I've been considering drive trains on a utility / commuter bike. What are expected or actual lifetime / maintenance needs of modern internal hubs?
The Shimano Alfine internal 8-speed hub is on several bikes I've liked. I've also heard good things about SRAM and Nexus hubs.
I ride in a wet / nasty winters / fairly flat environment here in Minnesota. I'm partial to lower gearing if it meant more reliability or lower cost. I don't need max efficiency but all other factors are secondary to durability in my eyes.
How much maintenance can I expect a modern internal hub to require, and how long will it last before needing to be replaced?