I have a 2008 Specialized Rockhopper. This was/is a decent mountain bike, but I would like to convert it into more of a commuter/urban bike. I attempted to sell this bike for a dedicated commuter bike, but didn't get any reasonable offers. I was wondering what the best options would be to speed this bike up.
My thoughts so far are replace the tires with some slicks, change the suspension fork to a straight rigid fork.
Does anyone have any ideas about what I can do to speed this bike up? Is it possible to safely replace the fork on a bike like this? Will replacing the fork make a significant impact on bike speed for commuting purposes and will the changed geometry of a rigid for be safe on a bike like this? Please let me know if you have any ideas, I am trying to keep the conversion cost under $250.