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  1. #2201
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    Looks good! I did the same upgrades, and I totally agree. Night and day difference!

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    Awesome thread. Iím new here but have had my D+ for 8 months and have put about 170 miles of NE single track on it and have concluded that I should have gone for the R+. Im in the process of upgrading and ordered a one up dropper and wolftooth lever. I really want to look at a new fork next and am interested in going with a pike or fox 34 are these forks both able to adjust from 140mm to 130mm? If I drop the $700-$900 on a better fork Iíd like to be able to carry it to another frame if I end up ordering something a little more aggressive down the line and keep the chameleon as a play bike. Thanks!

  3. #2203
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garce41 View Post
    Awesome thread. Iím new here but have had my D+ for 8 months and have put about 170 miles of NE single track on it and have concluded that I should have gone for the R+. Im in the process of upgrading and ordered a one up dropper and wolftooth lever. I really want to look at a new fork next and am interested in going with a pike or fox 34 are these forks both able to adjust from 140mm to 130mm? If I drop the $700-$900 on a better fork Iíd like to be able to carry it to another frame if I end up ordering something a little more aggressive down the line and keep the chameleon as a play bike. Thanks!
    I know the Pike is ďadjustableĒ. You will need some new parts to change the travel. Are you looking to get a 130 so that you can increase the travel later on a more aggressive geometry bike? Is the 10mm of travel really that much of a hinderance on your Chameleon for you? I swapped out my Recon 120 for a Pike 140mm and havenít looked back. I love how the bike rides. Not sure it would be worth it to justify the 130, thinking you would bump the travel up later. If you want something more aggressive, wouldnít you want something more like 150/160mm if travel anyway?

  4. #2204
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    Quote Originally Posted by stinkydogfart View Post
    I know the Pike is ďadjustableĒ. You will need some new parts to change the travel. Are you looking to get a 130 so that you can increase the travel later on a more aggressive geometry bike? Is the 10mm of travel really that much of a hinderance on your Chameleon for you? I swapped out my Recon 120 for a Pike 140mm and havenít looked back. I love how the bike rides. Not sure it would be worth it to justify the 130, thinking you would bump the travel up later. If you want something more aggressive, wouldnít you want something more like 150/160mm if travel anyway?

    Thanks for the reply and thatís what I was wondering about. I would for sure love to go 140mm on the chameleon, just wasnít sure how well it worked on the chameleon. I know some bikes are ďoptimizedĒ for whatever travel they come with and sometimes going with more can throw off some of the good handling characteristics. If 140 is ďbetterĒ than the 130 Iím definitely down with that. I most likely wonít be going 150+ on a more aggressive bike, mostly I just want to build a steel Hardtail later on down the road and figured I could move the pike to that at some point. I donít necessarily want an enduro sled just a fork I can push harder and with some more adjustment and comfort.

  5. #2205
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    I wouldnít say that 140 is better than 130. I have a 130 Pike on my other bike. Suspension and ride quality are based on individual preferences. I ride my Chameleon on long flat trails, technical single track, long climbs, and long descents. Itís my favorite bike that I have ever owned or ridden. What influenced my choice of 130 vs 140 when I upgraded was that I didnít think a 10mm increase over the 120 was an upgrade (despite the fact that I reached the riding limits of the recon, I definitely needed a better quality fork). Knowing that I wanted more travel than 120, and I knew what 130 felt like on my other bike, I made the jump straight to the 140 Pike.

  6. #2206
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garce41 View Post
    Thanks for the reply and thatís what I was wondering about. I would for sure love to go 140mm on the chameleon, just wasnít sure how well it worked on the chameleon. I know some bikes are ďoptimizedĒ for whatever travel they come with and sometimes going with more can throw off some of the good handling characteristics. If 140 is ďbetterĒ than the 130 Iím definitely down with that. I most likely wonít be going 150+ on a more aggressive bike, mostly I just want to build a steel Hardtail later on down the road and figured I could move the pike to that at some point. I donít necessarily want an enduro sled just a fork I can push harder and with some more adjustment and comfort.
    MRP Ribbon is super easy to adjust travel length using spacers. It also offers a lot of tuning adjustability and is a fantastic fork. I had Factory 34 and Pike prior.

  7. #2207
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    Yeah, 140 might be pretty cool. I was afraid I'd change the handling too much but the 130 feels better than the 120 I had so I dunno. Modern geometry numbers seem like voodoo to me... but good voodoo!

    Now I just need to find a comfortable seat. Mine came with the cheap grey WTB seat and it is too wide on the sides for me, and all modern seats I've tried seem to create two painful pressure points right at the edges of the center channel.

    I think I like the old school seats so I ordered a 90s style Flite Titanium -- I seem to remember this seat just made the whole center area down there numb, which is better I hope than the painful Redline Flight Pro seat I have now. Numbness always went away after the ride, never had a problem otherwise haha!

  8. #2208
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCTerp View Post
    MRP Ribbon is super easy to adjust travel length using
    spacers. It also offers a lot of tuning adjustability and is a fantastic fork. I had Factory 34 and Pike prior.
    That looks like an awesome fork but
    They are really expensive. Do they ever go on sale or close out? Also are most of these forks interchangeable from bike to bike? I have the 27.5+ and it looks like reading above that I should go with the 29er fork for added clearance?

  9. #2209
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garce41 View Post
    That looks like an awesome fork but
    They are really expensive. Do they ever go on sale or close out? Also are most of these forks interchangeable from bike to bike? I have the 27.5+ and it looks like reading above that I should go with the 29er fork for added clearance?
    You only need a 29er fork if you want to run 3.0" tire, on a 27.5 fork a 2.8" tire is max, at least for Rockshox that's how it is.

  10. #2210
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    Alright did it, ordered the 140mm Pike RCT3 27.5+/29 from Colorado cyclist on sale for $650. Hopefully thatís a good deal and it fits! Canít wait to get that and the one up dropper installed this week and see the difference!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garce41 View Post
    Alright did it, ordered the 140mm Pike RCT3 27.5+/29 from Colorado cyclist on sale for $650. Hopefully thatís a good deal and it fits! Canít wait to get that and the one up dropper installed this week and see the difference!
    Cool! I think that's a pretty good deal since the new ones are over $900! I got mine for $650 too, that's what made me go for it and I'm really glad I did.

    The dropper adds a whole other dimension to the bike too, also a really good upgrade.

  12. #2212
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    I also read a few pages back someone had trouble removing the lower headset bearing from the frame and found out that the diameter of the lower frame race was too small? I took mine apart to service the headset a few weeks ago and the lower bearing was frozen solid in there to the point I had to carefully tap it out with a brass punch. The bearing was destroyed but the frame looked fine. I pressed a new cane creek 40 in by hand and it went in with some resistance, I hope this one doesnít get stuck as well. I did use good waterproof grease but taking it apart again has me reluctant because I donít want to have to order more bearings

  13. #2213
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garce41 View Post
    I also read a few pages back someone had trouble removing the lower headset bearing from the frame and found out that the diameter of the lower frame race was too small? I took mine apart to service the headset a few weeks ago and the lower bearing was frozen solid in there to the point I had to carefully tap it out with a brass punch. The bearing was destroyed but the frame looked fine. I pressed a new cane creek 40 in by hand and it went in with some resistance, I hope this one doesnít get stuck as well. I did use good waterproof grease but taking it apart again has me reluctant because I donít want to have to order more bearings
    You don't need to remove the bearings from the frame to swap the fork, but you will have to swap the crown race from the old fork, or just install a new one.

  14. #2214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garce41 View Post
    Alright did it, ordered the 140mm Pike RCT3 27.5+/29 from Colorado cyclist on sale for $650. Hopefully thatís a good deal and it fits! Canít wait to get that and the one up dropper installed this week and see the difference!
    That's the same fork I have on mine and it's excellent.

    My only complaint is that at 140mm you slack out the seat tube angle enough that climbing suffers somewhat. It's not terrible, but just be aware. Note that I'm on an XL which suffers the most from a seat angle change.

    It's worth the tradeoff, I think, but don't freak out if suddenly it's not climbing quite as well as you remember.

  15. #2215
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    So I talked with SC today about my lower headset bearing issue. Somehow the lower bearing is getting seized or stuck in the frame. The stock cane creek 10 was seized when I did the first service to the point where I couldnít get it out by hand and had to remove it carefully with a brass rod and mallet. I inspected the frame and it looked ok I guess I didnít notice anything glaring but Iím not sure what normal should look like in there.

    Replaced the 10 bearing, which came apart when removed, with a 40 headset. Greased the frame and outside of bearing, put in the right way and straight and it took some force to pop it in by hand, more than it should have taken. Buttoned everything back up and called sc today to ask about the issue before I fit my new fork as I wanted to clean/grease everything up before the new fork went on. Willie told me to measure the inside frame of headset but when I took the front end apart this bearing is seized in there too! Canít get it out by hand, will damage bearing if I need to use a brass punch. And the bearing doesnít roll very smooth by hand while itís in the frame just like the 10 did. Iím thinking maybe the bottom head tube is too small maybe? Anyone else have a similar problem?

  16. #2216
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garce41 View Post
    So I talked with SC today about my lower headset bearing issue. Somehow the lower bearing is getting seized or stuck in the frame. The stock cane creek 10 was seized when I did the first service to the point where I couldnít get it out by hand and had to remove it carefully with a brass rod and mallet. I inspected the frame and it looked ok I guess I didnít notice anything glaring but Iím not sure what normal should look like in there.

    Replaced the 10 bearing, which came apart when removed, with a 40 headset. Greased the frame and outside of bearing, put in the right way and straight and it took some force to pop it in by hand, more than it should have taken. Buttoned everything back up and called sc today to ask about the issue before I fit my new fork as I wanted to clean/grease everything up before the new fork went on. Willie told me to measure the inside frame of headset but when I took the front end apart this bearing is seized in there too! Canít get it out by hand, will damage bearing if I need to use a brass punch. And the bearing doesnít roll very smooth by hand while itís in the frame just like the 10 did. Iím thinking maybe the bottom head tube is too small maybe? Anyone else have a similar problem?
    I was the one who had this issue and Willie sent out a new frame.... The new frame is slightly better than my original frame, but the lower bearing still gets stuck.

    This is my 1st integrated headset and thought it would be great, but it is the biggest pain in the azz that I have ever worked on.

    I have a set of new CC 40 bearings on hand because when it comes time to do simple, routine service, I know I'll have to install new bearings.

  17. #2217
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    Thatís too bad to hear but nice you got a new frame. I basically told them the same thing it would suck to have to replace bearings every time it comes apart. I donít take it apart a lot but Iím a motocross guy too and am used to taking bikes apart to grease aund clean everything every so often, maybe twice a year, to check everything out. Weíll see what they come back with tomorrow. How did the warrantee process go? Did they ship you a frame or ship it to a dealer?

  18. #2218
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    I submitted an online warranty claim straight to SC. Willie got back to me within 24hrs, and after I emailed him a couple of things he wanted (more pictures, serial number, original receipt) he shipped me out a frame directly to my house. He included a pre-paid call tag and I sent my frame back to them in the same box.

  19. #2219
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    Mine is a 2018 and the bottom bearing popped out fairly easily and was in good condition, and the new one went in most of the way and slid in completely as I tightened the compression bolt -- I didn't really even feel it but knew it slid further when my new steertube ended up 1.5mm too long. D'oh! File fixed that right up!

