The Carbon Chameleon is dead long live the aluminium Chameleon
Santa Cruz kills off the carbon Chameleon but replaces it with a new alloy Chameleon starting from just £2399. Wet muddy trails mean it’s about time f …
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Support us and help us keep the content flowing by becoming a full member.Posted 12 months ago
£2400 for an Alloy hardtail with SX and a Recon
Shut up and er… mug someone else.Posted 12 months ago
Overpriced with those specs I’m afraid.Posted 12 months ago
No frame only will send most people elsewhere. Seems like a daft move.
Edit: especially when they promote it like this on the website:
We gave new Chameleons to five very different riders and this is how they built them up…
DohPosted 12 months ago
Santa Cruz mark up…Posted 12 months ago
can get a rather nice Sonder Signal Ti with SLX groupset for £100 more… know what id do
Overpriced, underspecced and are they even available?
I tried to buy a chameleon frame earlier this year and there was no stock anywhere. Even in ‘poo’ brown, I mean bronze.
Always had a soft spot for Chameleons but not at those p$$$taking prices.Posted 12 months ago
starting from just £2399
I don’t usually like to criticise specific bike journalists, but please do try to be a bit less gullible in future and take an objective look at the VFM of products.Posted 12 months ago
I’m gonna buy a Nukeproof scout and some Santa Cruz stickers and save myself a fortune.Posted 12 months ago
I’m gonna buy a Nukeproof scout and some Santa Cruz stickers and save myself a fortune.
quite. it’s difficult to see what ‘added value’ santa cruz are bringing with this vs lots of similarly capable hardtails.Posted 12 months ago
At the pricing, frame only would have to be circa £1500, I can see why that aren’t offering it.Posted 12 months ago
Isn’t that a lot of money for a type 5 accessory?Posted 12 months ago
i paid £1320 for the d-spec in feb2018. it seems inflation is running high on bikesPosted 12 months ago
Even the £3k spec is terrible. £3.5k for gx? Is that a finders fee?Posted 12 months ago
TBF the Chameleon has been horrendous value for years, although this takes it to another level. As above, if you weigh in all the bits the frame price is unreal!Posted 12 months ago
Nice looking bike, but that’s a bunch of cashPosted 12 months ago
i’d been thinking about one of these last time round so been waiting to see what they came up with but no frame only option is dumb! most folk who would buy one want just the frame and build with either parts bin or spec themselves as significantly better VFM as its normally a second bike. Frame only option must be where the majority of their sales are/were in the UKPosted 12 months ago
Always admired chameleons, and only ever made sense to me as a frame. ‘starting from just £2399’ I hear you chuckle!
Top marks to Santa cruz brand and marketing team as they completed this years challenge: ‘make maximum profit from the limited stock of alloy frames we can get this year…’Posted 12 months ago
only ever made sense to me as a frame
So many other good options these days, let’s just allow SC to consign the Chameleon to greedy obscurity.Posted 12 months ago
Why is it the same price in GBP as in USD?
£1GBPis $1.37USD Vat and duty would add 25% so it should be 10-12% less in GBP… which is about what it is on the more expensive models (8%)…but not the entry level?Posted 12 months ago
Bird Zero AM from £1810, Orange Crush Pro for £2500 etc etc….its not like there is a lack of choicePosted 12 months ago
I don’t usually like to criticise specific bike journalists, but please do try to be a bit less gullible in future and take an objective look at the VFM of products.
1. open press release from Santa Cruz
2. select all, copy and paste
Oh hi, I’m a bike journo.Posted 12 months ago
This is getting daft now. Just think of what reynolds steel hardtail loveliness you can buy for a significantly smaller chunk of cash.Posted 12 months ago
I note from the link in the story that there is a frame option in the US ($949). I seem to recall when I bought my alloy Chameleon (2017 I think) I paid £650ish for the frame (yes, I bought it at full retail). I’m surprised they’re not offering a frame-only option in the UK, although I wonder if one might appear further down the line. The whole marketing thrust on the SC website, after all, is individual customisation.
