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XC MTB - need help

I'm looking at getting a new MTB for general riding including trails, pathways, roads to work and the occasional ride around Swinley Forest is as extreme as I'll go.

I'm ideally looking for a light bike that will be comfortable and fast.

So far I've looked at the following:

Canyon Exceed
Canyon Lux (I'm not sure on the small rear shock and weight increases)
Trek Procaliber 9.7 (think this is the best model in the UK)
Trek Supercaliber (same as the Lux I'm concerned the rear shock is not needed)
Specialized Epic
Scott Scale
Santa Cruz Highball

My budget is between £2k-£4k I'd rather it was closer to £3k than £4k and I will be buying via cycle to work scheme. It sounds nuts but I would like something that looks good, big bold paint colours is all good, it puts me off the Canyons in my price bracket as they are black or red when their team bikes have amazing techni colour finishes.

Obviously I can't go and test any at the moment so I'm looking for advice from people who know way more than me, ideally own any of the above or have any advice.

Also if there's any recommendations for bike stores to buy from, I did contact Sigma earlier and they recommended the Trek and Specialized.

Thanks
J

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