    Are your guy's bikes 2018 or 2019? Mine is stickered made in China, some I have seen say Taiwan. Don't think that matters, but different factories though.

  20. #2220
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    Has anyone tried to fit 2,6" 29er tires on Chameleon? I'd like to know what 2,5" - 2,6" tire can be fitted to this frame Just got my 29er R-kit! It's running 120mm Fox Rhythm 34, I assume that the fork can fit most of the 29" 2,5" - 2,6" tires.

  21. #2221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miki- View Post
    Has anyone tried to fit 2,6" 29 tires on Chameleon? I'd like to know what 2,5" - 2,6" tire can be fitted to this frame Just got my 29er R-kit! It's running 120mm Fox Rhythm 34, I assume that the fork can fit most of the 29" 2,5" - 2,6" tires.
    I've got the R 29er - 2.6 rekon fits great but on the rear the slider needs to be ~ 1/3rd of the way back. I'm still running a 2.35 ikon on the rear to get the shortest rear but will prob run a 2.6 on the back soon.. If you search back thru this thread I posted pics of how tight the 2.6 rekon was with sliders slammed

    I'm guessing you could fit a 3.0 on the front with teh fox 34.. I've got 30mm rims, btw

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    Quote Originally Posted by 29ftw View Post
    I've got the R 29er - 2.6 rekon fits great but on the rear the slider needs to be ~ 1/3rd of the way back. I'm still running a 2.35 ikon on the rear to get the shortest rear but will prob run a 2.6 on the back soon.. If you search back thru this thread I posted pics of how tight the 2.6 rekon was with sliders slammed

    I'm guessing you could fit a 3.0 on the front with teh fox 34.. I've got 30mm rims, btw
    I ran Rekon 2.6 F&R for a bit (https://forums.mtbr.com/santa-cruz/s...l#post13672505) but slid my dropouts most of the way back to get the clearance I was looking for.

    I've most recently been running 2.4 F&R and but just got a 2.6 Ikon for the rear for the (hopefully) dry season and will go back to a Rekon 2.6 front. I'll post some clearance pics with dropout pics once I get it mounted later this week.

  23. #2223
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    Hi from the sunny (well, it was yesterday) UK.

    I've been a fan of Santa Cruz bikes ever since my first superlight in 2000. Still have a 2007 Superlight frame that I won't let go and have only recently left the SC family to go over to Ibis for a Ripmo.

    Still waiting for the Ripmo to come, and wanted a plus wheeled hard tail to sit alongside it.

    Was all set to go with a slate alloy Chameleon but then the carbon frame appeared.

    So, here is my one week old build. Gone with a 140mm fork and have to say it rides superbly. Goes downhill like a soft tail and I don't even think about it being a hard tail, just ride it and it sticks.

    The intention is to have the Ripmo as a hang on if you can bike and the Chameleon as a bike that I have to ride properly to get the best out of it. Sounds almost old school in terms of bikes, but this is what I wanted as I pedal round reminising about the good old days (I'm 47).

    So far, so good. The Chameleon does exactly as I wanted.

    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-.jpgSanta Cruz Chameleon 27+-b.jpg

  24. #2224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twonks View Post
    So far, so good. The Chameleon does exactly as I wanted.
    That looks great, congratulations! A little jealous of that color combo compared to my green and purple, especially that blue! <3
    Last edited by jond63; 04-25-2019 at 02:38 PM.

  25. #2225
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    Looks great!

    That brown color is excellent! Near to my heart, reminds me of my first good bike, bought brand new in 1996, a Trek 970 with a similar color.

  26. #2226
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    Quote Originally Posted by stock.man View Post
    Anyone here running GX Eagle on their Chameleon? I finally managed to build up my bike over the weekend and am finding that the chain drops off the 50t cog onto smaller cogs when pedalling backwards.
    I'm a little late to the party but my 2019 Chameleon with NX Eagle would randomly drop the chain back pedaling but more common in the lowest two (largest cog) gears. No amount of fiddling fixed this and it was worse when I popped on a wheel with a GX rear cassette. As it turns out the bike, with zero miles on it, had a bent rear derailleur hanger. A little time with the Park Tool adjuster and it shifts perfectly pedaling in any direction and in any gear.
    Figuring this all out as I go!

  27. #2227
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    Little update on my frame and stuck bearing deal. Santa Cruz and willie were awesome and are sending me a new frame, should be here tomorrow. No I feel like Iím spiraling out of control. I started with a D+ build and now have a pike, one up dropper and have been looking at new wheels. My rear hub has been coming loose and giving me a bit of a wobble every now and then so Iíve been wanting to upgrade wheels anyway. Looking at DT Swiss XM 481 with the 350 hubs. I really canít afford a $1k wheelset but these are on sale for less than $700 and I could also upgrade to NX Eagle and have new drivetrain and wheels for around a grand. This D+ build is turning into a completely new bike at around $4k possibly, should I have just bought a new bike? Haha but I really like the chameleon frame and figure I can swap all this stuff to a new frame down the road. Am I nuts?

  28. #2228
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    Are the 481 rims wide enough for the tires you want to use?

    I can't speak for the Eagle as I stuck with the Shimano style driver to save money, but the upgrades I did were totally worth it. (rear DT wheel, Pike, dropper)

    If I had more money though I would have just done it all too. I really love this bike!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-psx_20190428_165019_resize_60.jpg  

    Last edited by jond63; 04-28-2019 at 06:16 PM.

  29. #2229
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    Quote Originally Posted by jond63 View Post
    Are the 481 rims wide enough for the tires you want to use?


    I can't speak for the Eagle as I stuck with the Shimano to save money, but the upgrades I did were totally worth it. (rear DT wheel, Pike, dropper)

    If I had more money I would have just done it all too though. I really love this bike!
    The rims say 30mm internal width for a max 2.8 tire which is what I run. I wonít ever run a tire wider than that and would actually want to try 2.6 just to see how that goes. Iím thinking of just going with the wheels and new brake rotors so I have a full set of wheels and then Iíll update drivetrain later on as the current nx only has 200 miles on them. Pumped to get the new frame and fork tomorrow, I switched it up and went with blue!

  30. #2230
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garce41 View Post
    The rims say 30mm internal width for a max 2.8 tire which is what I run. I wonít ever run a tire wider than that and would actually want to try 2.6 just to see how that goes. Iím thinking of just going with the wheels and new brake rotors so I have a full set of wheels and then Iíll update drivetrain later on as the current nx only has 200 miles on them. Pumped to get the new frame and fork tomorrow, I switched it up and went with blue!
    I laced up EX511ís (30mm ID) to 350 boost hubs and run 2.8 Rangers and itís great. The tread curves nicely around the casing and gives you oodles of cornering grip. I was going to go 481 rims originally, but felt the extra few grams was worth it for a tougher rim, particularly on a hardtail. And they will go nicely with virtually any other bike down the track.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DucatiRider View Post
    I'm a little late to the party but my 2019 Chameleon with NX Eagle would randomly drop the chain back pedaling but more common in the lowest two (largest cog) gears. No amount of fiddling fixed this and it was worse when I popped on a wheel with a GX rear cassette. As it turns out the bike, with zero miles on it, had a bent rear derailleur hanger. A little time with the Park Tool adjuster and it shifts perfectly pedaling in any direction and in any gear.
    Better late than never! Derailleur hangers should be checked and adjusted when new, to compensate for all the manufacturing and assembly tolerances. My GX Eagle is mostly behaving itself, but it copped a 1Ē stick through the derailleur and chain which bent the cage and probably twisted the derailleur slightly too. Took me about 3 solid goes and quite a few cans to get it smooth enough to ride reliably again. One of the teeth on the 50t cog was bent away from the wheel too, which gave me ghost upshifts when tuning. Itís probably 95% vs new now, but Iíll live with it.

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    So I rented a Chameleon this weekend, Iím not going to lie, I was a bit disappointed. It was pretty fun going downhill but it was a drag going up! Most of the rides around here involve 30-40 minutes of fire road climbing before the fun starts, so riding a boat anchor severely inhibits the fun.

    How much are your guys Chameleons weighing in at? The frame weight is ~4.5 pounds, so I should be able to build a decently light bike, right? At least one thatís not a total bummer to pedal up a hill?

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    ^^That's really odd you feel that way. Mine comes in at 27.6 lbs, 140 Pike, dropper, i38 carbon hoops with 2.8 rubber. IMO it climbs like a mountain goat compared to my full squish, super efficient.

    Are you a weight weenie racer type dude? No offense meant it's just that I don't think the Chameleon could ever be mistaken for a CC bike but is a fantastic trail bike.

    Maybe you had an entry level model? The high end or a built up bike will certainly be lighter...

  34. #2234
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdb85 View Post
    Maybe you had an entry level model? The high end or a built up bike will certainly be lighter...
    Not necessarily. I have a frame up build with MRP Ribbon, Derby hoops with Hope4, mostly XT drivetrain, etc and mine weighs in at 28.4 ready to ride. I have a boat anchor of a cassette (Box 46T), the CB Mallet Es are pretty heavy and that weight is with Maxxis 29x2.6 tires.

  35. #2235
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    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe View Post
    So I rented a Chameleon this weekend, Iím not going to lie, I was a bit disappointed. It was pretty fun going downhill but it was a drag going up! Most of the rides around here involve 30-40 minutes of fire road climbing before the fun starts, so riding a boat anchor severely inhibits the fun.

    How much are your guys Chameleons weighing in at? The frame weight is ~4.5 pounds, so I should be able to build a decently light bike, right? At least one thatís not a total bummer to pedal up a hill?

    Sounds like you are a perfect candidate for a carbon s or s+ model. They weigh in around 26-27 lbs.. or a nice light XC bike...

  36. #2236
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    I can climb well on mine, but I can't do it fast -at all.
    I'm minutes slower per climb on the 2.8 tires. I don't think I have even one climb closely matched in time to my full suspension bike (stumpjumper fsr).

    I can go down a hill no problem.

    As for weight, I dunno. Spec sheet says 30 or 31. I have the mid level of the 3 aluminum builds.

  37. #2237
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garce41 View Post
    The rims say 30mm internal width for a max 2.8 tire which is what I run. I wonít ever run a tire wider than that and would actually want to try 2.6 just to see how that goes. Iím thinking of just going with the wheels and new brake rotors so I have a full set of wheels and then Iíll update drivetrain later on as the current nx only has 200 miles on them. Pumped to get the new frame and fork tomorrow, I switched it up and went with blue!
    Cool, for some reason I thought you were sticking with 3.0 and why you went with the 29er fork. Will be like a brand new bike! The NX and Eagle take different freehubs, just in case that's a consideration...

  38. #2238
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    I also think the Chameleon is a great climber, but it's not fast. I like to think of it as the monster truck -- goes over everything at a steady pace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jond63 View Post
    Cool, for some reason I thought you were sticking with 3.0
    and why you went with the 29er fork. Will be like a brand new bike! The NX and Eagle take different freehubs, just in case that's a consideration...
    Ok so I actually went with the DT Swiss 521 rims which are 35mm. And then stuck with the 350 hubs. The wheels with new rotors and tape shipped came out to $740 or so and then I grabbed some new tools. Canít wait to throw on new tires and see how this thing rides

  40. #2240
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdb85 View Post
    ^^That's really odd you feel that way. Mine comes in at 27.6 lbs, 140 Pike, dropper, i38 carbon hoops with 2.8 rubber. IMO it climbs like a mountain goat compared to my full squish, super efficient.

