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To shave or not to shave, that is the question.(32 posts)

To shave or not to shave, that is the question.manicoti
Dec 9, 2002 7:19 AM
Well, do I? I am a relatively new cyclist. Even though I have been riding for 2 or 3 years, I have never raced, but will be next spring. I have started a training regimen and have upped my hours and weight and cross training. I am getting ingrown hairs and folliculitis. Not bad, just occasionally. Also, being winter in Cincy (damn XU) I am getting very dry. My cross training is swimming, which does not help at all.
So, my question is, do I shave? I don't want to seem like a poser in Cat. 5 racing w/ shaved legs and getting dropped, but I can see why people do it. I'm not really worried about getting dropped by Cat. 5's, but you get my point. I shaved once for the 24hrs of Snowshoe and it may have been the best thing I did while I was there.
Also, how many of you on this forum shave? How many of those shavers race? How many racers don't shave? I am leaning towards doing it simply for comfort. Thoughts?
Call me a poser butColnagoFE
Dec 9, 2002 7:28 AM
I shave year round and only race a few times a year. I like the look and feel of it. Whenever my legs get hairy I reach for the razor.
Okay, poserKristin
Dec 9, 2002 7:35 AM
Personally, I take the winter off from shaving.
Okay, poserFez
Dec 9, 2002 8:11 AM
How do your dates feel about that?
Dates? As in: "a middle eastern fruit"?Kristin
Dec 9, 2002 8:19 AM
They're high in sugar and a good source of fiber. They could care less if my legs are shaved.
Dates? As in: "a middle eastern fruit"?Fez
Dec 9, 2002 8:46 AM
Sounds like you are describing a granola
Why would would you date a middle eastern fruit? (nm)joekm
Dec 9, 2002 1:23 PM
re: To shave or not to shave, that is the question.PEDDLEFOOT
Dec 9, 2002 7:35 AM
I shave year round also.I don't race and don't plan to.I just like the way it looks .I'm also a Spinning instructor so I think it looks better for my classes.I also get some interesting reactions from some of the ladies when I tell them or ask if they have any good shaving tips.
re: To shave or not to shave, that is the question.crna
Dec 9, 2002 4:31 PM
okay i give up , exactly what is the benefit to shaving? i've had my share of road rash and don't believe that pulling out a few hairs really is all that uncomfortable. enlighten me please?
from a former Cincinnatian...lonefrontranger
Dec 9, 2002 7:42 AM
Say "hi" to the boys for me when you race the spring collegiate series! My boyfriend and I promoted the Cincinnati Spring Series 1997-2000, I'm sure the guys from Queen City Wheels are still doing this. Go to for local USCF racing and club news.

From the feminine POV: there's nothing sexier than a guy with tanned, ripped, shaved legs lying next to you... well, you get the point.

Here's a tip: When you do shave, use plenty of hot lathery water (fill a bathtub and soak for a bit if you have the option). Also, go to Costco or Sam's club and buy the XXXL bottle of St. Ives or Aveeno lotion, unscented. A tip that I found works well: if you must shave in the shower, use hair conditioner, not soap - it softens the hair and skin, and also doesn't clog the razor blade.

Live in Boulder, Colorado now, and lotion is a necessity 365 days a year. Cincy winters are really nasty cold and dry; you'll have "alligator skin" for sure if you don't lotion (shave or not).

Who cares if the guys think you're a poseur. The first time you wipe out in a road race and don't have to rip hair out of your road rash with your bandages, you'll thank me. Many of the pro guys shave their arms, too (if they're hairy, that is).
from a former Cincinnatian...manicoti
Dec 9, 2002 8:09 AM
I am racing for qcw next spring. A guy named Toby is giving me all of my workouts. Do you know him? Seems like a really nice guy and all of the workouts seem pretty logical based on all of the training programs I have studied. I really look forward to racing for them next year, but don't reallyknow anything about them. Any advice? I probably will shave, my fiancee loved it last time.
Dec 9, 2002 8:31 AM
That would probably be Toby Costello, right? He took the same series of coaching clinics that I did back in '97 when the local official (John L.) put them on.

