Santa Cruz Chameleon 7th Edition Unveiled
March 15th, 2017
Santa Cruz Chameleon – The Original Versatile Hardtail
The Santa Cruz Chameleon has always been a versatile hard tail that has many guises. The early models first appeared in the in the mid 90’s, and could be built up as jump bikes; handle a set of Bombers up front for free-ride antics or even be set up single speed. They were light enough for XC racing; and sturdy enough to handle a pasting – one of the original hard core hard tails.
Although the Chameleon has changed over the years as the Santa Cruz range diversified, the 7th incarnation of the Chameleon is still a multi-use hard tail and is bang up to date…
The new Santa Cruz Chameleon is designed around a 120mm length fork and can be set up with 29in or 27.5 Plus Size wheels.
Adjustable drop outs allow chainstay length can be tweaked from 415mm – 430mm to adjust ride feel, accommodate the different wheel sizes and keep geometry consistent.
The swap out drop outs cater for both wheel sizes to be used whilst maintaining ride height and angles. There are 148mm Boost 27.5 Plus and 29in options with mech hangers; and 142mm 27.5Plus and 29in Singlespeed options.
Here are the main details:
- Aluminium frame with tapered head tube and internal dropper post routing.
- Compatible with both 29in and 27.5 Plus Size wheels.
- 67.3degree head angle on 29in model
- 67.6 degree head angle on 27.5 Plus Size model
- Swap out Drop Outs for altering geometry
- Boost Rear Spacing
- Mounts for two bottle cages
- Frame set available
- Four builds available – 2x 29in and 2x 27.5 Plus
- Frame retails for £549
- Complete builds from £1599
- Full details are here: Santa Cruz Bikes Chameleon
Full Geometry Chart:
There are two sets of water bottle mounts on the Santa Cruz Chameleon – one on top of the down tube, and the other on the underside. For bike packing missions this poses no issues, though UK riders particularly might be better off using the under side mount for something like the Fabric Tool Keg – rather than putting their water bott le in the firing line of dog eggs.
The purple and green combo on Seb’s bike just looks right – and looks pretty similar to one of the first Chameleon images that comes up on Google. Check out this little green and purple fella – not far off!
Seb is a big fan of Hope stuff personally, and was telling us how it continued to draw so much attention – especially over seas. He rates Hope stuff as some of the best kit available. Life long Chris King fans should check out the Hope Tech history – as the iconic British company really does stand out as one of the best in cycling.
Whilst the new Chameleon has an internal run for the dropper post, we really like the direct route of the rest of the cables – on the underside of the top tube. It’s a no-fuss set up and means changes can be made quickly and easily.
Seb Kemp and photographer Gary Perkin were tasked with taking the Chameleon to a destination that they thought reflected the bike and the way it would be ridden. Considering Seb’s previous globe-trotting adventures, it says a lot about the new bike that they picked the UK.
It’s always been a popular bike in the UK, but with a modernised touch the new frame will be better than ever for UK riding. From street riding to skate parks, and bike packing to endurance XC racing – the Chameleon has it covered.
Those that know Seb will also know of his versatility as a rider – there isn’t much he can’t do when it comes to mountain bikes. The Chameleon makes a great do-it-all platform for him, and would make a great all round ride for any UK rider – novice through to experts.
Despite how advanced full suspension bikes are these days, a good hard tail can still do a hell of a lot. The latest incarnation of the Santa Cruz Chameleon is a great example of this.
For more info check out the Santa Cruz website right here
What do you think of the new Chameleon?
Like the idea of a simple hard tail – or would you prefer another model from the Santa Cruz range?