    Are you a weight weenie racer type dude? No offense meant it's just that I don't think the Chameleon could ever be mistaken for a CC bike but is a fantastic trail bike.

    Maybe you had an entry level model? The high end or a built up bike will certainly be lighter...
    I wouldn't really say that I'm that much of a weight weenie, I'm a 6'2" 200 lb guy that can break some parts. I have been riding a 2013 Stumpjumper Carbon Expert hardtail that was actually a warranty frame for me 2012 version of the same bike, and with a sensible build its around 22-23 lbs. The Stumpjumper is the polar opposite of the Chameleon--super easy to climb and awful to descend on with a 71.5į HTA and room for 2.2's. Where I used to live there wasn't much descending, but now that I'm a WNC resident, there's a lot more long gnarly downhills to contend with.

    The one I rented was the Aluminum "R" build I think, so yeah, not super high end. I just didn't think it would weigh so much until went to pick it up from the shop I rented it from. I'm not sure why, but I was expecting ~25ish. I figured, extra pound for the frame, extra pound for the fork, maybe an extra half pound on the dropper. Somehow it ended up being 8 lbs heavier though.

  41. #2241
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    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe View Post
    I wouldn't really say that I'm that much of a weight weenie, I'm a 6'2" 200 lb guy that can break some parts. I have been riding a 2013 Stumpjumper Carbon Expert hardtail that was actually a warranty frame for me 2012 version of the same bike, and with a sensible build its around 22-23 lbs. The Stumpjumper is the polar opposite of the Chameleon--super easy to climb and awful to descend on with a 71.5į HTA and room for 2.2's. Where I used to live there wasn't much descending, but now that I'm a WNC resident, there's a lot more long gnarly downhills to contend with.

    The one I rented was the Aluminum "R" build I think, so yeah, not super high end. I just didn't think it would weigh so much until went to pick it up from the shop I rented it from. I'm not sure why, but I was expecting ~25ish. I figured, extra pound for the frame, extra pound for the fork, maybe an extra half pound on the dropper. Somehow it ended up being 8 lbs heavier though.
    The dropper adds almost a pound I think, and the rims and tires probably make up the rest of it.

    When I bought my Chameleon I also test rode a Specialized Fuse. The Fuse felt a lot 'racier' to me than the Chameleon, and it reminded me of Specialized bikes I had in the past. Good, tight handling, lowish CG, and put me in a good pedaling position. The Chameleon felt a bit more upright, more like I was in the bike, and it wheelied so much better I just had to have it. I knew getting it though it would be slower and may sometimes feel heavy, but so far not so much. It reminds me of a big BMX cruiser that can go anywhere. You may like to test ride the Fuse and see if you like that one better.

  42. #2242
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    Ok getting ready to cut my steerer tube tomorrow. Going to throw the fork in the frame with the stock spacers I think itís 30mm of spacers on the stock 130mm fork and the headset and then one 5mm spacer on top of the headset for a little extra breathing room. The pike is 140mm so hoping it all feels good. Going to have the extra 5mm for extra breathing room in case I go with a steel frame bike at some point and I feel like I need a little more stack height on the chameleon. Iím 5í11 riding a size Large. Anyone see anything wrong with my thinking before the pipe cutter comes out tomorrow?

  43. #2243
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garce41 View Post
    Ok getting ready to cut my steerer tube tomorrow. Going to throw the fork in the frame with the stock spacers I think itís 30mm of spacers on the stock 130mm fork and the headset and then one 5mm spacer on top of the headset for a little extra breathing room. The pike is 140mm so hoping it all feels good. Going to have the extra 5mm for extra breathing room in case I go with a steel frame bike at some point and I feel like I need a little more stack height on the chameleon. Iím 5í11 riding a size Large. Anyone see anything wrong with my thinking before the pipe cutter comes out tomorrow?
    That's pretty much how I did it. Make sure the bottom bearing is all the way in, mine slid in a bit more after I cinched down the starnut. Made it too long is all, which is always a better way to go! Good luck!

  44. #2244
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garce41 View Post
    Ok getting ready to cut my steerer tube tomorrow. Going to throw the fork in the frame with the stock spacers I think itís 30mm of spacers on the stock 130mm fork and the headset and then one 5mm spacer on top of the headset for a little extra breathing room. The pike is 140mm so hoping it all feels good. Going to have the extra 5mm for extra breathing room in case I go with a steel frame bike at some point and I feel like I need a little more stack height on the chameleon. Iím 5í11 riding a size Large. Anyone see anything wrong with my thinking before the pipe cutter comes out tomorrow?
    Don't forget to undercut the steerer tube a couple millimeters to allow a gap between top of steerer and top of spacer so the top cap can cinch it together.

  45. #2245
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    Custom Build Update

    I've recently made some changes to my custom Chameleon and I have some new pics to share and a few thoughts on things thus far...

    Those of you that have seen my bike here before, it was setup with a big Fox36 150mm Factory fork. With that fork, I was always able to push it hard everywhere I rode and I never had any issues navigating ANY Tech New England trails had in store. The F36 Grip2 lives up to every bit of it's kick ass reputation... Even for the hardtail party crowd. While I LOVE this bike with that F36, but I was always kinda curious if it was a little overkill so I decided to switch things up.

    I have a new FS bike build in the works that I will be mounting the F36 up on so I now have the opportunity to scale back and try a 140mm Pike w DebonAir spring for the Chameleon. I also wanted to reel the build back in a little closer to what the engineers designed the bikes limitations around. I noticed right away that the Pike felt lighter which gave the front end a lot more of a responsive sensation. Normally this is a great characteristic, but coming from the F36, it was a bit more of a nervous responsiveness... If that makes sense? After a month of so on it, I am still searching for the sweet spot with it's setup, but included in that was a tire swap too.

    For tires I was originally running 29x2.6 Nobby Nic's on 30mm wide rims F&R, and I love the comfort, climbing traction and sensation of straight line speed of them, but I've never been thrilled with their lean-in cornering grip. This became a huge problem with the Pike not being dialed as my front end washes out on me way more than before. I tried adjusting my body positioning, but decided to scale back here too and swapped those tires out for a set of 29x2.3" DHF/DHR2's and found a bit more corner traction, but a whole LOT more feedback and harshness. It felt like I was straight rolling on the carbon reserves. Fatigue was the biggest element which I ended up with more costly mistakes and shorter rides. My next move was to jump back on 2.6's, except this time I picked up a Magic Mary for the front to pair with the Nobby Nic out back. I added a token to the Pike and have been progressively adjusting the fork pressures, but I think I finally feel like the build is getting close to where it needs to be!

    Its feeling great and a few other mods that I did revolve around my SS gearing. For those that care, I was running a 32 RF ring w 19t Wolfstooth cog out back w a Gold KMC x10 chain, but now I've got a 34 RF ring up front and a Chris King 20t Cog out back with a SRAM Eagle X01 chain. The tolerances on this set up are tight and I have a lot less side to side slop so hopefully there's less wear and tear.

    Here are some new pics for everything... Enjoy!

    Keith

    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-chameleon-4-30-19-_-7.jpg
    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-chameleon-4-30-19-_-1.jpg
    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-chameleon-4-30-19-_-4.jpg
    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-chameleon-4-30-19-_-2.jpg
    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-chameleon-4-30-19-_-3.jpg
    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-chameleon-4-30-19-_-5.jpg
    2019 Evil Offering (150/140 29")
    2017 Santa Cruz Chameleon (SS 29")
    2015 Salsa Blackborrow (Fatty)
    2009 Redline Monocog 29er Flight (SS 29" Commuter)

  46. #2246
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    That is a great looking bike!

    On my SS I liked the 34 up front with a slightly bigger rear cog too.

  47. #2247
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    That bike does look AMAZING!
    Paul

  48. #2248
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    Quote Originally Posted by jond63 View Post
    The dropper adds almost a pound I think, and the rims and tires probably make up the rest of it.

    When I bought my Chameleon I also test rode a Specialized Fuse. The Fuse felt a lot 'racier' to me than the Chameleon, and it reminded me of Specialized bikes I had in the past. Good, tight handling, lowish CG, and put me in a good pedaling position. The Chameleon felt a bit more upright, more like I was in the bike, and it wheelied so much better I just had to have it. I knew getting it though it would be slower and may sometimes feel heavy, but so far not so much. It reminds me of a big BMX cruiser that can go anywhere. You may like to test ride the Fuse and see if you like that one better.
    Well I went ahead and ordered one. They don't sell a standalone fuse frame, the carbon Chameleon is only 250 grams lighter yet twice the price, and I think I could make the alloy bike a reasonable weight with my stumpjumper parts on it. Besides, it was a fun handling bike. Hopefully it won't be too unfun with lighter stuff on it.

    Here's hoping for sub 25 lbs...

  49. #2249
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    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe View Post
    Well I went ahead and ordered one. They don't sell a standalone fuse frame, the carbon Chameleon is only 250 grams lighter yet twice the price, and I think I could make the alloy bike a reasonable weight with my stumpjumper parts on it. Besides, it was a fun handling bike. Hopefully it won't be too unfun with lighter stuff on it.

    Here's hoping for sub 25 lbs...
    Congratulations ~ it's a great riding frame! Really look forward to seeing your build.

  50. #2250
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    Is that black on that frame? Looks fantastic!

  51. #2251
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    Quote Originally Posted by jond63 View Post
    Is that black on that frame? Looks fantastic!
    Yaaaaas that thing looks great! Makes me want to wait for the next colorways to see what they come out with

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  52. #2252
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    For riders in the 145-155 lbs weight, what tire pressure do you guys use on your 2.6 size tires on 30mm internal width rims? Thanks!

  53. #2253
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    So does anyone here actually use the bottle cage on the bottom of the downtube? Any issues with it hitting stuff?

  54. #2254
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    So, it is looking like I am going to need to slam my stem all the way down to the headset cap -- how many spacers above do you think is safe? I'm thinking 10mm, but the headtube is so short on the M Chameleon that I don't know if I want to cut it so short... currently has 30mm spacer on it but I don't want to run 30mm up top and possibly impale myself, right?

    As it is with the 30mm spacer, my bars are about 1.5 inches above the seat, and I'm thinking the upright position is contributing to my seating problems. Too much pressure on sit bones. Getting the bars even I think will help take care of it? Gonna drop it tomorrow and risk the 30mm up top for a ride or two and see.

  55. #2255
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    Quote Originally Posted by jond63 View Post
    So, it is looking like I am going to need to slam my stem all the way down to the headset cap -- how many spacers above do you think is safe? I'm thinking 10mm, but the headtube is so short on the M Chameleon that I don't know if I want to cut it so short... currently has 30mm spacer on it but I don't want to run 30mm up top and possibly impale myself, right?

    As it is with the 30mm spacer, my bars are about 1.5 inches above the seat, and I'm thinking the upright position is contributing to my seating problems. Too much pressure on sit bones. Getting the bars even I think will help take care of it? Gonna drop it tomorrow and risk the 30mm up top for a ride or two and see.
    Are you running riser bars? Perhaps you could go for a flat bar and maintain some stack height to avoid having to cut the steerer ridiculously short?

  56. #2256
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    How long is your steer tube right now? I think on my Large it was 185mm and on my new pike I just cut it to 195mm running 10mm of spacers above the stem and 30mm below.

