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To Shave or Not to Shave, That is the question...(34 posts)

To Shave or Not to Shave, That is the question...jagreenwald
Oct 30, 2002 10:27 PM
I'm new to the road scene and all the guys I work with at my bike shop shave (their legs, lets keep the thoughts clean) and are trying to convince me too also. I'm riding about 2-3 days/week. No racing. My wife thinks I'm nuts and doesn't see the point..Any opinions?
if you have to ask....collinsc
Oct 30, 2002 11:06 PM
then you probably dont have the conviction to really back it up. seeing your legs bare is really really f*cking weird at first. but if your legs look totally ripped and badass then you soon wont want it any other way.
if you have to ask....Rich_Racer
Oct 31, 2002 2:11 AM
Lance says you have to shave your legs because it's easier to clean cut when you crash! Some people will argue that you're not a serious cyclist unless you shave. And you certainly won't see any hairy legs in the tour! But I cycle 200-300 miles a week and I enter a couple of races a year (not a lot), but I don't want to shave. I can see my rippling muscles through my hair!
Good on ya but...Ride-Fly
Oct 31, 2002 9:33 PM
I bet your legs would look even more ripped if ya shaved them. No big deal if you do or you don't in my opinion. There are a lot of people who aren't even riders that shave their legs. Body builders shave their whole body- even the retired ones. Swimmers, runners, Downhill MTBers, etc. To tell ya the truth, I wouldn't shave my legs if I wasn't road riding. Never shaved them when I was "only a mountain biker." Ride ON!!!
Chicks dig the clean and bottomPEDDLEFOOT
Oct 31, 2002 4:50 AM
Wait until springAlexx
Oct 31, 2002 5:28 AM
I don't shave my legs, and now that the temps are getting really low (below freezing the last 3-4 days every night!), the hair on my legs adds a considerable amount of insulation under my tights.
I disagree.Sintesi
Oct 31, 2002 6:48 AM
Shave your legs in the winter and see how you like it. Your wife might change her mind or you might discover it to be too much of a hassle. You're not wearing shorts in public this time of year so no one will be the wiser and you won't be self-conscious about it. No risk try-before-you-buy. I'm assuming you live in an area that has winter.
True story. My 8 y/o daughter asked if I would be squiringbill
Oct 31, 2002 6:53 AM
them around for trick or treating. Yes, I said. Will you be wearing shorts? she asked. No, I said, a bit puzzled. It will be cold. Good, she said.
Only then did I realize that she was still a bit freaked out by the shaved leg thing.
That's funny.Sintesi
Oct 31, 2002 7:13 AM
I keep threatening to do it but my wife is horrified by the social implications. Maybe I could make the argument that she is acting like an 8 year old. : )
More common than not in Boulder, COColnagoFE
Oct 31, 2002 8:30 AM
Boulder...where men shave their legs and women don't.
Social implications: Get over it! Be a cyclist! NFMSpunout
Oct 31, 2002 9:38 AM
My wife was initially grossed outPaulCL
Oct 31, 2002 12:41 PM
but now...she loves my smoooooth legs. As for my kids, to them, most athletic men should shave their legs. I'm not odd, they are !! My daughters now judge men and their reputed athleticsm by the legs and gut (or lack there of).

A couple of months ago, some guy in my gym asked me out of the blue if I was a cyclist. Referring to my legs. I think my 'yes' answer put him and other guys a bit at ease. The only other clean shaven guy in the gym is some big body builder dude.

I initially shaved after my first (of about now seven) race. A couple of the guys started laughing about riding with a squirrel. Stupidly, I asked who they were talking about. DUH!! Me. They laughingly defined squirrel: "a small, hairy rodent, that skitters around and generally gets in everyone's way" I shaved the next day.
I disagree.jagreenwald
Oct 31, 2002 5:25 PM
buy the way..I live in San Diego and winter doesn't really exist here :) gotta love it
Alexx = Chewbacca???biknben
Oct 31, 2002 7:08 AM
Reading than your hair provides insulation, an image of Chewy came to mind.

I agree with Sintesi. Winter provides the opportunity to get used to shaving before exposing it to the public. If you decide it's not for you, no one has to know you ever did it.

