I got this bike because the price point allowed me to to experience mountain bike riding. I hate the idea of thrashing someone else's things. This has been great for me, and it didn't take me long to realise I really enjoy off-road riding. It is a bullet-proof MTB, and I have thrashed this thing as hard as I could. I would highly recommend this bike to anyone thinking about trying mountain biking. It weighs a ton, but with that weight comes durability; perfect for entry-level. It looks great, and the price is impossible to beat. X7 and X9 combo, with no front derailleur to worry about, and nice brakes and fork. I have raced it too, no worries.