(Singlespeed) The answer is "both." There is a separate category for s.s. (one men, one women), but some people choose to race in the normal cats with a s.s. bike anyway... usually some of the strongest folks. And no, that mud tears up drivetrains regularly. My wife's, for example... just replaced everything a week ago, which was a nice upgrade.
There's a few single speed/fixed riders whom I ride with and these guys/gals can hang on both the steep hillclimbs and long road rides we do. I chalk it up to youth and still healthy knees! Last week I did over 100 miles of climbing last week and I have to take a couple days off just for them to heal from the punishment!
One of my SS bikes is geared more for long flatter stretches of cruising, while another is better on hills. Even then, I'm not a strong hill climber. My knees are fine, but I've never done 100 miles in a single week, much less climbing hills. If I push myself much beyond 30 miles, I pay for it for a day or two. Then again, I'm just about 20 years older than Jonathan.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Knocked out my morning ride with some of my cycling buddies. The park where I ride was packed with turkey day cyclists trying to get their early workout in before the big meal!
On the flats we were smoked by this small female sprinter who just flew passed by 20 cyclists! My buddies and I are pretty strong, so we tried keeping pace, but she just left us in the dust! This is what amazes me about biking, size doesn't really matter, it's all about the human motor!
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