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Why shaved legs?(25 posts)

Why shaved legs?pp
Aug 9, 2001 7:43 AM
Why do road racers shave their legs? One reason I have heard is to help with road rash. Is this the only reason and who plans on crashing all the time? There has to be some better reasons. Just curious because I went on a group ride the other day and was the only one with hairy legs.
FAQ needednm
Aug 9, 2001 7:46 AM
or maybe another "idiot's guide"?
You'll be substancially faster...keith m.
Aug 9, 2001 7:58 AM
at least one second per mile. And, You'll look cool.
first of allllllllllllllll
Aug 9, 2001 8:40 AM
Cool is in the eye of the beholder. And any claims of substantial speed gains is grossly misguided and simply uninformed.
re: Why shaved legs?thorman
Aug 9, 2001 8:22 AM
I can only speak for myself, but the main reason I shave is because I prefer the look. A lot of cyclist will say that they do it for easier cleaning of injuries, but for the most part I think we do it because it just makes us look faster.
planing on crashing?ak
Aug 9, 2001 8:35 AM
I don't think anyone PLANS on crashing, but that's no reason not to be prepared when/if it does. Having hair poking through road rash makes it very difficult to clean and bandage. Because of this, road-rash on a hairy leg is much more likely to become infected. Surely nobody is planning on crashing, but just like wearing a helmet and having health insurance, shaving is one way to prepare for something that, in many areas, is inevitable.

I'm probably speaking for myself on this one, but I don't mind looking like a freak. Its fun sometimes. I have bright orange toe-nails, old Pumas that I cut up and turned into shandles (shoe->sandle=shandle), a bald head and a nose like every scary holloween costume you've ever seen. Just look at pauley shore; he's proof that the ladies like the freaks.
don't forget to wrap yourself with foam rubbermr_spin
Aug 9, 2001 3:17 PM
As long as you are preparing to crash, do it right. One of those suits they use to train attack dogs ought to do quite nicely. Perhaps you could also fit yourself inside one of those huge plastic bubbles. Maybe some plastic armor, too, so you look like one of the storm troopers in Star Wars.

You'll be safe now.

storm trooperak
Aug 10, 2001 6:05 AM
I'd just like to get the storm trooper pants. What better way to show off my bootie. THink I can get some on E-Bay?
re: Why shaved legs?climberted
Aug 9, 2001 8:47 AM
Road rash is a good reason, as I am recovering from a HUGE amount of road rash as I type this. Hair has started to grow through the wound but not long. Long hair owuld have been all bloody and goopy witj neosporin, and would have made changing bandages a pain i the ass. A second reason is tradition. Cyclists have been doing it for a long time. Have no frekin' idea what the origins are but I used to do it out of tradition and no for road rash too. It shows a commitment to your sport, not that buying a $1500+ ride dosent though. Oh and lastly Chicks dig it, looks cool, feels good when it's hot.......
road rash and hairscabby
Aug 9, 2001 9:09 AM
when you go down and get road rash, your hair is usually left behind on the pavement with your skin, blood, etc.
I fall all the time..ak
Aug 9, 2001 10:30 AM
and I've never lost any har, but I've lost lots of skin. even if you do get cut deep enough to lose hair, the area nearer the perimeter of the wound will still have hair, and the area outside the wound will also have hair, thus still causing all of the same problems.
I fall all the time... LOL!nm
Aug 9, 2001 11:33 AM
Vanitygrzy mnky
Aug 9, 2001 8:53 AM
Kind like getting a tattoo or some body piercing - you want people to notice and then catch them staring at your body parts.
So true! Soooooooooooooo true!!!!AlexR
Aug 9, 2001 9:08 AM
That anyone would claim otherwise is hilarious.

grz, what about us w/shaved legs AND tattoos & piercings? nmHaiku d'état
Aug 9, 2001 9:16 AM
You REALLY need attention! ;-)grzy mnky
Aug 9, 2001 11:13 AM
This could describe fully one half of the riders in Santa Cruz - I always feel a little under dressed in this crowd!

