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I am looking for a hardtail frame that can handle XC (possibly racing), and light fr/aggressive trail duties. The Santa Cruz Chameleon seems to be a great fit for what I want, but I was wondering if there are any comparable frames I should be looking at as well? Capable of running at least 5" or more, and also going down to 4" or even 3". Also, it has to be relatively inexpensive. The Chameleon retails for about $450-ish. Thanks.
 

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Banshee, Cove.

synkronized23 said:
I am looking for a hardtail frame that can handle XC (possibly racing), and light fr/aggressive trail duties. The Santa Cruz Chameleon seems to be a great fit for what I want, but I was wondering if there are any comparable frames I should be looking at as well? Capable of running at least 5" or more, and also going down to 4" or even 3". Also, it has to be relatively inexpensive. The Chameleon retails for about $450-ish. Thanks.
The Banshee Scirocco is a very popular do it all hardtail frame that fits your description. It is overbuilt, but not too heavy and has good geometry for trail riding and light freeriding.
 

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Don't settle for less

Don't settle for less. You can pick up a used Chameleon frame for @ $200 depending on condition on Ebay. I have seen them go for as little as $120 for a nice condition frame. They are made of oversized tubing so It is highly unlikely to find a broke or bent frame for an extra $60 or so you can take it to a local Powdercoater and have it coated any color you like. And powdercoat is way more durable than the factory paint. If you are going to run XC I would use a 100-120 mm fork I like the old 01-02 Psylo Race forks Light weight 3.6 lb dual air pure dampining It is a big SID with internally set 80-100-120 mm of travel.
 

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The older jamis komodo frames (around 2003) are really nice as well. The Chameleon is probably the best choice though.
 

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VooDoo?

I bought a 2005 VooDoo Sobo frame (scandium) in Oct. and it is probably the best frame I have ever had. It is awesomely light (2.8 lbs.) and has a ride with the best qualities of aluminum and steel. I don't know if it will last forever, and the paint is fragile but it is a kick in the a$$ to ride. Using a SID SL fork (80mm). LBS ordered it for me and I paid $685 otd. Definately worth a look for an aggressive hardtail, and I think Joe Murray's frame geometry is as good as anyones, regardless of price.
 

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ronny said:
The Banshee Scirocco is a very popular do it all hardtail frame that fits your description. It is overbuilt, but not too heavy and has good geometry for trail riding and light freeriding.
I have a Scirocco with a 105mm fork (4 inch) and it is working well. It feels a bit steep - for me - on rocky descents, so I would not go much shorter in technical terrain.

Banshee seems to have a couple of lighter hard tails for 2006. Might be worth a look.
 

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chruby99 said:
Don't settle for less. You can pick up a used Chameleon frame for @ $200 depending on condition on Ebay. I have seen them go for as little as $120 for a nice condition frame. They are made of oversized tubing so It is highly unlikely to find a broke or bent frame for an extra $60 or so you can take it to a local Powdercoater and have it coated any color you like. And powdercoat is way more durable than the factory paint. If you are going to run XC I would use a 100-120 mm fork I like the old 01-02 Psylo Race forks Light weight 3.6 lb dual air pure dampining It is a big SID with internally set 80-100-120 mm of travel.
$120 doesn't seem doable for any Chameleon but maybe it's possible. That said, I have a med 2004 Chameleon I'd sell for the low $200's. Finally jumped to FS. PM if interested (yes, I'll make a donation to the mtbr fund for this so dont sweat the ad fee thing)

All in all, the Chameleon is the best alum. bike I have ever owned and by far the most versatile. I have done epic xc rides on it then dirt jumped it the next day by simply swapping stems. I truly can't think of another HT that really compares in terms of durability and versatility.

Good luck on the decision and purchase. Lemme know if you are interested. Later.

nam
 

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Soul Cycles "Loki" looks pretty good. It's designed as a 4X bike but should work fine for what you want depending on how you build it up.

That said I'm loving my new Chameleon. ;)
 
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