Re: bike rear tire
The last three bikes I built I replaced the Mt. bike tires with Michelin street tires. There are a couple different types. I like either the Michelin Country Rock, or the Michelin City Proteck. They have the Kevlar belt, so you shouldn't have to worry about punctures from the Arizona cactus needles.
They run about $18 a tire. I don't mind paying that when it is probably the most important part on the whole bike as far as safety. You can find them at several bike shops or right from Michelin online.