Chameleons are one of the most intriguing reptiles in the animal kingdom. They’re adapted for hunting and climbing; with their extremely quick tongues and unique ability to change color depending on their environment. This level of adaptability is the envy of everyone, and as such it makes perfect sense that Santa Cruz Bicycles’ newest trail hardtail mountain bike is named the Santa Cruz Chameleon Carbon. Instead of changing color, this Chameleon hardtail trail mountain bike swaps wheels, drivetrain, and even usage according to its surrounding.
Looking for more information on the Chameleon Carbon? Check out our first look blog post HERE.
On the trail, the Santa Cruz Chameleon offers flexibility and technical capability. It big hits and jumps with ease, and the rigid rear end excels in efficiency and keeps weight down relative to full-suspension models. It isn’t as extreme as other modern hardtails, which bodes well for its versatility; it still pedals well and doesn’t require as much weight as possible on the front wheel to feel grippy through a sweeping corner. It’s short chainstays mean the rear end consistently grips and feels maneuverable through all kinds of technical terrain.
The Santa Cruz Chameleon Carbon seems to hit a sweet spot in every regard. Its geometry is capable and well-balanced on the trail, it offers low weight, and is built to be a seriously reliable choice for the trail wizard and bikepacker alike. Santa Cruz offers this bike in four sizes (S-XL), three build kits, and two wheel sizes:
R/R+ (29er/27.5”+), which receives a Fox 34 Rhythm 120/130mm fork, SRAM NX Eagle with an 11-50t cassette, SRAM Guide T brakes, and a Raceface Aeffect dropper. 27.5” + bikes receive WTB ST i25 TCS rims to SRAM MTH hubs, while 29er bikes receive WTB ST i25 TCS rims laced to SRAM MTH hubs. It retails for $2699.
S/S+ (29er/27.5”+), which receives a Fox 34 Float Performance 120/130mm fork, SRAM GX Eagle with an 10-50t cassette, SRAM Guide T brakes, and a Rockshox Reverb Stealth dropper. 27.5” + bikes receive RaceFace AR 40 rims to DT Swiss 370 hubs, while 29er bikes receive RaceFace AR 27 rims laced to DT Swiss 370 hubs. It retails for $3299.
SE/SE+ (29er/27.5”+), which receives a Fox 34 Float Performance 120/130mm fork, SRAM GX Eagle with an 10-50t cassette, SRAM Guide R brakes, a Hope IS headset, and a Rockshox Reverb Stealth dropper. 27.5” + bikes receive Santa Cruz Reserve 37 rims to Hope Pro 4 hubs, while 29er bikes receive Santa Cruz Reserve 27 rims laced to DT Swiss 370 hubs. It retails for $4799.
All Chameleon Carbons receive Maxxis Rekon 27.5 x 2.8″ tires or Maxxis Minion DHF 29 x 2.3″/Maxxis Ardent Race 29 x 2.35″ tires depending on wheel size. Santa Cruz offers a lifetime warranty for each frameset they sell.
Have any questions about the Santa Cruz Chameleon Carbon hardtail trail bike? Give us a call during shop hours, or send us an email any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.