Building a Santa Cruz Chameleon
So if you have read my Charles (Bronson) build you'll know I built up my Santa Cruz Bronson, from a bare frame choosing the components and specification I wanted. I'd taken this route as the off the shelf builds weren't to my liking, my Chameleon build would be no different.
So I decided I needed a hardtail, when I say needed I might mean wanted. However after and especially hard winter my beloved Charles (Bonson) had taken a bit of a beating, the sticky Cotswold clay getting places it wasn't wanted if I was to keep the Charles from away form the winter mud.
Before committing to the Chameleon I had looked into other options, including Orange and Whyte. None of the other option met my requirements which were principally all components must be cross compatible with the Bronson.
So the build again was going to be a Shimano, Hope with a Rockshox Pike up front. To some this might be a little overkill for a winter bike, but I like to be able to ride. Having compatible components means that I can generally ride the bike I want / need to ie when racing.
So despite my best endeavours not to buy another Santa Cruz an offer at 18 Bikes found me with a shiny new hardtail to build. I already had a number of components that had been spares or emergency replacements for the Bronson. The Chameleon was getting hand me down parts while Charles was getting new components.
The initial saw the chameleon sharing the Bronson 27.5" wheels, despite having a 29" fork and dropouts. A set of 29" wheels would be built by myself later.
When I first build up the Chameleon sharing the Bronson wheels, whilst its was an acceptable bike, I didn't feel the love. That was until I built him some 29" wheels, the transformation was amazing. The Chameleon went from winter bike to all round trail fun bike, I was able to shred the local trails faster than I was on the Bronson. It became such a capable bike taking everything that I could throw at it. I still switch back to Full Suspension when the trails get jumpy or rocky, Cwmcarn being an example. While the Chameleon can ride the trails, the final descent on Twrch on a hardtail destroys my legs.
Both bikes now have there place and I'll happily ride either, now I'm able to switch it up and pick the most appropriate for the trails and conditions.
|Fork||Pike RCT3 Boost|
|Wheels||Hope Pro 4 hub, Stans no Tubes Arch, DT Swiss Spokes|
|Tyres||Schwalbe Magic Mary / Hans Dampf|
|Seat post||Reverb stealth 150mm 31.6mm|
|Saddle||WTB volt race|
|Headset||Hope ZS44/30, EC 49/40, Head Doctor, Space Doctor|
|Bars||Raceface SIXC carbon riser|
|Grips||Santa Cruz Palmdale|
|Rear Mech||Shimano XTM8000+|
|Chainring||Superstar 30T oval|
|Brakes||Shimano XT M8000|
|Adaptor||Shimano XTR Front/Rear 180mm|
|Rotors||Shimano XT RT86 ICE TECH 180mm|