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Need advice... Chameleon, Vagrant or Yeti DJ?

keith13

Chimp
Dec 10, 2007
9
0
longmont
I tried doing a search on all of these bikes and I got some good information, but, I want to hear from people who might actually own one of these bikes eithere a Santa Cruz Chameleon, Yeti DJ, or Transition Vagrant. I want a well rounded hard tail that I can ride around town and on the occasional trail and still cruise through the local skate park or BMX track.

Thanks
Keith
 

bent^biker

Turbo Monkey
Feb 22, 2006
1,961
0
pdx
though I do not own one I have ridden the vagrant. It handels steep/tech downhill very well so you will not be able to break it, though it is a bit heavy.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,975
34
Chameleon is a good "all around" bike.

That is, it's not the best jumper, not the strongest freeride HT, not the most agile trail bike.

BUT, it can do all of them fairly well.
 
Aug 6, 2007
61
0
amish country
i second the chameleon. I use my chameleon on trails and at Rays MTB park. I have a 6 inch fork on the bike and it works well. keeps the geo steep, but it still climbs well.
 

nexus

Chimp
Feb 7, 2006
3
0
Hong Kong
Im riding a chameleon and Im very happy wif it
its a great " do it all" frame.
I go XC, DJ, FR, urban riding. . . no problem at all~
 

PatBranch

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2004
10,461
8
wine country
I have one. I ride everything with it and it works well. I just got a pike that I'm going to lower for it. I'll try 90mm first.
 
Jun 20, 2007
342
1
I am a big fan of the Chameleon. They are super versatile hardtails. They can be set up in a number of different configurations, and they are strong and last a long time.
 

ZHendo

Turbo Monkey
Oct 29, 2006
1,580
48
PNW
i've heard great things about the chameleon from people that own/have ridden it, but i'm absolutely in love with my Yeti DJ. i've ridden a jackal, there's no way you could ride that thing as an all arounder, it is definitely a jump bike, an ugly one too imo. anyways, i have my dj set up with a 36T single ring up front and a 11-30 8 speed in the back, and it rides very very well, i have taken it on tons of trail rides and it kicks ass, it's so fun. i'm running a pike 426 u-turn up front so it is extremely versatile, though i mostly find myself jumping and riding dual slalom on the bike. i bought a long, which has a 23.5 inch top tube, and if you're above 5'10 and are trail riding the bike, i really wouldn't advise going with the short. i sometimes wish i had the short, mostly when i'm jumping tighter sets and especially when riding urban. overall though, as long as you have a long enough seatpost to get full pedaling extension, it's a hell of a bike for aggressive trail riding.
 

rid3HB

Monkey
Aug 28, 2007
105
0
I thought about going the Jackal route as well, is it trail worthy?
For me it is. i have a pike on it with 140 mm of travel for trails and stuff like that, but i can lower it to 95 for dj. Its just a little hard to climb... it will be harder when i go single speed.

edit- Forgot to say that it feels so damn solid. It gives me a lot of confidence because i know that i will probably never break it. My friend who rides a p.2 told me the same thing like ten seconds after riding it.
 

keith13

Chimp
Dec 10, 2007
9
0
longmont
For me it is. i have a pike on it with 140 mm of travel for trails and stuff like that, but i can lower it to 95 for dj. Its just a little hard to climb... it will be harder when i go single speed.

edit- Forgot to say that it feels so damn solid. It gives me a lot of confidence because i know that i will probably never break it. My friend who rides a p.2 told me the same thing like ten seconds after riding it.
I used to ride a P.2 and I sold it for the cash to buy my Heckler and I miss have a fun around town ride with potential for the trail. I might think about the Jackal some more than. But, the Chameleon seems to have alot of fans.
 

1453

Monkey
the Chameleon has been great for me. light DH? sure, lower the seat. Long climbs? hike the seat and you are good to go. long, flat trails? get a Marzocchi fork with ETA to slam the front down with the flip of a switch(nothing like increasing your front end traction with a 4 degree steeper head angle). The Geo is a good compromise of trail, all mountain and street if you felt so inclined. The only complain I have is that the rear end is too stiff for my fat bones sometimes.

AM mode:


Street/Plow-through-anything mode:

 

keith13

Chimp
Dec 10, 2007
9
0
longmont
1453,

What size is your Chameleon and what size are you? I think the Chameleon is the way to go, according to the SC website I should go with a medium ( 5'8")

Thanks for all the help
Keith
 

rid3HB

Monkey
Aug 28, 2007
105
0
I used to ride a P.2 and I sold it for the cash to buy my Heckler and I miss have a fun around town ride with potential for the trail. I might think about the Jackal some more than. But, the Chameleon seems to have alot of fans.
Yep it does have a lot of fans. I chose the jackal because i would be doing more dj than trail rides. It feels like my friends p.2 but with a slightly longer wheelbase.
 

1453

Monkey
1453,

What size is your Chameleon and what size are you? I think the Chameleon is the way to go, according to the SC website I should go with a medium ( 5'8")

Thanks for all the help
Keith
I'm about your height, around 5' 8", it's a medium. With the seat post extended it's great for riding XC and with the seat slammed it comes to life in DH and Urban.

however, if you want to ride skate parks, you might consider trying out a small and see how it feels. good all around bikes sometimes make terrible park bikes.
 

Nick

My name is Nick
Sep 21, 2001
15,385
3,629
behind you, don't wait up.
I'm 5'11 and used to own a large Chameleon.
That was and still is one of my favorite bikes ever. I rode trails, street, many hours at the bmx track and jumped that bike for 2+ years.

I sold it because at the time I wanted a frame with shorter chainstays. (the SC has 16.5) I bought an Evil DOC and run the dropouts at about 15.75". I LOVE the steel frame, but the bike isn't nearly as versatile as the old Chameleon because the DOC's seattube is so damn short and I can barely get enough leg extension for trail rides.

If I recall the Yeti has 16" stays which would be nice too.
Another option is a Giant STP. Their numbers are pretty spot on too.

edit: here is a pic.


After riding a few different frames what I'd really like is a steel hardtail with a 23.5" tt, adjustable dropouts (15.75-16.25), 16" st, and a 68* ha with a 100mm fork.
 

ZHendo

Turbo Monkey
Oct 29, 2006
1,580
48
PNW
the yeti's stays are actually a little long, which in part explains the poor park/street abilities of the frame in comparison to more street focused rigs. the stays are about 16.3 when i measured, but their site says 16.2. mine was just a quick measurement, but either way you're in the same ball park.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,642
943
Seattle
I vote Chameleon. The Yeti has an tiny seat tube, so unless you're 4'2", you won't be able to get decent leg extension. The Vagrant is overkill, kinda heavy, and pretty slack for what you want.
 

Huck Banzai

Turbo Monkey
May 8, 2005
2,526
21
Transitory
Chameleon! YAY!

I dont know about the others - except vagrant which is more of a 'freeride hardtail' (Slack, Burly)

Chameleons are versatile AND excel in most applications!!

Yeti DJ makes my peepee go DA DOIN DOING DOING tho...
 

treeahsee

Chimp
Dec 11, 2007
3
0
easiest question i've ever answered, vagrant hands down. It is not heavy at only 5.9 pounds perfect for trails some dj dh or whatever.
 

nwd_26

Monkey
Nov 29, 2007
184
0
Toronto, Onterrible
the local trailboss runs a santa chameleon, he seems to love it. it weighs something stupid like 24 pounds, with 2 derailleurs and 2 brakes.

he's been running it for some time, too and likes it so much he's built up a second one, just singlespeed