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Why do cyclists shave their legs?

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Why do cyclists shave their legs?

Old 10-28-22, 02:41 PM
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bikehoco
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Why do cyclists shave their legs?

An interesting article:
https://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/news/why-do-bike-racers-shave-their-legs/
Many people believe that bike racers shave their legs to be “more aero.” Although this was never the intention, interestingly there has been recent studies indicate that it might actually help.

Seems like a personal preference and not for others to judge. But I’m curious, do many of you non-racers shave your legs?
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Old 10-28-22, 02:42 PM
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We don't!



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Old 10-28-22, 02:50 PM
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I thought it was to make wound-cleaning easier following some road-rash.
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Old 10-28-22, 02:55 PM
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I learned something new today!
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Old 10-28-22, 02:59 PM
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Heal faster after crashing and easier/less painful to get massage. Pro racers get rubs every day.
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Old 10-28-22, 02:59 PM
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I used to be a leg-shaver, because...
- That's what racer-boys do
- So aero!
- Easier to pick grit out of road rash
- No hair-pulling during recovery massages
- Hairless skin slides easier across pavement. Hairy skin grabs pavement and causes more damage. (No proof of this, but a good theory)
- Chicks dig tanned muscular legs, and hair gets in the way of the view (Confirmed by multiple chicks. I was shaved when my wife and I started dating, and up until the birth of our daughter - proof!)

I was off the bike for 15 years, and am starting to get back into decent shape again. I've been considering shaving again, mostly because of the massage thing. I'm riding my MTB as often as my road bike, and end up with the occasional flesh wound, so grit-picking is a factor, too. The effort it takes to maintain, however, is the primary source of hesitation.

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Old 10-28-22, 03:02 PM
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I shave the hair that is under my bibs and jersey short. That way I seem to stay drier and cooler during the hot months and also it doesn't roll around between the fabric and my skin irritating it at the follicle. Never needed chamois butter or Boudreaux's Butt Paste, I think that might be one of the reasons why. But the hair below my knee remains there for all to see. My socks aren't regulation height either, so I guess I won't be racing at a world tour level! <grin>

Wish I had as much hair on top of my head. Seems to want to grow everywhere but there.

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Old 10-28-22, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bikehoco View Post
An interesting article:
https://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/...ve-their-legs/
Many people believe that bike racers shave their legs to be “more aero.” Although this was never the intention, interestingly there has been recent studies indicate that it might actually help.

Seems like a personal preference and not for others to judge. But I’m curious, do many of you non-racers shave your legs?
I don't shave my legs and IMO leg shaving is completely useless and pointless for cyclists who are non-racers. The main argument for leg shaving is that it makes it easier to deal with road rash if they happen to crash but IMO that argument is complete BS. How many leg shavers on this forum have had serious road rash covering 100% of both of their legs ???
There are really only two main reasons why non-pros shave their legs. Reason one is trying to imitate the pros and look like pros. reason two is peer pressure because everybody on their group rides is a leg shaver and they are just trying to fit in with their group. If they didn't shave their legs their cycling club would look down upon them.
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Old 10-28-22, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Heal faster after crashing and easier/less painful to get massage. Pro racers get rubs every day.
I wonder how many leg shaving pros on this forum crash often enough and get a serious enough road rash to justify leg shaving and how many get daily massages to help them heal faster from all their daily hard training.
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Old 10-28-22, 03:16 PM
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You know what? There are as many reasons as there are cyclists who shave their legs. Me? I am 72 years old and have very little leg hair. I stopped racing years ago. As an older person my skin is getting pretty dry looking with wrinkles. I don't care much about my face, but I hate what age has done to my legs. So, I shave my legs and apply moisturizer hoping to make them look as young as I feel.
Works for me

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Old 10-28-22, 03:32 PM
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I shaved my legs when I was racing decades ago. I did it for the reasons usually given, but more than anything else I liked the way it looked and felt. I shaved on and off in my non racing years. These days at 71, I don't have any legs hair to shave.
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Old 10-28-22, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I wonder how many leg shaving pros on this forum crash often enough and get a serious enough road rash to justify leg shaving and how many get daily massages to help them heal faster from all their daily hard training.
I've never been a pro, but I was a leg-shaver when I raced. I would massage my own legs more after hard rides, but the hair vs. lotion battle is real. This recent scrape on my MTB would have cleaned up a bit easier if I was hairless.

