£1195 (inc 20% Vat)
The Chameleon is a unique bike, and one which lends itself to custom builds. With the ability to fit a number of standard sized road components, the build options with the Chamleon are many.
|Frame||Chameleon, 52cm size only|
|Fork||Carbon with alloy steerer|
|Headset||Cane Creek Forty black 1 1/8″|
|Steerer extender||Q/R steerer extender|
|Rear shock||Elastomer (hard)|
|Height||150-178cm / 5′ to 5′ 11″|
|Inseam Range||65-95cm / 26” to 37”|
|Stand-over Height||63cm / 24″|
|Rider Weight||100kg / 220lb|
The 24″ ISO 520 wheel size is unusual, but offers a number of advantages, both for folding and dynamically. The most common wheel sizes are 700c, typically used on racing/sports style bike and 26″ used on most ATB style bikes. Wheel sizing has been a very confusing arena, but the International Standards Organisation have attempted to standardise things by giving all sizes an ISO number relating to the rim diameter (actually the bead seat diameter) and the tyre profile. Using this system, where 700c becomes ISO 622 and 26″ ATB becomes ISO 559, it can easily be seen that the two most common sizes are 10cms and 2cms greater in radius than the ISO 520 of the Chameleon. The smaller size gives significant weight and aerodynamic advantages, whilst at the same time, combined with our carefully considered steering geometry, giving a very good/excellent balance of manoeuvrability and stability. We are often asked why use a 24″ wheel, but maybe the question should be, ‘why use the more conventional sizes’?
2. Tyre/Rim Availability
The 24″ ISO 520 is an unusual size, but is used by a number of large manufacturers and there are a number of high quality rims and tyres available. Rims are made by Velocity, Alex, Araya, HED and Sun and tyres by Panaracer, Schwalbe, Kenda, Primo, Odyssey and Terry. We use and stock rims and tyres from these manufacturers that we regard as particularly suitable for our bikes.
The Chameleon frame comes in one size, determined by the forward reach, and fits riders between about 152cms (5′) and 182cms (6′).
4. Mudguards and Racks
The Chameleon can be fitted with mudguards and front and rear racks. We offer various quick release fitting and accessories that facilitate the disassembly necessary for suitcase packing.
5. Packing Times
We define 3 levels of fold, but often something ‘in between’ is sufficient to fit the bike where you want. The first level, car boot/commute fold can be done if under 30 seconds. If required, for protection or regulations, the folded bike can be folded into its dedicated shoulder bag in a further 60 seconds. The second level, fitting the bike into a suitcase for airline or other travel, can be done in around 180 seconds. That is for a bike without mudguards or racks (both of which will fit into the case) and without packing any other luggage or accessories. The third level is to fit the bike into a rucksack that meets the carry on dimensions of most major airlines and takes around 15 minutes.
6. Which carrying system?
For the three levels of fold, we offer 3 carrying systems. The first fold bag, which has shoulder straps for carrying the bike and can be rolled or folded for packing while riding the bike, is a quick and simple system ideally suited to train, car or coach travel. We a suitcases. Which is designed to check-in for airline travel. The case is remarkably quick to pack and can easily accommodate accessories and clothing including a helmet. The third system is our third fold carry-on rucksack and wheel bag. Ideal when travelling without a fixed base, the bags can be folded and packed or the rucksack used as a large rackpack and taken with you. The wheel bag usually has to be checked and we would recommend padding the bag with clothes etc for added protection.
7. Easy to fold?
In a word, yes! For the first fold, everything is by quick release. The front wheel and seat post are removed and the seat tower and main folded around pivots. The suitcase fold requires the above plus back wheel and pedal removal (we have some very neat quick release pedals) and finally the handlebar is removed from its stem by undoing two allen key bolts. The third, carry-on fold requires the above plus fork and rear derailleur removal. This might sound a little daunting, but we have designed the headset arrangement to make fork removal and re-installation a simple procedure.
8. Component availability
All our bikes use readily available standard components. Other than the frameset and wheels, any non-stocking dealer would be able to supply any other parts.
9. What about my check-in allowance?
The case weighs around 7kg. Any Chameleon in its case will be safely within check-in weights. Though do check with your airline before flying, as regulations are continuosly changing.
10. Touring with the Chameleon
The Chameleon works well as a tourer. It has bosses for a rear rack and we offer some quick release fittings to facilitate quick removal when packing the case. If you want front panniers, we stock and recommend the Carradice Limpet system, which works with our carbon fork and quick releases without the need for tools.
11. Maximum Rider Weight
We don’t recommend the Chameleon for riders who weigh in excess of 100kgs (225 lbs)
The Chameleon is primarily designed for road use, but is fine on moderate trails. If you want a folding bike for more demanding off-road use please take a look at the Airnimal Rhino.