Hair today, gone tomorrow

After listening to the ‘Specialized’ wind tunnel podcast, I was preparing to do something I’d never even considered before… shave my legs. This was going to be a big step for me.

Then I read this: Cyclist article

Now I’m not sure I’ll bother. Yes, this is a topic that constantly seems to do the rounds but I’m not sure that enough people who are ‘in-the-know’, really agree that there is much benefit, other than comfort, and my hairs have never made me uncomfortable.

I’ve been cycling for 6 years and racing cyclocross on/off for 3 years.

People (even those I don’t know) always like to point out that I’m doing something wrong by not shaving my legs. But honestly, I’ve never found myself in a position where shaved legs wouldve been any benefit to me.

The only advantage I can see is for cleaning/healing wounds but I don’t crash enough to make that worthwhile

So the fastest configuration might be a leg mullet?

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This debate will never be settled. I think cyclists are a vain lot, and probably most won’t admit the real reason we shave our legs. It simply looks better. Hairly legs look unsightly with smart cycling kit.

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a) wax, don’t shave. Sure, it hurts more the first time (ok, first few times) but then it’s nothing. It lasts longer (>1mo), the hair returns softer and less dense, and your wife/partner will probably like it much more than razor stubble.
b) smooth legs get less dirty and are easier to clean. If you’re in the dirt at all (gravel, MTB primarily or cross), ticks etc don’t have anything to latch onto. Not scientific here, but I found ticks were less often on my legs and easier to spot in the rare case they were there. This point can be recategorized as “smooth legs result in less road rash and cleaner road rash.”
c) smooth legs are much easier to massage, which is not an insubstantial reason.

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I was in the same boat. The Specialized podcast pushed me over the edge, and I shaved for my first race earlier this season. It wasn’t nearly the huge deal I was making it, and 3 weeks later, my leg hair is almost grown back to the length it was.

I say do it. But trim first, then shave. And apparently never on race day - my teammates told me it’s bad luck. I told them they were crazy. I got squeezed into a corner, clipped a curb with my pedal at the bottom of a hill on the first stage of the weekend stage race. That gave me the opportunity to watch the pack ride away as I stopped to avoid a crash. Rode the entire race off the back, picking off fodder.

So, shave the night before your race :+1::sweat_smile:

Forget all the performance pros and cons it feels great :slight_smile:

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If you are on the hairy end of the Chewbacca scale like me then;

  • post ride rub down/massage is less painful when you are not pulling hairs out
  • feeling the wind in your hair is one thing, feeling your leg hairs blowing across your knees in the wind is another
  • waxing hurts like hell, I suffered loads of ingrown hairs after too, at least its not your bikini area!
  • leg stubble, now she know’s how it feels
  • after years of racing I feel more committed looking down at shaven legs than hairy ones
  • use a pair of clippers to get the bulk off, like shearing a sheep
  • be careful shaving inside your thighs too high up - chafe!
  • leave her razor clogged full of hair for a change
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If it’s not the bikini area then at what line do you stop shaving?

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Hairy legs and smooth spandex just doesn´t match.
Plus massaging gets much more enjoyable and the muscle definition in the mirror after you’ve rubbed lotion on your legs is just sexual.

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Have you ever crashed? believe it hurts … not the crash, the medic who tries to clean up/shave problematic area :slight_smile:

Rule #5 or Rule #33

You certainly don’t need to shave your legs to cycle. In all my decades of cycling, I’ve spent 99% of the time with hairy legs.

The thing that makes me shave like I currently am is regular massage. It makes a massive comfort difference for someone as hairy as I am. Massage is outright painful if I don’t

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Seriously hairy guy here… recently shaved my legs for the first time and I absolutely hated it for the first few days, everytime I looked at my bare legs it freaked me out. Kinda used to it now but it absolutely looks way better with cycling kit…

Obviously it’s to see your quads and veins pop out duh!!! Specially with the summer cycling tan… :ok_hand::ok_hand::ok_hand:

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This! :smiley:

Anyone else have no leg hair at all to begin with? :joy:

If it’s not the bikini area then at what line do you stop shaving?

Eyebrows.

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Also true for the end of a muddy race. Getting that dried mud away from hair was enough reason for me to return to shaving. The occasional crash clean-up is WELL worth it.

There is a VERY VERY VERY long thread on how to and how NOT to shave your legs on roadbikereview.

There is also already this one on this forum.

TR shaving thread