I am in the process of spending ungodly sums of money to make my Raleigh DL-1 lady tourist a year round rider. To this aim, I have purchased alloy westwood rims, with which I plan to build with a front dynamo and a rear new S-A 5 speed wheels.
I am working on the assumption that the rod brakes + alloy rims will stop okay in the rain-- I am not looking for the ability to stop on a dime, but I would like to do more than merely sort of slow down going downhill in the rain while holding on for dear life. However, I am also worried that maybe changing the rim material won't be enough, and having a coaster brake might be nice for emergencies.
The 5 speed coaster brake hub is 127mm OLD, which I am pretty sure is wider than what I have now (the plain 5 speed hub is available in 110mm OLD). I also don't know if I am going to hate having a coaster brake as I am used to being able to move the pedals backward to get in a good position to start moving after being stopped.
I don't think I have used a coaster brake since I was 5 years old-- maybe I need to go try one out before I decide? Or, perhaps, I build the front wheel first and take it out in the rain a few times to get a sense whether the braking is improved substantially with the rims? The slow and steady route perhaps is safest, but I am kind of impatient about this project right now and I would like to get it done more quickly than that.
What would you do in my shoes?