When I was at a LBS the other day, I got a chance to check out one of the employees' bikes, a Santa Cruz Chameleon. I soon decided I need to make one mine.
I'm a 200lb rider, and I ride "aggressive XC".
I looked into the build kits available from Santa Cruz, and found similar build kits online for hundreds of $$$ less than what Santa Cruz charges.
I've cut and pasted the build kit I found on bikesource.com. Here is the URL for anyone wishing to see it the other way. build kit
FRAME AND FORK- Chameleon frame with FOX Vanilla 125RLC -$1000
HEADSET Tange TG Threadless Black
STEM Bontrager Race
HANDLEBAR Kore Rise 1.5 Black
GRIPS Salsa Juegos de Fuego
SHIFTERS LX ComboM 570
BRAKE LEVERS Shimano LX Combo
BRAKES Avid Mechanical Disc
FRONT DERAILLEUR Deore M 510 (one size fits all)
REAR DERAILLEUR LX M 570
CRANKS Deore M 510 Black
CHAIN RINGS 22-32-44
CHAIN HG 50
BOTTOM BRACKET ES 50
CASSETTE 12-32 HG 50
SADDLE Velo Flite Style
SEATPOST Kalloy Uno 350mm
TIRES IRC Mythos 1.9/2.1 Kevlar Rust
FRONT HUB LX M 525
REAR HUB Deore M 525
RIMS Mavic 139 Black
SPOKES 2mm DT Straight Gauge Silver
This build kit comes to $ 500
The only thing I can see is that this kit doesn't offer a 30.9mm oddball seatpost. I'm sure I can add one for a nominal upcharge.
I'm not sure whether or not I'll have the LBS assemble the bike for a fee, which they said they'd do, or assemble some of it myself, or all of it, or what. I am pretty mechanically inclined, as I earn my living as a diesel mechanic. I may buy one of those "el cheapo" tool kits for $40 from Nashbar.
Any opinions on this build kit? I know some of the components may be a bit low-end, but I plan to upgrade some of them in a year or so. I'm running dangerously close to being over budget (according to the "spousal unit"), so my options are relatively limited.
My thinking is that with the Santa Cruz frame and the Fox Forx, at least I have something worth hanging better parts on in the future.