For the past 25 years the Santa Cruz Chameleon been a tough hardtail that can run mid-travel suspension forks, hit jumps and drops, while still being comfortable and light enough for longer rides.
There are lots of bikes which have carried the same model name down through the decades, but not many that can claim to have stayed as true to their original design as the Santa Cruz Chameleon, or been as cool for as long.
- Brand: Santa Cruz
- Product: Chameleon R MX
- From: santacruzbicycles.com
- Price: £2,999
- Tested by: Antony for 3 months
Three things I loved
- A super versatile frame thanks to agnostic geometry and swappable dropouts
- Works well with mixed wheels
- A lovely looking frame, particularly with this colour scheme
Three things I’d change
- So-so brakes
- So-so fork
- Generally poor value for money in this build (go for frame only and build one up instead?)
Recent incarnations of the Chameleon have pitched it squarely at the “one bike to do almost anything” category, with its secret weapon being its swappable dropouts. Want a hardtail that can run two wheel sizes? Or one that can be a singlespeed? Just order an extra set of dropouts, and away you go.
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- Frame // Santa Cruz Chameleon, alloy
- Fork // Fox 34 Rhythm, 130mm
- Wheels // SRAM MTH hubs, RaceFace AR Offset 30 rims, 32h
- Front Tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF 29″x2.5, 3C, MaxxGrip, EXO, TR
- Rear Tyre // Maxxis Aggressor, 29″x2.5WT, EXO, TR
- Chainset // SRAM Descendant Eagle, 30T, 170mm
- Drivetrain // SRAM NX
- Brakes // SRAM Guide T
- Stem // Burgtec Enduro MK3
- Bars // Burgtec Alloy
- Grips // Santa Cruz House
- Seatpost // SDG Tellis
- Saddle // WTB Silverado Race
- BB // SRAM DUB, threaded
- Size Tested // M
- Sizes Available // S, M, L, XL
- Weight // 29.3 lbs
Geometry for our size M test bike:
- Head angle // 65°
- Effective seat angle // 74.3°
- Seat tube length // 405mm
- Head tube length // 110mm
- Chainstay // 425mm
- Wheelbase // 1,183mm
- Effective top tube // 621mm
- BB height // 315mm
- Reach // 445mm
While you’re here…
|Product:||Chameleon R MX|
|Tested:||by Antony for 3 months|
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