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I'm looking to get a XC mtn bike that I can also use for night group rides on pot holed urban streets.

I'd probably do one ride of each a week so I don't want to swap tires each time and it doesn't sound like I can get a tire that would work well on XC and not be a pain on the road.

How hard would it be to build a 2nd set of rims with slicks for a disc mtn bike, and change them out before a ride?
 

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Easy. Best to use the same model hubs on both wheelsets. Even then, you may need to shim the rotors on one pair so you do not need to readjust the calipers. I use Avid cable discs and it is an easy thing to swap wheels with no more than a 5 second pad adjustment.
 

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My thoughts...

I have a 2005 Specialized Stumpy 120 Expert, FS bike that I rode on the trail this season. I recently changed jobs, and now live five miles from where I work. I was considering riding to work and thought about buying new wheels to put road tires on so I wouldn't burn out my trail tires or fry my Chris King hubs riding in the snow and on the sand and Magnesium Chloride they use to de-ice the streets here in Colorado. After pricing a decent wheel set, a new cassette and a brake rotor, I decided to just buy a new bike. I got a 2004 Giant Cypress with road gearing and a carbon post and fork for $550.00. Now I can leave my baby in the basement and beat up her cheaper cousin. The road gearing makes the ride fun and the comfort/road geometry along with the lighter overall weight makes the ride to work a breeze. The bike has a flat bar so i don't feel 100% ashamed to be on it, it's no a road bike in my mind, its a fast mountain bike with skinny tires IMHO. I also beleive that a drivetrain, including chainrings, cassette, chain and jockey wheels should wear as a group. I can only imagine the shifting/chainskip problems you would encounter switching back and forth as the season progressed.
 
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