The Specialized felt like an efficient mile-muncher. The stretched riding position, lightweight 29er wheels and stiff frame means climbs are dispatched efficiently. It is a good beginner mountain bike. The components are all Ok and the Suntour fork works really well, but if I would upgrade something. It would be the fork. I would invest on a high-end fork like Fox Float or Rock Shox Reba. Probably not upgrading components until repair is needed.