2022 Aluminum Chameleon S-Kit Hardtail in Yellow
2022 Aluminum Chameleon S-Kit Hardtail in Yellow
2022 Aluminum Chameleon S-Kit Hardtail in Blue
2022 Aluminum Chameleon S-Kit Hardtail in Blue


  • Overview
  • Bike Builder
  • Geometry and Sizing
  • Technical Support
  • Warranty

Built for...whatever

The Chameleon is a blank canvas, ready to go in whatever direction your imagination takes it. Creativity in wheel size, gearing and component choice make it the perfect muse for freethinkers and freedom seekers alike.

We made the Chameleon for riders who like to sculpt their ideal bike, and aren’t afraid to experiment. Whether 29er or mixed, geared or fixed, multiple major configuration transformations are made easy via the interchangeable dropouts. The low slung top tube and progressive geometry means this bike blends into whatever surroundings you place it. From raucous short-cuts across town to skipping the city altogether. It turns itself to trail exploration with the flip of an Allen key, thanks to the triple-bolt cargo cage mount under the downtube and standard bottle mount within the frame.

Whatever the weather, however long the ride, wherever you're going, the Chameleon is so endlessly customizable and adjustable that the only constraint is really your own mind and motivation.

Want something a notch swifter for more XC style riding? Check out the Highball
More focused on dirt jumps and pumptracks? Check out the Jackal
Proud owner of a Chameleon? Register your bike here.

Key Features:

Available in: Aluminum
Wheel Size: MX & 29"
Front Travel: 130mm

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Santa Cruz Dealer Logo: Mike's Bikes
Santa Cruz Dealer Logo: Evo
Santa Cruz Dealer Logo: Competitive Cyclist


Reach 420445465490
Stack 620.1629.2638.2647.3
Head Tube Angle 65.0°65.0°65.0°65.0°
Seat Tube Length 380405430460
Front Center 729.4758.6782.8812.1
BB Height 315315315315
BB Drop 56/4056/4056/4056/40
Wheelbase 1154.41183.61207.81237.1
Rear Center 425-437425-437425-437425-437
Head Tube Length 100110120130
Top Tube Length 596.1621.3643.4668.8
Seat Tube Angle 74.1°74.3°74.4°74.6°
Standover Height 682682686708



Frame Sizing

If you're on the cusp between the recommended height range of two sizes, the absolute best thing is to try to ride them both. At a minimum, check the stack/reach measurements on your current bike and compare it to the new model you are looking at to get an idea of a fit you are already comfortable with. If riding the bike is not an option, consider the following.

Personal Preference

A larger size frame will be more stable, and will give you more room to move without upsetting the weight-balance of the bike. The larger size will put the front wheel further in front of you, which gives the feeling of security and conversely, it will require more significant body movements when you WANT to shift the weight-bias of the bike. Think hard about your riding style and how active/intuitive you want it to be vs stable and speedy. You'll need to work a bit harder to muscle the larger bike around.

Body Dimension

Not all bodies at a given height are the same. If you have longer legs and a shorter torso than the average person your height, that may push you towards the smaller of the recommended sizes. If you're all torso and arms, most likely you'll want to size up.



152 - 165cm
152 - 165cm


165 - 178cm
165 - 178cm


178 - 185cm
178 - 185cm


185 - 198cm
185 - 198cm


Mike Hill riding his custom Chameleon hardtail
Myia Antone riding his custom Chameleon mountain bike
Eric Ackermann riding his custom Chameleon
Sven Busse riding his custom Chameleon 8A
Swanee Ravonison riding his custom Chameleon hardtail mountain bike
Mike Hill riding his custom Chameleon hardtail
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Design Details

Chameleon 8A Headtube

Design Details

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Aluminum frame

The Chameleon reinvents itself yet again, returning to the no-nonsense alu roots that make it our most versatile hard-working hardtail of all time.

MX or 29

Options for full 29 or MX setups means you can opt for speed and comfort for hauling or quick and nimble handling.

Single speed or gears

Adjustable dropouts make it a multi-geared trail charger to single-speed racer to bikepacking mule...and pretty much anything imaginable in between.

A Mule That Rules

Tougher and stronger than any race horse, the Chameleon blends stamina with agility to create a whole new kind of beast. A triple-bolt cargo cage mount under the downtube and additional mount within the frame ensures the Chameleon is ready to play wherever The Wild Things Are.

Fun-loving, shreddy spirit

The low slung top tube and more progressive geometry (65.5-degree head-angle and longer reach) provides all-trail capability.

Lifetime warranty

Built to last many lifetimes and supported by the legendary Santa Cruz rider support.

