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Upholding its adaptable namesake with versatility that's near impossible to match in the realm of aluminum hardtails, the Santa Cruz Chameleon 27.5+ D Complete Mountain Bike conquers everything from fast-flowing forest loops to rock-littered alpine descents without feeling out of its element. Accommodating the latest standards of modern trail bikes, the 2017 Chameleon is reinvigorated with a longer front end, low-slung bottom bracket of 12.4 inches, snappy 16.3-inch chainstays, and a relaxed 67.5-degree head tube angle. These geometry figures make the newest Chameleon extremely well balanced when you're ripping steep descents, without inhibiting its ability to power itself back up on climbs.
The Chameleon has always been known for its adaptability to whatever the trail throws your way, and the latest version has really outdone itself with the ability to swap between 27.5+ and 29-inch wheels, courtesy of interchangeable dropouts. Bringing another benefit, the interchangeable dropouts allow you to swap out the gears for single-speed use, should you desire a no-nonsense drivetrain that excels in elevation challenged areas or simply enjoy pushing your bike without pesky gears. 15 millimeters of fore and aft adjustment manages chain tension and chainstay length.
This particular Chameleon benefits from the bump-smoothing plushness and massive cornering grip of 27.5+ wheels with plus-sized tires. The provided 3.0-inch tubeless tires allow you to drastically lower the pressure for smoother tracking across the rough stuff, as well as unrelenting grip when you lean it through a corner or pedal along a loose patch of dirt with chunky rocks. Because of its plus-sized tires, you'll find the Chameleon to not only to be an excellent choice for trails with loose chunder and rock gardens, but also for lengthy bikepacking adventures where added shock absorption equates to less fatigue, especially when you don't have a full-suspension absorbing bumps and rocks.
For the 27.5+ D build kit, you'll find a mixture of components that balance reliability while keeping its cost relatively affordable for those just starting out and riders on a limited budget. The RockShox Recon Silver RL fork smooths out all the chunky rocks, twisted roots, and small drops you'll experience on the trail with its 120-millimeters of travel. This Solo Air fork features Turn Key damping, giving you a small knob that firms up the low-speed compression of the fork until it's fully locked out.
Another stand-out feature with this build is the SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain, which eliminates the use of a pesky rear derailleur for the smooth-shifting simplicity of a 1x set-up. Because of its 11- to 42-tooth cassette, you won't miss having a double ring up front, as you'll have plenty of range for powering up long climbs. One more stand-out feature is the Boost axle spacing, which provides a wider axle that leads to a stiffer bracing angle of the Race Face AR 40 wheels. Stiffer wheels equate to better handling, especially when you're pummeling the bike over rough terrain.
- Santa Cruz's most versatile hardtail in 27.5+
- 27.5+ wheels for massive grip and smoother ride
- 6000-series aluminum frame is strong and lightweight
- Modern geometry lends a balanced feel and descending stability
- Interchangeable dropouts swap between 27.5+ and 29-inch wheels
- Boost axles increase tire clearance and improve wheel stiffness
- SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrain provides wide range of usable gears
- RockShox Recon RL fork with Turn Key compression damping
- Item #SNZ00DQ
- Q & A
I’m approx 6 foot 4...will an xl be large enough. I typically ride a 21” seat tube and this looks to be more like 19”
Are the tires 2.8 or 3.0? In the "Trail Adaptable" it says 2.8 but "Tech Specs" says 3.0.....
I believe they're 3.0-inch Ranger Tires (you can see this be zooming in on the picture). Thanks for pointing out the discrepancy between copy and tech! We'll get that fixed.