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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

Recently picked up a Chameleon 29 alloy frameset from Competitive Cyclist. I was hoping to run the chainstays in the longest setting, but upon initial inspection, I noticed the non-drive-side dropout only extends about 11 mm. It looks like the dropout is intended to have another 4 mm of adjustability, but the brake mount hits the seatstay at about 11 mm out. The drive-side chainstay does extend the full 15 mm and the geometry chart on their website seems to indicate the chainstays are intended to have the full 15 mm of adjustability. Is this normal for these bikes, or did I receive a defective frame?

I tried contacting both Santa Cruz and Competitive Cyclist via email and phone a few times over the past week and a half just trying to find out if this is a warranty issue or not, but I still haven't received any real response from either company. I've had some great experiences with Santa Cruz's build quality and customer service in years past, and that was actually one of the main reasons I decided to go with the Chameleon over some of the more competitively priced alternatives. I don't want to be too quick to throw them under the bus, but I know the company is under new ownership as of a few years ago. I'm starting to wonder if maybe their build quality and customer service has suffered as a result.

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This is interesting. I've just checked my Chameleon and noticed a couple of differences. First, I'm running 27.5+ dropouts, which have a different shape around the area that clashes in your photo.

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Now my frame was originally fitted with 29 x 148 dropouts, but as it was the only large left in stock and I wanted plus tyres, the dropouts were swapped before I got it. I can't imagine that the frame is different for the different wheel sizes as you're supposed to be able to change freely between the two. Looking at my frame specifically, mine appears to not have the same curvature at the seat stay junction like yours does.

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I can see why the 29 dropouts could be more troublesome than the 27.5+ ones, but they still should fit and be fully adjustable. I can only think your frame hasn't been machined properly during manufacture?

Have you heard back from SC or CC yet?
 

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Hey guys,

Recently picked up a Chameleon 29 alloy frameset from Competitive Cyclist. I was hoping to run the chainstays in the longest setting, but upon initial inspection, I noticed the non-drive-side dropout only extends about 11 mm. It looks like the dropout is intended to have another 4 mm of adjustability, but the brake mount hits the seatstay at about 11 mm out. The drive-side chainstay does extend the full 15 mm and the geometry chart on their website seems to indicate the chainstays are intended to have the full 15 mm of adjustability. Is this normal for these bikes, or did I receive a defective frame?

I tried contacting both Santa Cruz and Competitive Cyclist via email and phone a few times over the past week and a half just trying to find out if this is a warranty issue or not, but I still haven't received any real response from either company. I've had some great experiences with Santa Cruz's build quality and customer service in years past, and that was actually one of the main reasons I decided to go with the Chameleon over some of the more competitively priced alternatives. I don't want to be too quick to throw them under the bus, but I know the company is under new ownership as of a few years ago. I'm starting to wonder if maybe their build quality and customer service has suffered as a result.

View attachment 1250224
Just had a look at my frame and it is exactly the same as yours. No way to get full extension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses guys! It sounds like I'm not the only one, but maybe not all the frames have this problem?

Luckily, Santa Cruz finally got back to me yesterday. They did acknowledge that my frame has a problem but didn't say how prevalent this is. They're sending me a set of the carbon Chameleon's post mount dropouts, which appear to have a little notch machined out above the pivot to hopefully fix the interference issue I'm having. I'll let you guys know how it works out when I receive them.
 

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Sounds like a good result, assuming the replacement dropouts do the trick. Nice to know there is a potential solution that doesn’t involve a frame swap, although a post mount brake adapter might also be needed depending on what size rotor you run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I haven't built the frame up yet, so hopefully I can still return the brake adapter I bought. But I was originally planning to use a spare 160mm rotor I have lying around, and it sounds like the post mount dropouts are minimum 180mm. Oh well, rotors aren't terribly expensive anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually, does anybody happen to know the minimum rotor size on a Carbon Chameleon? The rider support guy I talked to at SC said it's 180mm, but the Carbon Chameleon, which comes with a 180mm rear rotor, appears to have a post-to-post adapter in the back in all the photos I've seen. Can you not just run 160mm without the post-to-post adapter? I've never had a post mount frame before, but I would have thought no adapter was necessary if you're running the minimum rotor size.
 

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Interesting... I had issues with getting enough tension in a specific gear combination recently running SS and noticed the dropouts didn't seem to go all the way back. I'll have to check to see if it's the same restriction.
 

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Actually, does anybody happen to know the minimum rotor size on a Carbon Chameleon? The rider support guy I talked to at SC said it's 180mm, but the Carbon Chameleon, which comes with a 180mm rear rotor, appears to have a post-to-post adapter in the back in all the photos I've seen. Can you not just run 160mm without the post-to-post adapter? I've never had a post mount frame before, but I would have thought no adapter was necessary if you're running the minimum rotor size.
I have 160mm rotor (rear) on my carbon Chameleon. (no adapter)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Just received the post mount dropouts and installed them today. The new dropouts do allow me to get full extension without any interference, so I'm happy.

