Chameleon vs Fuse 2020- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Chameleon vs Fuse 2020

    I seem to be battling over the two in my mind, has anyone had trail experience on both? I can't demo them anywhere and I guess I understand likely cause theyre under 2,000$ I ride it all but mostly tame AZ flowy to rocky trails and definitely interested in 29x2.35-2.5 rigid SS riding only. I don't want to give my money to Specialized but that flat gray has me itching......I pedaled both in a parking lot and found myself at 5'9 somehow liking the large over the medium on the Fuse.......Chameleon only had a Large and that felt oddly fine too. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Well all I had for you was not giving money to the big S, so can't help ya.
    Ripley LS v3
    OG Ripley v2 handed down to son

  3. #3
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    Between those 2 I'd get the fuse if it were just about the bike. My brother has a fuse and its great, its also fantastically reviewed.

    I chose the ibis DV9 though, because its an awesome deal. It's geo is dated but got a NX Carbon build + dropper on Jenson for like 2100, so worth the slight trade off imo.

  4. #4
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    I have a 2019 Chameleon and a riding friend has the Fuse, same year or one year older.

    Seem to be pretty comparable bikes, on paper.

    Glad I could help. haha

  5. #5
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    I have a 2020 fuse and i love it. Coming from a 2019 Trek Marlin, so it a big upgrade. I know people with chameleons and live them though. I do feel like you get more for your money with the fuse though.

  6. #6
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    I've been riding my 2019 Chameleon in SS. it is a 27.5+. Love it that way. super fun, but aggressive Geo. have some of my fastest downhill PR's on it. the sliding dropouts are solid, never slipped. Also, it is for sale!! large slate grey.
    ibis Ripmo V2
    Norco Bigfoot VLT

  7. #7
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    I haven't checked price/value on the Specialized but I do think when I looked at it last year as a comparison, there was a better value from Specialized which is hard to say outloud. haha

    I feel the Santa Cruz Chameleon is far over priced. Top dollar hard tail for basic and low level components.

  8. #8
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    ^^^ you pay for the cachet.
    What, me worry?

  9. #9
    orthonormal
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    Take a look at the Norco Torrent as well.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    ^^^ you pay for the cachet.
    I thought I was buying a bike. LOL

  11. #11
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    Just Rode both last weekend. Short answer-Bought the Fuse. Chameleon was actually first on the list, even thought of going carbon. Liked the looks of the new Torrent but none to be found. Fuse did everything the SC did and just felt better. Geo more matched my full squish as well. Chameleon R build is a haft pound lighter but I bet I can find a way to lighten up the Fuse with the extra $350 in my pocket...........
    2016 Whyte T-130C RS
    2019 Ibis Ripmo
    2020 Spec Fuze

  12. #12
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    Was literally on my way to pick up a fuse and then decided to continue searching for my hardtail option. Ended up with a Chameleon.... spent more but in the end it would have spent more to upgrade the FUSE to get it to the Chameleon's spec level (S build).

    I'm sure out of box the FUSE is the better bang for the buck and it has a more aggressive geometry if that's the goal.

  13. #13
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    I kicked around both as well and purchased a fuse. Converted it to single speed and itís the most fun I have had on a bike in forever. It has a pretty awesome sliding dropout design that has never slipped. I would get whichever one you can get your hands on, they both seem pretty hard to find.

    Goto the specialized sub forum and check out reviews, there are some great videos out there as well. The Fuse is probably one of the highest rated hardtails out there from owners if that means anything to you.

  14. #14
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    Like many have said, the FUSE is an awesome choice. I would've been perfectly content with it. Part of reason I went chameleon is also because I've spent majority of my biking life on Spesh bikes, so it was time to venture. Also, I wanted a 27.5+ bike ready out of the box and the FUSE 27.5 only came in a base build.

  15. #15
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    I wonder what the OP bought....

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