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Breezer makes aluminum bikes, 26" wheels, that are set-up for Nexus. I don't know if the sell frames alone, but they have fully-equipped bikes in Nexus 3, 5, 7, and 8 speeds. If you already have 8-speed Nexus parts, the 3-speed Breezer might fight your price range. If you don't have the parts, the $1100 (or so) top end Breezer, with generator hub & lights, Nexus Red Band 8-speed, etc. might price out about right.
 

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the Soulville is great but....

will need a better seat and a front brake to be comfortable and safe. I bought one a few weeks ago and like it a LOT however the stock seat (though good looking) is garbage, hard as iron, replaced it with a Brooks B17. IMHO a coaster brake is not enough for a geared bike so I put a front brake on too. Also added a fork tube extender to get the bars a little higher...
 

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I feel you on the coaster brake issue. A while back I had a bit knarly chopper style beach cruiser that exceeded 40 lbs (ape-hangers, 26x3.0 tires, steel everywhere) and I had it set up with a Nexus 3 speed coaster. With close to 300 lbs of bike and rider, that coaster brake would get hot in a hurry on a good hill. I had planned on putting a drum brake up front (which would be a nice setup for the Masi to keep it clean looking) but I ended up selling the bike.

On an unrelated note, I once sprinted that hog bike up one of the steepest hills at my college campus and blew by one of my buddies on his roadie who was moving at a decent clip up the hill. I just about died when I reached the top of the hill, but it was worth it to see the look on his face, priceless!
 
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