I just got my GT IT-1 (internal transmission) built up yesterday. So far i really like the bike. The suspension design feels much like my GT DH-i and it is very balanced with the front suspension. The bike comes stock with one of the best build kits i have ever seen on a production dh bike. With Saint cranks, Sun MTX wheels, Fox 40 up front and a DHX 5.0 on the rear, Hope 4 pistion brakes and various easton parts, the build is amazing for a bike that is supposed to retail for close to $500. I have noticed that the jumps in the gear sizes my be a little too big for downhill racing, but i hear u are able to change some of the gearing. Other than that i believe this bike is fully capeable of downhill racing, even though it is being marketed as a freeride bike.