Bit of advice of shaving legs....? (16 y/o)

by Dan19   January 13, 2014  

Hey

So (I don't know if this is normal or awkward but...) I've been cycling MTB and road for over a year now and I'm considering shaving my legs for the simple reason (not that it is more areo - which I'm sure it doesn't make any difference) that it looks pro!
First question, why do cyclists actually shave their legs? I mean the aerodynamic improvements can't be that big. Applause

And moving on to the more tricky stuff... How do you actually do it?!
With only being 16, I've never actually wet shaved my face (used an electric razor instead) so the thought of taking a series of blades to my legs is a terrifying prospect! Big Grin

A few complications which have presented themselves having given thought to this issue include:
1) How far up the legs do you go?
2) what kind of razor do you need?
3) how often to you need to re-shave?
4) on the first time of shaving, how do you remove the fluffy hair without clogging up the razor?
5) how long does it take to shave them?
6) how do you reach the backs of the thighs? Surely that requires a lot of contortion!
7) you probably do not have this problem but how can I convince my mum to buy a razor with blades and let me shave my legs? She panicked when my brother started wet shaving saying its pointless and he'd only cut him self?!

Thanks in advance for answering even though I'm possibly being a bit OTT with this issue. Sick

Dan

45 user comments

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Why shave? Its conformity and nothing more.

Once you have accepted that and decided to take the plunge, its all good.

However, be warned that in 20 years you'll probably still be shaving the legs, but will likely be less interested in riding a bike... in fact, cycling remains a pastime simply to be able to continue shaving!

Be warned.

Oh, and finally, thinking back to my youth, I'd hang on a couple of years before cropping the legs, teenage peers can be so cruel!

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [349 posts]
14th January 2014 - 16:25

6 Likes

Dan, your really going to have to bite the bullet and have your mum get them for you. Nowhere will sell you a razor as your under 18. Crazy world that we live in now days. In fact some retailers won't even flog you a butter knife without checking your age. Apart from that some sound advice here. As Jimmy says. Maybe hold of a few years as your peers can be really cruel once they get wind of what your up to. And whatever you do. Do not loiter outside a chemist accosting 'responsible' adults to by you a Mach 3 Wink

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1068 posts]
14th January 2014 - 17:00

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Ok, I did start when I was 16, and kept it up for a little while. I will also start this post by excusing myself in advance for perhaps being a little crude. That said:

I did it because I was under an accredited coach that insisted on it from all of his riders. Also, roubaix tights are miles comfier without dragging hairs 'against the grain' and causing them to poke through for the 'furry lycra' look. Not to mention the mess that hair will make if you crash and pick up some road rash.

Unless you have rather more prowess than I did at 16, you have yet to undress in front of a young lady. Believe me, the reaction you'll get to shaved legs will mean that you will only do this for someone you REALLY like, and trust. This may be an upside or a downside, depending on your view.

Don't shave all the way up your legs, because when it starts to grow back on the inner thighs, (there's no easy way to say this) - the stubble is like sandpaper on your balls for a couple of days.

If buying razor blades is a problem, just buy some veet cream and get in the shower with it.

For what it's worth, I no longer bother.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3469 posts]
14th January 2014 - 17:00

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Why? A personal experience is that I don't feel the wind on my legs once shaved, and its just more pleasant that way.

1) Just above the line of the shorts. I once made the mistake described by NotFastEnough above - won't be doing that again. I don't have a soigneur to massage away the day's tiredness, so I don't see the point of going higher.

2) A _sharp_ razor. Even if you've not nicked yourself, you'll really feel the stinging of salt from sweat if you use a coarse blade.

4) I found moving the razor back and forth, rather than long glides, helped keep the blades from clogging up. Once the bulk of hair was out of the way, then that wasn't necessary.

Don't shave for the first time the day before an event.

Long trousers feel really weird afterwards too.

Have at it!

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posted by neildmoss [210 posts]
14th January 2014 - 17:20

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Al__S wrote:
Gizmo_ wrote:
Mach 3. Seriously. Do it in the bath/shower, lots of showergel etc. Bosh.

