This is such a great bike. It is so versatile. So, while Rocky Mountain calls this a XC bike, it's not in the traditional sense. And that isn't a criticism. The new Element is a genre-bender. It's a fast light weight short travel trail bike that can ride pretty much crush anything not completely downhill oriented and be incredibly fast at it. I have modified mine pretty substantially and am now running a Fox 34 Factory with the Grip 2 damper and the new Factory Fox Float rear shock and as a guy who isn't in the world cup weight class, I completely love it. (I also liked the old DPS, but get along better with the new slightly bigger shock that isn't currently an option). The other reviewer who said that if a if person had two different wheel set that this bike would feel like two different bikes is completely right. I run a RaceFace Turbine SL wheelset when I want to go fast on my local trails with the bike in the steepest setting and it just flies. It also flies (and digs in while feeling unflappable) when I take it to the trail park in the slack setting and use the RaceFace my Turbine R30 wheels with a more aggressive tire. Such an awesome bike.