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  1. #1
    Bike to the Bone...
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    Thinking on a Chameleon....

    Hi, I'm thinking on swapping parts from a '04 Stumpjumper FSR to a HT. I've just come across the Chameleon, and I'm liking what I've read about it, but I still have some questions about it, specially since it's above what I've thought about spending in the first place.

    I don't do freeriding, only XC and all-mountain. I'm 220-230 lbs + gear, so I'm not looking for the lightest frame available, but I just want it to be sturdy but keep it below my FS bike I'm keeping.

    My bike has a Manitou Black Elite 100mm fork, would it work? I know that a longer fork would work better, but I don't want to buy a frame and a fork now. Maybe eventually, but probably the Black will stay on my new bike for a while.

    I know I have to solve this two issues before, but, which colors looks great on the Chameleon? I've been thinking on black, but also polished, I don't know how it looks polished....

    I would apreciate any input.. thanks...

  2. #2
    All Mt, DH
    Reputation: rogue's Avatar
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    Polished looks the best, but prepared to wait....
    Takes a bit more to maintain, be overall its nice if use Mothers Polish.
    2007 Blur 4x
    2009 Driver 8

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rzozaya1969
    I know I have to solve this two issues before, but, which colors looks great on the Chameleon? I've been thinking on black, but also polished, I don't know how it looks polished....

    I would apreciate any input.. thanks...
    Black looks great and is my personal favourite, but polished gives a very shiny look.
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  4. #4
    I meant to do that
    Reputation: sethm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rzozaya1969
    My bike has a Manitou Black Elite 100mm fork, would it work? I know that a longer fork would work better, but I don't want to buy a frame and a fork now. Maybe eventually, but probably the Black will stay on my new bike for a while.

    I know I have to solve this two issues before, but, which colors looks great on the Chameleon? I've been thinking on black, but also polished, I don't know how it looks polished....

    I would apreciate any input.. thanks...
    I waited 8+ weeks for a polished large Chameleon. I finally gave up and took what my LBS had in stock: Green. I'm using an 80mm SID with no problems on my flat, rooty east coast trails.
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  5. #5
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    I have tried different fork on my Chameleon from 130 down to 80mm and both works great...at 80mm the chameleon feels like a racing hardtail while at 130 it feels very similar to a heckler which is very good for an all around setup...

    Here are some pictures of my Polished chameleon on different setups...
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    When trails gets tougher, Just stand up and deliver.

  6. #6
    Lord of the Chainrings
    Reputation: Mudd's Avatar
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    One of my riding buds has a medium size blue Chameleon for sale....
    "Hesitation is the Mother of Failure!"

    ~~ 951 for Dirt & Roadster for Asphalt ~~

  7. #7
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    100mm is a great length for AM riding- good going up and enough going down. Personally, I think 120mm is perfect for me, but I also jump and drop a fair amount...I run my Vanilla at 100 for all-day riding, though

  8. #8
    Bike to the Bone...
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    I've read some of the reviews here at MTBR.... I'm really thinking on pulling the trigger on this one

    Two of the reviews said that because it had horizontal dropout at the rear, they had some trouble removing the rear tire when they wanted, and that it risked comming off.... I really think it's not a big issue, but how does the horizontal dropout work?

  9. #9
    Warrior's Society
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    Quote Originally Posted by rzozaya1969
    I've read some of the reviews here at MTBR.... I'm really thinking on pulling the trigger on this one

    Two of the reviews said that because it had horizontal dropout at the rear, they had some trouble removing the rear tire when they wanted, and that it risked comming off.... I really think it's not a big issue, but how does the horizontal dropout work?

    Don't worry about the horizontal dropouts. Your wheel will not "fall" of the back. Removing the back wheel is just as easy as any other bike. The horizontal dropouts have "lawyer" tabs on them so the axle cannot come off unless you loosen the QR nut alot.

    I am on my 4th Chameleon and have had ZERO problems with the dropouts and rear wheel.

    mtnbikej

  10. #10
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    i have a chameleon and the hoeizontal dropouts are really hard to get the wheel out if u use multi speed other that that is is hella strong and very light

  11. #11
    Bike to the Bone...
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej
    Don't worry about the horizontal dropouts. Your wheel will not "fall" of the back. Removing the back wheel is just as easy as any other bike. The horizontal dropouts have "lawyer" tabs on them so the axle cannot come off unless you loosen the QR nut alot.

    I am on my 4th Chameleon and have had ZERO problems with the dropouts and rear wheel.

    mtnbikej
    What are lawyers tabs? Anyway, I'm making numbers financially to see if I can go this way...

  12. #12
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    chameleon in black

    Sorry that the picture is not clear.
    Size: Medium
    Fork: Float RLC
    Chainstay is so beefy, so Iím running DH bottom bracket with Horzfeller for more clearance. Otherwise, my shoes (Oakley radar lock) rubbed against the chainstay.
    Fun bike.
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    Last edited by mokuba; 03-15-2006 at 11:44 PM.

  13. #13
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    Go for the chameleon

    When I bought an 05 model the polished was $100 more than powdercoated ($550 vs. $450) but the 06 pricing only says $499 for powdercoated. I saw somewhere that polished is now $200 more so it may not be a good value. Mine is polished because it was the only one in my size in stock at the time. Looks great when shiny and new. I let mine get a good patina before repolishing it because i'm lazy.

