Hey guys, great site you got going here.

I'll start by saying that I'm by no means in the best of shape (5'10 232lb) but I have dropped atleast 30lb this summer from bicycle related exercise for the most part. At the beginning of summer the thought of commuting to school and back via back come fall would of had me laughing but I'm really considering it at this point. With the obscene gas prices which will only go up in time, why not?

My current bike is a lynx, got it used.. pretty sure its just a department store bike.. And I hate it. I have no need for dual suspension living in this city and its heavy as ****. I'm looking for a new bicycle to commute to school. I have ruled out dual suspension bikes as anything of this sort in my price range probably isnt very good quality, and I don't need it. At all. I have nothing against hard tails though, I would like to find a bike that can basicly handle any terrain I throw at it minus hardcore trailriding.

My budget would probably be around $600 tops.

Should I even be considering disc brakes? Wet area + Overweight guy + hilly terrain has led to pretty sub par performance with my current bikes v brake setup. Are my brakes just so ****ty that a good standard pair will suit me? What kind of difference would a low end set of disc brakes make compared to most standard brakes?

When I drop more pounds I would love to start hitting the trails around here.

A few bikes I have had in mind are the gary fisher mullet, zed 4.0, haro v4,

Thanks for any help guys.