  57. #2257
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    Quote Originally Posted by stock.man View Post
    Are you running riser bars? Perhaps you could go for a flat bar and maintain some stack height to avoid having to cut the steerer ridiculously short?
    That's a good idea, I'll look into it.

  58. #2258
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garce41 View Post
    How long is your steer tube right now? I think on my Large it was 185mm and on my new pike I just cut it to 195mm running 10mm of spacers above the stem and 30mm below.
    It's 170mm with a 30mm spacer. I'm going to slam it for the ride today and see if cutting (or maybe flat bar) is the answer.

  59. #2259
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    I would probably not cut it any lower than 170mm as 180mm is probably the minimum for most bikes Iíd think.

  60. #2260
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garce41 View Post
    I would probably not cut it any lower than 170mm as 180mm is probably the minimum for most bikes Iíd think.
    180mm is the standard?

  61. #2261
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    Mine was 185 when I pulled it off to measure, so thatís what it came from the factory with.

  62. #2262
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    Ah, I see. Mine was 170 from the factory, as measured from the top of the crown race since I left my old one on.

    I'm not going to cut it though, I really didn't like the stem slammed -- my face and hands seemed right on the front tire. Seems rotating my body forward a bit helped a lot.

  63. #2263
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    New here! About to order an S+ once I settle on the medium or large decision. Any S+ owners wish they started with a custom build? Which changes did you feel were mandatory? The fork? Rear hub? Issues with the GX eagle cog? The brakes?

  64. #2264
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    I have an S+, sort of wish I custom built. Most things are good IMO. The brakes are a little weak, haven't changed them yet, not sure I will. What I did change was the dropper post. Hydraulic dropper posts are stupid and an unnecessary complication. Changed it to the one up components dropper.

  65. #2265
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    What are the issues with the dropper? Is it not pneumatic? Does it stick or have too much play? I think I would definitely want to switch back over to Shimano brakes and swap out the bars - probably not enough to do a complete custom build.

  66. #2266
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    It works fine, I just think hydraulic droppers are unnecessary and adds more maintenance for no good reason. With brakes, yes bleeding sucks, but you get better performance out of hydraulic brakes. With a dropper, it's not like it matters, a regular cable works fine, so why make it more complicated?

  67. #2267
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    Agreed with you there, sir.

  68. #2268
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    My Roscoe Large frame has a reach of 439mm and stack of 617. The Chameleon Medium is 436 and 618. Iím just under 6í and Iím really leaning towards the Medium for fun - Iím not a speed trail rider and also do as much of street riding. I felt I could lift the front on the medium with easy as opposed to the Large. Will I regret going with the medium considering the tweaking I could do with the stem and bars later?

  69. #2269
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhodi View Post
    My Roscoe Large frame has a reach of 439mm and stack of 617. The Chameleon Medium is 436 and 618. Iím just under 6í and Iím really leaning towards the Medium for fun - Iím not a speed trail rider and also do as much of street riding. I felt I could lift the front on the medium with easy as opposed to the Large. Will I regret going with the medium considering the tweaking I could do with the stem and bars later?
    Have you ridden the Chameleon? The front end comes up pretty easily for me on my medium and I'm only 5'7". I went with a M instead of S because for me I've regretted every bike I sized down on. I have a longer torso than legs so always end up with a long stem which makes handling off, and the short stem and having the front wheel further out front on this bike is what helps make it so fun for me. Can you test ride one?

  70. #2270
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    When you size down or choose the smaller frame size when your height puts you between frame sizes, you will notice the shorter seat tube and lower stack height. I'm 6' 1.5" and although I should be on an XL, I chose a L for a more agile bike. It is certainly that, and while I don't regret the decision to size down, I do notice the following limitations:

    1) The relatively slack seat tube angle means that with the 170mm dropper fully lowered, the saddle has moved forward a fair bit, so I find that my backside is hanging off the back of the saddle a bit.

    2) The low stack height. The Chameleon has a fairly low stack height, and if you like your bars a bit higher then the Large is probably a better bet. The Large has a 10mm longer head tube than the Medium and will give you a little more stack height to play with. If you have longer legs and need your seat higher on the Medium (with respect to the height that SC work their geometry numbers from) then you'll probably be leaning over the bars more which will counter your ability to lift the front wheel.

    The Large seems bigger on paper than it is to ride, and there's enough scope in cockpit adjustment to get it to suit. Access to a test ride would be an ideal outcome of course.

  71. #2271
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    Thanks for the input - found a place to rent each size for a day!

  72. #2272
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    Putting a feeler out there. Thinking to replace my Chameleon with a gravel bike or the future Tallboy4.

    Size L Green
    SC Reserve 30, i9 Hubs
    Fox34 Factory @140mm with Luftkappe
    125mm Fox Transfer, Wolftooth Remote
    Shimano Zee Brakes
    SRAM carbon X01 cranks
    SC 35 carbon bars cut to 780mm, 40mm RaceFace stem
    Volt Team Ti saddle
    Maxxis DHF2.5/Ardent Race tires
    Single Speed setup with Problem Solver SS adapter on XD driver

    Perfect condition, barely a scratch as I didnít ride much after hurting my back last fall

    Thinking $3k considering the top end fork and wheels.

    Iím in NorCal, but shipping can be arranged.


  73. #2273
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhodi View Post
    Iím just under 6í and Iím really leaning towards the Medium for fun - Iím not a speed trail rider and also do as much of street riding.
    6' here and seriously considering doing the same, for the sake of maximizing agility/playfulness.

    Curious to hear how your test rides go.

  74. #2274
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhodi View Post
    Iím just under 6í and Iím really leaning towards the Medium for fun - Iím not a speed trail rider and also do as much of street riding.
    Quote Originally Posted by miles e View Post
    6' here and seriously considering doing the same, for the sake of maximizing agility/playfulness.
    I'm 5'7" on a Medium and can't imagine anyone around 6' riding a medium. Maybe if you're coming from an old geometry bike.
    2016 Santa Cruz Nomad
    2019 Santa Cruz Carbon Chameleon

  75. #2275
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    Yeah, I'm 6' on a large and couldn't imagine trying to fit comfortably a medium.

  76. #2276
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    Thunderstorms in the forecast this weekend, but Iím hopeful. Iíve ridden on pavement in both sizes and Iím still on the fence. Iíll let you know how it goes.

  77. #2277
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    Considering buying another Chameleon. This time carbon. Anyone know for sure that the carbon frame has the same tire clearance as the alu? I want to run largest 29 x 2.6 on the carbon I can fit.

  78. #2278
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    I am 5'8 riding a medium. I test rode a large in the parking lot of the shop and the proportions just seemed too big. Reach was out there, pedals were uncomfortable to reach. Sure, could have made adjustments, but then the stack would feel too high, etc.

    I don't think a medium is adequately for 'playfulness' for a 6' rider. It's your decision and ONLY you can tell if the medium is a good fit. Bikes are biker these days than they were 15 years ago so maybe that's what you're attempting to mimic.

    I think you are encouraged to spend as much time on both bikes as possible before purchase.

    A suggestion would to find a bike to rent (doesn't have to be the same brand/model), as most of the medium framed bikes will have a similar size. Yes, the feel will be entirely different between 2 bike models, but at least you'll know if you can extend the seat high enough to know if the fit to the bars is comfortable, yet not offer knee pain.

    It may cost you $40 or so (local rate here). Maybe the shop you are dealing with has a rental bike -the rental price is usually applied towards the purchase of a new bike as well.

    It's a big decision on an expensive purchase -definitely not a decision you want to make too quickly.

  79. #2279
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    Noted. Iím out of town on business and stopped by a bike shop to test ride again both sizes. Something I didnít notice before is how close my knees are to the bars on a medium. In technical turns, would not be good. I think Iíll go with a large and just play with different stems and saddle position. The chain stays on the test large were in the middle range, and it felt pretty good to manual, so slamming those forward will be more fun. Again, Iím 5í11.5Ē and gonna go with a large.

  80. #2280
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    I donít think youíll regret the decision rhodi, 5í11.5Ē is 181.6cm which is bang in the middle of the 178-185cm height recommendation by SC for the large size. Iím 6Ē1.5Ē on a large and run a 60mm stem, so youíd probably be fine with the stock setup.

  81. #2281
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    I'm 5'10" with a 31" inseam and the L fits me perfectly with the OEM 50mm stem. Dropper collar is about 1/2" above the seatpost clamp.
    Figuring this all out as I go!

  82. #2282
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    Quote Originally Posted by danny.mendes View Post
    I'm 5'7" on a Medium and can't imagine anyone around 6' riding a medium. Maybe if you're coming from an old geometry bike.
    The fit on a medium Chameleon with a 120mm fork at sag would actually be very close to a large Blur 29 with 120mm fork, which I love. The Blur came out last year, and is not what most would consider old school geometry.

    I recognize that a rider my height on a medium is outside the sizing recommendations, and a large would be the obvious choice. I think it could work though, which is why my interest was piqued when someone else was considering the same.

    Would probably run a 185mm dropper- think dirt jumper dna. Keeps with the tradition of the Chameleon, if you ask me.
    ''It seems like a bit of a trend, everyone trying to make things longer over the last couple of years" Sam Hill

  83. #2283
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    Another tech question. Is the Fox Performance fork for the S build and S+ the same exact fork. I.E. is the offset and axel to fork arch clearance the same? I know the travel is increased on the 27.5+ to 130mm. from 120 for the 29.
    Thank you

  84. #2284
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    Hit the trails for a couple hours on a loaner large. Felt great. Super fun. Then hit the greenway for another hour and already hate the Rekons. They seem to have a much higher rolling resistance than the Schwalbe Rocket Rons. Have you swapped out the tires to something else?

  85. #2285
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    Did you ride the 27.5?

    Thatís what I have, with 27.5x2.8 Rekons and kind of feel the same. They seem to have a lot more resistance than I expected. Iím wondering if there is a better tire choice I might want to try next. I like the grip though.

  86. #2286
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    Yes, 27.5. The grip is good. And I also never felt like the grip on my Rocket Ronís were ever lacking.

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    Anyone running 3.0 tires?

  88. #2288
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    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-img_20190511_133807_567_resize_80.jpg

    I'm using the 3.0 WTB Rangers and I really like them. Don't feel or roll heavy at all and have great cornering grip. They can feel a little floaty in some conditions, but always seem to bite when they need to.

  89. #2289
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    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-chameleon-190516.jpg
    Tuned and cleaned my bike last Friday in preparation for a race that ended up being cancelled. Took this photo Saturday morning before getting it dirty again.
    2019 D+
    Upgrades so far:
    Race Face Next R 35 Handlebar
    Race Face Aeffect R35 40mm Stem
    ODI Rogue grips
    Shimano MT500 brakes
    Shimano RT-76 180mm brake rotors (being delivered tomorrow)
    Shimano XT Ispec II 11 speed shifter
    Fox Rhythm 34 Fork (courtesy of SC factory)
    Crank Brothers Stamp 1 pedals w/ 12mm pins
    Specialized Phenom Expert saddle
    Bontrager Line dropper
    Santa Cruz Seat post collar (bolt on)
    Shimano MT800 Bottom Bracket
    Shimano SLX M7000 Rear Derailleur w/XT jockey wheels
    Shimano XT chain
    Shimano XT 11-42 cassette
    Bontrager Kovee Elite 30 29" wheelset (hubs upgraded to 108poe)
    Bontrager XR4 Team Issue tires

  90. #2290
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    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe View Post
    Well I went ahead and ordered one. They don't sell a standalone fuse frame, the carbon Chameleon is only 250 grams lighter yet twice the price, and I think I could make the alloy bike a reasonable weight with my stumpjumper parts on it. Besides, it was a fun handling bike. Hopefully it won't be too unfun with lighter stuff on it.