And... just buy it yourself. If you're doing it because it looks Pro... do you think Cav's mum buys his razors?


I'm not sure shops will sell anything with blades in it to 16yr olds?

No they don't. Nor Tipex (contains solvents) and even spoons! My brother tried buying them the other day and was asked for ID!

And thanks for the advice, I'll hack down the jungle in Feb when the knee warmers come off!

posted by Dan19 [3 posts]
14th January 2014 - 19:00

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Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

Be warned.

Oh, and finally, thinking back to my youth, I'd hang on a couple of years before cropping the legs, teenage peers can be so cruel!

I'm in the Sixth Form now and I don'thave PE lessons so my legs at school will be covered up therefore I won't be on the receiving end of any immature abuse! (And I have had my more than fair share of that during my time at my previous school and, asa result can survive a bit of abuse being hurtled my way!)

Also, something else just occurred to be - if you shave you legs doesn't it grow back faster and thicker so you will eventually be shaving every day?
If that's the case i don't really that the time due to school work commitments in the evenings to spend 20 mins in the shower shaving my legs!

posted by Dan19 [3 posts]
14th January 2014 - 19:34

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Dan19 wrote:

Also, something else just occurred to be - if you shave you legs doesn't it grow back faster and thicker so you will eventually be shaving every day?
If that's the case i don't really that the time due to school work commitments in the evenings to spend 20 mins in the shower shaving my legs!

Its a myth mate, you got nothing to fear

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
14th January 2014 - 21:12

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Dan19 wrote:
Also, something else just occurred to be - if you shave you legs doesn't it grow back faster and thicker so you will eventually be shaving every day?

Oh if only this was true, I would be off this instant to shave my head.



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

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posted by bikeboy76 [1432 posts]
14th January 2014 - 22:48

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Re stubble growing faster; Just a myth.
If that were the case, men who shave daily would be shaving every few minutes.
The reality is that a cut hair has a square end, whereas an uncut one tapers.
Thus the hair "looks" thicker when it gets a bit of growth, but it's rate of growth is exactly the same.

I use an electric beard trimmer (because I already have one for my beard) and only need to do it occasionally (3-4 times?) during the summer.
Safe, no nicks, and quick.

Binky

posted by davebinks [129 posts]
14th January 2014 - 23:10

10 Likes

jason.timothy.jones wrote:
According to the Offensive Weapons Act 1996 it is an offence to sell a razor blade to someone under 18, but it also says...this legislation does not apply to folding pocket knives if the cutting edge of the blade is less than 3 inches or 7.62cm. Nor does it apply to replacement cartridges for safety razors, where less than 2mm of the blade is exposed.

So I would assume the Razor Blade is the safety razor blade, but a Mach3 is fine


What the law allows, and what shops allow, are often rather different. As others have said, many shops, to avoid thinking, simply ban the sale of all blades/objects sharper than a spoon to under 18s.

posted by Al__S [644 posts]
15th January 2014 - 9:07

6 Likes

I wonder if there is anyone here that is under 18 or has recently been under 18 that has been refused the sale of disposable razors at a shop? We have a smart young sensible guy here looking for advise, and we have an obligation to make sure the advise is pretty correct, but more importantly not to add in any fear factor....its just simple manners

Anyway the Act says

Offensive Weapons Act 1996 it is an offence to sell a razor blade to someone under 18, but it also says...this legislation does not apply to folding pocket knives if the cutting edge of the blade is less than 3 inches or 7.62cm. Nor does it apply to replacement cartridges for safety razors, where less than 2mm of the blade is exposed.

So, if you are under 18 you are fine, and to test this, I went through the self service at the supermarket and didnt get the horrible "please wait for assistance" message

That being said, I think the Veet cream is the better option anyway

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
15th January 2014 - 9:58

6 Likes

Yeah, hair removal cream or wax might be easier to start off, then shave afterwards. With the height issue I go to the top of my outer thigh, and have a line going round the hard to reach places and avoiding the sandpaper-your-balls effect. I only go higher so if I crash and land on my hip (it happened so I'm glad I did) I don't have some bits easy to clean and other bits harder.

