Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco, California
Bikes: Brompton H6, Schwinn Mirada, Cruzbike Sofrider. Used to own: ICE B1, 2 F-frame Moultons, Koga Myata Elevation 2000 mtb, Challenge Hurricane, Riese & Mueller Birdy Silver, Actionbent Tidalwave 3
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The red label Nexus 8 has a range of approximately 307%. This means you could for example have a range of 28" - 86". If you already have some experience from another bike riding with luggage or a trailer, then you could see what gears that bike has and see how that compares to the Nexus.
You can get as low as you want with the Nexus, but remember that will make your top gear low too. Some touring bikes come with a low gear under 20". If you did this with the Nexus you would get a range of 20" - 61".
Personally I think the Nexus doesn't offer enough of a range for heavily loaded touring without severly limiting the top speed. But this will be very personal and depend on how strong a rider you are and if you're a "masher" or a "spinner".