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2018 Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon 29 D Complete Mountain Bike

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2018 Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon 29 D Complete Mountain Bike

 

The Santa Cruz Chameleon has always been one of the most versatile hardtails on the market, due to its aggressive design giving it well-balanced composure on technical trails where you’d normally leave the hardtail at home in favor of a full-suspension bike. For 2018, the Santa Cruz Chameleon 29 D Complete Mountain Bike upholds its adaptable namesake with the ability to run both 27.5+ and 29-inch wheels courtesy of interchangeable drop-outs, as well as modern trail geometry that’s longer, low-slung, and relatively slack. 6000-series aluminum retains high levels of strength and stiffness without incurring the cost of fancier carbon frames. Nice-to-have frame details include stealth dropper post routing for future upgrades, multiple bottle mounts, and a threaded bottom bracket that eliminates the annoying creaks of press fit bottom brackets.

Delving into the Chameleon’s geometry in 29er form, you’ll find a relatively slack 67.3-degree head tube angle offering the stability for dropping into steep descents littered with rock and root impediments. This slacker head tube angle is desirable if you’re an aggressive trail rider looking to conquer steep, technical trails without the bike feeling squirrely on the descent like racier XC bikes with steeper head tubes. However, the head tube angle isn’t the only geometry cue that’s telling of the Chameleon’s personality, so you’ll be delighted to know its longer reach and wheelbase figures create a roomier cockpit that maintains stability when you’re opening it up at high speeds. And because the front end is longer, the engineers at Santa Cruz kept the chainstays short at only 16.3 inches, allowing for quick maneuverability and easier lifting of the front over trail impediments standing in your way.

Seeing it’s one of the most versatile hardtails on the market, it only makes sense that Santa Cruz equipped the Chameleon with interchangeable dropouts, so you can swap out the provided 29-inch wheels for 27.5+ fatties, should you desire voluminous traction and bump compliance. Bringing another benefit, the interchangeable dropouts allow you to swap out the gears for single speed use. This is a great feature for trail riders in elevation-challenged areas where a singlespeed is far more efficient and much lighter than a geared bike. 15 millimeters of fore and aft adjustment manages chain tension and chainstay length for swapping between wheel sizes and changing between different wheel sizes.

This particular Chameleon 29 D is hooked up with the obstacle-rolling abilities of 29-inch wheels, making it a great choice for tackling trails with bigger bounders and speed-robbing roots. Not only do the bigger 29-inch wheels roll over obstacles with ease, but they carry momentum with greater efficiency than 27.5-inch wheels. This makes them a great candidate for fast, flowy terrain where carrying momentum is essential and riding across large swaths of terrain where efficiency equates to less energy expenditure. Looking at the build kit, you’ll find it’s equipped with budget-friendly components that emphasize reliability over weight savings. The SRAM NX 1×11 drivetrain gives you plenty of gear range for conquering everything from steep climbs to long descents—all without messing with a front derailleur that needlessly clutters your bars. It’s also hooked up with a RockShox Recon RL fork with 120-millimeters of smooth travel and turn-key compression adjustments that span from fully open to locked out.

Santa Cruz’s most versatile 29er hardtail

29in wheels carry momentum and roll-over obstacles

6000-series aluminum frame is strong and lightweight

Modern geometry lends a balanced feel and descending stability

Interchangeable dropouts swap between 27.5+ and 29-inch wheels

Boost axles increase tire clearance and improve wheel stiffness

SRAM NX 1×11 drivetrain provides wide range of usable gears

RockShox Recon RL fork with Turn Key compression damping

 

2018 Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon 29 D Complete Mountain Bike

Frame Material:

aluminum

Fork:

RockShox Recon RL

Front Travel:

120mm

Headset:

Cane Creek 10 IS Integrated

Shifters:

SRAM NX

Front Derailleur:

n/a

Rear Derailleur:

SRAM NX

Crankset:

Race Face Aeffect (30t)

Bottom Bracket:

BSA threaded

Cassette:

SRAM PG1130 (11-42t)

Chain:

SRAM PC1110

Brakeset:

SRAM Level

Brake Type:

hydraulic disc

Rotors:

Avid Centerline, 180mm

Handlebar:

Race Face Ride, 35mm

Handlebar Width:

760mm

Grips:

Santa Cruz Palmdale lock-on

Stem:

Race Face Ride

Stem Length:

50mm

Saddle:

WTB Volt Sport

Seatpost:

Race Face Ride

Seatpost Diameter:

31.6mm

Wheelset:

WTB ST i23 TCS 29

Hubs:

[front] Novatec D711, [rear] Novatec D462

Front Axle:

15 x 110mm Boost

Rear Axle:

12 x 148mm Boost

Tires:

[front] Maxxis Crossmark II DC EXO TR, [rear] Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR

Tire Size:

[front] 29 x 2.25in, [rear] 29 x 2.3in

Recommended Use:

trail

Manufacturer Warranty:

lifetime on frame

 

2018 Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon 29 D Complete Mountain Bike

GEOMETRY CHART

Chameleon 27.5+
120mm Travel Fork
  Seat Tube

(c-t)

Effective Top Tube

(eTT)

Stack

(S)

Reach

(R)

Stand Over Head Tube

(HT)

Head Tube Angle

(HT°)

Seat Tube Angle

(ST°)

Bottom Bracket Height

(BBH)

Chainstay

(CS)

Wheelbase
S 15.35in 23.46in 24.21in 16.34in 27.13in 3.94in 67.5° 73° 12.4in 16.34in 43.9in
M 16.54in 24.45in 24.21in 17.32in 27.76in 3.94in 67.5° 73° 12.4in 16.34in 44.88in
L 17.72in 25.28in 24.21in 18.11in 28.39in 3.94in 67.5° 73° 12.4in 16.34in 45.67in
XL 19.29in 26.54in 24.57in 19.29in 29.09in 4.33in 67.5° 73° 12.4in 16.34in 46.97in

 

Chameleon 29
120mm Travel Fork
  Seat Tube

(c-t)

Effective Top Tube

(eTT)

Stack

(S)

Reach

(R)

Stand Over Head Tube

(HT)

Head Tube Angle

(HT°)

Seat Tube Angle

(ST°)

Bottom Bracket Height

(BBH)

Chainstay

(CS)

Wheelbase
S 15.35in 23.66in 24.29in 16.22in 27.13in 3.94in 67.3° 72.8° 12.4in 16.34in 43.9in
M 16.54in 24.65in 24.29in 17.2in 27.4in 3.94in 67.3° 72.8° 12.4in 16.34in 44.88in
L 17.72in 25.55in 24.29in 17.99in 28.39in 3.94in 67.3° 72.8° 12.4in 16.34in 45.67in
XL 19.29in 26.85in 24.69in 19.17in 29.13in 4.33in 67.3° 72.8° 12.4in 16.34in 47.01in

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