- Full sus that feels like my Chameleon?
Not quite as stiff at the back as a Chameleon? Thats pretty much everything, isn’t it?
My old Chameleon was brilliant! Absolutely loved that bike. But riding them is… ahem… a young mans game. A day in the saddle on one of those and you know about it!
I now own an Intense 5.5 which rarely sees the light of day, as it feels like riding a sofa after getting off my hardtail. I bought an Orange P7 and its superb! You can chuck it about as much as a Chameleon. Its just as much fun, without the crippling back-pounding. Its now taken over from the Chameleon as my favourite ever bike. And praise doesn’t come much higher than that.
I’d definitely explore the steel hardtail routePosted 4 years agowallerMember
I have just done the same and went to a soul. I don’t think I gave the soul a fair innings as went back to the chameleon after a few rides.
Really found the rear end to be dead on a soul in comparison, id recommend seeing if you could do some demo rides or borrow a bike to try.
I’m going to give the soul another go and give it a bit longer this time 🙂Posted 4 years agoRickosMember
Sounds like you need something like an Anthem with an angleset in it. Difficult to find short travel razzing bikes that are a good weight (4X bikes aside, but then they’re mostly very short). For my woods razzing I use a Kona Howler with 120mm forks and a 190mm shock (instead of standard 200mm) to slacken and lower it. It was Kona’s 4X bike in 2007 and was only made for 2 years. Probably not light enough for XC racing, but it has a good proper top tube length on it for longer rides.Posted 4 years ago
Waller, what was it about the Soul that you didn’t get on with. I’ve found other bikes have been great until you try and flick them around a bit.
I’m trying to go away from multiple bike set ups, the Santa Cruz Chameleon is pretty much ideal for me, I just need it to be a bit more compliant.
Bigger rubber etc on the back would be fine if I wanted to just keep it as a trail bike, but as I’m wanting to go racing it’s not really the best solution.
The Enigma Ergo might be worth checking out, the head angle is a little steeper but most of the other numbers match up.Posted 4 years ago
I’ve been riding a medium 09 Santa Cruz Chameleon which I love, it climbs, it jumps, its great on the singletrack and really suits my style of skimming and hopping around the trails…. but…. I am looking to start XC racing, I would rattle around on the Chameleon, but as I have an ongoing knee problem I need something that’s not quite so stiff at the back, can anyone recommend a short travel bike that handles similarly, or maybe even a steel hard tail?Posted 4 years agoelliott-20Member
Loved my Cham too and, as others have already alluded to, they are super stiff. I doubt any other bikes comes close.
I ditched the Cham for a 5-Spot. Short-ish travel (140) and a stiff rear end with very little pedal bob. Don’t even notice the rear working.
Contrary to most, I sized to a Medium on the 5-Spot where as I was recommended a large. This was solely based on the fact the frame size was ended up pretty much the same as the Cham, (medium 5-Spot was half in inch longer IIRC) and I liked the short, snappiness of the Cham.
At the time I was also considering building a less burley, older style, Bottle Rocket for the same reason. May get a Bottle Rocket still. Just for giggles.Posted 4 years agoRickosMember
It’s the eternal question – a full susser that feels like a hardtail. You’ll always have compromises though, although I do believe that a traditional XC race bike (with an angleset?) may satisfy your racing demands. Anyway, most XC courses don’t really demand a modern hardtail trail bikes geometry as they’re generally just not gnarr enough, so why not try a 2nd hand Anthem and see how you like it.Posted 4 years agoDaveyBoyWonderMember
I did the same as this a few years back. Changed my Chameleon for a Heckler which on paper should be a full sus Chameleon. It wasn’t. It just felt like it was broken.
Couple of years down the line I got a Blur 4X and I’d have to say that felt the most Chameleon-like out of anything I’ve owned with bounce. My Five is better than the 4X was though in terms of it being slightly less of a 90% hacking around/10% long rides bike which the 4X was. Maybe a Blur TRa etc might be a good (obvious) option?Posted 4 years agowallerMember
The frame felt comfortable but completely dead at the rear and the whole bike just felt sluggish.
Interestingly I had a conversation with another rider on a soul whilst doing the south downs way and asked him how he found the soul. by pure incidence he had also moved from a chameleon to a soul and had found the same thing but now he was used to it he absolutely loved it.
I tried a full suss for a while and the amount of bob and flex did my head in particularly when suffering up a hill or into the wind. Really irritated me and stopped me riding for a while as I just didn’t enjoy it.
What I love about the Chameleon is the snappy feel. power you put in is power you get back out. however I hate the fact it kicks my backside on every ride.
I just want it all it seems but somewhere I need to find a compromise. Only reason I mentioned trying a few first is due to the problems I have found. It gets a bit expensive buying a frame and forks to match to then find out your not so sure about it 🙂 as I have found.
I do believe it is a case of just getting on with it. The chameleon is probably an acquired taste, trouble is it gives a specific ride feel that when you try anything else your going to use it as a yard stick.
Anyhow I think im probably rambling on or at least not making sense 🙂Posted 4 years agonickcSubscriber
I gave up looking fir a full suss replacement for a chameleon and bought a Privee Shan instead It’s like a low slung steel Chameleon on Acid. Can’t race It though. TBH for the short if 2 hr XC races, I’d just put up with it being a bit stiff and have a bigger volume set of tyres for when its doing trail bike duties.Posted 4 years ago
The problem is the power transfer makes it harsh, so I guess if you loose the harshness the power transfer goes with it!
It probably is an acquired taste, and coming from a downhill and BMX background I probably don’t want the same sort of XC race bike as someone from from a more traditional background.
If i can match the angles then maybe a steel hardtail is the way to go, I might even look at a custom made one to match the geometry.Posted 4 years ago
It’s the eternal question – a full susser that feels like a hardtail
Don’t think it exists. You need to ride the bikes differently to get the best out of them and it always takes a little time to adapt. Think it takes a while to figure out how to get the best out of any new bike really. I’ve not gone from an alu HT to a FS and not felt like it was broken initially.
I’d tweak the Chammy. New wheels maybe, a carbon bar and seatpost if you don’t have them already. Then get another bike that complements it, N+1 is always the answer 🙂Posted 4 years agobuzz-lightyearMember
Try big volume sturdy tyres, tubelessed at lower pressures. It’s made my Sov, which is as stiff as a stiff thing, quite comfy and I reckon faster too. I just topped-up the goop last night and re-inflated them to 15 and 20 psi front and back. I’m considering cutting the centre tread of the back tyre for lower rolling resistance on roads.
I wonder if stiff steel frames like the Sov and the BFe have better vibration damping qualities than the equivalent Alu frames like the Cham and Stiffee?Posted 4 years ago
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