The Carbon Lizard: New Santa Cruz Chameleon C


As the gateway into the Santa Cruz lineup, the Chameleon has always been an alloy frame. This versatile platform was recently revamped (we have one in for review) and is selling like hotcakes, but Santa Cruz wanted to give riders another option and it involves smooth, light and sexy carbon fiber.

The all-new Santa Cruz Chameleon C features the trail-friendly geometry and features you’d expect from a Chameleon, but in a snappier and lighter design. As with it’s alloy sister, the Chameleon C is suitable for all-day adventures, backyard pump tracks or light bike packing. And, it’s built with modern axle standards and tire clearance you’d expect (3.0″/27.5 or 2.5″/29er).

Two complete packages are available: S/S+ or SE Reserve/SE Reserve+. You can choose 27.5+ or 29er options in each kit to suit your personal tastes and budgets. Complete pricing is $3799 for S kit or $5699 for SE Reserve. Both feature 1x SRAM drivetrains, Fox Float Performance 34 forks (120mm for 29er and 130mm for 27.5+) and dropper posts. The SE Reserve does add the sweet Santa Cruz Reserve Carbon wheelset and upgrades from SRAM NX to GX drivetrain.

Santa Cruz Chameleon C Pricing/Weight:

  • Chameleon S: $3799 / 26.2 lbs
  • Chameleon S+: $3799 / 26.8 lbs
  • Chameleon SE Reserve: $5699 / 26 lbs
  • Chameleon SE Reserve+: $5699 / 26.2 lbs

Based on medium frame. Price and weight are always subject to change. 

The Chameleon C is available now at your local retailer or CompetitiveCyclist.

2020 Santa Cruz Chameleon C S 29er

The Chameleon Carbon S build kit in 29er flavor.

2020 Santa Cruz Chameleon C SE Reserve 27.5+

The Chameleon Carbon SE Reserve in 27.5+ flavor.

More Info: Visit

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. I am currently looking at purchasing a carbon chameleon and I live in Norther Utah. I am by no means an aggressive rider and I was just wondering on what your recommendation is between the 29er or the 27.5+. I am currently leaning toward the 29er and then adding some 2.5s. I guess the question is, am I crazy in my thinking?

    • Honestly, putting 29×2.5’s on there just might be the sweet spot. A little zippier than 27.5+, but not as harsh as a narrow set of 29er tires. I think that would be a ton of fun!

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