Buried under all the excitement of new (and more affordable) carbon bikes, was the launch of the updated Santa Cruz Chameleon. A long standing favorite among hardtail junkies, not much has changed, except it’s now rolling on 27.5″ wheels.
More after the break….
For this “model year,” the Chameleon will be available in two different color schemes. This Dark Blue and Orange and an equally awesome Metallic Black with Lime Green accents.
Surprise, a tapered headtube!
The out going chameleon geometry was based around a fork with a lower axle to crown and had a 68° head angle. The new new is only available with a 130mm fork, and has a 67.3° head angle, which gives it a similar static HA as the 150mm travel Bronson (67.3° vs 67°).
Custom printed fork decals are color matched to the frame accents.
There are both stealth and external options for dropper post cable routing.We’re happy to report the bike is spec’d with decently wide 740mm handlebars.
In a departure from the traditional Santa Cruz High Roller front and rear spec, the Chameleon (and several other more trail oriented models) now have Ardent rear tires. This move helps shed a few grams, will roll faster, and doesn’t sacrifice much in the traction department.
Even with a healthy sized 2.25″ tire, the Chameleon stays have plenty of breathing room. You could almost squeeze a psuedo-fat-tire in there.
The new 27.5″ model also shares the same interchangeable single and geared dropout system used on the previous model. Somehow, they’ve also managed to keep the same short 16.5″ chainstays.
There are two build kits available. The top of the line R-build will retail for $2,399 and highlights include a Pike RC, SLX drivetrain, Deore Brakes, and Sram 2x Cranks. The entry level D built kit is $1,799, and features a Rockshox Sector Gold RL Fork, SRAM DB1 Brakes, and SLX Derailleur, in order to keep prices reasonable. More at Santa Cruz Bicycles