Okay, one of my really close friends (who's also the guy that I do serious riding with) somehow got $4000 or so, and being a bike guy, he's blowing it all on a new bike. So right now his first choice is the Cannondale Jekyll 3000. We do XC, and I'm thinking for the money he could do a lot lighter, but he says he also wants to be able to do some light freeriding (although he probably won't, and by light I'm sure he means "very, very, very light, not more than what you'd encounter on most XC trails"). So here's my questions:
Does anyone have the Jekyll? How heavy is it? The trails we usually do have a lot of hard climbs.
Are there any better choices for predominately XC/EXTREMELY light freeriding? Will it come with the hated M960 brake-shift levers?
He *sigh* absolutely needs disc brakes and full-suspension, and also wants full XTR spec (which is the reason why he's getting a new bike in the first place...he doesn't want to just upgrade the XT on his older bike). He says the XTR discs are the lightest and the best...I don't know much about disc brakes. Can he do better on the brakes?
I recommended the Giant NRS Air (or 1), the Cannondale Scalpel (he said it looked as if someone had taken a baseball bat to the top tube), the Specialized Epic, and the Specialized Enduro (he didn't like the "look" of it, although I think it looks the best out of all of these bikes). We also looked over the Trek Fuel, but he thought the carbon-fiber frame looked sketchy. How much is carbon fiber prone to cracks/stress fractures? Can it be used for small jumps and such?
Thanks for your answers, guys. I still can't believe he got all that money! I don't know if we can get bikes from smaller companies, either...the LBS's around here mostly carry just the big names.