Back in 2018, I reviewed the Santa Cruz Chameleon in the 27.5+ platform with a tricked-out build spec thanks to Hope Tech. Much like its namesake, the Chameleon really stood out from the crowd of other production hardtails on the market, making it a proper icon in the world of hardtail mountain bikes. Fast forward three years and I’ve had the new and improved 2022 Chameleon model under my butt for a few weeks now, have taken it on similar terrain as I did in Los Angeles with its predecessor, and have a few thoughts about the two models. Which one is worth your money? Read on below to find out…
Rigid bikes. The roots of riding off-road, yet now the arena of weirdos, quacks, and masochists. Mountain biking started out long before telescoping forks and complex linkage designs, but the bikes of those early days are now a far cry from the activity most consider “mountain biking”.
Of course, those weirdos, quacks, and masochists still have a place in this world, and it turns out I’m one of them. It wasn’t always this way. I used to ride and write about my experience with suspension mountain bikes as a full time job. I could go on all day about spring curves and axle paths, dampers and volume spacers, sag and suspension setup.
But, in the past five or so years, my focus has shifted. I’d rather spend a weekend riding to small places and sleeping out under the stars than shuttling the local loamers and crushing parking lot beers. And in that time I’ve come to value a mountain bike that requires less maintenance.
Having ridden a lot of high end suspension bikes, I know what it takes to keep them running tip top – and I just don’t have the facilities to do that at home, nor the money to pay someone else to do it. A rigid bike makes sense for my sometimes bi-weekly, sometimes monthly mountain bike hobby.
Say you’ve got an older mountain bike frame or a newer adventure-style bike with a threadless carbon fork but you really want a steel fork on it. Well, look no further. Steve Potts has taken his tried and true Type II fork design and broken it into two categories, a Mountain fork, and a Mini Gravel fork. Both of which have cargo bosses on the fork legs, that iconic sleeved unicrown design and thru-axles. The retail for both forks is $500 a pop, which is not bad at all!
Mountain fork specs:
Steer tube 1.125″ x 350 mm long, ( threadless)
IS disc mount
Everything pack mounts
Standard rack mount ( Pass and Stow, etc.)
12 mm x 100 mm thru – axle
Axle to crown: 419 mm
Rake: 47 mm
Stock color: Silver crown, black legs:
Will fit tires up to 75 mm x 736 mm tall, ( 27.5 ” x 3″ 0r 29 ” x 2.25″ )
Gravel fork specs:
Same chromoly specs as the Mountain Fork but with:
Axle to crown: 401 mm
Will fit tires up to 700c x 50 mm
See the full lineup at Steve Potts Cycles.
Disclaimer: This happened before the Covid-19 outbreak
I am a team manager/photographer for Deluxe, a skateboard company out of SF. It’s always a trip to say it out loud or write it down on paper but I have my dream job. The posters and stickers that adorned my childhood bedroom walls came from the very place that I commute to every morning.
While I thoroughly enjoy videos from Global Cycling Network and LOVE their videos. I’d also weigh in to say that ‘gravel’ bikes exist because road cycling is inherently more dangerous with drivers being distracted and rideshare apps causing erratic driving. That’s why I stopped riding road bikes as much, personally. Also, from my experience, most gravel riders I see have come from road riding and racing, not mountain biking. What about you? What’s your take on this topic.
Great video, team!
Santa Cruz has no shortage of bike shops. This sleepy little beach town might be known for its surfing and pesky vampires, but the road and mountain riding is exceptional. With a myriad of dirt and paved roads snaking their way through coastal redwoods, and dusty, steep mountain bike trails, any cyclist can spend days upon days exploring the terrain. Spokesman Bicycles is one of the powerhouse shops in Santa Cruz and just recently opened up what they’re calling Outpost on the West Side of town, right next to their friends Sawyer and Co, a surfing lifestyle shop.
Let go of your imagination and hang on to your hat!
For those of you who wish those ENVE stems were designed for mountain riding, or came in mountain lengths, today’s your lucky day. Just announced this afternoon, ENVE has developed a new stem, designed specifically for their M-Series wheels and component range.
The MTN stem is available in 40, 55, 70 and 85mm lengths, with a 6º or -6º rise and a 37mm stack height. MTN Stems are due to hit dealers any day now, so head to your local shop for ordering.
I’ll admit, this bike should have been shot with a Kleen Kanteen, not a Purist, but Kyle doesn’t like rules, at all, so it’s fine.
This MB-1 came into Golden Saddle Cyclery around the time Kyle sold his Saluki, regrettably. We’ve all been there before, you’re in a bind and you’ve gotta part ways with one bike to make ends meet, but luckily for Kyle, he kept in alignment with Grant Petersen‘s ideologies.
Bridgestone’s MB-1 hit at a unique time in mountain biking. Dirt drops were in and rigid was the (only) way. For Kyle, this bike became his around-town singlespeed, opting for White Industries components and Nitto’s Bullmoose bars. Topped off with Rubena Cityhopper tires.