Unfortunately, I can't recommend these dropouts to everybody. They actually have the opposite problem, where they won't quite tuck all the way in. They hit the outside of the chianstays right next to where the axle threads into the dropout. It looks like they leave maybe a 3 mm gap. Not a problem for me personally, but it seems worth mentioning.
 

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dlxah....

I'm seeing that same issue with the 29er dropouts based on the shape of the dropouts and the frame.

What size tires (and rim width) are you running?

I'm just awaiting a few more parts to begin my frame up build. Already have the Rekon in 2.4 for the rear. Reading another Chameleon post on here and seeing the 2.6 can work. I will likely try that after the bike is built and I put some miles on it.

With the 2.4s, I should be fine with mounts not fully extended? Would the 2.6's fit at that less than fully extended length?

I have plans on getting a set of the post type drop outs as spares but not immediately; unless I have too...

**** Edit ****
Results... loosened the dropout main bolts, no loctite anywhere, spun the adjuster bolts... drop out moved from right in to fully extended... smooth as butter really, no resistance on the non-drive side...
 

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I'm about to buy a 2021 27.5+ chameleon but will be running a 29 (29+ hopefully) setup on it. Does anybody know if you have to swap dropouts every time you switch between wheel sizes? Or should the 27.5 dropout clear a 29 ok? Does the 29 specific dropout just create additional clearance for larger 29 tires? Think I could shoehorn a 29x2.8 recon back there? Or a 29x3.0 DHR II?
 

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I'm about to buy a 2021 27.5+ chameleon but will be running a 29 (29+ hopefully) setup on it. Does anybody know if you have to swap dropouts every time you switch between wheel sizes? Or should the 27.5 dropout clear a 29 ok? Does the 29 specific dropout just create additional clearance for larger 29 tires? Think I could shoehorn a 29x2.8 recon back there? Or a 29x3.0 DHR II?
You'll be fine. I have a 27.5+ and have run 29 wheels in it - preferred the plus tyres to be honest. Not sure about the largest 29" tyre though - a 2.8 should be fine, looking at the frame clearance I have with a 27.5x2.8.
 

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I'm about to buy a 2021 27.5+ chameleon but will be running a 29 (29+ hopefully) setup on it. Does anybody know if you have to swap dropouts every time you switch between wheel sizes? Or should the 27.5 dropout clear a 29 ok? Does the 29 specific dropout just create additional clearance for larger 29 tires? Think I could shoehorn a 29x2.8 recon back there? Or a 29x3.0 DHR II?
The 29er dropouts are mostly just to lower the bottom bracket. I have 29x2.6 forekasters on 30mm rims with 27.5 dropouts slammed all the way back and there is around only about .3" clearance between the side knobs and the brake side chain stay. Based on my experience trying to run some 27.5x3.8s I doubt you could run 2.8x2.9 rekons without rubbing when the wheels flex or get packed with mud/snow.

The bike also feels pretty tall with 29er wheels and the 27.5+ dropouts which takes away from the "fun and fast" feel it should have. I need to either get some 29er dropouts that will go all the way back or switch back to 27.5+. I love my chameleon but if you really want to run 29+ i'd get something else (esker japhy looks sweet).
 

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I know this is a bit OT but maybe someone has an answer for me. I have a 2020 Chamäleon 7.1 AL that came with 27.5 dropouts with IS disc brake mount. I wanted to replace them with the 29 specific dropouts and expected to receive dropouts with IS disc brake mount. Instead I received a different version with PM disc brake mounts. So far I have only seen these dropouts on the carbon frame. Does anyone know is the IS version and the PM version can be used on either frame (AL and Carbon)?
 

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Either works on the alloy frame though you may have the extension issue described in this thread with the IS ones. When i ordered my AL frame i got both dropouts and it came with the IS 29er ones on it and some post mount 27.5s that worked fine. And i actually just swapped the 29er ones for post mount to allow full extension and simplify swaps.
 

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Thanks for the reply! So what you're saying is that there are basically only two versions (for 29 gearded): the IS version and the PM version. And the PM version might extend further than the IS version. right? and there's no "carbon specific" PM version?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, there are only 2 types of geared dropouts. IS, which comes on the alloy frames, and PM, which comes on the carbon frames. Both types come in either a 29 or 650b+ version too, which just adjusts the BB drop slightly. I believe they are all interchangeable. I’ve run both 29er dropouts on my alloy frame and presume they would both fit on a carbon frame as well.

On my frame, the IS dropouts will slam all the way in but won’t extend all the way out, and the PM dropouts extend all the way but won’t slam all the way in. I don’t know if that will be the case for all alloy frames. It might depend on manufacturing tolerances.
 

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Thanks, that is very interesting indeed. I contacted Santa Cruz and they replied immediately. They mostly confirm what you said and added that the PM version is now the new version and will replace the IS dropouts - also on the alloy frame. Interrestingly they said that with the PM dropouts you can further reduce the weelbase - you're basically saying the opposite. Well, I'll try it out on the weekend and report back.

Thanks
Michi
 
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