    Here's hoping for sub 25 lbs...
    Well it came in at 26.8 lbs, and that's without a dropper.

    Fox Factory 34 140mm
    Carbon post and handlebar
    Raceface Turbine cranks
    Pro4/Arch wheels
    2.35 Ikon rear, 2.3 DHF front

    I haven't taken it on its first ride yet, I'm pretty curious to see how the 140 fork does on it. Stuff is super steep here, I'm worried that the front wheel will want to lift.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-img_4706.jpg  


  91. #2291
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    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe View Post
    Well it came in at 26.8 lbs, and that's without a dropper.

    Fox Factory 34 140mm
    Carbon post and handlebar
    Raceface Turbine cranks
    Pro4/Arch wheels
    2.35 Ikon rear, 2.3 DHF front

    I haven't taken it on its first ride yet, I'm pretty curious to see how the 140 fork does on it. Stuff is super steep here, I'm worried that the front wheel will want to lift.
    I run a Fox 36 with smashpot @140mm on the front of my lizard and with the drop outs extended about 10mm from fully in I have found that the best position for climbing and cornering.

  92. #2292
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    Alu alu alu alu alu alu Chameleon!

    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-img_20190516_233052_113.jpg

    Fun bike, but quite a lot of more work on the trails compared to my Hightower. I've recently attached a Robert Axle and a trailer hitch to it, so now I use it to tow my 6yo and his bike to the woods for some father-son trail riding too.

  93. #2293
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    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+

    So many nice lizards in here! Hereís mine:

    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-img_0014.jpgSanta Cruz Chameleon 27+-img_0015.jpgSanta Cruz Chameleon 27+-img_0013.jpg

    2018 Chameleon Al Large

    DVO Diamond BOOST fork @140mm
    Cane Creek 110 headset
    We Are One Agent 29Ē carbon rims w/Hope hubs
    2.5Ē Minion DHF/2.4Ē DHR II
    Fox Transfer 125mm dropper
    Wolftooth ReMote LA
    SQlabs 611 Ergowave saddle
    Hope seat post clamp

    11 speed drivetrain:
    XTR derailleur
    XTR shifter
    X01 cassette
    XX1 chain
    Hope BB
    Hope 170mm cranks
    Hope 30T chainring
    Deity TMAC pedals

    Controls:
    Rental Apex 50mm stem
    Nukeproof Horizon 780mm carbon bar w/25mm rise
    Hope Head Doctor/Spacer Doctor/bar ends
    ODI Rogue grips

    Brakes:
    Hope E4 Tech 3
    Hope floating rotor 180mm F/R

    I love this thing!
    Last edited by mnt_goat; 05-18-2019 at 04:45 PM.

  94. #2294
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac48 View Post
    I run a Fox 36 with smashpot @140mm on the front of my lizard and with the drop outs extended about 10mm from fully in I have found that the best position for climbing and cornering.
    Well as expected, the front wheel really wanted to lift and wandered around on my ride this weekend. I'm going to slide the seat forward a bit and try to work on my body position, but if I can't figure this out in a few rides, I'm dropping the travel down to 120.

    It was super fun otherwise, but yeah, this style of bike needs a dropper. I'm used to a 20 pound, 71.5į HTA carbon hardtail with 2.2's that I have to pick my way through stuff...this bike is too heavy and slack to really pick through things at any decent rate. Instead, it begs to be ridden like a full suspension OVER everything, which is a little bumpy with a rigid post.

  95. #2295
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    I'm really loving the chameleon still after 8mos or so..such a fun bike! My low back has been acting up so I'm not sure how long I'll be able to stay on the hardtail as my primary bike.

    Question for y'all - would the tallboy be a pretty close FS to the chameleon in terms of versatility and character? I'm using the chameleon for everything from faster XC rides to gnarly mtn rides and the pump track.

  96. #2296
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    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe View Post
    Well as expected, the front wheel really wanted to lift and wandered around on my ride this weekend. I'm going to slide the seat forward a bit and try to work on my body position, but if I can't figure this out in a few rides, I'm dropping the travel down to 120.

    It was super fun otherwise, but yeah, this style of bike needs a dropper. I'm used to a 20 pound, 71.5į HTA carbon hardtail with 2.2's that I have to pick my way through stuff...this bike is too heavy and slack to really pick through things at any decent rate. Instead, it begs to be ridden like a full suspension OVER everything, which is a little bumpy with a rigid post.
    You'll be picking tough lines in no time!
    I can point mine pretty much where I want it to go and it does. Just takes a little gettin' used to.
    My first ride I nearly looped out on a poppy uphill spot. I wasn't ready for it then just pointed it up the grade and oops....
    I could ride that spot today no problem. I have no problems keeping the front end down anymore whatsoever.

  97. #2297
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnt_goat View Post

    So many nice lizards in here! Hereís mine:

    2018 Chameleon Al Large
    Hope 170mm cranks
    Hope 30T chainring
    Hope E4 Tech 3
    Hope floating rotor 180mm F/R

    I love this thing!

    Those Hope parts are dope!!

  98. #2298
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    Quote Originally Posted by jond63 View Post
    Those Hope parts are dope!!
    Thanks! After seeing this article last year https://nsmb.com/articles/2017-santa-cruz-chameleon/ I knew what I had to do

  99. #2299
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnt_goat View Post
    Thanks! After seeing this article last year https://nsmb.com/articles/2017-santa-cruz-chameleon/ I knew what I had to do
    Thanks for that link -- really great write up of the Chameleon I hadn't seen before. Can one have too much purple? Looking forward to some sunny riding weather this weekend!

  100. #2300
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    New Bike Day! With Rocket Rons.

    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-d41632dd-85a8-4b60-a225-d058ab04611d.jpg

  101. #2301
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    Can the chainstays be adjusted without removing the wheel?

    edit: I guess you can, but after also finding the torque specs, seems I need a torque wrench with more range.

  102. #2302
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhodi View Post
    New Bike Day!
    Congrats! New bike day is BEST day!!

  103. #2303
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    Trails still closed here in Texas but good day for an urban ride.


    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-mtbr.jpg

  104. #2304
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    Teaser shot of the new bike! First ride incoming...

    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-img_20190612_194534.jpg

  105. #2305
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    Read this whole thread before finally deciding to get my Chameleon -- just arrived the other day. It's my first "real" mountain bike, so quite excited. Thank you to all who've posted here.

    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-img_1531.jpg

  106. #2306
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    Fun fun fun. 2nd ride coming right up. SS is going to take some getting used to! The 29x2.6 Specialized fit comfortably. 34-20 gearing. Excited to have a hardtail again, first time since 2013?

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  107. #2307
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    What brakes are yíall using? Iím still using the stock Level T Sram. I had both levers go to the bars yesterday when I needed them most. Are these worth upgrading with better pads and bleed? I know not designed as a mild Texas downhill brake but I lost all confidence in the brakes over the 2nd ride 2 years ago. This brake upgrade is well overdue. I wanna stick with 180mm. Anyone tried the Sram G2ís yet? Thanks

  108. #2308
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    I have Shimano XT 8020 4 pot brakes. I love them. I use organic finned pads with the stock 180mm rotors that came on the bike. I havenít had any trouble out of them. Also, the positioning of the hydraulic line to them eliminates the steep bend the hydraulic line had with the stock Sram brakes on the rear.

  109. #2309
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    Ok thanks! Yes I was reading the same great brakes for me. Easier to bleed and more proven then the RSC I was looking at. And even cheaper too. My only concern is I ride a lot of loose rock and Iím scared of the light switch effect that I hear about the XT brakes. Is it bad? Iím riding plus tires 2.8 DHR2/DHF usually around 19 psi F/R. Thanks

  110. #2310
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    yeah so there is a lot said about the light switch effect on different threads. I have a set of XT 8000 on my other bike. These are the 2 pot variety, and I run metallic pads on it, but same size rotors. Those brakes are either off or on, but they work well for me. The XT 8020 4 pots on my chameleon have tons of modulation. I contribute this to the organic pads and the extra power of the 4 pot caliper. Both sets of brakes have the have the same levers. I have heard that the XTR levers have more modulation built in and some people run the XTR levers with XT or Saint calipers. For me, opinions should always be taken with a grain of salt, the XT 8020's are the best bang for the buck. I am a big heavy guy, my bike is heavy also. I haven't had any problems out of my shimano brakes (I bleed them once a year for preventative maintenance). Magura 4 pots are cheaper in some places, but I hate the complete plastic levers/ master cylinders, but that's another story. I have always preferred mineral oil brakes on my bikes. After years in the automotive service industry, I am over DOT fluid contacting my skin, or water contamination in my spare bottles of fluid in humid environments.

  111. #2311
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    Yes my Chameleon is pretty heavy too. I just swapped back to my XL frame and itís just under 31.5 pounds. Iím a late braker so I try not to ride the brakes for more then 5% percent till I need more before corner. From what I have experienced is thatís where I can pass others is in the braking. Surprised Sram still uses DOT fluid actually. Seems like we should all be past that point but if it works for them thatís cool. I will be purchasing the XT 8020 4 pistons with the ice tech rotors (180mm) soon. The Texas sun isnít nice on these Sram Levels T thatís for sure. Thanks for all the information.

  112. #2312
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    Awesome. Some people have also had a bit of a rattle noise with the finned pads, but I havenít. Also, I donít ride park. I do ride steep technical trails. I currently live in Oman in the Middle East, so summertime rides are hot, usually 100-115 įF, even for night rides. So my brakes definitely get hot.

  113. #2313
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    I'm about ready to buy new brakes for my Chameleon too. My rides have been suffering due to braking confidence with the Level T. SRAM is not for me.

    I want to swap brakes from my other bike to the Chameleon. Shimano M615. Knowing I can keep the rotors is helpful.
    I just need to get the new brakes for my other bike and get it up and running before doing the full swap so as not to have both bikes down for repair. I plan to put the M615 on the Chameleon with stock Chameleon 180 rotors. And XT 203/180 on the full suspension.

    I've had the bike 6 months, tried to like the brakes. Got used to them a little but switching between 2 bikes with different feel is challenging, but worse off is pulling the brake lever so far and hard for the brakes to start work.

    I've learned that SRAM brakes are really good for panic braking when a squirrel runs out in front of you. You can grab a handful of brake at speed and you don't really slow down, the squirrel has passed and you have no loss of flow/speed. ha

    As for on/off....yes, that's the debate for sure. Some say SRAM brakes are so much better to modulate because they are not instant on. For me they feel weak and worthless. So I can't sit here and say you will learn quickly the on/off feel. I'd like to think you will. It seems more logical to me that you can more easily learn to pull the lever less hard than force it to the bar to start to engage. But it probably isn't any different to learn and become comfortable on a Shimano feel than it is to learn a SRAM feel. I switch between two bikes and I do brake a little too hard, but only a few times early in the ride and I lean fast. On the SRAM though, I scare myself through entire rides, even back to back days on that bike.