Hey, I still think it's kewl, but I don't want to participate. Not into extra work or pain - seem to have enough of it already. Although now that I think about it gals with pierced tounges and "secret" tattoos really interest me.....
but, grz, most of them have hairy legs and pits. nmHaiku d'état
Aug 9, 2001 11:29 AM
So switch to guys.... ;-)grzy mnky
Aug 9, 2001 3:13 PM
re: Why shaved legs?MOBIL1
Aug 9, 2001 9:08 AM
If shaved legs will make look faster and cooler, then i guess i can forget about getting rid of my "love handles" and beer gut.
Makes me feel sexy!!sl
Aug 9, 2001 9:09 AM
shaved legs... another reasonTig
Aug 9, 2001 9:58 AM
Most guys do it to fit in or be accepted by other serious cyclists. I know of a few image conscious riders on our club rides that shave and don't even race!!!

For those who are talented enough to be on a professional cycling team that gets massages after every race or training ride, or lucky to have a massage therapist in the family, shaved legs make it easier to massage. I've massaged my wife's legs (shaved, of course! LOL) and it sure feels good for both of us. I'm happy to say I've never massaged hairy legs, men's or women's! I don't have anything to compare with I guess.

In ancient times when I raced track, MTB and road, I naturally shaved 'em. Sure, it felt less hot, looked cool (but I always felt subconscious about someone thinking I was a cross-dresser on a day off!), and all the other BS like psychological advantages. However, it was a pain to shave so much damn hair each week. I miss racing, but not the shaving. Hell, I didn't crash all that much anyway. I don't have to impress anyone on a ride anymore. I'll keep my strengths hidden under hair.

Keep 'em hairy... that will make some of those snob types thinking you aren't serious enough to worry about, so you can drop them on a sprint when they confidently think they can catch you. In street car racing it's called a "sleeper".
Darnit, I thought I answered this one last year!Marlon
Aug 9, 2001 11:35 AM
You shave because:

1. It's easier to apply lotions, pain relief balms, sunscreen, etc. on your legs without the hair.

2. It prevents painful hair-pulling when applying adhesive bandages in case of road rash.

3. It speeds healing time, in theory, since the hairs surrounding any road rash have the possibility of getting into the wound, attracting bacteria, messing with scab/skin formation, etc.

4. Ever massaged someone with excessive leg hair? SHAVE.

5. Allows you to intimidate the competition with your massive legs - or lack thereof.

6. It's cooler. Hair does trap heat, even minimal amounts, and when you're pumping hard, shaved legs ARE cooler.

7. Marginal aero benefit. Yeah, it's maybe 1 second over a century ride, but hey - if it helps, it helps.
Peer pressure!Dutchy
Aug 9, 2001 3:36 PM
If the reason to shave your legs is for the massage afterwards why don't gridiron, soccer, rugby, hockey, runners, football (Aussie rules) players shave their legs. They ALL get massages after the game/event and none of them shave.

Lets be honest shaving is total peer pressure. Unless your into time trial events at the Olympic level you won't go any faster as you body creates over 80% of the wind resistance, a shaved down rider's advantage would be so small if any, that it would be very hard to quantify.

I don't have a problem if people shave or not, I quite like the look even though my wife won't let me shave. I just don't believe the hype about speed advantage and road rash.

If people are worried about road rash do they also shave their forearms and chest as these parts can also hit the pavement in some crashes.

If I was to shave it would only be due to peer pressure.

Well said, and one last thing...Tig
Aug 9, 2001 4:28 PM
...we've heard about the bandages stick better reason, but here's something that doesn't make sense other than peer pressure and tradition: Look at most competitive racers who have been treated for road rash and do you see any tape or adhesive strips? Nope, not very often. You see fishnet mesh holding the dressing in place. Hmmm, so how can hair interfere with a mesh-held dressing?! Also, triathletes shave as well for drag reduction while swimming, but most wear neoprene suits for that. Hard to explain...
See Bicycling Article SeptemberChris Zeller
Aug 10, 2001 8:44 AM
See the Bicycling article this month. They say that it is all really psychological. Hey if riding in women's underwear convinces you to ride faster go for it! To me it seems silly. But then again I don't race.