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  1. #1
    Boffin TitaniuMerlin's Avatar
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    To Shave or not to Shave...

    (turns out this is a multi-question thread) I count myself as being a 'newbie' in the bike world, despite having been biking for nearly the past 2 years. I tend to take the winters off, being at college and all, and have noticed my physical shape has detiorated. I'm about 5'10", 148 - 150lbs and am a Male. And i plan on kicking my butt once it gets warmer out so that i get in great physical shape. Ok, my first question:

    To Shave or not to Shave? That is the question. I'm thinking about getting really serious with biking and entering a few races later on in the year. When i am home during the summer and breaks, i go riding with a local cycling club (where i am the youngest by about 10 years and have the least experiance out of all the people who ride other then my dad) and have noticed that the people who i can burn on the hills can all burn me on the flats. Most of the guys seems to be completely shaven - arms and legs. I was reading somewhere that you are only supposed to shave your legs...so i was wondering what you do (if you shave) or if you think i should shave my legs (and arms too for that matter if that is a common practice).

    The second question is: what should i be doing now? I can honestly say i've never worked out in a Gym before to the extent of adding muscle to my body. All through highschool, the winter was taken up with Physical Rehab for my bumbed knee, though biking seemed to be one activity (stationary that is) that didnt hurt it and helped strengthen it. I want to get back in cycling shape - i am gonna start running again but want to know what sort of activities i should do in the Gym to help me get their too. I cant do anything outside - PA weather right now is absolutely freezing with snow on the ground and more expected.

    So, answers to any or either of those questions would be greatly appreciated.
    Titanium Merlin ~ Matt

  2. #2
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    you could always get a trainer or rollers so you could cycle indoors, or go to a spinning class at a local gym if you have the money. you can also do some lifting. for the legs, do light weights, high reps. i would do a weight that you can do three sets of 15 or more reps with. you can do squats, leg press, leg extensions, hamstring stuff, there are all sorts of leg machines and exercises. lifting also increases your bone density, which diminishes over time if you do many hours of a repetitive low impact exercise, such as cycling. i would also reccomend doing some various crunches, oblique crunches, and back exercises to help build your core muscles. lifting for your upper body is completely up to you, but i do it to look better and be in better all around shape. i shaved for the first time today, and it takes a little getting used to. pros: 1) cleaning and dressing road rash is easier 2) some races have massages afterwards, and it's easier to get massages if you're shaved (supposedly) 3) many of my team mates say that it helps with chaffing, which is a major reason i decided to do it (this is mainly on the upper inner thigh, where the legs meet the torso) 4) there are some smaller miscelaneuos benefits, such as shaving makes your legs look more defined, a lot of girls are into the look, and your legs are easier to clean sweat and mud off of, but in the end, it's really a personal preference. the case for arm shaving can be made about the whole road rash thing, but when i have fallen, my legs and shoulders have taken the majority of the crash, and my arms aren't as hairy, so i didn't bother. it really is personal preference. a lot of people don't wanna shave all the way and trim the hair down pretty short with a beard trimmer. search the road bike forums for "shaving", trust me, you'll find more info on it than you ever wanted to. good luck

  3. #3
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    I do it, am racing, am in decient shape, etc. etc.

    I am exactly the opposite, can burn up the flats and die on hills. Everyone has their own skills and tallents and it is up to you to train those weaknesses and get better, that is what I am doing.

    SHAVING is a personal choice, but if you are going to race it is almost required according to some. Until then it is your choice. It was hard for me to come to this decision too but it sure helps with road rash and other things... looks nice too. I do not shave my arms but some people do. Personally I have very little hair on my arms so that is not very important.

    When I really got serious about riding (and had the speed, endurance) I did it. Just went home got some balls and did it. I have never thought of going back.

    You will find alot of opinions on this issue.

    Your choice though!
    Just your average club rider... :)

  4. #4
    Boffin TitaniuMerlin's Avatar
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    Yeah - seems like people are pretty split on the issue. I have the misfortune of being half Irish, 1/4 Welsh, 1/4 English....when i was younger i looked like the kid from Angelas Ashes. AKA i have thick dark hair and lighter colored skin. I'd say my legs are about average when it comes to the hair on them, maybe a little more then most people. I'm definately gonna wait and see where my cycling takes me. My dad just went through heart surgery so the shaved off all his hair - looked sorta funny seeing him without any army or leg hair.

    As far as training goes, i think i'll start running this week and check out the Gym - not sure when the sports teams use it and all. I have the fortune of not having classes after 11AM on W and F so i should be able to get in when most people are in class, i hope. I'm a pretty skinny kid - well, my sisters used to call me Matchstick....it seems all of my weight goes to my stomach. Ab workouts....ugh.
    Titanium Merlin ~ Matt

  5. #5
    Videre non videri
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    Whether you decide to shave or not isn't important.
    Just understand that it does NOT make you more aerodynamic, as some seem to believe. If there's any measurable effect at all, it would be slightly negative - not positive!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I finished racing in 1998....but still shave 'em for some stoopid reason.

    God I'm a sad case.....

  7. #7
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    That is true, shaving does not make you faster... just feel faster...!
    Just your average club rider... :)

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