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OK, whats with the shaved legs?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

OK, whats with the shaved legs?

Old 09-01-05, 03:33 AM
  #1  
cradduck
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OK, whats with the shaved legs?

I know it is totally a novice question, but what do you get with the shaved legs? I know football players will do it because they are constantly taping their legs and women do it so that us men aren't afraid to be seen in public with them; but what is the advantage in cycling?
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Old 09-01-05, 04:07 AM
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because they make my skin feel softer.
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Old 09-01-05, 04:19 AM
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Serious answer from the book Bike Racing 101 by Kendra and Rene Wenzel (page 40):

"Not many riders will admit it, but most shave to fit in. Road bike racing is a tightly knit community and leg shaving is just part of the culture."
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Old 09-01-05, 05:28 AM
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Saves weight and is more aerodynamic..
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Old 09-01-05, 05:52 AM
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The aero advantage is negligible.
The ease of treating road rash is debatable.
The comfort during after-ride massages is a sure thing
The "my-legs-are-smoother-than-your-legs" touch test with my female friends is my main reason.
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Old 09-01-05, 06:02 AM
  #6  
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...because it's nicer than hairy legs.
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Old 09-01-05, 06:06 AM
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I wiped two days ago, and now have a knee that looks like a jar of salsa... with a hairy mop embedded in it..
If I wipe again this season, I'm going to take out the clippers and a pack of blades!
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Old 09-01-05, 06:07 AM
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back in the day, it was almost like an unwritten law that everyone shaved their legs. Nowadays, its not that major, at least around here in NJ. But if theres' any explanation to it, by shaving the legs you avoid any infections when crashing and hair gets in the way, not to mention its easier to clean injuries if a crash occurs.
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Old 09-01-05, 06:08 AM
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Firstly, I don't. I will only shave unless I'm riding as a professional. The real reason - ego.
1/ People want to look/feel pro.
2/ People want others to see any possible sinew, bulge, or vein in their "ripped" legs. Hair acts like a unflattering curtain when it comes to showing muscle.

Cheers,
-Peter
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Old 09-01-05, 06:29 AM
  #10  
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I started shaving this season just to try it. My legs were sasquatch before and it was a frikkin joke trying to keep them loose and properly tended. Shaving them definitely helps with massages. I noticed too that I don't have hairs poking out through my bike shorts, which makes me look a lot less grody to the neighbors I'm sure. What really surprised me though was how much cooler my legs are out in the heat. Instead of caking into a permalayer of sweat salt gumbo, all the moisture can escape from my legs now. That lets a lot more heat out. It really makes a huge difference over the course of a long midday ride. I left my arms alone and they feel just like my legs used to. Once they get all caked up, it really feels like I am wearing arm warmers. So next season, I will probably try shaving my arms too.

In about a month I'll start letting my legs grow back out again, to get ready for winter. When the temps get down into the 40's, it's nice to be the sasquatch again.
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Old 09-01-05, 06:30 AM
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Do cyclists shave their arms too?
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Old 09-01-05, 06:36 AM
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Some of the racers I know do, some don't. Some of them, particularly the triathletes, shave or wax all over like swimmers. Just a point of personal choice I think.
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Old 09-01-05, 06:37 AM
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Rule, good points with the massages and the heat. I forgot about that.

Doggus; about the arms, I used to but not anymore. My guess is the same would apply for accidents. Those poor elbows.
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Old 09-01-05, 07:11 AM
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Narcissism maybe?
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Old 09-01-05, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by simplyred
Firstly, I don't. I will only shave unless I'm riding as a professional. The real reason - ego.
1/ People want to look/feel pro.
2/ People want others to see any possible sinew, bulge, or vein in their "ripped" legs. Hair acts like a unflattering curtain when it comes to showing muscle.
Okay, you don't shave. Good for you. Seems you have your reasons, whatever they may be. I don't claim to know the reasons why you DON'T shave your legs, so why do you claim to know why I DO shave my legs?

1.) I don't give a **** about looking 'pro'.
2.) It does show muscle better, but that's not even close to being a determining factor in whether or not I shave.

I shave because, well, I like it. It is nice to feel smooth and clean. I have no excuses like crash recovery, massage, or what have you.
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Old 09-01-05, 07:39 AM
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my wife said she likes it. Nuf said.
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Old 09-01-05, 08:06 AM
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Because bald is beautiful. - Wait. That's why I shave my head. Never mind.
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Old 09-01-05, 08:06 AM
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I shave when I race, after crashing and having to tear out my hair when I changed my bandages....well its worth it.
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Old 09-01-05, 08:20 AM
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Also makes it easier to apply suntan lotion!
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Old 09-01-05, 09:19 AM
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easier to message
easier to clean up road rash
you can see my calves better
I don't want to be the 'hairy legged guy' on group rides
worth 5 sec. on a 40km TT
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Old 09-01-05, 09:25 AM
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I'm a woman who doesn't shave her legs as regularly as she might, and I can tell you, I know when my legs are in dire need of a shave, when I feel the hair fuzzling in the wind. My god, it feels creepy when you get up to a good speed, and your leg hair is actually being riffled by the breeze. I can only imagine it feels even weirder for a guy who has thicker body hair.

Eeurgh!

I shoulda shaved mine last night, actually. *boggle*
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Old 09-01-05, 11:20 AM
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I don't shave but if I were it would be because of bugs. I have very hairy legs and on several occasions I've ridden through a big swarm of gnats or fruit flys or whatever and afterwards I have to pick about 30 to 40 bugs out of my leg hair. That's pretty gross.

Aerodynamics... sheesh even with my thick leg hair that could only account for maybe 10 seconds over 10 miles.

I'd love to see some actual test-data for the aerodynamic benefit of leg shaving. Someone go rent a wind-tunnel and figure some stuff out.

Weight? Uh like what 2 grams?

Temperature... that makes sense.

To Fit In... like... probably 95% of everyone's reason for doing it, and probably the #1 I don't do it (so I fit in with non-cyclists )
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Old 09-01-05, 11:31 AM
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In his book, Lance Armstrong says the reason he shaves is because it makes it easier to romove imbedded stones/pebbles and also to clean wounds and remove stitches.
I think that that's the reason most of the pros shave.

Len
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Old 09-01-05, 11:32 AM
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they are there for you to boost yuor self-esteem as you pass one of the "masters" and giggle while thinking to yourself...why do men shave thier legs except to either fir in or look "buff"
~tony
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Old 09-01-05, 11:41 AM
  #25  
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I can't stand shaving, in general (but do shave my face). No way am I going to extend any time or effort shaving my legs. I don't race and I'm not all that hairy so I just don't see the point.
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