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Cyclists and shaved legs - why bother?(43 posts)

Cyclists and shaved legs - why bother?spyderman
May 13, 2002 10:01 PM
Being a guy, I couldn't imagine shaving my legs every couple of days... As it is, I hate shaving my face.

Why would I even consider it?
re: Cyclists and shaved legs - why bother?kushogun
May 13, 2002 11:22 PM
Wait till you crash in a race... Try and pick out the gravel and rip rap around the hair... Let the road rash scab over the hair... And then let me know why bother... Cheers.
It's interesting....Len J
May 14, 2002 4:37 AM
I don't shave, & have had RR many times. The cleanup hurts with or without hair & the scab falls off as it heals. No big deal.

BTW, my wife, who spent 10 yrs as an ER nurse contendes that the problem with Road Rash on shaved legs is that as it heals you are more likely to end up with an ingrown hair (since you can't shave the RR site).


PS. I think that shaving is all about belonging. It is more a "Group" behavior than providing any tangible benefit. Of course, I could be wrong (Wouldn't be the first time).
Me thinks...Lone Gunman
May 14, 2002 4:47 AM
That the reason I keep my legs shaved down in the season is it is esier to apply rubs, sunscreen, etc and I clean up easier after a ride when all the road grime is sticking to the skin. Could be just a perception but I also feel cooler temperature wise.
Then, don't! (nm)bikerjim
May 14, 2002 4:23 AM
re: Cyclists and shaved legs - why bother?nat_ct1
May 14, 2002 4:51 AM
not shaving is like an act of defyance. its like giving yourself permissin to wreck. so i will wait till i crash and learn my lesson the hard way.
A couple of answers...EJC
May 14, 2002 5:06 AM
...first, there are many answers you may or may not hear to explain the shaved leg syndrome amongst the cycling set...most of them are bullsnot, HOWEVER, thhere is some truth in treating road rash and abrasions - it being easier to treat a shaved leg than an unshorn stump...BUT the reality is that it is a way of showing commitment to the sport.

Now, before you go off saying that you ARE commited and do XXX amount of miles/kilometres/??? per day or week etc, and that you don't need shaved legs to have that commitment, no one is saying that you AREN'T commited. The shaved legs is a way that some choose to show solidarity in the skinny tyred sect.

NOW, the second answer/resonse to your post...the one in which you say, "being a guy why would I ever consider shaving the legs"...this kind of hints at some sort of archaic and outdated thought of what a "man" is or is not. Why would a shaven legged man be less masculine than a unshorn man? Let me put it this way and ask you a question...are you a christian? Do you look-up to that long-haired hippy dude you christians refer to as "Jesus"? And if so, do you consider him less masculine because he has "girly long haiir"? Would you grow your hair long? If not, why not? And depending on the answer, if you look up to or drop down to an incense swinging priest to worship the original hippy, why would you NOT have long hair as well?

Okay, now that we have this covered, I am off to buy a can of "Nair."

May 14, 2002 5:38 AM
going from an (potentially) innocuous statement to accusations of stereotyping is a stretch in itself; let alone references to 'hippies', 'christianity', 'incense swinging priests', etc.

I too, am a guy who would 'never consider shaving my legs'; not because of whatever bizarre scenerio your over-defensive mind has developed, but rather because I see no benefit for spending even MORE time shaving my body, than i currently spend shaving my face each day.

It seems to me that your post 'hints' of more opinion and stereotyping than the original posters.
shaving sucks but the aero advantages are realishmael
May 14, 2002 6:14 AM
i do it before races if i remember
more mental than actual, imo.SteveO
May 14, 2002 6:25 AM
Of course, Im presuming you have less hair than a Chow.

That being said, I'm not knockin shaving; whatever works, whether physical, mental, or superstition.
May 14, 2002 7:49 AM
...yes SteveO, I am sure my post does seem to be that way to you. There is no arguing that my response does appear, to you, to be the product of an "overly-defensive" and bizarre mind (or scenario, I forget how you worded it.)