Geo changes from its predecessor are interesting too. On the XL bike, there a 5mm increase in reach, a shorter TT and a steeper (by nearly 2 deg) SA, which is going to make for a shorter-feeling bike overall. Curious to see how it rides…Posted 12 months ago
I note from the link in the story that there is a frame option in the US ($949). I seem to recall when I bought my alloy Chameleon (2017 I think) I paid £650ish for the frame (yes, I bought it at full retail).
Sounds about right. I seem to remember working out that I could buy a frame and a better spec even at full RRP, and still pay less than the entry level full bike. They’ve been spectacularly poor value as complete bikes for a long time. (Orbea Laufyey here – mainly XT inc. brakes, Fox 34 forks, DT wheels, approx £2k from Orbea. But it’s not got a SC badge on it…)Posted 12 months ago
Bought my 2020 Hightower Alloy in Autumn 2019 and built up waaay nicer than the entry level ‘S’ build for the same cost. I kind of didnt want a SC but the old alloy prices were actually really good, and with the suspension frames you are actually getting some value in tech/design/warranty/quality.
Its hard to see where the value is on a pretty normal looking alloy hardtail frame though.Posted 12 months ago
1. open press release from Santa Cruz
2. select all, copy and paste
Oh hi, I’m a bike journo.
I think it’s more cunning than that – the ridiculous “just” will make lots of people like us comment on the thread and get SC’s engagements on social (vom sorry) metric going up better .Posted 12 months ago
Shame there is no frame only option, I have a 2019 alloy frame which I bought specifically to run as a singlespeed.Posted 12 months ago
Wow that’s amazingly bad value.
The top spec one at 3749 on their website doesn’t even get the grip 2 damper in the Fox 34, has bottom end DT Swiss 370 hubs, G2 R brakes etc. That’s awful.
Whilst my hardtail built last year doesn’t have a Santa Cruz badge on it (Marino) it’s custom steel with fancy paint, Pike Ultimates, Code Rs, Erase Components hubs, Dt swiss XM rims, GX Eagle but with a carbon crankset and KMC gold chain, Oneup dropper, decent tyres and carbon bars / branded stem etc. Buying as a sole individual I brought that in just under £3k.
Having no frame only option seems a bit of a mistake – people can go to the likes of Ribble (alloy, steel or Ti), Bird, Sonder etc and get frame only or a customised build and it’ll be better value / have better components on for the money.Posted 12 months ago
Every time I’ve seen someone with a SC over the last couple of years I’ve assumed they’re a bit of a mug.Posted 12 months ago
They do look nice but as said are a tad too spendy.
I bought a Carbon Chameleon as frame only and transferred bits over. Absolutely love how it rides with plus tyres and a 140mm fork.
Gone a bit silly with some of the spec on mine but is probably my number one keeper now.
Prices aside, I think SC have dropped the ball in not offering it as a frame only. From what I understand, most of the delays in shipping new bikes is down to components and the kit build – if the frames are available why not get the selling and out there.Posted 12 months ago
Every time I’ve seen someone with a SC over the last couple of years I’ve assumed they’re a bit of a mug.
You never know someone’s background, financial situation etc. I bought a new Bronson CC 4 years ago, and never paid what that chameleon would cost. Most of my riding buddies who had SC’s weren’t loaded either, joiners, brickies etc, they just liked the bike and local shop supported them really well.
And as I don’t drink, smoke or spend daft money on mobile phones, designer clothes, I was happy to spend decent cash on a bike.
There’s folk on here with 7 or 8 bikes, and folk that buy new bikes every year, yet they’ll slag someone for buying a tart brand. Pretty judgey that.
