Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: San Diego
Bikes: Cinelli Unica, BP Stealth, K2 Razorback, Steel Bianchi roadie, Bianchi Super GL, Specialized Stumpjumper, and 3 beach cruisers
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Cycling shorts are extremely comfortable, I would definitely recommend that you give them a chance. They make some that look like normal shorts, if you're lycra-phobic. If you don't wear shorts, and you want to wear pants, then just roll them up part way.
Oh, and to answer your question, yeah, most bike shops should be able to put something on there to keep the gears from snagging you. Enjoy your new bike!