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to shave or not to shave..the great debate(27 posts)

to shave or not to shave..the great debateeggshell
Sep 16, 2003 10:51 AM
I've been riding the roads for about one year and getting kinda serious. I noticed riding last weekend with a local group that I was the only one with hairy legs. I'm trying to convince myself of the reasons to shave(roadrash cleaning,rite of passage),but still haven't taken the step.Anyone care to jump in on the "great debate".
It's only hair.It'll grow back if you don't like it (nm)PEDDLEFOOT
Sep 16, 2003 11:06 AM
Sep 16, 2003 11:23 AM
Forget the road rash cleaning, the nicer legs for massage, the rippling muscles, etc...its' all about fitting in with the roadie mystique. Besides, as you will hear time and time again: "chicks dig it" or something like that.

Personally, I shaved after my first race. When I was referred to as a "squirrel". Definition of a squirrel: hairy little beast that runs to and fro and generally gets in everybody's way. At first my wife hated the smooth legs, but now she really likes 'em. At least, that's what she tells me.

Are you sure that's why they called you that?russw19
Sep 16, 2003 4:18 PM
No offence meant by this, but the squirrely rider in the pack is the guy that can not hold a line to save his butt. Usually, it is the inability to hold a line that gets you called "the squirrel" and not hairy legs.

Just pointing that out...

Sep 16, 2003 11:31 AM
Image is the only reason roadies shave their legs. Shaving has no practical purpose. Road rash? C'mon, how often does your average cyclist crash? I've had 2 or 3 road wipeouts in 15 years. Massage? I get regular massages and hairy legs have no effect. Maybe if I got daily massage it would be a benefit but how many non-pros get daily massage?

That said, if you think it will make you belong, fine. Whatever enhances your personal riding experience -- whether it is a magnesium stem or a titanium chain or whatever. Go for it if it makes you feel better.
If you race, shave........If you don't, don't.MR_GRUMPY
Sep 16, 2003 11:49 AM
Shaving doesn't make you fast, and hairy legs don't make you slow. If you show up at a race with hairy legs, you will get pushed around. You will find yourself, either riding at the back, or at the front. Everybody will come around you, because they will think that you are inexperienced.
If you don't race, but still ride fast, you probably won't crash very often. Maybe every few years. The choice is yours to make.
This is what did it for me -- I didn't want to be "that guy withbill
Sep 16, 2003 12:45 PM
the hairy legs" that everyone would just have to push around because they could not tolerate the reverse (themselves getting pushed around by a guy with hairy legs).
If you can rip the legs off of the competition, go do it, and don't worry about the legs. I, however, do not fall into that illustrious category of leg rippers, and I simply did not want to be a target as well as an also ran.
Nice attitudespedalAZ
Sep 16, 2003 1:46 PM
At least two posts here posit that you have to shave just because the other guys did, but not for any practical reasons. Further, that the shavers club members are bullies who will push around (potentially causing crashes) the guys who don't. Stupid focks. If that happened to me I would put a serious hurt on the fool who tries.

I used to shave for competitive swimming, where the physical gains are debatable, if any, but the mental gains are huge - you feel so fast in the water. To get that feeling however, you only shave down about twice a year. More loses the effect. Besides, maintaining a shave is a pain in the leg.
oh, man, you're taking this whole thing too seriously. I don'tbill
Sep 16, 2003 2:06 PM
believe that anyone would stomp me for having hairy legs. It was more about something I experienced myself when I had hairy legs. In a race, or even a competitive group ride with racers, I (I!! in my hairy legs!!!) would say about a guy with hairy legs, I'm just not letting that guy pass me. Not gonna happen. He's got hairy legs, he's not a real racer, and I . . . am . . . going . . . to . . . beat . . . him . . . up the hill (or in the sprint or whatever). And then I realized that others may feel the same way about me and my hairy legs, and who needs that in a race? I'll be a target when I'm marked for my strength rather than my hairy legs, thank you very much.
Whoever touts practical reasons is mostly kidding themselves. It's about commitment and belonging to the club. It's also kind of a kick.
I don't take it that seriouslypedalAZ
Sep 16, 2003 2:40 PM
It bugs me that others might be so serious that they'd risk injury to another rider for not complying with the cult's dress code.
Total commitment to cycling.John445
Sep 16, 2003 11:50 AM
If not for any of the other reasons mentioned, do it to show your total commitment to cycling. I do disagree with the massage statement. About the only true benefit I've found is clean shaved legs during massage, Ahh, how nice. Not just for you but for the massuese as well. Also, it's a nice way to get people talking about cycling which is what we all want to do when were not riding anyway.

