This bike handles great with a load and the 180 disc rotor in the back allows for ample stopping power on the hills. I opted for a 203 rotor up front just to be on the safe side. The hills on St Thomas are brutal and people have a tendency to overload these bikes. This one is rated for a rider plus up to 250 pounds of freight. I opted for a 29er frame which has a Cromoly front triangle for some cushion and Hi-ten steel in the chain & seat stays for rigidity. Coupled with the Hi-ten Xtracycle Leap framework it seems to function exceptionally well.