Santa Cruz 1999 Chameleon XT Hardtail Bike

5/5 (16 Reviews)
MSRP : $1910.00


Product Description

1999 Santa Cruz Chameleon XT, mountain bike, front suspension, Mountain Mix components, Rock Shox Sid XC, 3.15" travel fork


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Reviews 1 - 15 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Font9a a Cross Country Rider from Bay Area

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2002

Strengths:    Exceptional geometry, extremely stiff, horizontal dropouts, great value

Weaknesses:    Aluminum, not steel

Bottom Line:   
This bike has the best SS geometry I've ever ridden. It is extremely agile without being twitchy; I just get in the centerline and the bike steers itself. The braking power is good, with the burly seat stays.

Being aluminum, however, it is too brittle feeling. Rear end compliance is virtually nil, which feels great carving (oh, and it carves so lovely) fast turns in all conditions, but the tradeoff is jarring on rocky trails. The SID up front works really well, any more than 80mm would slack the head tube angle too much, after all it is a hardtail.

This is a great SS frame at a very respectable price. I am having a custom steel bike made with the same geometry, so hopefully that will be the best of both worlds. Santa Cruz does beautiful work.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   sprinkles

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $900.00

Similar Products Used:   CycleCraft

Bike Setup:   RS SID, XTR v-brakes, Chris King SS hubs, RaceFace cranks 34:17, DX pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Carlos Riestra a Weekend Warrior from Puerto Rico

Date Reviewed: June 8, 2002

Strengths:    Geometry! Strength! Great bike for us X-Bmxers. Loves to climb & I cant wait to point it down hill!! Will adapt to whatever type of ride you have in store for it.

Weaknesses:    In my case, the polished frame (high maintenance). Other than that, NOTHING.

Bottom Line:   
Get the frame at a great price and use your hard earned money to put quality parts on it. Do this and youll have a bike that can do it all and do it better than bikes that cost three times as much.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Susua

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Adrenalina

Similar Products Used:   too many hardtails to mention & Santa-Cruz Superlight

Bike Setup:   White-Bros. AT-4, King head set, Thompson stem & post, xt & xtr guts & brakes, Kooka cranks, Valiant rims, Rithchey riser, a few other goodies.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Puppet from Kingston/Calgary/Canmore

Date Reviewed: October 18, 2001

Strengths:    everything unique about the bike: SingleSpeed, Super strong both laterally and in every other dimension possible. Geometry gives me everything I could possibly ask for and more. It makes me feel like the only limit to what I can or can't ride is my own skill level.

Weaknesses:    It makes me feel like my only limit is my own skill level.

Bottom Line:   
I love my bike. No Regrets. Frame is more than worth it. the components all depend on you wheeling and dealing w/ your LBS. I ride it for everything set up as is - singlespeed. Cross Country in the Rocky Mountains and South Central Ontario, Trials and Urban Assault, Dual Slalom, and yes indeed, Downhill at Fernie when I'm feeling like a lazy s.o.b and wanna take the chairlift up.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Kodiak Carnage - Fernie BC

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   the bike is unique.

Bike Setup:   Quickly upon purchasing it I made it my own: Single Speed (SPOT brand SS hub), Hayes disks front and rear, Marzocchi Z3QR20 w/ 5", and some downhill disk specific rims twist laced running a Kujo 2.7" front and a Maxxis 2.4" rear. Yeah, so I'm a crank...

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jay salaya a Weekend Warrior from san jose, ca

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2001

Strengths:    no flexing, feels very solid

Weaknesses:    heavy

Bottom Line:   
I have a 99 heckler, no complaints, really, really good for all around and cross country, but when it comes to climbing and serious riding, this chameleon rules, period. Low maintenance, easier to control, except for one thing, a must for rear swing arm, a lizard skin, to protect from chain scratches and noise.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   joseph grant park(very close to home)

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $380.00

Purchased At:   swap meet

Similar Products Used:   santa cruz heckler

Bike Setup:   lx/xt/xtr(mostly xt/ shifter lx/ vbrakes xtr)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris a Weekend Warrior from Bouler, CO

Date Reviewed: May 24, 2001

Strengths:    My hands would fall of before I could finish typing the list.