Gee, and I thought people showed their total commitment...loki_1
Sep 17, 2003 8:03 AM
to cycling by getting on their bike. I guess I am old school.
Nah, c'mon...JFR
Sep 17, 2003 10:19 AM
Virtually anybody can get on a bike and ride it... just look at a MUT. All bike riders are NOT "committed cyclist".

I agree with the other poster... shaving DOES show a heightened level of cycling commitment.

Now of course, you don't have to shave to BE a committed cyclist... but shaving is one way to demonstrate your commitment.
When you do end up shaving...MShaw
Sep 16, 2003 12:02 PM
...make sure that you take the big stuff off with either the mustache trimmer attacment on your electric razor or a pair of clippers.

I've done it both ways. you can either go through 3-4 razors and 1-2 hours not hacking off the "weeds" first, OR you can trim down some and go through 1-2 razors and 30-45 min.

Listen to me now, hear me later!

or start with Nair. Takes time and stinks, but works (nm)PaulCL
Sep 16, 2003 12:16 PM
Do you mountain bike too? Or just ride on the road?K_Zero
Sep 16, 2003 12:16 PM
IMHO I don't see any practical reason to shave if you don't ride dirt. I shave because I mountain bike, and it's a lot easier to clean my legs after a ride -- getting off mud, dirt, and (some times) poison ivy oil. It also makes detecting ticks a lot easier.

But if you only ride on the road...well then, you're number one reason for shaving will probably be for looks (i.e. fitting in with the crowd). I mean honestly, how often do you crash and get a road rash? And if you're not racing pro, then you're probably not getting a massage after every workout (one of the reason Lance mentioned for shaving his legs).

Just my opinion,
K-Zero (dirt & road...I go both ways)
do you really think roads are that clean?russw19
Sep 16, 2003 4:29 PM
I have more grim on my legs after a good road ride then a mountain ride. The road grim is finer and sticks to my sweaty legs more so than bigger chunks of dirt and sand.

At least that's my observation, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that you are not going to get dirty either way.


The bottom line is shave if you want to, don't if you don't want to. I don't do it because everyone else does, I do it because I like to. I personally don't like body hair. I don't like it on my legs, arms, chest, back of my neck, between my eyebrows.. I just don't like it. But if I was only doing what the others around me did, I still wouldn't be shaving, I would be sitting on my couch watching football instead of riding.
do you really think roads are that clean?lemmy999
Sep 16, 2003 5:27 PM
I just get sweat on me when I road ride. After a mtn bike ride here in the wet southeast, I have an extra 2lbs of clay mud on me.
Depends on where you ride, I guess (nm)K_Zero
Sep 16, 2003 6:12 PM
compromise - trim it shortJeff Rage
Sep 16, 2003 2:49 PM
Use a beard trimmer
Why shave? Tradition, secret handshake. nmDutchy
Sep 16, 2003 5:37 PM
The sun screen advantage!!GeoCyclist
Sep 17, 2003 3:06 AM
After shaving my legs, I found I use less sun screen to cover my legs. I guess all that hair really soaks up the sun screen!

Try shaving, if you don't like it, the hair will grow back.
Chicks dig it..............Hammy71
Sep 17, 2003 6:44 AM
don't be so sure.....(nm)lemmy999
Sep 17, 2003 6:55 AM
Tatoo? Piercing? Shaving!JFR
Sep 17, 2003 11:42 AM
Shaving is a way to express yourself, as a committed cyclist, much like a tatoo or piercing.

I was concerned about upkeep as I'm part Italian and very hairy. It's not too bad. I shave twice a week. I do get pretty stubbly on day two and three, but it doesn't itch at all or bother me one bit... it's also not that noticable.

I highly recommend you use a Mach 3 Turbo when you decide to give shaving a try.
Second the Mach 3... but shaving does help!!!!funknuggets
Sep 17, 2003 2:14 PM
Shaving DOES help road rash. One is right, how often do you "crash"... the answer is, if you CRIT... more often than you would want to. I have been involved in a few and the hairy guys get their skin rolled to shreds, seriously. Then, just ask my teammates on my softball team about sliding... they get strawberries... I dont. It does have a positive effect, dont ever doubt that, but it is kinda like insurance. 99% of the time, you don't need it...

So sayeth the funk
Are there any pros out there that don't shave????Herms
Sep 17, 2003 4:16 PM
I'd like to see a pro rider that doesnt shave cause that guy would be my new favorite pro rider. If I were a damm good rider and became pro I would still not shave just to show all the other guys that shaving doesn't do sh*t.