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Summary of Reviews
We have read all expert and user reviews on the Santa Cruz Chameleon. In summary, this is what cyclists think.
11 reasons to buy
- The Chameleon demonstrates agile, reptilian handling capabilities.
- For some lower-end models, experts saw value-for-money as ‘solid’.
- Generally, climbing ability impressed. One expert deemed it ‘stellar’.
- The bike can be run geared, singlespeed and with two chainstay lengths.
- It can also be shod with 27.5” tires (up to 2.6”) or 29” (up to 2.6”).
- Reportedly, this steed performs savagely on descents.
- Testers found the Chameleon to be at home at high speeds.
- SRAM Level T brakes offered adequate stopping power.
- Bikepackers were satisfied with cargo-carrier mounts under the down-tube.
- Weight on carbon versions was described as ‘fairly light’.
- On higher-end models, Race Face Aeffect dropper-posts were lauded.
10 reasons not to buy
- It was common to hear that higher-end models seemed massively overpriced.
- For some, steep geometry felt less confident in rapid descents.
- The short rear-end felt jarring on rocky terrain.
- An expert loathed the less-aggressive, XC-focused Maxxis Ardent rear tire.
- On lower-end models, the lack of a dropper-post was a detractor.
- The Fox 34 shock underwhelmed, as a difficult-to-tune base-model.
- SRAM Guide brakes lacked power and needed bleeding early on.
- Some riders would have liked clearance for a 29” x 2.6” tire, or larger.
- One tester found climbing difficult on an R1, due to a ‘wandering front end’.
- The Chameleon lacks a downtube bottle-mount.