Long pants on freshly shaven legs is a strange feeling.
re: To Shave or Not to Shave, That is the question...Galibier
Oct 31, 2002 5:48 AM
Unless you are training and racing nearly as much as a European pro, the only reason to shave is out of desire to be considered a "serious" rider. If you are crashing so frequently that wound clean-up becomes an issue, then your time would be better spent mastering bike handling skills rather than shaving your legs. By way of background, I am a "serious" rider who has been training and racing for 18 years; I've never shaved my legs, for which I am regularly needled by my teammates, all of whom shave; I rarely crash, and have never crashed where the presence of hair made any difference as far as I could tell. However, if you race, crashing is inevitable -- I've just been lucky, and I know that. Plus, even as a non-shaver, I assume someone else who doesn't shave is not "serious" until they prove otherwise.
I was a more or less top-end non-shaver. With several notablebill
Oct 31, 2002 6:51 AM
exceptions, around here virtually all of the serious guys shave, and I typically would be one of the more if not most serious non-shaver on a ride. It was fine.
Then I started to notice that, if another non-shaver passed me, I would find the strength to . . . not . . . let . . . that . . . happen. I began to realize that I probably was providing the same motivation for others, which I didn't want to do. I reasoned that, if I really could rip the legs off of everyone (as a couple of non-shavers I know can), then it wouldn't matter, but, since I'm a mid-pack 43 y/o, I really shouldn't be going around providing that sort of inspiration. It could become unhealthy.
So I shaved. My wife hates it and my kids think I'm a very funny daddy. I don't happen to think that it's that big a deal either way; I only wanted the less inspirational credibility, which it does signal.
I've heard of women who like it, but I've yet to come across any.
Oct 31, 2002 7:02 AM
>I've heard of women who like it, but I've yet to come across any.

No pun intended, right??? If and when you come across any. Be sure to give us a "RIDE" report. ;-)
But Bill...Gregory Taylor
Oct 31, 2002 7:33 AM
WE like it. And we are your friends. So I wouldn't worry one little bit about what your wife or kids think.

In fact this whole little episode of leg shaving will probably become hallowed family lore before too long. I can see it now...the year is 2045 and the whole extended "Bill" family is gathered around the dinner table. It is Thanksgiving. The main courses have been devoured and the meal reaches that stage where everyone sort of takes a deep breath and leans back, stirring their coffee and playing with the pie crumbs on their dessert plate. It is then that the stories start.

"Grandma, did Granddaddy really shave his legs like a lady? Can you tell us that story again? Was Granddaddy really crazy?"

"Oh lord child, THAT story. Do you really want to hear about your silly Grandfather again?"

"Yes Grandma."

"Well dear, one day your Grandfather got a wild hair up his...err..he got it into his head that shaving off all of the hair on his legs would make him ride his bicycle a bit faster."

"His bicycle? What on earth gave Granddaddy that idea?"

"A bunch of his damn bicycle friends gave him that idea. Pretty silly, huh? It certainly shows you that you have to pick your friends very carefully. I can remember telling him 'Bill, if these friends told you to jump off of a bridge, would you do that too?' He shaved his legs anyway. That was just like your Granddaddy, he could certainly try my patience at times. He'd get something like that into his head and then just go ahead and do it. The neighbors were convinced that he was some sort of transvestite. I made him sleep on the couch."
with friends like this . . .bill
Oct 31, 2002 8:22 AM
very funny, Greg.
I guess we have buried ol' granddad by then, huh? Or maybe granddad's dementia has left him at grandma's complete mercy? What am I saying, future granddad already is at future grandma's complete mercy.
Another true story. When the shaved leg thing went down, the 8 y/o piped up that Mrs. Carr at school was just telling them about how your friends sometimes try to make you do stuff and you shouldn't just because they're doing it or want you to do it what's that called it's called peer pressure, isn't it daddy?
Naw, Grandpa Bill is out riding with the Lardbutts....(nm)Gregory Taylor
Oct 31, 2002 9:53 AM
re: To Shave or Not to Shave, That is the question...Smoothie
Oct 31, 2002 5:53 AM
Since you probably know/read most of the positives I'll just mention a couple of the downsides:

shaving sucks, you cut yourself and it takes forever
It looks like crap when you try to grow it back out
You go through more razor blades ($$$$)
You might get ingrown hairs and they look like crap

A couple of people have given me weird looks, but I find that nobody really notices in public. Basically it's a personal decision despite all the so-called advantages.
My opinion...Steve_0
Oct 31, 2002 7:01 AM
I've gotta say its kinda wierd if guys are trying to convince you to shave. Mind you, I dont find anything wrong with shaving, just never encountered guys who take such an interest in my legs.

