Hi, I've been dreaming of building a winter/commuter bike for a few years now with an internal geared hub with drum brakes. I have a front SA drum brake hub hiding in a closet waiting for it's day. I am thinking of Sturmey Archer because they are less expensive and I have read in many sources that the drum brakes are very good and better than the roller brakes.
My concern with the new 8 speed internal hub is that from what I have read it has some issues that make it best suited for small wheeled bikes like folders etc.. But, I have also read reviews of people using the hub on regular bikes with no problem.
The 5 speed hub would have less gears to deal with, but concerned there would not be enough range for hills. I do have a vintage 5 speed raleigh with a derailleur and I put a mega range cog on the back. I can get up most hills unless they are extra steep, or I am too tired.
I live in the Pacific Northwest near Vancouver on the coast mid way up a mountain so have hills to deal with although mostly commute on the highway which is at a similar level. Not as steep as West and North Vancouver, but I do live up a long hill.
A few years ago I had been interested in a sram 7 speed hub with drum brakes but was discontinued(?)