A few years ago, I was given a very cheap dual-suspension 18 speed disc-braked mountain bike. Neither the giver nor I were very knowlegeable about bikes. I use it primarily for riding on the road, and occasionally across short stretches of mowed grass.
It always seemed quite hard to pedal in comparison to the single speed street bike I had as a teenager, however, when this MTB had a flat front tire a couple of weeks ago, I replaced the pneumatic tubes on both wheels with 26 x 1.95 Stop-A-Flat solid tubes (packed to fit with the old deflated tubes), and since then, it has seemed even harder to pedal, to the point where I feel that I can't ride the bike in top gear any more, and have to back off the gears to the next smallest front gear.
Since this bike has heavily treaded 26x1.95 off-road tires, I was wondering if I could substitute road tires to reduce the rolling resistance.
What sort of tires and tubes should I be looking for... preferably something puncture-resistant, and not too expensive. I know that I'll need 26" tires and tubes, but I don't quite understand about the width... Do the tires I fit have to be 1.95" wide, or can I go wider or narrower, and if so, how much? I've looked online, and in the tires I've looked at, the closest I have seen is 26x1.75 and 26x2.0.
What tires and tubes would be recommended for this use?