Are many people shaving their forearms? Have been shaving my legs for a few years and it seems pretty normal now (biggest benefit for me is the ease of applying sun cream, and not having that sticky, matted mess of lotion, energy drink, sweat, dead flies, etc at the end of a long day in the saddle). Then a friend was laughing at me the other day with my smooth legs and hairy arms. So I got googling and found Specialized reckon it’s a 19 second saving over 40k https://road.cc/content/news/140018-shave-your-arms-and-ride-faster
Which seems worth doing. Not sure I’d bother for a road race. And irrelevant for a TT as I have a long sleeve speed suit. But I also race 70.3s and have a short sleeved suit, which gets me thinking maybe I’m missing some free speed for those events. Maybe the savings are a little lower when the arms are horizontal in the TT position, but even 30 seconds is better than nothing. Guess the alternative would be arm sleeves, but that’s a few extra seconds in transition.
Yep for important races and specifically TTs. I am looking for advantages. My wife really doesn’t like the look though.
I’ve recently started contemplating this. I currently don’t shave my arms or legs for cycling, but have been thinking about it more as of lately. I know my wife will not like this, in fact she might despise me for this.
I shave the legs, arms, back, trim the chest.
but that is just for vanity.
Yep - just legs for me - but as a tt er I also have a long sleeve skin suit so not an issue - mind you unless it is very cold I race without gloves (use mits on the road bike) I wonder how aero the backs of my hands are - shaving them really would be the most marginal of marginal gains!
This is brilliant. I do audax rides (randonneuring) and the more hirsute you are, the quicker you go. There’s science in this.
But maybe you’re better off just getting a long sleeved aero skinsuit? That way you’re never sitting at the start line thinking ‘Darn. Forgot to put sunscreen on my arms.’
I shaved my arms for all my 70.3 and full IM races from 2016 on…but only for races. don’t keep the arms shaved regularly (as opposed to my legs, which haven’t seen hair in ~30 years).
Between the shaved head, face, legs, chest, occasional arms and a little judicious “manscaping”, there ain’t much left these days.
Most certainly. There may be an aero benefit, but I do it so the sweat sheets out and evaporates instead of beading up on my hairs.
I don’t shave skin close, but I trim relatively short. I have ape length hair on my arms, and even a close cut is an apparent improvement for cooling and I estimate for aero as well. But it’s largely a cosmetic choice in the end.
I shave both my arms and legs and have for over 10 years now. I actually don’t do it for bike reasons, I just can’t stand the feel or look of body hair. If you care what other people think ( you shouldn’t, but a lot of people do) most people don’t notice if you shave your arms, but most notice if you shave your legs.
The more vertical your forearms, the more it matters.
If you have belt elbows, less of an improvement.
I’m more concerned about protecting myself from the sun on long days in the saddle than I am eking out every aero watt. A couple of years ago Garneau made a “speed bolero” whose fabric seemed more aero than plain skin but also provided UPF 50 down to the wrist. On the down side (worth it to me, in terms of protecting my skin), it probably cost more seconds in T1 than it gave you on the bike leg.
Of course with the growth of short sleeved tri suits the coverage across the shoulders also isn’t as necessary, so something like NoPinz’s sleeves might be the current equivalent. I imagine those sleeves would be harder to get on in T1 than the bolero, though.
Agree re the sun, but I also find it’s much easier to apply sun screen when there isn’t a lot of hair in the way. Trimming my leg hair has saved me a fortune in sun screen, takes about a third as much to get decent coverage!
Have a long-sleeved skinsuit already for the TTs, which occasionally makes an appearance in road races if it’s a race where I’m likely to spend a lot of time in the wind. Long sleeved trisuits don’t really seem to be a thing though, certainly not in my club colours (we have the option of sleeveless or sleeved down to the elbows). So options would be shaving or pulling on sleeves in T1.
Yeah, I use the trimmer on my legs rather than a full shave, much quicker, less chance of cuts or ingrowing hairs, and it returns to a socially acceptable (to non-cyclists) length pretty quickly between races. Will try that on the arms I think.
Asking for a friend: What ‘device’ is recommended? Thank you
I use Wahl hair clippers on the shortest setting for the legs, not the cheapest but seems a quality product. Mine are 10+ years old and they’re what most barbers seem to use.
Razor in the shower…same as the legs.