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  1. #1
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    Santa Cruz Chameleon for XC?

    I'm looking into getting a hardtail as my main XC bike. I want to climb like a goat and have the control of a hardtail with the ability to ride long in the saddle. The thing is, I haven't ridden a hardtail since '92, so I don't know the market very well. I like the look of the Chameleon, and am deeply in love with my '97 Heckler. But does anyone ride one for XC, or is it mostly for freeride, and urban riding?

  2. #2
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    I road my 2000 Chameleon

    Quote Originally Posted by elifan
    I'm looking into getting a hardtail as my main XC bike. I want to climb like a goat and have the control of a hardtail with the ability to ride long in the saddle. The thing is, I haven't ridden a hardtail since '92, so I don't know the market very well. I like the look of the Chameleon, and am deeply in love with my '97 Heckler. But does anyone ride one for XC, or is it mostly for freeride, and urban riding?
    for XC with gears up until this summer, it is a good climber and a really great descender, My new/used 1999 ti pisgah HT is a really great climber and good descender.

    So comparing the two
    I'm faster overall on the pisgah,
    The Chameleon beats me up a little more on long rides but far from unbearable,
    The Chameleon makes a better single speed due to rear derailuer clanking on the oversized chain stay, still not unbearable.
    Price now that's another story the Chameleon wins hands down in bang for the buck.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply and comparison. It was really helpful. I think Lightspeeds might be a bit out of my price range. I was looking at the Bianchi Grizzly, or the steel framed Denali as options too, but not sure I want to go that retro - all the way back to steel. One of the things that attracted me to the Chameleon was the price, like you mentioned in your post. Does the chain chip the chainstay paint? Is that an issue?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by elifan
    Thanks for the reply and comparison. It was really helpful. I think Lightspeeds might be a bit out of my price range. I was looking at the Bianchi Grizzly, or the steel framed Denali as options too, but not sure I want to go that retro - all the way back to steel. One of the things that attracted me to the Chameleon was the price, like you mentioned in your post. Does the chain chip the chainstay paint? Is that an issue?

    I ride an XL '04 Chameleon. It is my everyday XC ride. I is a great bike. Yes it takes a few rides to get used to it being a bit stiff. However, not anywhere near the stiff frames of Cannondale and older GT's.

    It is a very efficient climber and handles the DH great.

    As for chain slap, put a chainstay protector on it and you will be fine. I run the Sram x9 rear derailluer and it really is not a problem.

    PLus, if you decide you want to beef it up more for more freeride type riding, you can run up to 6" travel fork and 7" or 8" disc brakes on the rear. The frame is super burly so it will take anything that you can throw at it.

    I am on my 3rd one. I keep selling them off to try other bikes......but I still keep coming back to it.

    mtnbikej

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