Well, you listed trails last, so for that reason I would throw out the lone FS bike on your list. 🙂
Based on what little I know about your riding style, I’d go with a Chameleon. Most of the hardtails bike on your list are pretty race-oriented and the Chameleon is probably the most relaxed. Then again, racy might not be a bad thing if you’re mostly riding roads. After all, these bikes are just racy in the MTB sense.
Consider the Salsa Timberjack 29 which comes with 29×2.6 tires on i30mm (i=inner width) rims. (If the adjustable rear dropours are moved back it will fit 2.8 tires.) With the stock tires you have a very capable Plus hardtail. There’s a reason that many Enduro bikes are now coming with 29×2.6 tires. Because the bike comes with i30 rims you can also use 2.2 XC tires and go to the races. Going one step further, you can reasonably use 45mm(1.8in) Gravel tires on the i30 rims and now have a fast bike on pavment and gravel. On bike does it all—Plus hardtail to XC race bike to Gravel bike—extreme versatility! The Timberjack is also a pretty good bikepacking rig.
Most of the bikes on your list are XC Race hardtails. Unless you’re into XC racing, I would recommend a Plus hardtail Trailbike. With 2.6 or 2.8 tires, a hardtail will be more capable and more comfortable. The only Plus Trailbike on your list is the 27.5 Chameleon.
Love the Chameleon. As the name implies the bike is designed to be set up in many different ways. You can do damn near anything with it. 27+, 29, single speed set up, you can run 1x or a front derailleur. Get some skinny 29s for gravel days and 27.5+ for chunky terrain.
I am of course hugely biased bc I’ve owned multiple Chameleons.
IMO, i wouldn’t get any of them besides the chameleon, a great all around bike. The reason why i wouldn’t get the others, is if you truly want an all around bike, you will most definitely find the limitations of xc geometry.
you could also go with the: Nukeproof Scout 290 comp, Commencal meta am ht race, and for a fs look at the yt jeffsy.
Hi everyone, and congrats, finally I see topics that know more than just the fastest or the lightest bikes out there.
I’m from Portugal and the forums, all end on the more sporty bike.
I still ride a 26” FS KTM Lycan and I’ve been struggling to get info on a bike to replace it. I’m more a relaxed rider; I ride for pleasure in the nature, not for speed nor performance nor very technical trails and I’m looking for a “do it all” and “comfy” 29” carbon HT, if there is so such thing
Unfortunately We don’t have Santa Cruz or Kona (with a “c” it is not a very polite word here in Portugal 🙂 ) dealers. We have Specialized, Cannondale, Scott, Cube, KTM, Trek, Focus.
I know that Trek procaliber 9.6 has Iso speed and the FSi Carbon appears to have a flexible frame but… Any help, please!
I own a Chameleon and love it. It is great on the trails but also great to ride more tech stuff. 27.5 wheels with 2.8 tires. Someone mentioned a Timberjack. Also own a 29er but would not think it would be all that good for street.