    As for the fork 100mm will work fine. I have custom spacers in a float to set at 110mm that works good for me.

    Rear entry dropouts dont seem to be any problem even with disk brakes. Have been running singlespeed but just converted to 1x9 just for a change an everything looks good with that setup also.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rzozaya1969
    What are lawyers tabs? Anyway, I'm making numbers financially to see if I can go this way...


    Lawyer tabs are the little peice of metal that sticks out of the dropout, just like on the dropout for your fork. It prevents the wheel from coming off if the QR is unlocked. You have to loosen the QR bolt to get around the tabs.

    mtnbikej

  15. #15
    Lord of the Chainrings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudd
    One of my riding buds has a medium size blue Chameleon for sale....
    ...ooops, it's a large size, dark blue one.
    "Hesitation is the Mother of Failure!"

    ~~ 951 for Dirt & Roadster for Asphalt ~~

  16. #16
    = dirt torpedo =
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    i'm just a tad lighter than you, i ride a 2006 XL grey, and it looks super sweet.
    definitely a kickass frame, that lives up to it's multi purpose name.

    i have an 05 All mountain 1 on it.. set at 150mm which is sweet for DH sections, when it's time for going up i just engage the ETA and slam it all the way down to a comfy climbing position.

    don't hesitate.. get this frame, you won't regret it.

  17. #17
    Bike to the Bone...
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    Quote Originally Posted by mokuba
    Sorry that the picture is not clear.
    Size: Medium
    Fork: Float RLC
    Chainstay is so beefy, so I’m running DH bottom bracket with Horzfeller for more clearance. Otherwise, my shoes (Oakley radar lock) rubbed against the chainstay.
    Fun bike.
    Hey, black is really nice. Another color that I'm thinking is silver (not so sure about polished) or orange.... Probably would go with black or silver, whatever they can deliver first. I'm almost sure on this, I'll let you know..

  18. #18
    Bike to the Bone...
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    I've seen a pic in another post of a Liquid Blue for a Blur.... I think that color looks a lot better on that pic than in SC website, and I really like that color! If I go chameleon, then I would choose that color...

  19. #19
    Bike to the Bone...
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    Hey!!! I'm joining the Santa Cruz club! I just pulled the trigger and ordered a Silver Chameleon I ordered it in Silver, I looked at the catalog for several colors, and I think that it will look awesome for me

    I ordered a Large frame. I'm 5'11", don't remember my inseam. I selected the frame by comparing the Large Chameleon to my current bike (Moto Lite), and I compared top tube lenght, standover height basically and they're pretty close.

    Of course I'll post pics as soon as I get them!

  20. #20
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    I built a Chameleon in 2001 and it has been a blast. I broke 2 frames before that (other manufactures) and got tired of the hassle so I went with a beefier frame. I don't see myself as some crazy hard-core rider but regular MTB frames didn't hold up.

    Pulling the rear wheel is a little different but no big deal at all, you get used to it. If ppl complain about pulling the wheel out of the horizonal drops then I wonder what they say about changing a flat? I have broken more tire levers in the past 15 years than I care to share.

    The Chameleon is painted, but I have a polished Blur. I like the polish better but I went with what was available back in 01 (cause I was out of a bike, my old frame broke and I was in a hurry). Over the years I have had 3 polished frames overall and I think polished frames allow you to see cracks sooner.

    I think I will be able to leave my Chameleon (and its CK headset) to my next of kin in my will, its just that good.

  21. #21
    Bike to the Bone...
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    Update... I'm thinking to upgrade the fork... Probably I will get a RS Tora 318... It's not as nice as the RS Revelation (Steel vs Aluminium, and no floodgate, whatever that is). It's a 110-130 travel adjustable fork. The color is light blue for the model I'm looking. There was a silver one (but other specs) that would have worked wonders with the silver frame I don't know when I will buy the fork, though....

  22. #22
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    this is my totally awesome ORANGE lizard
    the reason there is no gusset at the TT DT junction is because i have an older chameleon
    its lighter by about 2 lbs
    you have to retrofit the discs tho
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    Maybe you'll love me when i fade to black
    - Jay-Z

  23. #23
    Bike to the Bone...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chameleonman
    this is my totally awesome ORANGE lizard
    the reason there is no gusset at the TT DT junction is because i have an older chameleon
    its lighter by about 2 lbs
    you have to retrofit the discs tho
    Thanks, nice color combo (orange/black).... I'm going for a Silver one, the LBS said I have to wait for a month for a Large, I'll wait....

    I was planning on puting a Black or maybe a Fox Vanilla R fork on it, but probably I will pass my Fox Talas R and put a Revelation on my other bike.... almost sure on it

    I would really have liked that my Talas was in silver, but well, can't have it all...

  24. #24
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    2 things- nice orange-I loke it, but its only about 8 oz lighter than the current one, and why is your seatpost backwards?

  25. #25
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    because this is when i was building it and it isnt perfect since its the first bike i ever built
    If you can't respect that your whole perspective is wack
    Maybe you'll love me when i fade to black
    - Jay-Z

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