Chameleon or Rocker SS?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Chameleon or Rocker SS?

    I'm looking to build my first ever single speed, and I'd like to keep the build cost around $3000-3500 tops. A couple bikes I'm strongly considering are the Santa Cruz Chameleon, and the Spot Rocker.

    Both complete bikes seem to be pretty close in terms of component spec for the money, which is not a very good value. If I bought the SC as a complete bike, I'd sell the drivetrain components and convert to SS. The Rocker is nice because I can purchase it out of the box with a Gates belt drive and not have to deal with any of that.

    The Rocker seems to be very close in weight, and the frame material (Reynolds 853) is more appealing than aluminum, along with the exclusivity factor. But, comparing frame only prices of $750 vs $1200, the Chameleon would be a bit cheaper.

    I guess I'm looking for opinions comparing the end result of an aluminum Chameleon with a conventional chain driven SS setup vs a steel Rocker with a belt driven setup. I'm still torn whether I want to run 27.5+ or 29x2.6ish on either bike...I've ridden both sizes quite a bit and do kinda miss the compliance of the plus tires.

    Hoping you experienced SS folk can provide some insight pertaining to the quality of either frame material, geo, ride qualities, etc. I'm 5'11 200lbs and primarily ride in Florida (unfortunately) so the climbs and descents are short and punchy for the most part. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Iím in Florida as well, riding Santos 32x17 on my Canfield Nimble with 27.5+.

    I have two friends that ride Spot Rockers SS. Also running 27.5+. They love them and those belts can handle just about anything, even the ďcheaperĒ black colored belt holds up incredibly well on techy sections that require immense power. The other plus is that they are super quiet and always ready to ride, virtually no maintenance. My one friend initially got the Spot to ride at a trail we use for training that has large sections of sugar sand, pine needles and leaves throughout the entire year, the belt drive made it so there was no worry about chain wear with the sand. The down side, $60 bucks per cog. They are beautiful bikes and worth the money for the steel ride, ease of maintenance and letís be honest they are just sweet looking.

    I ride a conventional chain and I donít mind the maintenance. $30 bucks a cog and I would only ever use steel Surlys. There just isnít any incentive into throwing money at aluminum or expensive steel cogs.

    I have two single speeds already but if I was in the market for another, it would be a Rocker or other belt drive steel/ti frame.


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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the input. Turns out, I just found a great deal on a Rocker SS 27.5+ lightly used with a nice carbon wheelset. It's a medium, so I bought it and I'll just buy a large frame, swap everything over and sell the medium frame afterwards.

    It comes with a 42t front and 26t rear, which is stated to be identical to 32t front / 20t rear on a chain driven setup. The seller is also including a spare 24t rear sprocket so I think I should have my bases covered.

    I guess I'll just update this thread when everything shows up

  4. #4
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    I just pmd you. Lol.


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  5. #5
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    Chameleon or Rocker SS?-img_5751.jpg

    Got the bike, just riding it around the block the fitment actually feels really good. I'm wondering if I'll even need the large frame I ordered. Going to ride it on actual singletrack today and then I'll decide.

  6. #6
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    - ran into someone last summer on the trails at Chicopee (Gainesville, GA) and it was certainly a sweet bike; 20 lbs. for a steel-framed bike is incredible; my Ti SS is 21 lbs.....
    Rigid 29er Ti SS
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    Paketa Magnesium Road Bike

  7. #7
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    Ended up swapping everything to the large frame, so the like-new medium is for sale in the classifieds. Could've worked, but I could tell while riding trails thata large would have been optimal for my height.

    With the plus tires and all, 24.2lbs with pedals and bottle cage. Really happy with that, and so far I'm absolutely loving riding this thing.

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