    I don't think I'd be 'afraid' of the on/off feeling. I think you need to do something very stupid to have a problem with instant on. If you are going slow over a rocky downhill, on the first ride (after bedding them in), you could have an oh crap moment. If you are moving at speed and grab too much brake, nothing bad will happen except the front will dive and your bike will slow down faster than you are used to, perhaps causing dizziness or nausea from the quick stop your brain wasn't anticipating.

  114. #2314
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    Yes I agree with that! These brakes you gotta pull and this at first tits like the brakes arenít awake or not ready to stop you for first few seconds. All squirrels and riders are safe with Level T brakes. Haha! Kidding aside maybe mine werenít bled properly or something. I remember from my 2nd ride is the brakes pop and you lose the strong lever feel. Maybe due to air in the lines? The brakes are the one and only thing on this bike I havenít adjusted or modified at all. Iím more 100% sure on my ability on these brakes so I have left the money alone. Other then the alcohol clean the rotors after every few rides.

  115. #2315
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    When I first got my Chameleon, I immediately swapped out the Sram brakes with a set of M615 I had from an old bike. They worked fine. I actually used the finned metallic pads with them as well. The more aggressive and grabby your pads are, the less modulation you will have. The XT 8000 levers do have a bit more modulation by design than the 615ís. There has been a lot of trickle down lately, the 7000 series are almost the exact same as 8000, and didnít they change over the 615ís to the 6000 series now? Also, they are making 4 pot calipers in the 7020, and maybe the 6020? I think I saw a blurb about it.

  116. #2316
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    Still loving my bike! So far so good with the stock brakes, even the lowly Levels. At first they seemed wonky but they just needed TLC adjustments. Had one issue when I swapped the fork and accidentally grabbed the brake lever with no rotor in there, but was able to push the pistons back out ok. Took some fiddling with the front lever adjustment again to get the feel right, but so far so good. Thought it was odd I had to redo the reach adjust, even though I never changed fluid... Hope to get the summer out of them before needing to do a full bleed/flush.

    Next season I would like to upgrade to the new 12sp XT and brakes, glad that DT makes a freehub for that.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-chameleon_tree.jpg  

    Last edited by jond63; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:08 AM.

  117. #2317
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    Quote Originally Posted by stinkydogfart View Post
    When I first got my Chameleon, I immediately swapped out the Sram brakes with a set of M615 I had from an old bike. They worked fine. I actually used the finned metallic pads with them as well. The more aggressive and grabby your pads are, the less modulation you will have. The XT 8000 levers do have a bit more modulation by design than the 615ís. There has been a lot of trickle down lately, the 7000 series are almost the exact same as 8000, and didnít they change over the 615ís to the 6000 series now? Also, they are making 4 pot calipers in the 7020, and maybe the 6020? I think I saw a blurb about it.
    I've burned through 2 sets of resin pads and now about done with Metallic pads in my M615's. Going to replace with resin probably. Didn't notice too much increase with metallics. Curious now after a year of metallics if I'll see a change going back to resin. I know it will be more quiet though.

    I'm pretty sure the M615's will me fine on the chameleon as it does me fine on my stumpy, but still want just a bit more braking. I find them just a LITTLE weak at times.

  118. #2318
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    Couldn't find a 29 specific forum lol... but what are some thoughts, both casual and professional, on a 130mm travel 29er Chameleon build. Feasible or not. Let me know.

  119. #2319
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    Iíd say thatís no problem at all. The 120-140mm fork travel range is universal, regardless of whether you run 27.5 or 29. I run 27.5+ with a 130mm fork and itís a blast.

  120. #2320
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    Quick question. Is anyone running 27.5x2.6" tires on this bike? If so, which fork are you using? My wife is short and has 145mm cranks and I thought that this might be a feasible solution for her. Thought she might enjoy the slightly lighter 2.6 tires.

  121. #2321
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    Quote Originally Posted by SikeMo View Post
    Quick question. Is anyone running 27.5x2.6" tires on this bike? If so, which fork are you using? My wife is short and has 145mm cranks and I thought that this might be a feasible solution for her. Thought she might enjoy the slightly lighter 2.6 tires.
    I would think a 120mm 27.5 fork would work well for keeping a low standover height -- I have a Rock Shox Pike on mine and really like it. It's pretty light too.

  122. #2322
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    Quote Originally Posted by jond63 View Post
    I would think a 120mm 27.5 fork would work well for keeping a low standover height -- I have a Rock Shox Pike on mine and really like it. It's pretty light too.
    I was thinking maybe the same, but at 130mm. Wondering if either of these scenarios would lower the BB too much as the A2C measurement is significantly shorter on a 27.5 fork vs a 29/27.5+ fork. Would that even matter with cranks that are so short?

  123. #2323
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    Quote Originally Posted by SikeMo View Post
    I was thinking maybe the same, but at 130mm. Wondering if either of these scenarios would lower the BB too much as the A2C measurement is significantly shorter on a 27.5 fork vs a 29/27.5+ fork. Would that even matter with cranks that are so short?
    Well, the 2019 27.5 models do come with the 130mm 27.5 fork and 2.8 tires so I'm pretty sure that would work fine with the BB height provided you have the 27.5 dropouts. The extra inch you gain from the shorter cranks should be plenty to make up the .2 tire diameter.

  124. #2324
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    Quote Originally Posted by jond63 View Post
    Well, the 2019 27.5 models do come with the 130mm 27.5 fork and 2.8 tires so I'm pretty sure that would work fine with the BB height provided you have the 27.5 dropouts. The extra inch you gain from the shorter cranks should be plenty to make up the .2 tire diameter.
    Yeah, so that's what I was wondering. Are they specing the 130mm 29 or 27.5 fork on 27.5+ bikes? Not sure what the latest standard is on that. So you're saying it's definitely the 27.5 fork?

  125. #2325
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    Quote Originally Posted by SikeMo View Post
    Yeah, so that's what I was wondering. Are they specing the 130mm 29 or 27.5 fork on 27.5+ bikes? Not sure what the latest standard is on that. So you're saying it's definitely the 27.5 fork?
    I'm pretty sure, but can't say definitely as I don't have one... you can email or call Santa Cruz though -- when I had questions they answered them for me.

  126. #2326
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    You can check out how SC is spec'ing the bikes here:

    https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-US/chameleon

    Looks like generally 120 forks on 29 and 130 on 27.5+ but there are a few exceptions. (Look at the R+ build)

    Correction: The R+ build is a typo on their website. It says 29 for wheel size, but the spec is actually WTB ST i40 27.5 rimes with Maxxis 27.5x2.8 tires...
    2013 Salsa Horsethief 2 (ironically, bike was stolen)
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  127. #2327
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    absolutely loving this bike. Trail schralping, Pishah bikepack overnight, it's funnnnnnnn.

    Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-img_20190628_190141.jpg

  128. #2328
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    Nice. Did you follow some trail map for Pisgah or just wing it? I want to go there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    absolutely loving this bike. Trail schralping, Pishah bikepack overnight, it's funnnnnnnn.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  129. #2329
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhodi View Post
    Nice. Did you follow some trail map for Pisgah or just wing it? I want to go there.
    Pisgah is not somewhere that you should wing. I live right outside of Pisgah and know it pretty well. Would recommend the Pisgah Map Company Pisgah Ranger District map - best map of the area. Great riding here for sure!

  130. #2330
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    absolutely loving this bike. Trail schralping, Pishah bikepack overnight, it's funnnnnnnn.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sweet pic, where is that? I live in Arden so I get in a rut riding Bent Creek and the Mills River trails. I donít recognize that spot though.

  131. #2331
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    Regardless of the build, all forks are 29/27.5+. If you get a 29er build, it comes with a 120mm travel fork. If you get a 27.5+ build, it comes with a 130mm travel fork. No builds are spec'd with a 27.5 fork.

  132. #2332
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    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe View Post
    Sweet pic, where is that? I live in Arden so I get in a rut riding Bent Creek and the Mills River trails. I donít recognize that spot though.
    Not for the faint of heart...Copperas Rock on the South Mills. It's on the Pisgah Map Company map south of Wolf Ford. SMR trail suuuuuucks (overgrown!) but it's a cool view.

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  133. #2333
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    Not for the faint of heart...Copperas Rock on the South Mills. It's on the Pisgah Map Company map south of Wolf Ford. SMR trail suuuuuucks (overgrown!) but it's a cool view.

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    Nice! Iíll have to check it out.

  134. #2334
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnt_goat View Post
    Regardless of the build, all forks are 29/27.5+. If you get a 29er build, it comes with a 120mm travel fork. If you get a 27.5+ build, it comes with a 130mm travel fork. No builds are spec'd with a 27.5 fork.
    1) Anybody know the offset on the stock forks? Is it the standard 51mm?

    2) Can you all help me think through the implications of using a 150mm 27.5 Pike (currently in my parts bin) on a 27+ singlespeed build? The 150 mm 27.5 Pike has a 542mm axle-to-crown measurement. The 29/27.5+ 130mm Fox 34 quoted above has a 540mm axle to crown measurement.

    So, the ATC measurements are almost identical. But the larger travel Pike 150 is gonna have more sag. I am thinking this will effectively steepen the HTA and STA? What implications will this have for feel of the ride relative to the stock builds? While I'd have more travel, it seems like the Pike 150 would make the geometry less fun and playful than what it was designed for?

    Thanks!

  135. #2335
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    I think hardtailparty (formerly sixstringsteve) ran a 160mm 27.5 Pike on his Chameleon, and it had a similar A2C to a stock 29 fork - canít recall the actual numbers though.

    Thinking about it, a 150mm Pike at 25% sag loses 37.5mm in A2C and the Fox 34 will lose 32.5mm at the same sag. So itís 3mm difference when you factor the slight difference in A2C between the two. A Pike at 160mm should have an A2C of 552mm, and drop by 40mm with the same sag, with an A2C of 512mm vs 507.5mm for the Fox 34 and 504.5mm for the 150mm Pike.

    Canít comment on offset, although I thought it was 51mm, but Iím not confident in that.

  136. #2336
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    Seems all the new Santa Cruz builds come with rockshox and not fox for 2020. Speaking of that I havenít seen anything new on the Chameleon on Santa Cruz official site. Anyone know anything?

  137. #2337
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    Quote Originally Posted by KyleStyle87 View Post
    Seems all the new Santa Cruz builds come with rockshox and not fox for 2020. Speaking of that I havenít seen anything new on the Chameleon on Santa Cruz official site. Anyone know anything?
    backcountry and evo each have a 2020 AL complete listed for sale. Looks like new AL colors are bronze and black.

  138. #2338
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    Looks like the new Sram SX used on the 2020's is a downgrade from Sram NX.

  139. #2339
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    Ouch. While the completes IMO are spendy, the $750 sticker on the alloy frames is reasonable enough. Very happy with mine and looking forward to many years out of it.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  140. #2340
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    Here's my Chameleon, R+ spec. Super happy with it, except I have a terrible creak when ascending. I thought it would be the cranks, so I took them apart, cleaned and lubed them, and put them back together, to no avail! Anybody have similar issues with the SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain?
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  141. #2341
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcoppola View Post
    Here's my Chameleon, R+ spec. Super happy with it, except I have a terrible creak when ascending. I thought it would be the cranks, so I took them apart, cleaned and lubed them, and put them back together, to no avail! Anybody have similar issues with the SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain?

