This is likely just a subjective point, but I thought I'd throw it out.
I ride a Peugeot US Express (Canada made?), set up with a Shimano 3-speed internal hub. BB converted from ashtabula to reg crank with one of them... converter things. It's a bit of a cheap old 80's beast, but, with studded tires added, it got me thru the snowiest winter in Madison Wi history.
I've been keeping my eye out for a suitable, better frame to swap parts to, to see if I could get something that is a bit better. A Trek 890 (1984) came thru the shop
...and I am hep to try swapping the wheels and such to it. Everything is the same, and the spacing would be close enough to fit the 3-speed. Problem: it is a 21.5" frame, which is smaller than I usually ride. Wheel base is 42" vs 44" for the Peugeot:
Question for riders... once I raise the seat and get some upright forward bars (like I have on the Peugeot) will the smaller frame make much diff for a foul weather commuter? I rekon I could spend a day schlepping the parts on and see if it works...just thought I'd throw it out. the 890 is a very early Trek All terrain bike frame...