My parents have offered to buy me a bike for my birthday (max cost about $300). I currently use a mountain bike that isn't sized well for me and primarily use it with a trailer, hauling one or both boys around. I don't mind getting an old bike that doesn't look too pretty, but I might need to have a quick-release axle added to use the trailer. I'm getting conflicting advice from bike shop employees about what style of bike would be best. I can get a decent 1980's road bike in that price range or a newer mountain bike, but not a cross bike that would be somewhere in the middle. We're also planning to get a trail-a-bike next year for Peter to use. I'm sick of feeling like I work over-hard with mountain bike tires on the paved paths/roads I use, but will a road bike lack the stability I'd need to pull a trailer or trail-a-bike? I feel like taking them out for test rides is almost useless unless I can hook the trailer up, but many of these would need the quick-release axle first, and I'm not going to pay for that unless I'm keeping the bike.
Who has a bike and trailer and has advice? There must be experienced people here that can lead me one direction or another.