I noticed at my LBS that the trek 7300 had a lot thinner tires than the specizlied hardrock xc i saw...but since i like how the hardrock looks better and sturdier, would it be possible to exchange the hardrock's stock wheels with thinner wheels as seen on the trek 7300?
because for over half of the academic year, the campus is drenched in snow and mud so i want moutain bike tires but when summer comes, i wanna know if i can replace it with slicks so that i can do a bit better on the (then) dry road...
and how does a 700c wheel compare to a 26", what does 700c mean?
700c is approximately a 28-29" wheel. You can't swap wheels because the brakes will not line up, unless its disc brake equipped. If you're just riding around campus it will make little or no difference to have the slicks... you will gain more over longer distances with the less resistance and weight, but buzzing from class to class it hardly matters.
A skinnier tire will sink to the bottom of snow, a wider tire will provide more "float". In snow anything sucks so I dont think it really matters. One of the winter cycling series is Cyclocross which is raced on basically roadbikes, offroad, with a 35-40c tire, which is about the width of your thumb give or take.