height

(BBH)

Chainstay

(CS)

Wheelbase
S 15.35in 23.66in 24.29in 16.22in 27.13in 3.94in 67.3° 72.8° 12.4in 16.34in 43.9in
M 16.54in 24.65in 24.29in 17.2in 27.4in 3.94in 67.3° 72.8° 12.4in 16.34in 44.88in
L 17.72in 25.55in 24.29in 17.99in 28.39in 3.94in 67.3° 72.8° 12.4in 16.34in 45.67in
XL 19.29in 26.85in 24.69in 19.17in 29.13in 4.33in 67.3° 72.8° 12.4in 16.34in 47.01in

Reviews & Community

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The hardtail I've been looking for.

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Over the past few years, I have really gotten in to the geometry changes on modern trail bikes and, while my full suspension rigs had kept up with the changes, my hardtail was still XC oriented. Every time I rode it, it felt very nervous and sketchy to me. I don't ride hardtails much any more but I always have one around for when the mood strikes me.



The Chameleon feels just like my 150mm trail bike as far as fit, geometry and handling go. Now I can go from a long travel rig to a hardtail and don't have to get used to anything other than the fact that I have 0mm of rear suspension travel.



The ride is very nice, the Chameleon feels fast and flowy on smooth trails and carves corners exceptionally well. the long front end and short rear end make the bike fun and snappy, yet stable and predictable. you can lift the front end and manual over stuff easily but the front wheels stays planted when you want it to. High speed stability is superb. The medium was a perfect fit for me at 5'9" and the reach feels good with a 50mm stem.



I've only got about 50 miles on mine so far but have had it on everything from gravel roads to chunky, technical singletrack and it handles it all well. Climbing is good; it doesn't feel too slack and there's no wheel flop. Descending is confidence inspiring without any of the nervousness that a steep XC oriented hardtail will give you. If you're a trail rider who's used to the newer geometry, you'll feel right at home on the Chameleon. It also jumps great and feels super stable in the air.



Mine is built up with a 120mm Fox Float and (mostly) Shimano XT8000 1x11 drivetrain. I've got a relatively light wheelset on the bike at the moment as well as, carbon cranks, carbon bars, and a stealth dropper. With this build it weighs in at right around 27lbs. The internal dropper routing is easy to use and the build was fairly straightforward. Just a couple notes: you will need an I.S. brake adapter for the rear brake (I went with a 180mm rotor on the rear) and you will also want to make sure your chainring/ crank setup has the 3mm offset for the 51mm boost chainline.



This is my first Santa Cruz and I'm very impressed with the quality, fit and finish on the frame. I'm definitely digging it and will be looking at Santa Cruz again for my next bike.

The hardtail I've been looking for.
Unanswered Question
Avg. ride time: 7h 49m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Which drop outs come on the frame