At full RRP that bike doesn’t look great value, but then neither are a lot of brands tbh.Posted 12 months ago
What a silly bikePosted 12 months ago
The mug comment is interesting, as I do feel SC are taking advantage of their market and I suspect a lot of new mtb riders coming from the upper levels of affluence are automatically drawn to SC, without any real know how or market knowledge. Is that just clever marketing on the part of SC and not people being mugged off as such, as most of the bikes still ride well – just cost a bit too much.
I’m no mug but I do like SC bikes and feel something for the brand having had my first one in 1999 when most people had never heard of them.
As mentioned above, it’s mainly a case of whatever floats your boat. I’m like nobeer as I have no other vices or hobbies so can and do spend a disproportionate amount on cycling kit and bikes compared to Mr average.
Maybe it depends on the individual as well. Some of my mates are very quick and skilled riding, yet couldn’t give two hoots about their bikes brand or condition. Others go way too far making everything match and keeping them clean, moaning for ages when a scratch appears and having to have the latest kit.
I’m somewhere in the middle as I like my bikes to ride well above all, but if they happen to look nice too then a brucey bonus. Don’t worry about surface scratches or keeping them spotless but, also don’t neglect them.
Sometimes it’s worth a few quid extra to make the purchase feel special to you. For me, brands like SC are such purchases as I have history with them, although maybe it is now dwindling a tad for reasons mentioned.Posted 12 months ago
Sometimes it’s worth a few quid extra to make the purchase feel special to you. For me, brands like SC are such purchases as I have history with them, although maybe it is now dwindling a tad for reasons mentioned.
Agreed. When I bought the Bronson, it was the first time I’d ever bought an off the peg in a nice build, always just done frame only. Over the 4 years, it was head and shoulders the best bike I’ve had, doesn’t owe me a thing, and when I finally get my finger out to sell it, I won’t lose a huge amount either.
But would I buy one again? probably not, try something else next time. And I don’t ride anywhere near as much as I did when I bought it.Posted 12 months ago
I wouldn’t sneer at anyone’s decision to buy one, its a really nice looking bike.
I’m the proud owner of a Superlight and had a Blur LT at one point too. But I think the Superlight was £1,099 frame only and “D” level builds were under £2k. Admittedly that was 10 years ago but SC were actually pretty good value for a “boutique” brand.
They are clearly doing something right, I don’t doubt they will sell all the Chameleons they make.
Meanwhile I’ll be happy slumming it on my On One ScandalPosted 12 months ago
Carbon Carbon Carbon Carbon Carbon Chameleons? They come and go…
Just me with the earworm then?Posted 12 months ago
I still remember quite a few years back on a riding holiday in the States, our guide was looking at a mag i took with me and couldnt believe the prices on the SC advert. I said they are thought of as a boutique brand here, his reply really? Just considered run of the mill over there 🤔Posted 12 months ago
A hardtail that’s not made from steel, no!Posted 12 months ago
This might help explain what might be going on. Just speculation… I don’t actually know anything, but I have imported bikes.
Make as much profit as possible from a limited resource. If they have only xxxx amount of frames, they can maximise profits by selling as a complete rather than frame only. You can also prioritise markets with the most margin.
TAIWAN TO USA TO UK
A UK distributor really wants its stock to come direct from Taiwan, and not via the USA, as the bikes will attract double import duty. It’s possible the frame only stock may already be in the USA, and not financially viable for the uk.
Like I said, these are just things I have seen before. It’s not factual to this situation.
And it is a good looking bike. Can you still run them single speed?Posted 12 months ago
I suppose it works for them, SC have enough brand ‘cachet’ that I still see the occasional shiny one being hoisted from the roof of a German company car.
Let’s be honest they’re not for those of us with normal incomes, they’re pitched (at least in the UK) at those with a bit more disposable income and “premium aspirations”…
And that’s fine, if someone can afford/justify a £2.5k HT that companies like Bird, Sonder, PX etc can match (spec wise) for substantially less then that’s their prerogative.Posted 12 months ago
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