2022 Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon 8 yellow and magenta frame

Five Rider's Rides

We put the Chameleon in the hands of five unique riders to see how they would build a bike to fit their needs.

2022 Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon 8 yellow and magenta frame

Five Rider's Rides

We put the Chameleon in the hands of five unique riders to see how they would build a bike to fit their needs.

Five Rider's Rides

We put the Chameleon in the hands of five unique riders to see how they would build a bike to fit their needs.

2022 Chameleon 8 S 29 Yellow and Magenta

Maintenance Information

Reserve Wheels

How to find your serial number

Something not right? Use our warranty claim form to file a claim. We'll do everything we can to get you back to riding as fast as possible.

File a claim for a Santa Cruz product

If you have any other questions or would like to follow up on a warranty claim, contact our Warranty Department.

Chameleon Tech Support

Front DerailleurNo compatibility
Headset/HeadtubeIntegrated (IS41/52)
Seat Post31.6mm
Seat Clamp36.4mm
Fork Compatibility130mm - 140mm
BB Shell73mm Threaded
Max Tire Size29"x2.6" | 27.5"x2.8"
Max Chainring Size34t
Water Bottle Mounts2
Fork Offset42mm
Brake MountPost Mount 180

Check out our recommended fork setup below

Rockshox Recon Silver RL 130

Rider Weight (lbs)(kgs)Pressure (psi)Rebound (from closed)

Fox Rhythm 34 130

Rider Weight (lbs)(kgs)Pressure (psi)Rebound (from closed)Compression (from closed)

Fox 34 130 Performance

Rider Weight (lbs)(kgs)Pressure (psi)Rebound (from closed)Compression (from closed)

Why MX (Mixed Wheels)?

Mixed wheels provide the stability and traction of a 29" front wheel with the agility of a 27.5" rear wheel. The smaller rear wheel and its comparatively lower axle height allows the rider to more easily unweight the front wheel- this makes for confident yet agile handling on the steepest of descents.

I've been riding 29ers for a while- what will feel different with MX? Any setup tips?

29" bikes provide a ton of front wheel grip- this is partially due to the front wheel itself, but also due to the axle height of the rear wheel which works to keep the front end weighted. This creates a natural position on lower-angle terrain but requires body position and/or setup adjustments to achieve any sort of rearward bias.

On an MX bike, the bias is more rearward. This gives a very natural feeling on steep descents, but requires some body position and setup consideration for a balanced feel on flatter terrain. Compared to a 29er, a slightly lower handlebar and a more forward-biased suspension setup will make an MX bike feel more like what you're used to. Additionally, using the Hi BB setting will lend itself to a more front biased feel. Using these tuning parameters will help you find the sweet spot for your terrain and preference.

You'll know you have it dialed when it feels like you're never making large bodyweight shifts to either lift the front end or keep it stuck to the ground.

I'm coming from a 27.5 bike- what will feel different with MX? Any setup tips?

An MX bike will definitely handle differently than a full 27.5 bike. The main difference you'll feel is a more stable and confident front end. The turning will be a bit slower than a 27.5, but the payoff is a more secure feeling in corners and more traction. Due to the taller front axle height and improved roll-over of the large wheel, your chances of stuffing the front wheel or going over the bars is vastly diminished. Use this security to ride challenging terrain with a more aggressive and dynamic body position.

What fork offset is the recommended?

We recommend 42-44mm offset 29" forks for the Chameleon

Can I run a 27.5" front and rear wheel on this bike?

The Chameleon is not designed for a 27.5" front wheel, but you could make it work with a ~150mm travel fork if that's what you want to do.

What do I need to do in order to switch wheel sizes?

There are two sets of dropouts- one set for a 27.5" rear wheel and another for a 29" rear wheel. You just need to order/install the dropout set that you want, and switch the wheel itself of course.

Is the Chameleon single speed-compatible?

Yes, the Chameleon has sliding dropouts that provide 12mm of chainstay length adjustment. These can be used for geometry adjustment or for tensioning the chain on a single speed setup. The dropouts are only available in 148x12 and use the SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger.

How do I adjust the dropouts on my Chameleon?

Take a look at this video for information on dropout adjustment.

Tobin O. getting ready for a ride, putting on his shoes while his mechanic check over his 2022 Blur
Tobin O. getting ready for a ride, putting on his shoes while his mechanic check over his 2022 Blur

Lifetime Warranty and Support

Missing a ride sucks. That's why we build the very best bikes and offer legendary rider support for life so that you don't.

We design our bikes to last, to be easy to work on and we make sure to provide the parts and information so you can make your bike last for many lifetimes.

We take No Missed Rides seriously, so we keep stock of every small part and spare to keep you rolling. Head over to the shop to find what you need.