HOWEVER, it does NOT prove that my post IS a product of the above, only that it appears that way to you.

Remember too, that I ASKED questions and did not present any opinion I may or may not hold as fact.


actually, your post morso 'proves' than 'appears'.SteveO
May 14, 2002 8:23 AM
indeed, you asked questions. However, you also STATED that the original post 'kind of hints at some sort of outdated thought of what a "man" is or is not.'.

You then stigmatized the original poster's comments with the question 'why would a shaven-legged man be less masculine than an unshorn man?'; The original poster made no such assertion or connection - YOU did.

I agree that my post does not 'prove' that your's was the product of over-defense; It was never intended to. However, your post DOES prove itself to be an irrational connection and unfounded implication of the original.


stigmatized comments...EJC
May 14, 2002 9:55 AM
...hmm...I can just see the poor defensless comments huddled in sorrowful rejection over some jocular maxim that was tossed about callously.

Indeed, if I traumatized or stigamtized some comments I apologize to the poor words...but to YOU SteveO I do not. Nor do I agree with your statements that my prior comments and scribblings did anything other than illustrate what could be percieved to be an archaic view of Masculinity.

Now go ride your bike SteveO.


stigmatized comments...SteveO
May 14, 2002 10:30 AM
I can just see the poor words huddled in sorrowful rejection.

Youre a funny little man EJ.
I'm not so little...EJC
May 14, 2002 10:41 AM
...I weigh in at around 340 lbs - 400lbs depending on my twinkie and Budweiser consumption at any given week.

This coupled with the fact that I am only 4'10" and have hair on my back and palms makes for a difficult life.


don't forget your armsmr_spin
May 14, 2002 6:19 AM
Whatever applies to legs should also apply to arms, no? Then why do most male cyclists I see with shaved legs have hairy arms?

I think yours is the only reasonable explanation. It's not about aero. It's not about road rash. It is the equivalent of a gang tatoo. It's G. Gordon Liddy holding his hand over a flame. It's skull and bones.
don't forget your armsSteveO
May 14, 2002 6:26 AM
thanks; that thought has often crossed my mind.
EJC, peer pressure rules and Nair smells...spyderman
May 14, 2002 9:07 AM
I had this discussion with a group of cyclists (Guys/Chicks) over dinner and they were applying pressure to someone in the group to shave his legs... They gave most of the reasons brought up here... One that I thought was most interesting was that the Women find it very sexy!

Although, I believe that peer pressure has more to do with it than anything.. Personally, I am unshorn and will always remain. I can't stand shaving my face, and the idea of shaving the legs... Nutz...

The main reason Women shave their legs is because they want to get some action. If a drop dead beauty took off her pants and revealed two hairy trees and a shrub, I'd point her to the garage and my weed wacker.

This is the only reason I mentioned being a guy... We don't need to shave our legs to get laid. (Although, considering the opinion of some of the Women in our group I'm starting to rethink that aspect...)

One thing, your argument about Jesus is flawed. It proves that you can still be committed to God/religion, sport/team and not have to look like the original... So, I'm going to use it in support of my position. Thanks.

Dude! You ROCK!!!EJC
May 14, 2002 9:58 AM
That post was GREAT! I am sitting here at my desk giggling like an idiot! Seriously! The weedwhacker comment made my day!

And if I got an argument wrong and you want to use it agaisnt me, I can live with that! At least I was entertained!

(and I shave my legs for two, I like the feeling of belonging to the "clique" I get from doing it, and two...CHICKS DIG IT!!!)

Great post dude!

EJC, great exchange man!spyderman
May 14, 2002 10:21 PM
Unless someone shows me some serious numbers from a wind tunnel test, it ain't happenin' for any other reason than the Ladies.

Personally, I like how different people justify why they shave. It's a great topic... Everyone has their own personal preference, and that's fine.

