Santa Cruz 27.5 Chameleon Hardtail (2)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….

Santa Cruz 27.5 Chameleon Hardtail (9)

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.
Santa Cruz 27.5 Chameleon Hardtail (3)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°).
Santa Cruz 27.5 Chameleon Hardtail (4)Custom printed fork decals are color matched to the frame accents.
Santa Cruz 27.5 Chameleon Hardtail (8) There are both stealth and external options for dropper post cable routing.Santa Cruz 27.5 Chameleon Hardtail (7)We’re happy to report the bike is spec’d with decently wide 740mm handlebars.
Santa Cruz 27.5 Chameleon Hardtail (6)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.
Santa Cruz 27.5 Chameleon Hardtail (5)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.

2015 Santa Cruz Chameleon 27.5 Geometry
Four different frame sizes will be offered: S-XL.Santa Cruz 27.5 Chameleon Hardtail (10)

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. Santa Cruz Chameleon 27.5More at Santa Cruz Bicycles


  1. A Pike on a bike with geometry like this that only $2,400 bucks (“only” being extremely relative to the high end bikes I often drool over) deserves more than a slow clap, I think!

  2. Looks good, although thats a high price for a SLX drivetrain with Deore brakes. That build should retail around $1800.

  3. DAMN. The chamelion is known for being a 26er! Its one of the true last AMHT 26ers out there. I mainly ride 29ers with 26 being reserved for dirt jumps, but I would like a AMHT 26… Now this one is out of the equation…

    And in the past RS has not offered the Pike in lower travels. Just recently, they are working to design shorter air spring assembly to drop the forks to lower travels.

  4. @Mullet

    I got Chameleon from last year which “looks” identical to this new one. It was hyped as either/or 26/650b then. I’m running 26 on it. it’s a super fun bike. Don’t know if that’s any consolation with this newer model. I found a geo/spec chart for the ’13 model and the changes with the new frame are very VERY subtle. My hunch is you would be okay with 26″ wheels.

  5. Wonder when SC geometry is going to enter this decade? 22, 23, 24, 25″? Maybe when they stop undercutting their dealers with online wholesalers.

What do you think?