    Creaks are always problematic - they can be ventriloquist like in that where you hear them might not be anywhere near where they are. I doubt that it is NX drivetrain specific, but assume it sounds like a noise you hear when pedalling?

    Have you checked:
    - rear wheel axle is tight (and has a little grease on it)
    - rear dropouts are tight and secure
    - seatpost, seatpost clamp and saddle clamps
    - bottom bracket

    My guess would be saddle rails on seatpost, seatpost in seat tube of frame or bottom bracket, particularly as you notice it when climbing.

  142. #2342
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    Quote Originally Posted by stock.man View Post
    Creaks are always problematic - they can be ventriloquist like in that where you hear them might not be anywhere near where they are. I doubt that it is NX drivetrain specific, but assume it sounds like a noise you hear when pedalling?

    Have you checked:
    - rear wheel axle is tight (and has a little grease on it)
    - rear dropouts are tight and secure
    - seatpost, seatpost clamp and saddle clamps
    - bottom bracket

    My guess would be saddle rails on seatpost, seatpost in seat tube of frame or bottom bracket, particularly as you notice it when climbing.
    Thanks for all the suggestions!
    - Rear Axle: Tight and greased.
    - Rear Dropouts: Just re-tightened, added never-seize when i adjusted my derailleur.
    - Saddle & Post: Haven't tightened this stuff, but the problem persists whether I'm sitting or standing.
    - Bottom Bracket: I think I need the SRAM specific tool to spin the BB off. So I haven't done this.

    Maybe It's the BB. I'll have to get the tool and check.

  143. #2343
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    I had a creak on a different bike with a GX Eagle rear. Pulled the cassette and lubed the interfaces with the freehub - didn't fix it. Eventually took the freehub apart. Found two "bumpy" but not gritty bearings. Lubed those, oiled the pawls and *POOF*!! Creak be gone.
    Figuring this all out as I go!

  144. #2344
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    Had a pedaling creak. Took it back the LBS and they disassembled the BB and reassembled and it fixed it. Was less than a month old so they didnít charge me.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcoppola View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions!
    - Rear Axle: Tight and greased.
    - Rear Dropouts: Just re-tightened, added never-seize when i adjusted my derailleur.
    - Saddle & Post: Haven't tightened this stuff, but the problem persists whether I'm sitting or standing.
    - Bottom Bracket: I think I need the SRAM specific tool to spin the BB off. So I haven't done this.

    Maybe It's the BB. I'll have to get the tool and check.

  145. #2345
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnt_goat View Post
    So many nice lizards in here! Hereís mine:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    2018 Chameleon Al Large

    DVO Diamond BOOST fork @140mm
    Cane Creek 110 headset
    We Are One Agent 29Ē carbon rims w/Hope hubs
    2.5Ē Minion DHF/2.4Ē DHR II
    Fox Transfer 125mm dropper
    Wolftooth ReMote LA
    SQlabs 611 Ergowave saddle
    Hope seat post clamp

    11 speed drivetrain:
    XTR derailleur
    XTR shifter
    X01 cassette
    XX1 chain
    Hope BB
    Hope 170mm cranks
    Hope 30T chainring
    Deity TMAC pedals

    Controls:
    Rental Apex 50mm stem
    Nukeproof Horizon 780mm carbon bar w/25mm rise
    Hope Head Doctor/Spacer Doctor/bar ends
    ODI Rogue grips

    Brakes:
    Hope E4 Tech 3
    Hope floating rotor 180mm F/R

    I love this thing!

    Is the 30T chain ring boost or standard?

  146. #2346
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroH20 View Post
    Is the 30T chain ring boost or standard?
    Boost. However I have heard that people run non-boost chainrings without issues.

  147. #2347
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    I have the 30T oval boost and the chain falls down from the largest cassette when back pedaling. Do you have that issue with the round chainring?

  148. #2348
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    I have the 30T oval boost and the chain falls down from the largest cassette when back pedaling. Do you have that issue with the round chainring?

  149. #2349
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroH20 View Post
    I have the 30T oval boost and the chain falls down from the largest cassette when back pedaling. Do you have that issue with the round chainring?
    No, i dont have that issue. I am using an 11-speed cassette. Are you using Eagle?

  150. #2350
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    Nope, Sram NX 11 speed. I thought it might be the oval chainring. Are you using one 2.5mm spacer on the BB, drive side only?

  151. #2351
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroH20 View Post
    Nope, Sram NX 11 speed. I thought it might be the oval chainring. Are you using one 2.5mm spacer on the BB, drive side only?
    Yep, I am using one 2.5mm spacer on the drive side. The only issue I've noticed is that I'll get creaking when there's even the slightest amount of dirt around the cranks/BB. It goes away when I clean it off.

  152. #2352
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnt_goat View Post
    Yep, I am using one 2.5mm spacer on the drive side. The only issue I've noticed is that I'll get creaking when there's even the slightest amount of dirt around the cranks/BB. It goes away when I clean it off.
    In the process of upgrading to X01 bits. So, Iíve only been on one ride since installing the crankset and I havenít noticed any noises. Thanks for the help.

    Iím still working on adding more Hope parts but hereís mines.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+-img_3935.jpg  


  153. #2353
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroH20 View Post
    Nope, Sram NX 11 speed. I thought it might be the oval chainring. Are you using one 2.5mm spacer on the BB, drive side only?
    It is relatively common for the chain to roll off the 50t on the NX/GX 1x12 systems.

    Mine did not do it at first but now does it often enough that I should probably check the hanger.

    It should not be related to you and/or the oval you've installed.

  154. #2354
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    When my Chameleon arrived (mail order) I could not get the thing to shift cleanly. Sloppy and inconsistent in general and dropped the chain with any real backpedal. The last thing I did was check the alignment of the mech hanger. Low and behold...that was the problem. After some careful bending with the Park Tool adjuster, the bike shifts so well I can hardly hear or feel a mid cassette gear change. I can backpedal for days without dropping the chain.

    Long story, short - check your hanger.
    Figuring this all out as I go!

  155. #2355
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    Quote Originally Posted by DucatiRider View Post
    When my Chameleon arrived (mail order) I could not get the thing to shift cleanly. Sloppy and inconsistent in general and dropped the chain with any real backpedal. The last thing I did was check the alignment of the mech hanger. Low and behold...that was the problem. After some careful bending with the Park Tool adjuster, the bike shifts so well I can hardly hear or feel a mid cassette gear change. I can backpedal for days without dropping the chain.

    Long story, short - check your hanger.
    Haven't check the hangar. Iíll definitely look at it tonight. Thanks!

  156. #2356
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    It is relatively common for the chain to roll off the 50t on the NX/GX 1x12 systems.

    Mine did not do it at first but now does it often enough that I should probably check the hanger.

    It should not be related to you and/or the oval you've installed.
    Iíll definitely look at it tonight. Thanks!

  157. #2357
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    Just an FYI... The chain never roll off the top gear with the Race Face parts it came with. Thanks.

  158. #2358
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    Has anyone tried adding a different chainstay protector? My chain is still slapping the inside since not fully covered. Some of the aluminum Bronson/ 5010 ones look like might fit.

  159. #2359
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    The issue I had with the Hope oval chainring dropping the chain from the 42T when backpedaling, has been resolved. Upgraded to X01 drivetrain with an XX1 chain was the answer. Now I can backpedal as much as my heart desires, and itís buttery smooth!

  160. #2360
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    Can the 29 version run 29 x 3.0?


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  161. #2361
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    Can the 29 version run 29 x 3.0?


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    No, I believe SC claims max is 29 X 2.5". I'm running 29 X 2.4" DHR II on a i30 rim with the dropouts in their most forward position at 415mm chainstay length. There's very little clearance. I wouldn't have it that close if I needed mud clearance.

  162. #2362
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnt_goat View Post
    No, I believe SC claims max is 29 X 2.5". I'm running 29 X 2.4" DHR II on a i30 rim with the dropouts in their most forward position at 415mm chainstay length. There's very little clearance. I wouldn't have it that close if I needed mud clearance.
    Gotcha so itís a tight fit - just seeing how this compares to the Stache as a HT.


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  163. #2363
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    Gotcha so itís a tight fit - just seeing how this compares to the Stache as a HT.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    I had a Stache (it was stolen), now I have a Chameleon R+. I ran 29x3 on the Stache, and run 27.5x3 on my Chameleon for a cushy ride. Both bikes are a ball of fun, and I don't think you could go wrong with either. I think the Chameleon handles the tight, twisty stuff at speed a little better, and for me, that's the funnest part of riding. YMMV.
    "Caught my first tube this morning....sir!"

  164. #2364
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    Can the 29 version run 29 x 3.0?


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    No, that's just too much tire. SC specs the max as 29x2.6 on the alloy (2.5 on carbon I believe). On my Al I have 2.6 Specialized and wouldn't want to try any wider.

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  165. #2365
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    Open to hear some opinions on a good front fork for my Chameleon. What Iím using is the Rockshox Recon. Really, need some advice in fork travel, fork offset and or 27.5 -29er but not an overkill for a hardtail. I like the HELM Coil 29 140mm 51 Offset.

    Spec:

    Frame: 2018 Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Fork: Looking to upgrade?
    Rear Derailleur: Sram X01 Type 2.1 Derailleur
    Shifter: Sram X01 11-Speed
    Crankset: Hope 68/73MM Cranks, 175mm (Spiderless)
    Chainring: Hope Oval, 30T Boost ring
    Cassette: SRAM X01 X-Glide XG-1195
    Chain: Sram PC XX1 Hollow Pin 11-Speed 118 links
    Bottom Bracket: Hope Bottom Bracket, 30mm Threaded
    Brakes (front): Hope Tech 3 E4 Disc Brake, 203mm rotor
    Brakes (back): Hope Tech 3 X2 Disc Brake, 183mm rotor
    Headset: Hope Upper Part HSC7 - IS41/28.6 / Lower Part HSCJN - IS52/40
    Bars: Santa Cruz Carbon, 20mm Rise, 760mm width
    Stem: Hope AM Stem 35mm / 35mm bar size
    Grips: Santa Cruz Palmdale Grip (Eggplant)
    Seat: Fabric Line Elite 142mm width
    Seat Post: Looking to upgrade?
    Seat Post Clamp: Hope Bolt, 34.9mm
    Wheelset: Looking to upgrade?
    Tires Front: Schwalbe Nobby Nic 275 x 3
    Tires Rear: Schwalbe Rocket Ron 27.5 x 3

  166. #2366
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    I absolutely love my Pike 140. Cane Creek has really been stepping up their game lately though..

  167. #2367
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    The Pike is one my list, but Iím intrigued with adding coil springs in the HELM. Even though I havenít tried either one.

  168. #2368
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    which fork offset did you go with?

  169. #2369
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    I second the Pike, but that's all I've tried besides the Recon. Pike is so much lighter and more plush. I went with a 130 29er 51mm. 51 feels good to me with no flop, and that's what the stock bike had so I stuck with it.

  170. #2370
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    Which model Pike. RCT3, Ultimate, etc.?

  171. #2371
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    I picked up a Fox 34 Performance (Grip Damper 29/27.5+ 130mm 51mm offset) at a bargain price from bike-components.de for my Chameleon build and it performs really well. Itís the same chassis as the Factory 34 (without Kashima) - I could upgrade it to a FIT4 but honestly the Grip damper is surprisingly good.

