Before I bought my Axis back in June, I test-rode the Trek XO, Kona Jake and the Cannondale CX. They were all really nice but they didn't seem as solid or agile as the Bianchi. I take it off-road all the time, on some fairly nasty new hampshire trails, and it performs about as well as any mountain bike I've owned. And on pavement I can still fly. The only thing I would change is the front brake, which, when the rims are wet, shudders like crazy unless you squeeze the hell out of it. However, re-toeing the pads has helped this somewhat.