I saw that someone resurrected a thread about touring on a shimano nexus 8 speed internally geared hub from a couple of years ago. The reviewer had a generally positive attitude towards the performance of this hub over a couple of thousand miles of touring, which is somewhat surprising to me. I've been doing a bit of research into similar products. Almost all of the documentation for commercially available geared hubs (including all of the shimano nexus geared hubs) specifically caution against using them on mountain bikes, tandems or for hauling large loads. The only exceptions that I know of are the Rohloff, and a specific model of SRAM 5 speed hubs that has a very narrow gear range, but which is specifically designed for heavy loads.
I'm in the market for a new rear wheel, and I really want an internally geared hub. I like the look of the relatively new SRAM 9 speed hub. It has a good gear range, and they claim that it can be mated to a double crankset, which would allow for a wide enough range to tackle mountains and perform well on the flats. But they caution against using it for heavy loads, which should rule out touring.
I'm so set on the idea of internally geared hubs, that I'm willing to shell out major cash to purchase the Rohloff at this point. But I don't like the idea of purchasing a wheel that is worth more than my entire bike. If I could use the SRAM 9 speed or one of the shimano nexus products, and save myself a grand, I would happily do so. But I just don't feel like I can trust the less expensive products based on the information that I have. So I want to know if anyone else has toured on a geared hub, and what kind of longevity they've gotten from them.
Do you tour on a geared hub? Are SRAM and Shimano just being excessively cautious in steering customers away from their products for touring purposes?