Also, whilst you may get some minor mocking for it, I will say that some people (read young ladies) like it. My girlfriend tells me off if I haven't done it for a few days. Also, no one has mentioned the great feeling that comes with fresh shaved legs and fresh laundered bedding...

posted by pdows47 [103 posts]
15th January 2014 - 10:45

8 Likes

watch out for that tricky bit at the back of your ankles. And don't go over and over, you'll end up shredding your legs.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

Cooks's picture

posted by Cooks [492 posts]
15th January 2014 - 23:43

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Posted this on the wrong thread to start with, copied here...

I'm a man in my 40's and first thought about this last year - I put the call out on facebook to my female friends: they all said "WAX!" but that only tells part of the story. I think until your hairs have got thinner and fewer due to repeat removal home waxing with strips is only ever going to be unbelievably painful and ineffective. Maybe if you can afford a professional job then it's the best way.

Shaving takes a while and it's hard to do the bits around the back of your leg etc.

If I were you I'd go for Veet "first time", follow the instructions properly and make sure it goes nowhere near your nethers.

posted by Pauldmorgan [185 posts]
16th January 2014 - 23:35

6 Likes

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3469 posts]
17th January 2014 - 10:50

9 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
Is this a good time to post this?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B000KKNQBK/ref=cm_cr_pr_btm_link...

Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor

A brilliant time! Made my day!

posted by consciousbadger [18 posts]
17th January 2014 - 11:37

7 Likes

Hilarious! So if shaving your legs is helpful for the medical attention or cleaning up after a crash, how come you dont need to shave the arms and back as well...or those beards or indeed sideburns? Just wondering.

Comrade's picture

posted by Comrade [164 posts]
20th January 2014 - 19:37

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Comrade wrote:
Hilarious! So if shaving your legs is helpful for the medical attention or cleaning up after a crash, how come you dont need to shave the arms and back as well...or those beards or indeed sideburns? Just wondering.

Legs are usually the first thing to hit the floor when I've crashed.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [503 posts]
20th January 2014 - 21:24

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My wife is very much looking forward to waxing my legs. She clearly knows something I don't!

Pain is just the French word for bread.

S13SFC's picture

posted by S13SFC [102 posts]
20th January 2014 - 21:28

7 Likes

so, I was vaguely considering shaving (but didn't) this evening. There's been discussion of where to stop at the top end, so to speak- but at the far end of the legs? I mean, I've pretty much got hobbit feet, with hair all the way along the top of them and on my toes. If I only shaved down to just below the cuffs of my (strictly mid length, none of this Wiggins style knee socks or worse, "invisible" length ones) then when I'm on the beach, at a swimming pool or just wearing flip flops I'd look bloody odd. So shave EVERYTHING?

posted by Al__S [644 posts]
20th January 2014 - 21:51

4 Likes

I'm 54 and I have found it perfectly possible to ride a bike all my life, even one with drop-handle bars, without ever shaving my legs.

If you are *paid* to ride a bike then it *might* be important to shave your legs. However, for everyone else, it is just "let's pretend I'm a pro" pseudo-nonsense. Same with those silly helmets that they wear to prove they are 'serious' riders.

Sorry that you feel the pressure to 'conform' at such a young age. My advice would be to enjoy your masculinity through the natural development of your body. You don't *have* to have girly-looking legs to fully appreciate everything that cycling can offer.

posted by Joeinpoole [308 posts]
21st January 2014 - 2:51

3 Likes

@Al_S You don't want wookie shorts mate. Shave up to wherever they will be seen - just stop at the eyebrows.

@Joeinpoole and other sceptics - it isn't simply a matter of conformity. To me, as a regular club and racing cyclist (and I'm 47) it does say something about the person you are riding with.

When I go out with a club group there are inevitably people I don't know. Now you may have a different view but when I'm riding six inches from someone's wheel, or someone is rubbing elbows, I like them to have some idea what they're doing.

