The Even More Adaptable 2022 Santa Cruz Chameleon

The Santa Cruz Chameleon has always held true to its name with its ability to adapt to different drivetrain styles and to have gear mounted to the frame. This most recent iteration takes that versatility a step further, as the bike can now roll on 29″ or mixed wheels by swapping out the sliding dropouts. It’s all set for trail adventures, with gear mounts on either side of the down tube. If you’re searching for a three-in-one hardtail, this one with the 130mm fork might be a winner.

In addition to the wide-ranging adaptability, the Boost-spaced alloy Chameleon frames have external bottom brackets and cables for easy maintenance. The rear brake mount fits a 180mm rotor with either set of dropouts, and the dropouts move with the rear brake caliper so there is no optimal or sub-optimal axle location throughout the chain stay length adjustment.

The bike’s BB drop shifts a fair bit depending on wheel size, with the MX dropouts raising the cranks by a full 16mm with respect to the axle height. While the chainstay lengths are adjustable, the full spectrum remains rather short which should help this bike get off the ground and squeeze through tight turns. The head tube is plenty slack for a 130mm fork, and the slack seat tube angle will steepen with sag. Seat tube lengths are short enough that a lot of riders should be able to choose their frame size based on reach measurement rather than leg length.

As usual, the frames come with a lifetime warranty, and all of the builds can be purchased with 29″ or mixed wheel sizes. The top-shelf S Kit retails for $3,749 with a Fox 34 Float Performance 130 fork and SRAM GX Eagle 12 speed drivetrain. A mid-tier build comes with a Fox Rhythm 34 130mm fork and SRAM NX Eagle 12 speed for $2,949. Finally, the entry-level Chameleon builds will start at $2,399 with a RockShox Recon RL 130 fork and SRAM SX Eagle transmission.

Head over to the Santa Cruz site for additional details.

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