QCW is a great club. My take is that they are pretty much Masters oriented, but you can't go wrong with the culture and attitude there. Those guys definitely know how to have fun. There are a lot of very experienced racers in that organization who will help you to flatten the learning curve.

Toby worked with us on the spring series. You can tell him John and Beth say "hi". I'll be home in Cincy over Xmas week and will probably give everyone there a shout.
Another Cincinnatian chimes in...PaulCL
Dec 9, 2002 8:43 AM
LFR....if you visit over Christmas, bring your knobbies. We got hit with 4-7" of the white stuff last week. As you know, this city shuts down over even an inch of snow. I almost went down several times on yesterdays short 25 mile ride. Time to switch to the MTB for a couple of months.

And to the original poster: shave. My first race (A QCW spring series race on a warm March day), I attended with very hairy legs. I was pointed out as a squirrel - "a furry little rodent that scurries about and generally gets into everyone's way." I didn't get into anyones way, but I shaved the next day. At least 50% of the guys on the line in a Cat 5 race will have smooth legs.

....besides...women love smooth legs...
probably bring running shoes insteadlonefrontranger
Dec 9, 2002 8:57 AM
I'm too familiar with Cincy winter weather to bother with the hassle and expense of shipping a bike in for just a week. If the weather's actually reasonable I'll just bum a set of wheels from my buddies at Reser's.

Can't wait for a big hot plate of Skyline, followed up by a trip to Aglamesis. Mmmm, I can just feel that training plan going right down the tubes!
Four way = 70 grams of fatPaulCL
Dec 9, 2002 9:01 AM
And Aglamesis icecream...mmmmm...who cares, go for it. I love my Skyline, but it hates me...over and over and over again. Its' can break training for a week of indulgence. Have fun
you don't wanna know what I thought when I read your subjectColnagoFE
Dec 9, 2002 9:23 AM
"four way=70 grams of fat"? things that make you go hmmmm...
Same thing I thought, but then I remembered thatKristin
Dec 9, 2002 9:29 AM
IT doesn't burn very many calories. And when doing IT on a team, one probably doesn't see enough action to consider it exercise--much like bowling. So he must have been talking about something else.
It depends on the team! nmdzrider
Dec 9, 2002 9:49 AM
You all have sick mindsPaulCL
Dec 9, 2002 10:06 AM
I like that!

A four-way (or threeway or fiveway) in the Cincinnati area refers to a chili dish. Cincinnati chili, to be more specific. A three way is chili,noodles, and cheese. Four way: add onions, fiveway: add beans. Cincy chili is unlike chili anywhere else. It is an acquired taste - and VERY fattening.

But imagine if you could burn off 70 grams of fat doing a four-way...hmmmm....what a concept!!
gee, I was just going to let them go on thinking...lonefrontranger
Dec 9, 2002 10:20 AM
... whatever the heck they wanted ;-)

The term "four-way" got a bit of an odd reception at the neighborhood block party here in Boulder the first time we showed up with a pot of my homemade Cincinnati chili. The Boulderites didn't know what to think at first - most everything referred to as "chili" here is green, uses shredded pork as a main ingredient (or is full vegan), it's full of beans and 5-alarm habanero pepper screamin' hot. However, Boulder granolas or not, they wound up polishing off an entire 8 quart pot and I had to run home to make more spaghetti!
You forgot to mention nutmegOldEdScott
Dec 9, 2002 10:53 AM
which is where the weird in-chililike flavor comes from. Cincinnati chili is good stuff, but most people blindfolded wouldn't call it chili.
actually there are about seven or eight strange spiceslonefrontranger
Dec 9, 2002 11:00 AM
which I'll not list here. The main thing that creates the unique and signature taste is actually bitter cocoa powder and cinnamon in roughly equal amounts. Think mole' sauce, although the original inventor of the recipe is Greek.
Yep. Tastes more Greek than Mexican. Good stuff, butOldEdScott
Dec 9, 2002 12:24 PM
it'd be a stretch for most people to call it 'chili.'
Well you must organize an RBR 4-way ride sometime. ;-) nmKristin
Dec 9, 2002 11:16 AM
It'll grow back--shave itTrekFurthur
Dec 9, 2002 8:11 AM
If you like it, then by all means do as the Almighty Nike suggests--just do it!