It isn't infallible but one makes immediate judgements about people on these rides, simply in the interests of preservation. Decent, well-maintained bike, well-chosen kit and shaved legs tell me that you are likely to be serious about riding and more to the point that you probably know what you're doing when riding in a bunch.

I'm not saying that hairy-legged people in baggy shorts and cheap bikes (or hairy-legged people in head to toe Assos on stupidly expensive bikes for that matter) are incapable of meeting those standards, but I will give them a bit more room and take a little longer to come to a decision.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [566 posts]
21st January 2014 - 9:56

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with your "shave to the eyebrows" jest (clearly not reading my post properly? Laughing ) I'm now wondering- do the particularly vain wax their chest and back to match their legs? Or does the waistband of your swimming trunks mark a transition from smooth to hairy?

posted by Al__S [644 posts]
21st January 2014 - 11:30

1 Like

Personally, if I were male, I'd do it for the benefit of my poor physio at least. (If you're going to be serious enough about it, you'll more than likely need a massage or therapy session every now and again)

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

mooleur's picture

posted by mooleur [542 posts]
21st January 2014 - 11:47

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What I think is that because you're young enough to still be at school, wait for the next charity event to arise and then put yourself forward for a waxing this means that you get nice hairless legs and you help charity, everyone's a winner

posted by lewis_petrie [14 posts]
21st January 2014 - 18:39

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Joeinpoole wrote:
Same with those silly helmets that they wear to prove they are 'serious' riders.

Oh dear, "those silly helmets" protect people whether you choose to believe it or not.
Helmets are cool, ask these people:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vMfnXIMR_8

Quote:
Sorry that you feel the pressure to 'conform' at such a young age. My advice would be to enjoy your masculinity through the natural development of your body. You don't *have* to have girly-looking legs to fully appreciate everything that cycling can offer.

What? Shaving your legs is conforming? Thanks for the gender stereotypes advise hippy granddad. Just do what you want and be an awesome Human.



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1432 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 0:09

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abudhabiChris wrote:

When I go out with a club group there are inevitably people I don't know. Now you may have a different view but when I'm riding six inches from someone's wheel, or someone is rubbing elbows, I like them to have some idea what they're doing.

It isn't infallible but one makes immediate judgements about people on these rides, simply in the interests of preservation. Decent, well-maintained bike, well-chosen kit and shaved legs tell me that you are likely to be serious about riding and more to the point that you probably know what you're doing when riding in a bunch.

I'm not saying that hairy-legged people in baggy shorts and cheap bikes (or hairy-legged people in head to toe Assos on stupidly expensive bikes for that matter) are incapable of meeting those standards, but I will give them a bit more room and take a little longer to come to a decision.

In other words, you're prejudiced towards riders who don't conform to your ideal image of a "serious" cyclist.

One look at someone's riding style/speed and leg definition will tell you everything you need yo know about how serious they are about cycling.
Leg shaving and bike/kit have very little to do with it.

Baaa!

I don't follow trends. Trends follow me.

posted by BBB [188 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 12:51

6 Likes

Just read the Amazon reviews whilst at work. I'm now suffering from a hernia and exploding eyes from trying to keep from bursting out in raucous laughter.

I think I'll give Veet a miss, thank you!

Rolling On The Floor

posted by Jimbonic [111 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 13:18

3 Likes

Jimbonic wrote:
Just read the Amazon reviews whilst at work. I'm now suffering from a hernia and exploding eyes from trying to keep from bursting out in raucous laughter.

I think I'll give Veet a miss, thank you!

Rolling On The Floor

You might need to go to A&E after reading these too http://www.amazon.co.uk/Veet-Men-Hair-Removal-Creme/dp/B000KKNQBK/ref=sr...

Waxing all they way for me (no pun intended). I can just about get around to shaving my beard let alone even think about doing my legs!!!

posted by onyourbikeinlondon [12 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 13:31

1 Like

A bit out of the price range of a 16yo but don't overlook IPL.

posted by cqexbesd [30 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 13:51

3 Likes