Picked up a swap part saddle from the LBS parts bin (nice Bontrager evoke) for $20. Now my butt will be happy. I threw the new saddle on the CX bike to give it a go and this morning I thew my WTB Silverado saddle on the Rockhopper (so much better). The next phases are as follows:
Pedals- SPD/Less than $30
as is the bike is in commuter shape so pedals would allow me to use my Sidi's (which were purchased for $7.95 at DAV thrift store in Lakewood).
Wheels- Here's a tough one, I'll need a 29'er front wheel and a 26'er rear both NON DISC. Surprisingly hard to find old school MTB wheels nowadays. Likely will use my dividend from REI in march to pick up mismatched pair as they are the only place that seems to carry what I need (single wheels) in my price range.
Fork- Rigid, 29'er and Canti compatable
Tires- again, one 29'er and one 26'er, preferably 1.95's and fast (Small block's perhaps)
Now onto the stuff I have no idea about:
Headset- likely also need access to a press?
Stem- at least 100mm, likely need 110 or 120 due to having the smaller frame.
Spacers- including a front brake cable hanger like this one.
Handlebars- high rise, like this. Again, to accommodate my smaller frame.
The last step would be to turn it into a Single Speed, but that's simply to fulfill the desire to have a LOW maintenance bike. The gears currently on are great 18sp and in good condition.