Weaknesses:    Hmm, hmm, well yeah...

Bottom Line:   
So I'm about to leave for college and, having sold my s-works a year before, my brother say's, "i got a bike for ya". He then mails me a chamelion frame. I didn't really know much about the bike, but built it up and rode it around a bit. I have to say, this bike is above all, fun to ride. Its (how i have it built) like a great big bmx that is actually nice to ride. It does everything else well too though, I love doing downhill on it and just riding it from place to place, turns cross campus commutes into something to look forward to.

Buy this bike, that's all i can say.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Not really similar but...
Specialized S-Works M2


Bike Setup:   Random parts, mostly Lx & Xt, white bros 70mm fork.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ty Winty a Cross Country Rider from Sydney NSW Australia

Date Reviewed: January 11, 2001

Strengths:    Where do you start. This is the best Hardtail period. The build quality is excellent, the angles just work. I like the horizontal drop outs as for the rare occasions I have to change a rear wheel its is no trouble. The cables route well and to date I have had no challenges. Ok its not the lightest and its quality may not be as good as the high end Klein were pre Trek but this is not a weakness because once you ride this bike you will forget all that.

Weaknesses:    Decals scratch off (remind me to ask Santa Cruz for a new set). I would have liked a few more water bottle mounts. I sometimes knock my heals on the stays as they are so fat!

Bottom Line:   
This bike handles like no other. I have 12 bikes, some worth 10 times as much, but this is by far my favorite to ride for all occasions. Ride it to the shop, cycle toured for two months and 3000kms towing a BOB trailer, rode the slickrock trail several times. This is the fun bike to do it all on. I will never sell or pass on this frame.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Irvine Bike Source

Similar Products Used:   Own/ed Klein Fevor, Scott Pro Racing, Specialized FRS M4, Intense Tracer (this rocks too), Trek 8000, Trek Y-22 and tested many others... Nothing is as good for the bucks as the Chameleon and the only one I even get close to riding as much is my Intense and Serrotta road bike.

Bike Setup:   Mostly XT 9 spd, Atom Bomb Z2 forks (rock on this frame), Dean TI seat post (get one), Race face LP cranks and rings, Bontrager Crow Bars and Profile Stem and some ald XT/mavic 517 wheels, Cheap Trick brakes.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Richard a Weekend Warrior from Madison WI USA

Date Reviewed: July 7, 2000

Strengths:    Single speedable, light enough, tough

Weaknesses:    no rear disk mount, horizontal dropouts make the rear wheel a bit of a pain to mount and remove

Bottom Line:   
Bought the bike used and i feel like i was born with the bike attached to me. I origonally sold my car to buy it as a backup-commuter but after a week I sold my k2 4000 because i knew i would't be riding it anymore. I simply love the way this bike handles, the only problem with it is that I cannot blame the bike for my lack of skills anymore (my k2 had really funny geometry). The only person I couldn't reccomend it to would be a technophile, gram counting racer. The weight is by no means bad, but their are fancier and lighter bikes available around the same price. If you love riding, race from time to time, can only have one bike, tear up bikes fast,want a single speed, ect... then I highly reccomend this bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Whatever is under my tires

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   lots and lots of other hardtails

Bike Setup:   racface c-set, crossride, lx brakes (ditched the xt's), riser bar, short stem, full xt shifting, marzocchi z2 bam

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by pook dog a Weekend Warrior from tustin,cal.U.S.A.

Date Reviewed: April 20, 2000

Strengths:    light ,SUPER STRONG,no flex,low standover height is awesome!! This bike handles extremely well!!I ride the CHAMELEON all the time now instead of my f/s 4+inch travel CANNONDALE fr1000. I run a Judy 100 with it,just point it down anything and away you go no problem.

Weaknesses:    no rear disc mount....no biggie

Bottom Line:   
buy this bike for all things cycling!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   rock it

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   nothing even close

Bike Setup:   xtr brakes,xt sram shifter/derailleur,xt front der.,RACE FACE cranks,Judy 100,mavic rims,race face riser bar,

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Steve a Racer from Millsboro, DE

Date Reviewed: December 16, 1999

Strengths:    
Overall workmanship, original design, STRONG!