Last edited by Hermes; 10-30-22 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Deleted bloody pic
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Old 10-28-22, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Barry2 View Post
We don't!



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Who is ‘we’? Speaking for both legs?
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Old 10-28-22, 03:45 PM
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I shaved this year after a couple year break.

Feels better.
Looks better.
Easier to clean up. I do some touring, which means I probably ride in crappy weather and camp more than most.

P.S. Low-hanging fruit. Can’t wait for the waving thread.

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Old 10-28-22, 03:48 PM
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I have shaved for years. It’s easier to apply sunscreen or embrocation, there’s no pulling from the elastic on your shorts, and it looks better.
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Old 10-28-22, 04:14 PM
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Don’t shave, which I found to be a PITA if you have monkey legs like mine, but instead use Wahl trimmers to keep the hair super short. Got to keep that laminar flow to a minimum. My massage therapist thanks me for it.

International labs are now evaluating whether short stubble on my legs acts likes dimples on a golf ball (turbulators) helping me fly longer distances with less drag. But speaking of drag might be best for a different forum. Rim shot!
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Old 10-28-22, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I don't shave my legs and IMO leg shaving is completely useless and pointless for cyclists who are non-racers. The main argument for leg shaving is that it makes it easier to deal with road rash if they happen to crash but IMO that argument is complete BS. How many leg shavers on this forum have had serious road rash covering 100% of both of their legs ???
No one in the history of cycling has ever had road rash that covered 100% of both their legs. But, that doesn't mean shaving doesn't make it easier to deal with road rash that covers 5% or 10% of your legs.
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Old 10-28-22, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
, but the hair vs. lotion battle is real. This recent scrape on my MTB would have cleaned up a bit easier if I was hairless.
I only had one serious case of road rash in 15 years of riding...All I had to do was to just shave few inches around the wound to make it easier to clean and apply dressings...There was no need to shave my whole legs, my arms, my crotch, my face, my armpits just to deal with few inches of road rash around my knee area.

Last edited by Hermes; 10-30-22 at 03:25 PM. Reason: Deleted bloody pic.
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Old 10-28-22, 04:30 PM
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I'm just a Lou Reed fan.

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Old 10-28-22, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
I just a Lou Reed fan.
”I’m waiting for my man” or “shaved his legs and he was a she and said hey man, take a walk on the wild side..”. Rock and Roll Animal is one of my favorite albums of his.
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Old 10-28-22, 04:34 PM
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I only shave when my leg tone and vascularity warrant it because chicks did it.

When touring in nasty conditions, shaved legs are easier to clean off the road grime

I self massage the legs a couple times per week and do go for professional massages periodically if training seriously.

Whether the aero benefits justify shaving is a personal decision.

I have not shaved in a few years but hope to have sufficient fitness next year to make shaving a reasonable PITA
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Old 10-28-22, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I only had one serious case of road rash in 15 years of riding...All I had to do was to just shave few inches around the wound to make it easier to clean and apply dressings...There was no need to shave my whole legs, my arms, my crotch, my face, my armpits just to deal with few inches of road rash around my knee area.
Wounds are easier to deal with when the hair is already gone. As has been mentioned, there's other benefits besides just wounds. That said, if it's not for you, cool. Don't do it. Right now, I'm not either. As someone who used to, I understand from first-hand experience what those benefits are.
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Old 10-28-22, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
No one in the history of cycling has ever had road rash that covered 100% of both their legs. But, that doesn't mean shaving doesn't make it easier to deal with road rash that covers 5% or 10% of your legs.
The exception that proves the rule that there are no dumb questions.
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Old 10-28-22, 05:00 PM
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For the sexy?
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Old 10-28-22, 05:10 PM
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Shaving saves around 70 seconds per 40km, more than going from antiquated round, steel tubes to a modern bike

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