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  1. #1
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    Alternatives to Chameleon?

    I'm thinking about picking up a Chameleon frame for a 27+, 120mm fork build, and want to see if anyone can convince me to get something else

    I'm 6'2", 215#, 34 y.o.

    Mostly ride NorCal smooth, flowy, singletrack, with lots of climbing, and some trips to Downieville thrown in 1-2x/yr. I don't jump or get crazy. I do like to go fast downhill without feeling like I'm gonna die, but I also like to (try to) beat my friends on the uphills.

    Basically, I'm looking for a fun trail bike that will descend comfortably but not sacrifice too much in the climbing dept. And strong enough to handle my considerable heft and frequently poor line choices--durability being an especially important factor since I just busted my current frame after a year of riding. As for price, I'd like to keep it under $750 (the price of the Chameleon).

    Oh and I need it ASAP because it's replacing the frame on my only bike, which is currently unrideable, so nothing that would have to be custom-built.

    Other bikes I've considered are:
    • Torrent - maybe too slack? and designed for 140mm instead of my 120mm fork
    • Honzo - kinda heavy since it's steel...I'm not a wieght weenie but 2.5# more than the Chameleon frame is a lot
    • Hayduke, Pipedream - assume long waits on those?


    Thoughts, suggestions, others to consider...?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Sage of the Sage's Avatar
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    Salsa Timberjack is a bit north at $1099, but itís well built and comes with a strong wheelset...
    Salsa Timberjack SS
    -Gears give me headaches

  3. #3
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    Yea I considered the Timberjack before I bought my current bike. I'm just looking for a frame this time around though.

  4. #4
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    I've been really happy with my spot rocker. It is steel, though a little lighter than the Honzo ST. I run it with a 130 Lyrik and it's an amazing all mountain bruiser with just enough xc mixed in. I use it all over the Bay Area, there isn't a trail here I wouldn't point it down, and it pedals well enough that I won an 8 hour race on it last year.

    Another candidate should be the Canfield nimble nine. They're a little heavier but are amazingly fun burly bikes. I also think they might be on closeout with Canfield right now.

    Finally, look at the guerrilla gravity pedalhead. Again, another steel all mountain hardtail that's built to be beaten hard and just keep taking it.

    I would avoid an aluminum hardtail if durability is a concern, and once you've spent some time on a nice steel or carbon hardtail aluminum just has such a dead "soulless" feel.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the suggestions! The Spot Rocker looks to be $1100 for the frame, so a little out of my price range. The Pedalhead too at $1,235 (plus minimum 1-2 weeks to paint, 4-6 if not in stock). The Canfield isn't one I'd considered and looks like a nice bike. And it's on sale for $600 so price is a little less than the Chameleon, but I'm a little concerned because it says it can accommodate up to 35mm rims, and I've got a 40mm on the front. I do want to try owning a steel bike one of these days, but I hear so many people say geometry, not material, is what really makes the difference in how a bike feels. I don't know, because I've only ridden Al...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpcremata View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions! The Spot Rocker looks to be $1100 for the frame, so a little out of my price range. The Pedalhead too at $1,235 (plus minimum 1-2 weeks to paint, 4-6 if not in stock). The Canfield isn't one I'd considered and looks like a nice bike. And it's on sale for $600 so price is a little less than the Chameleon, but I'm a little concerned because it says it can accommodate up to 35mm rims, and I've got a 40mm on the front. I do want to try owning a steel bike one of these days, but I hear so many people say geometry, not material, is what really makes the difference in how a bike feels. I don't know, because I've only ridden Al...
    Geometry is key, but geometry all being equal a steel frame will ride quite differently than an aluminum frame (I say differently because better is a personal opinion, though I doubt you'd disagree after riding a nice steel frame). A Prius and a Ferrari are both cars, but one has a little something extra that makes you want to do more than just get from A to B.

    The fork is the determining factor for front rim/tire width. It sounds like you are reusing your fork so the 40mm front rim is a non issue.

    You may be able to get the rocker through jenson on sale, they were a while back.


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  7. #7
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    Oh yea, duh on the front wheel haha. No luck on Jenson having any Rockers on sale. I will look at the Canfield a bit more. Thanks again for the input!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpcremata View Post

    Other bikes I've considered are:
    • Honzo - kinda heavy since it's steel...I'm not a wieght weenie but 2.5# more than the Chameleon frame is a lot
    Umm... Honzo is available as a frame only in aluminum or carbon. Al Big Honzo frame will fit 29 or 27+ and is around $500.

    KONA BIKES | MTB | HONZO | Big Honzo DL

    Bikeman Kona 2018 Big Honzo DL Frame with SRAM Maxle Ultimate, XL
    Life is too short to ride a bike you don't love.

  9. #9
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    Pipedream has Longer Moxies in stock, 1 Teal, and lots of Silver.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

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