A lot of guys say 'chicks dig it' I'm sure a lot do....but a lot of chicks DONT. If your wife isnt into it, and you dont have an overwhelming need to, then why do it?

I'm sure your wife would be happy never shaving her legs again, but for your sake, she continues to.
Ever known a girl who didn't shave her legs?Spunout
Oct 31, 2002 9:41 AM
Warmest, softest thing in the world on a cold winter's night ;-)
ewwwww.....hairy woman legs. yuck! (nm)ColnagoFE
Oct 31, 2002 10:05 AM
thanks, i just lost my appetite. nmSteve_0
Oct 31, 2002 10:09 AM
Way back when, when I was first growing a libido, the olderbill
Oct 31, 2002 10:42 AM
sister of a friend was hot, hot, hot. I remember being on the beach with my little friend and her older sister and being stupified by this "older" woman's presence (I'll bet she was all of twenty-one).
That she didn't shave (anywhere, as far as I could tell) compromised none of her feminine pulchritude or her spell over my nascent yearnings, and I have never been grossed out by the idea of a woman's not shaving since. Not that you see it very much, but at least I can say that I'm not grossed out by the idea of it.
yep. didn't shave her pits, either. not so bad, imho. nmJS Haiku Shop
Oct 31, 2002 10:59 AM
you probably should waitJohnG
Oct 31, 2002 7:58 AM
IMHO, riding 2-3 times per week hardly justifies the hassle. Especially if your wife doesn't like the idea. I'd wait and see if you get more serious with the riding thing. I.e. Smooth legs that can't go "fast" are pretty posey.

The biggest benefits of shaving are (not neccessarily in order):
ease of massage
keeping clean during long road rides (hair is a dirt magnet)
sun screen application
SO pleasure
cool feeling of smooth legs

I haven't used the crash cleanup issue yet but I've heard that it's significantly easier with shaved legs.

re: To Shave or Not to Shave, That is the question...manicoti
Oct 31, 2002 8:24 AM
I only shaved once, for a 24hr mountain bike race in Snowshoe, and I am glad I did. That race tore me up, so shaved legs made cleaning up so much easier. I want to race road this year, but I won't shave till I get good results and can justify it with training volume and wins. Winning with hairy legs is fine, losing all the time with shaved legs is not. Don't do it unless you can back it up, even then, just do it for you, not your cycling friends, your wife, your kids. But do it for the bike, it loves you.

It's okay to love your bike, but it's not okay to LOVE your bike.
No big deal. It WILL grow back...Bruno
Oct 31, 2002 8:56 AM
try it and if you don't like it stop doing it. Nobody really cares if you shave or not. Do it only if you like it and the only way to find out is to do it once.
This is what I've always been told....joekm
Oct 31, 2002 9:59 AM
The reason you would shave your legs is to reduce the severity of a road rash, make it easier to clean/ treat, and reduce to possibility of scarring. As far as I know, this is the only reason. They also used to make this stuff called "Nu Skin" (anybody know if you can still get this?) that you could spray directly on the wound instead of a bandage. It would dry to this rubbery compound that would protect the wound while it healed. Supposedly, you could not use this unless your legs were shaved.

So, it's not a function of how good you are. It's more a function of how often you ride, how many events you do, how often you ride in groups. In other words, what is the risk/ benefit for you?

It amazes me how deviating even slightly from an accepted norm is such a big hairy-a$$ deal (unless, of course, you also shave your big hairy-a$$). I'm not immune to the mind-f--k over this either. My hang-up is that I'm afraid that by shaving my legs, someone might think I'm making a statement that I'm some hot sh-t rider. If I'm making any statement, it's only that I want to avoid any more scars on my legs.

I'll probably shave mine sometime before a planned organized ride in March.
Does anybody else stop shaving after race season?mikebikr
Oct 31, 2002 10:29 AM
Once the season is over and the tights go on...I stop till Spring.
re: To Shave or Not to Shave, That is the question...No_sprint
Oct 31, 2002 11:07 AM
*Mostly* a race day shaver here. Don't shave too much during the off season. I keep them clipped.
Only when..REPO42
Nov 1, 2002 2:15 AM
The prickling get uncomfortable. Then it's time to shave em again...My wife is pretty cool about it...Since I only shave if I am cycling regularly. Also you get the satisfaction of sweet revenge if you have a wife who doesn't shave every day during the winter..Get to prick them back, then they know how it feels..