Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon - $750.00

In nearly a decade of existence, the Santa Cruz Chameleon has seen little change -- mostly just updates that reflect current construction techniques, like hydroformed tubing. For a bike to go this long is indicative that Santa Cruz got it right the first time around. It also makes the Chameleon a perfect for those on a budget, or those who like a mountain bike packed with versatility. The keys to the Chameleons longevity are adaptability and appeal to multiple disciplines. Whether youre a long established mountain biker, or youre new to the trail and looking for a place to start, the Chameleon will satisfy. While every other hardtail on the market is intended for XC or dirt jump use only, the Chameleon is designed for a much broader audience. How can a hardtail do all this' The short answer is great design from the people at Santa Cruz. The long answer is in the details. The Chameleons unique frame geometry can work with forks that have as little as 100mm of travel or as much as 160mm, with 120-140mm being ideal. At the 100mm end, you have a steep seat angle and a lower bottom bracket height. The change in stance gives a forward-leaning, aggressive cross-country geometry. Put a 160mm fork in and the bike gets taller and more laid-back, adding high-speed stability and steep-terrain confidence. The beauty of the Chameleon is its not limited to XC riding, and when set up with a taller fork, it makes an excellent first mountain bike because of its forgiving nature and simple operation. Run a travel-adjust fork and youre riding a true do-it-all machine. Another distinguishing aspect of the Chameleon is its tubeset. The massive tubes in the rear triangle are made from 6066 aluminum and provide stiffness for great power transfer. The large diameter is stiffer and has the added benefit of allowing for ultra-thin tubing walls that reduce weight. The heavily gusseted front end also means gobs of strength. - $750.00

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