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Rowdy fun on the trail.
The Chameleon is a perennial favorite for its lively feel 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 67.3-degree head tube angle. This particular Chameleon 29 R Complete Mountain Bike carries all of these updates 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 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 29er for a rolling faster down the trail and absolutely steamrolling rocks and roots standing in your way, due to the 29-inch wheel's larger angle of attack. If you'd like to swap out the 29-inch wheels for the massive grip afforded by 27.5+, the interchangeable dropouts allow you to change wheel sizes with little effort. 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'd like to convert to 27.5+ or 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 R-spec build kit gives you a nice selection of parts, including a 130-millimeter Fox Rhythm 34 Fork for smooth tracking and confident handling over rough trails, SRAM's newest NX Eagle drivetrain for a low-cost entry into a 1x12 set-up, plus a Race Face Aeffect dropper post for getting aggressive on rowdy descents.
- Versatile hardtail with a fun-loving persona on the trail
- 67.3-degree head tube angle for confidence on technical terrain
- Longer front end, short chainstays for an agile, playful feel
- 29in wheels carry more momentum and easily roll over obstacles
- 120mm FOX Rhythm Fork soaks up the rocks and roots on the trail
- Interchangeable dropouts allow you to swap 29in for 27.5+ wheels
- Aluminum frame optimizes strength-to-weight without cost of carbon
- SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain for 1 x 12 gear range at affordable price
- Item #SNZ00JL
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
i thought the frame would not be durable because of the aluminum but it turned out to be the best hard tail i have ever ridden i think it is better than the carbon