A "good value" alloy hardtail from the boutique carbon brand.

Here’s the seventh incarnation of the long-running adaptable hardtail – the Santa Cruz Chameleon. True to its name, the Chameleon is trying to offer up itself in a variety of guises.

>>> Hardtail of the Year

santa cruz chameleon

Need to know

  • 29er or 27.5+ wheel size friendly.
  • Geared or singlespeed.
  • Single ring or front mech.
  • 67.5° head angle.
  • 73° seat angle.
  • 120mm suspension fork.
  • 6000 series aluminium.
  • “Good value”.

santa cruz chameleon


Santa Cruz Chameleon

29er or 27.5+, geared or singlespeed (the Chameleon has always had a cult singlespeeder following) via changeable dropouts. It’s simultaneously being targeted at newer riders and experienced riders.

Newer riders should appreciate the “grippy and cushy” Plus tyres of the 27.5+ setup as well as the relatively good value (for a Santa Cruz) price tag. The only firm price we have currently is sub-$2,000. We’ll update this page with UK pricing when we have it.

Experienced riders are an intended market for the Chameleon as a ‘+1 bike’, a bike for the ‘Plus curious’ and as a bike for bikepacking.


santa cruz chameleon

The one thing that the Chameleon is not is extreme. Its geometry is arguably even fairly conservative. Its head angle isn’t very ‘2017 slack’. Its seat angle isn’t steeper than one found on a bike of ten years ago.

Although its reach isn’t that progressive (440mm for Medium, 460mm for Large, 490mm for XL), it should be noted that the standover is generous so up-sizing is no doubt tacitly designed-into the new Chameleon. In other words, if you want a ‘2107 progressive geometry’ setup, buy the frame size up from your usual size. Similarly, the headtube will accept angle-adjust headsets if you want to slacken it out a degree or two.

What else is of note? Stealth dropper routing. Two sets of bottle mounts. Threaded bottom bracket. Claimed weight for frame: 4.6lbs. Nice olive green colour.