This bike climbs like a billy goat! It is incredibly responsive.
The Rocket Ron tires are very light, but tend to wash out easily in off-camber turns. They are fine for the back, but replace the front asap or your face will hurt. The handlebars could also be lighter.
I LOVE this bike. After dealing with the annoying maintenance issues of Specialized's Brain shock, I was ready for a hard tail. I love how simple it is - you just go outside and ride...that's it...as it should be. Back to the joys of riding like you are a 10-year-old. Basically, if you aren't riding down mountains all day and can shell out the cash, pick one of these up - it will be worth it. And if you have trouble climbing hills like me, be prepared to be shocked how easy climbs become.