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Do a quick search in this form, you should find several discussions about this.

Pro:
*excellent handling
*can handle a long travel fork (feels perfectly at home for XC with a 125mm fork)
*super stiff from for excellent power transfer
*extremely strong, can take jumps/drops all day
*can always convert it to a DJ/DS/geared/etc bike if you get bored
*fairly light

Cons
*super stiff from for bone-jarring descents
*wide box chainstays can be problematic for some cranksets (some require wider BB)
*not disc compatible (even with disc mounts using a fixed disc caliper mount with horizontal dropouts is far from ideal

As you can tell I'm a fan of the Chameleon. I would just try to be aware of how stiff the frame is. If you're okay with that then I say go with it. I ride a friend's when I fly out to his place and he has it set up with an Azonic doublewall handlebar and ti seatpost to help dampen the vibrations from the aluminum frame and i think its great. However, I have never purchased one because 1) I want the option of running discs, and don't like discs with horizontal dropouts, and 2) I ride like a sissy and don't need a heavy duty frame with a 125mm fork.
 

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Yeah

I have a 2004 Chameleon running gears, and a 2000 Chameleon (Made in the USA) running single speed with Disk Brakes. I love them both. I would have to say that my favorite is the 2000, it seems to be a little more forgiving and the geometry is spot on for me. Are you thinking of getting one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Robin1 said:
I have a 2004 Chameleon running gears, and a 2000 Chameleon (Made in the USA) running single speed with Disk Brakes. I love them both. I would have to say that my favorite is the 2000, it seems to be a little more forgiving and the geometry is spot on for me. Are you thinking of getting one?
Yes i am due to the fact i am damaging my Surly by running a 125mm fork on there. I love the 5" travel forks and i need a frame that can take one. The Chameleon is a perfect canidate for it. Plus i enjoy 3-5 ft drops. Should i look to find older model Chameleons compared to the newer models?
 

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It's up to you

The 2004 frames have regular disk tabs but the 2003 and older have to use a disk brake adapter that put the entire brake underneath the chain stay. I have never hit the brake on anything but the potential is greater with the adapter vs. the regular disk tabs. I bought the 2004 because I got a good deal on it. But if I was to do it all over again I probably would have spent the money on a bBur and had disk tabs welded on the 2000 Chameleon.
 

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Funky Town's Finest Mojo
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Jason, page Ruffian on the DORBA Forum. Jason has one and can give you a boatload of info on the specifics of buying an older one. I talked to him one night during an urban and he was giving me the ins and outs of the Chameleon. Its a great bike. Toobplate has one and he loves it. I just like the steel better and don't run the bigger fork so its not an issue for me.
 

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USB Rep'n
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Shame on you Zen...

Zenfrog said:
Hey Big Sur,

I have a Large '03 Chameleon Rootbeer and lots of SS parts

been meaning to build it up to sell but just too busy/lazy
how long we been talking about that bike of yours?

Big Sur, buy Zen's bike! I have a 2004 Rootbeer and LOVE it! The color is sick but beyond that the bike truly is a great do it all rig. It si stiff as everyone mentioned but its not harsh. Its not steel so don't go thinking that kind of "not harsh" but it does feel smooth. Frankly, Id give up a little comfort for the stiffness anyday since the perdormance goes up substantially. I also run mine as a 32x17 or 32x18 depending on the terrain (I ride OH, PA, WV, MI mainly) and I run discs with no adapter and no problem. The alignment of the caliper allows you to remove the wheel as easily as a vert. dropout frame.

Get the Lizard boy, you'll not regret it!
 
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