  172. #2372
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    Rct3

  173. #2373
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    I just picked up a 2019 RCT3 pike from jenson for $615. Hard to beat that value. 29/27.5+, 140mm, 51mm. It should be adjustable to 130 if I decide 140 is too slack.

    Forks like the Recon are just heavy and bouncy. Coming from that I'd think you'd be happy with any of those 3 (pike/helm/fox 34). I did some digging and it sounds like SC is starting to spec all their bikes with reduced offset forks. They spec both the 29 and 27+ chameleons with 29er forks. So, presumably the higher end chameleon builds that come with Fox 34s all feature a 44mm offset. However, after asking around, my understanding is that reduced offset forks primarily benefit long, slack bikes. The chameleon is not particularly long or slack and so I was comfortable going with a 51mm fork even though its different from what SC is currently speccing.

    Based on your current build it looks like you've invested quite a bit in high end, lightweight components. Yet, you've been willing to tolerate a lower end fork and non-dropper post (no judgement here, just different preferences, I would have ditched the recon and put on a dropper post before investing in premium drivetrain). Anyways, that leads me to believe a 130mm 29er fork might be perfect for you. Feel free to ignore if the inferences I've made about your riding style based on your current build are incorrect.

  174. #2374
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    I'd also add a MRP Ribbon to your list. I have the air version and it's the best fork I've used to date.

    I had Pike RCT and 34 Factory most recently prior to switching to the Ribbon. I only have a few hours time on the HELM air and liked it enough. Probably would have been able to dial it in a bit more if I spent more time with it. It would likely also be on my shortlist if I was shopping for a new fork.

    The Ribbon is buttery smooth and super easy to adjust travel if you wish. Service/response from MRP is excellent if you have questions or need anything. Only negative I can find about the Ribbon is it's a little noisier that the competitors.

    The options you're considering are all solid and you can't go wrong with any. Enjoy your Chameleon.

  175. #2375
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    I went with a 2018 Pike, 51 mm offset, charger 2 damper. Got an amazing deal on it. Mine is 140, but can be reduced to 130 with some new internal pats. On another bike, I also have a 2016 Pike with a charger damper that is 130mm with a 51mm offset. The 130 is also adaptable to 140, with some new internal parts. I bought both forks later in the season with reduced prices. No matter which fork you go with, MRP, Cane Creek, Fox, or Rockshox (they all make awesome stuff!) shop around and you can find good deals.

  176. #2376
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdwhitey View Post
    I just picked up a 2019 RCT3 pike from jenson for $615. Hard to beat that value. 29/27.5+, 140mm, 51mm. It should be adjustable to 130 if I decide 140 is too slack.

    Forks like the Recon are just heavy and bouncy. Coming from that I'd think you'd be happy with any of those 3 (pike/helm/fox 34). I did some digging and it sounds like SC is starting to spec all their bikes with reduced offset forks. They spec both the 29 and 27+ chameleons with 29er forks. So, presumably the higher end chameleon builds that come with Fox 34s all feature a 44mm offset. However, after asking around, my understanding is that reduced offset forks primarily benefit long, slack bikes. The chameleon is not particularly long or slack and so I was comfortable going with a 51mm fork even though its different from what SC is currently speccing.

    Based on your current build it looks like you've invested quite a bit in high end, lightweight components. Yet, you've been willing to tolerate a lower end fork and non-dropper post (no judgement here, just different preferences, I would have ditched the recon and put on a dropper post before investing in premium drivetrain). Anyways, that leads me to believe a 130mm 29er fork might be perfect for you. Feel free to ignore if the inferences I've made about your riding style based on your current build are incorrect.
    I appreciate the time spent on your post and I bought the Chameleon D with the Recon. Thereís no reasoning why I started with the drivetrain other than, Iím a super fit 55-year-old that ride at least 18-20 miles on every ride and the NX stuff wasnít doiní it for meÖ and thatís how I do things!

    Now, Iím ready to start on my forks and Iím asking advice from my fellow Chamelionaireís to at least point me in the right direction. The Pike was second on my list but from the responsesÖ Maybe I should put the Pike first on my list.

    Going with a least a 140mm with adjustability to change to a 130 - 120mm and a 51 offset, sounds like the way to go and it's covering all ranges.

  177. #2377
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCTerp View Post
    I'd also add a MRP Ribbon to your list. I have the air version and it's the best fork I've used to date.

    I had Pike RCT and 34 Factory most recently prior to switching to the Ribbon. I only have a few hours time on the HELM air and liked it enough. Probably would have been able to dial it in a bit more if I spent more time with it. It would likely also be on my shortlist if I was shopping for a new fork.

    The Ribbon is buttery smooth and super easy to adjust travel if you wish. Service/response from MRP is excellent if you have questions or need anything. Only negative I can find about the Ribbon is it's a little noisier that the competitors.

    The options you're considering are all solid and you can't go wrong with any. Enjoy your Chameleon.
    I have the MRP Loop on another bike I own and never had any issues, other than the brake cable tiedown clamp broke. MRP sent me two at no charge. Not sure why MRP is not high on the list other than, overwhelmed with all the competition.

  178. #2378
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    Quote Originally Posted by stinkydogfart View Post
    I went with a 2018 Pike, 51 mm offset, charger 2 damper. Got an amazing deal on it. Mine is 140, but can be reduced to 130 with some new internal pats. On another bike, I also have a 2016 Pike with a charger damper that is 130mm with a 51mm offset. The 130 is also adaptable to 140, with some new internal parts. I bought both forks later in the season with reduced prices. No matter which fork you go with, MRP, Cane Creek, Fox, or Rockshox (they all make awesome stuff!) shop around and you can find good deals.
    What exactly do the charger 2 damper do... is that similar to MRP's ramp control?

  179. #2379
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    Quote Originally Posted by stock.man View Post
    I picked up a Fox 34 Performance (Grip Damper 29/27.5+ 130mm 51mm offset) at a bargain price from bike-components.de for my Chameleon build and it performs really well. Itís the same chassis as the Factory 34 (without Kashima) - I could upgrade it to a FIT4 but honestly the Grip damper is surprisingly good.
    Never owned a Fox on any of my bikes, not sure why? Wish I could test ride these forks for 40 - 50 miles then decide.

  180. #2380
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroH20 View Post
    What exactly do the charger 2 damper do... is that similar to MRP's ramp control?
    The charger 2 was just the second version of the charger damper. It is the damper to the airspring in the fork. The newest version is supposed to be even smoother. I can feel a big difference in small bump compliance between the two forks I own. I suppose the new Ultimate version is even better.. but I wonít be upgrading unless I kill one of my forks.

  181. #2381
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    Quote Originally Posted by stinkydogfart View Post
    The charger 2 was just the second version of the charger damper. It is the damper to the airspring in the fork. The newest version is supposed to be even smoother. I can feel a big difference in small bump compliance between the two forks I own. I suppose the new Ultimate version is even better.. but I wonít be upgrading unless I kill one of my forks.
    InterestingÖ Makes the decision a little easier to be able to upgrade to the latest technology without buying a new fork. Cheaper to purchase a new damper than a Fork. Digging what Sram/Rockshox is doing with new technology, especially their AXS system.

  182. #2382
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroH20 View Post
    Never owned a Fox on any of my bikes, not sure why? Wish I could test ride these forks for 40 - 50 miles then decide.
    Iíve normally ridden RockShox too and took a punt on the 34 Performance as it was 29/27.5+ and 130mm - perfect for a Chameleon build. Itís a 2017 model which means it doesnít have the Evol air spring (equivalent to the RS Debonair) - Iíll put one in if I change it to 140mm. The Grip damper is a sealed damper and exceeds the Motion Control damper in the lower end RS forks - WWC has a good write up if youíre interested: https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/blo...-damper-review

    and PB rates it as well:
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/fox-34...view-2016.html

    In reality I took a punt on it because it was about US$270 delivered. I figured if it was ordinary I could put a FIT4 damper and Evol air spring in it and have a Performance Elite for a lot less than what a new Performance Elite is. So far I havenít felt the need to.

  183. #2383
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    Don't forget the 2018+ Revelations share the Pike chassis. I bought one second hand and during a rebuild this year or next, will drop in a Charger 2. A way to ease ($$) into a top end fork.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  184. #2384
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    Quote Originally Posted by stock.man View Post
    Iíve normally ridden RockShox too and took a punt on the 34 Performance as it was 29/27.5+ and 130mm - perfect for a Chameleon build. Itís a 2017 model which means it doesnít have the Evol air spring (equivalent to the RS Debonair) - Iíll put one in if I change it to 140mm. The Grip damper is a sealed damper and exceeds the Motion Control damper in the lower end RS forks - WWC has a good write up if youíre interested: https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/blo...-damper-review

    and PB rates it as well:
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/fox-34...view-2016.html

    In reality I took a punt on it because it was about US$270 delivered. I figured if it was ordinary I could put a FIT4 damper and Evol air spring in it and have a Performance Elite for a lot less than what a new Performance Elite is. So far I havenít felt the need to.
    Man, you got an incredible deal on yours. Iím gathering it would be hard to get the wrong set up with the ability to upgrade the charger/damper.

  185. #2385
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    Don't forget the 2018+ Revelations share the Pike chassis. I bought one second hand and during a rebuild this year or next, will drop in a Charger 2. A way to ease ($$) into a top end fork.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
    I havenít rebuilt a fork yet but thatís a pretty good idea. Knowing my luck, I would buy something thatís not upgradable and would have to buy a new one anyway!

    Iím a pretty good machinic but the bicycle industry has changed so much, and I havenít been keeping up. Why Iím asking so many questions.

  186. #2386
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    So, how would a 40, 42, 44 and 46mm offset feel compared to 51mm offset? Whatís the benefits of going with 40 vs 51?

  187. #2387
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    Okay, here are my top 3ís.

    1. Rockshox Pike RCT3 - 140mm, 51 offset
    2. Cane Creek Helm Air 29 - 140mm, 51 offset
    3. MRP Ribbon SL - 130mm, 51 offset

  188. #2388
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    Having only had experience with the Pike it would be my biased choice too. Itís a well proven, reliable platform which is easy to service and has a good range of adjustment (and aftermarket options). Iím in Australia and we have fewer service and support options for the more exotic brands like CC and MRP - if it isnít user serviceable it can end up being expensive to own in the long run.

    This review of 10 forks includes the Helm and Ribbon, and neither seems to match up with RS or Fox offerings, performance-wise: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jV6d1LX0SkU. Top rated is the Lyrik, which is probably too much fork for a Chameleon but it does share the same damper and air spring with the Pike, so youíd expect the Pike to compare similarly well with the Helm and Ribbon. It is just one review however...

    Ultimately it will come down to your riding style and personal preferences, although the Pike is such a versatile fork that you should be able to set it up to suit tame or rowdy situations. It would be a good option on the Chameleon at 130 or 140mm, and can be set up nice and plush for a hardtail. I think 51mm offset is the go as the Chameleon front end isnít that slack. A 42mm or 46mm offset might be worth considering if you plan to repurpose the fork on a slacker bike later on, but it may affect how the Chameleon handles. Iím not sure what Santa Cruz specify on their completes either.

    I probably would have ended up getting a Pike if the 34 didnít come along at such a bargain price - I had to email Germany and ask them what was wrong with it to be sure it was legit it was that cheap! Apparently they had just bought up a bunch of surplus OE forks and could sell them off at ridiculous prices.

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