EJC, peer pressure rules and Nair smells...raboboy
May 14, 2002 10:50 AM
You should ask those women if they find it sexy to see the shaved legs, then see hairy arms, stomach, chest, back, etc. :)
You answered your own question nmgreg n
May 14, 2002 5:32 AM
More Questionslnin0
May 14, 2002 6:14 AM
Q1) I have pretty hairly legs to start with. I remember hearing if you shave your body then the hair will grow back even thicker. Is this true? If I shaved my legs would the hair grow back even thicker over the winter? (ps - if this is true can I use this to grow hair on my bald head?)

Q2) My mom never tought me how to shave my legs or where to stop. Where is a man's bikini line?
hope this helpsnyedid
May 14, 2002 7:01 AM
Answer 1: I believe the claim that hair grows back quicker and thicker if it's shaved is simply false. I got a patch of hair shaved when i got a tattoo on my leg, and by no means is there a thicker patch of hair on top of my tattoo. furthermore, i've never noticed this phenomenon on my face: i heard the myth began because when young guys start shaving, their hair is coming in thicker because they are maturing and therefore it seems to be correlated to the shaving. however, my experience and understanding suggest that it is not tied to shaving.
Answer 2: this is a much more elusive questions; i myself asked it on this board a little while ago. i'm new to cycling and have not yet taken the plunge and shaved my legs, but i think an electric razor is the way to go. i picked up a decent braun electric razor to try on my face a little while ago (liked it, but i missed shaving with mug and brush). i think i'll try that because then i can't cut myself. i too have hairy legs and don't really know how high to go-- let's put it this way: my hair goes all the way up. and i don't want to look like a jerk in front of my girlfriend. let me know what you decide to do.
Go sit on your bike.........curtis
May 14, 2002 7:22 AM
.......with the pedals at 3 and 9 '0 clock, thighs parallel to the ground. Now, notice where the nose of your saddle meets your leg. THIS IS WHERE YOU STOP SHAVING on your inner thigh. Everywhere else, go all the way, if you like.

Shaving past this point may result in very nasty break-outs. The constant rubbing of your inner thighs on your saddle will cause the newly growing hair to chafe. I learned this lesson the HARD way when I first started shaving.

Don't worry.....unless you spend A LOT of time on South Beach, your shorts will probably cover this little patch of hairy.
clarification, curtisnyedid
May 14, 2002 8:09 AM
the only thing i'm worried about is what my girlfriend will say...this may be a bad question, but do you have any experience with women's reactions if you're not shaved the whole way? i guess it will probably look a little funny, and i'm concerned. help!
clarification, curtiscurtis
May 14, 2002 4:45 PM
My girlfriend SCREAMED when she first felt my shorn legs last summer. Over the winter, I grew it back. A few weeks ago, I started shaving again. When she felt them, she SCREAMED. In between screaming, I think she kinda likes them (not that she would ever admit it). Bottom line.....she'll get used to it. Do your own thing.
I, too, was one of the unshorn....look271
May 14, 2002 5:52 PM
Then it must have been a mid-life crisis thing or whatever, but I shaved 'em. My wife had vowed that she would divorce me if I did, Guess what? I don't even think that she knows I did it! It just feels good as the air goes over the smooth skin. It's not making me faster and I doubt it will help much if I crash, but I LIKE it, and that's all that is really important.
Look271, Interesting...spyderman
May 14, 2002 10:32 PM
You're right, the most important thing is if you like it. Does your wife ride too? So how often do you have to trim the hedges? Nair or a razor? Was the first time bloody?

Look271, Interesting...look271
May 15, 2002 6:22 AM
1st time I did the nair thing. Had to do 2 areas 2x, but now it's smooth as a babie's butt=) I now do "touch-ups" ever 5 days or so. I'm not real hairy, but I do have probably average growth. No, my wife doesn't ride, although she has been tossing around the idea. It would be casual trail rides for her, I'm guessing. Last time I did a shave(yesterday) I nailed myself real good on the shin. I'll have to watch that area next time......
May 14, 2002 7:28 AM
The myth evolves from the fact that when a shaved hair re-grows, the first part to show the the thick cut base of the hair, rather than a nice fine tip. Thus it appears that the hair is thicker and stiffer, even though it is of course the same as the base of the rest of the hairs - it's just that they have (relatively) nice soft tapered tops.