I do wonder, though, the value of shaving in the winter, other than not having leg hair to get chafed under warmers/tights, etc.
re: To shave or not to shave, that is the question.eyebob
Dec 9, 2002 8:18 AM
Shave and shut up about it. Life has other worries more important.

the ingrown hairs and folliculitis is 99% preventable if you use the right lotion after your shave. I use a hemp spray from The Body Shop (which has be discontinued through their stores but I believe that you can get it online). I also use a unsented Curel product which I like. Most of the scented stuff that I've tried in the past (for some reason) and most of the chi-chi boutique products made me smell good, but caused a lot more ingrown hairs and folliculitis.

bye-the-way, don't worry about shaving and being a Cat 5. Just about all the Cat 5's that I know shave too.

re: To shave or not to shave, that is the question.hrv
Dec 9, 2002 8:20 AM
I shaved for the first time last spring but stopped at the end of the summer. Just easier not to shave. You definitely feel like you're part of some club when you first shave, and you get in touch with your 'inner' cyclist. It's a cool feeling.

I haven't massaged my legs in a long time after rides but when I shaved I would lotion those babies up and really work those worked muscles/ligaments. It made a difference in my recovery. Don't know why I don't do it now.

My wife doesn't care much for my shaved legs -- thinks they look gay (not that there's anything wrong with that: some of our best friends are gay - really!). But she prefers hair on my legs. Sounds like she's in the minority.

she'll get used to itPaulCL
Dec 9, 2002 10:10 AM
My wife didn't like it in the beginning either. She thaught it was weird - and of course, had to tell everyone about my legs everywhere we went. Now, she loves its. Or more specifically, she doesn't like it when my legs get hairy.
3-season shaver here.jw25
Dec 9, 2002 12:51 PM
I shave spring, summer, and fall, but wintertime means growing the pelt back. Step outside on a cold morning with freshly shaven legs, and you'll understand. Plus, it adds a little more insulation.
A couple of things I've learned along the way:
1. use a good razor. Razor-burn is no fun, and neither are nicks and cuts. You'll get a few along the way, but the fewer the better. I like a triple-blade, like the Mach 3 (or Venus), but sensitive skin does better with a double-blade. Really sensitive should probably use clippers, and live with stubble, or just not shave at all.
2. Wash first. I use a washcloth or scrubby with some moisturizing body wash, and scrub away. This cleans the oils off the hair, and helps it stand up, for a closer shave. This works for the face, too.
3. Wetter is better. Don't shave dry, and preferably after a 10-15 minute shower. Wet hair expands and weakens, so it's easier to cut. Dry hair is similar to copper wire in toughness, so I've heard.
4. Use a good gel. I like Edge sensitive skin, but whatever works on your face will do well on the legs. Don't use too much - a thin layer is all you need. No soap, too - it's too drying, and doesn't lubricate well at all.
5. Moisturize afterwards.

I race, both on and off road, and really prefre shaved legs. They're more comfortable, cooler, and mud washes off easier. Plus, the fiance loves the look...

And, as others mentioned, it'll grow back if you don't like it.
re: another reason to shaveemptyhanded
Dec 10, 2002 11:07 AM
commitment to the sport.

it helps keep you on the bike:

if I shave my legs and I'm riding a lot, I'm a cyclist.

if I shave my legs but I've been off the bike for a while, I'm just a fat dude with shaved legs.

and i wouldn't worry about looking like a poseur. who cares? if you've got your reasons, do it.
good call, everyone. (nm)manicoti
Dec 11, 2002 4:48 AM
re: another reason to shaveStroker
Dec 12, 2002 1:37 PM
These are the same reasons I shave, it helps me ride harder (really). I mean, if a guy shaves his legs, he must be able to hammer, right? Still get dropped every now and then, but very rarely by a hairy legged dude. Helps motivate me to get off the couch and on the bike.

As far as the winter is concerned, grow the fur. If you are a skier, skiing the bumps usually removes all hair from your shins anyways. You also avoid that weird feeling of goose bumps after a fresh shave when its cold (why doesn't that happen on your face?).