Strengths: Dependability, comfort, ease of use, and looks great.
Weaknesses: A little heavy and the upgraded derailleur that I put on mine was worth the $20 extra
Bought two of these bikes -- one for my wife and one for me-- for general use with the family. I normally ride a Giant OCR1, but needed something I could ride with my family. My wife has never had anything but a department store bike and I was having a hard time convincing her of the difference. Now that she has has experienced a solid bike, she has more interest in riding and we have done quite a bit together and with our kids. Even to the point that we have taken just our 2 bikes on trips out of town. This is a great entry level bike for just messing around the paved or packed trails. I upgraded the derailleur on mine because I was used to better components, but my wife loves hers and can tell a big difference in how it feels compares to the dept. store bike. The frame is a little heavy, but for just recreational riding and dependability, this bike works well. The shifting could improve a little, but all in all for the price, this is a great deal. The other great thing about the bike with family outings is that it has 26 inch wheels which is the same as my kids bikes so we can move at the same pace pretty easily. The frame and fork are pretty stiff because this is the base model without a front shock. I chose the model without the front shock because the front shock on the next model was a wimpy and lost a lot of energy, and because of the cost. I will use this bike this winter for fitness rides and enjoy riding it around.