The all new Santa Cruz Chameleon is capable of shifting from a trail rig to a bikepacking mule using an elegant swappable dropout system — and 29er or 27.5+ hoops. It’s not too shabby to look at either. What do you think?

Posted by Logan Watts

Dirt or asphalt, mountain or urban, geared or singlespeed. All potential possibilities that Santa Cruz claims for their new Chameleon. While the new Santa Cruz Chameleon was just ‘released’ earlier this week, it technically already hit stores earlier this month. This is actually the seventh iteration of the Santa Cruz Chameleon. It features a completely redesigned frame that allows it to be setup geared or singlespeed, with 27.5+ wheels and tires or 29ers. The crux of the Chameleon remains the same; built on modern trail bike geometry and a 120mm fork, it’s designed to ride fast and have fun. However, we took note because this one-bike wonder looks like it has potential as a solid bikepacking rig as well. With internal dropper post routing, long and low trail geometry, downtube bottle mounts, a pretty solid component spec, and the potential for plus or 29er wheels, what more do you need? Read on to find out more details and let us know what you think in the comments.

  • New Santa Cruz Chameleon, 2017
  • New Santa Cruz Chameleon, 2017
  • New Santa Cruz Chameleon, 2017
  • Santa Cruz Chameleon Tire Clearance
  • New Santa Cruz Chameleon, 2017
  • New Santa Cruz Chameleon, 2017
  • New Santa Cruz Chameleon, 2017

The new Santa Cruz Chameleon has four different swappable dropouts. Clockwise below are Boost 27.5+, Boost 29er, 142×12 Singlespeed 27.5+, and 142×12 Singlespeed 29er. This interchangeable system enables the Chameleon to maintain the same geometry regardless of wheel size.

  • New Santa Cruz Chameleon, Dropout
  • New Santa Cruz Chameleon, Dropout
  • New Santa Cruz Chameleon, Dropout
  • New Santa Cruz Chameleon, Dropout

New Santa Cruz Chameleon Geometry

The new Santa Cruz Chameleon comes Olive Green and is available in four sizes ranging from small to XL. There are several builds available including 29er and 27.5+ starter kits for $1,599 USD with a Rockshox Recon fork — the same fork is used for both 29er and 27.5+. We like the looks of the $1,999 Chameleon R+, a 27.5+ build featuring a Fox Rhythm 120 fork with a Race Face Affect Cinch crankset and Race Face AR 40 rims. Here’s the spec:

2017 Santa Cruz Chameleon R+

Santa Cruz Chameleon R+

  • Frame Material Aluminum
  • Fork FOX Rhythm 120
  • Rear Dérailleur SRAM NX
  • Shifters SRAM NX
  • Chainring Size 30 Tooth
  • Crankset Race Face Aeffect AL
  • Bottom Bracket Included w/ crankset
  • Cassette SRAM XG1150 10-42
  • Chain SRAM PC1110
  • Brakes SRAM Level T
  • Brake Rotors Avid Centerline; 160mm
  • Headset Cane Creek 10 Series; integrated
  • Bars Race Face Ride 760mm, 35mm clamp
  • Stem Race Face Ride, 35mm clamp
  • Grips Santa Cruz Palmdale Lock-on
  • Front Hub Novatec D711; 15x110mm
  • Rear Hub Novatec D712; 12x148mm
  • Rims Race Face AR 40
  • Spokes DT Swiss Champion
  • Front Tire Maxxis Rekon EXO TR; 27.5×2.8
  • Rear Tire Maxxis Rekon Exo; 27.5×2.8
  • Tubes Stans Sealant
  • Seat Post Race Face Ride 31.6x400mm
  • Saddle WTB Volt Race

New Santa Cruz Chameleon, 2017

  • New Santa Cruz Chameleon, 2017
  • New Santa Cruz Chameleon, 2017

We hope to test one soon and report back. In the meantime, more at SantaCruz.com

Follow Us

and join the conversation.