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Santa Cruz Chameleon Hardtail MTB Morphs Into Carbon Skin

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From the 2019 Santa Cruz Chameleon shoot in Sheffield, Yorkshire, with Craig Evans. Photo by Gary Perkin

The do-it-all Santa Cruz Chameleon hardtail is now available in carbon. The folks at Santa Cruz just dropped a new version along with an eye-catching special edition model.

The Chameleon has been a favorite for riders who want a hardtail that can be happy everywhere from the dirt jumps to a bikepacking mission. Santa Cruz doesn’t intend to change that with this update, but they do want to add a stiffer and lighter option.

photo: Gary Perkin

The new Chameleon can be a ordered as a single-speed or 1×12, and it still includes swappable dropouts to allow the change.

The geometry and lines are nearly the same as the aluminum model, with only one-millimeter of notable change in areas.

The head tube is 67.2-degrees and the seat angle is 72.7-degrees. The chainstays start at a snappy 415mm and can extend to 430mm, depending on the dropout configuration. These numbers apply to the bike with 27.5+ wheels and tires, and the geometry changes a by a few millimeters here and a tenth of a degree there with 29-inch wheels.

Photo: Santa Cruz

The 29er is specced with a 120mm fork and the 27.5-inch model comes with a 130mm fork.

Pricing on the carbon Chameleon starts at $1,600 for a frame. For the S model, equipped with a Fox Float 34 Performance fork, SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, RaceFace rims and cockpit, and SRAM Guide T brakes, the MSRP is $3,800.

For the SE Chameleon with Santa Cruz Reserve wheels and Hope hubs, SRAM Guide R brakes, and Fox 34 Float Performance fork the price bumps up to $5,700.

See the Santa Cruz website for more information.