Weaknesses:    
we'll see...


Bottom Line:   
too new to really review...but I'll update. Anyone else with single-speed advice?

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
the next one...

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   
Aluminum hardtails: Zaskar LE, CAAD4, Attitude Race


Bike Setup:   
The way it was meant to be...single-speed! SID, Paul brakes/levers, Surly hubs, Sun rims, Easton riser, etc. 21 lbs.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Rob Sneddon a Weekend Warrior from Manchester UK

Date Reviewed: November 26, 1999

Strengths:    
Really cool looking
Extremely rigid and quick off the mark.
Good for blasting trails and jumping. I even let my missus ride it!


Weaknesses:    
Yes, those decals do come off.


Bottom Line:   
Well cool, kick ass trail bike. Go get one!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Anythin wicked!!

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   
Had an Orange MsIsle which some git nicked.


Bike Setup:   
Polished frame, Z1 Bombers, Raceface cranks,D521's, full XT

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Chris a Weekend Warrior from Phoenix

Date Reviewed: October 23, 1999

Strengths:    
woooooooooooohooooooo
this frame is made to last and its super stiff!


Weaknesses:    
have not been able to find one yet


Bottom Line:   
Its a kick a$$ bike, stiff as hell and killer looks, BUY IT TODAY folks!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
you guys ride trails???

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   
nothin like this!


Bike Setup:   
its the Chameleon 16.5 inch frame(sid blue) with mostly XTR parts. Rock Shox SID, sid blue goes nicely with a sid.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by BoB a Weekend Warrior from Calgary, AB

Date Reviewed: September 1, 1999

Strengths:    
Rigid frame, light weight, rigid frame, geometry... did I mention the frame?


Weaknesses:    
none yet


Bottom Line:   
I love this bike. Even though I couldn't spend a bunch on components, I wanted to upgrade the frame. And boy did I. This frame is sized 1 bigger than the Spec'd was, and you'd never know know it from the ride. Much more rigid and controlable. What a super feel. What a super ride. All the the peppers you got, and then some!!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   
Specialized Rockhopper comp


Bike Setup:   
Chameleon w/ Rock Shox Judy XC and most of the rest came from my old bike, the Specialized.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Xtreme a Weekend Warrior from Jump

Date Reviewed: August 17, 1999

Strengths:    
YEAH!!!this is what i call terrific geometry!!!
Cool Design
Seems strong


Weaknesses:    
erm....i only tested it...


Bottom Line:   
Its now at the Bike shop and sooner or later it will be at my room!!!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   
Specialized Rockhopper A1 FS......Yucks!!!i hate this bike, im gonna get rid of it and get the SC chameleon!!



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by steve p a Weekend Warrior from essex

Date Reviewed: July 25, 1999

Strengths:    
stands up to all kindsa jumping and major crashes


Weaknesses:    
the decals come off real easy


Bottom Line:   
hard to break easy to ride very jumpable handles all kindsa jumping, dh, xc/ trials, just find some way to protect the decals coz they scratch of easy

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
hidden jump park

Duration Product Used:   
6 months

Bike Setup:   
98 marzocchi z1 bams 9spd xt groupset mavic d521 rims

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by CrankSpinr a Cross-Country Rider from SoBay, NoCal

Date Reviewed: April 15, 1999

Strengths:    
Frame
Weight
Versatility


Weaknesses:    
-0-


Bottom Line:   
Awesome bike! Top tube is low enough that I actually went one size up from my normal size (which is good because I have a long torso). Very rigid frame. Shifting is precise. The bike feels very light yet strong. My recomendation: Don't test ride one unless you're willing to part with your money because one ride.....and you're hooked.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   
GT Zaskar LE
Stumpjumper Comp
Cannondale


Bike Setup:   
Chameleon frame
LX/XT Components
SDG Belair saddle
Michelin Tires

Reviews 1 - 15 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

 

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