There you have it.

Ask any massage therapistPaulCL
May 14, 2002 6:16 AM
I got a massage this weekend at the halfway point of a 200 mile weekend. My massage therapist commented how much nicer it is to do cyclists since so many of the men had shaved legs. My wife likes it too.

Now, I have gotten massages at non-cycling occasions and gotten funny looks from my masseuse (sp?). I have to explain the cycling relationship.
Good point PaulCL...spyderman
May 14, 2002 10:36 PM
I have a friend who shaved awhile ago. When he did it, I busted him on wearing pantyhose and stuff. He never really had a good comeback... He just used the RR issue.

To me it's all about the Ladies...

re: Cyclists and shaved legs - why bother?No_sprint
May 14, 2002 7:29 AM
Race day shaver here. That is typically Sunday's a month. If I weren't racin' I wouldn't be shavin'. As stated above, it's a rite of passage deal. Roll up to any crit without shaved legs, and you'll feel like you don't belong although most of the other guys more than a couple of bikes away from you won't know.
No_sprint, performance speaks louder..spyderman
May 14, 2002 10:43 PM
Personally, I'm not that sensative. If it gave them a serious edge, then I'd feel a bit insecure. To me it's all 'bout the performance and not so much the look.

I wonder how it makes them feel to lose to a guy with unshaven legs?

Does anyone know if any pros didn't shave? Past or present? nmSintesi
May 14, 2002 10:31 AM
May 14, 2002 11:48 AM
it just looks so damn hot!!
I shaved my legs once on a bet last year, before I even took up road riding more seriously... and I was suprised at how ripped my legs looked! I'm thinking of doing it again this summer. A lot of guys don't like the thought of it because it's kind of "feminine", but I mean, if you're going to ride around in brightly coloured spandex, I couldn't see why losing a little hair on your legs would really upset you.

I hear sometimes that women like the look... but after asking around it seems it's either a "love it or hate it" deal... anyone find the same?
empacher6seat, LOL...spyderman
May 14, 2002 10:51 PM
I know I get some snickers in public if I don't cover the spandex with shorts... I think some of the laughter might be even louder if shaved...

I'm sure the definition is greater, that's why bodybuilders shave. Although, I rarely find myself looking at other guys legs... Mostly what they ride.

My legs were really hairyjustina
May 14, 2002 12:16 PM
I couldn't stick bandages on to keep my road rash clean and protected. I did it purely for the adhesive contact and ease of care gained. In addition I dry off way quicker when I get out of the shower now, but I have the dreaded fur shorts.
If I rode a Harley.....Jefferson
May 14, 2002 1:19 PM
If I rode a Harley I would have a tatoo and wear black leather and say screw the helmet laws. I ride a road bike so I shave my legs, wear microsensor and always put on the Giro Pnuemo no matter how short the ride. It is a matter of being part of the group. Add the advantages of road rash clean up, ripped muscle definition and aerodynamics and there are the reasons you need. Oh yeah, I also shave my arms.
Jefferson, not the arms too...spyderman
May 14, 2002 10:56 PM
It must take you forever to get out of the can...

For me, I think performance speaks louder than looking the part...

To each their own.

re: Cyclists and shaved legs - why bother?flying
May 14, 2002 4:52 PM
I agree with Paul
I do it mainly because it is easy to rub out the legs.
If you dont want to then don't it is not the end of the world.
But to think it un-manly is flawed.
You shave your face or you cut your hair on top
of your head. What is different about the legs or arms or anywhere for that matter?
Flying, to me there is a HUGE differencespyderman
May 14, 2002 11:02 PM
Social norms do apply here.

Stereotypical or not.. Women are expected to shave the tree stumps, men are not.

Men aren't expected to shave their pits, women are.

Personally, I just hate shaving.