To Shave or Not To Shave

by we8ster   April 10, 2013  

Hi All,

Obviously its starting to get a little warmer now, and nearly time to break out the shorts.

What are your feelings on whether to shave legs or not?

Rob

34 user comments

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posted by VecchioJo [800 posts]
10th April 2013 - 18:34

23 Likes

Shave your legs NOT your face Big Grin

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9293 posts]
10th April 2013 - 20:26

21 Likes

I shaved my legs once, it was 'interesting.' The smoothness felt great and it was good in my shorts; BUT when I was sitting in the office or watching TV at home wearing trousers, every time I moved my legs I felt the material swishing against my legs. The hyper-sensitivity was distracting most of the time and just kept reminding me that I have shaved legs.

When it grew out a bit the feeling stopped. So now I just use the clippers and have No.1 trim a couple of times in the summer; it very nearly the same but not distracting and saves me having to shave every week as the ladies must have to do.

Try it, you might like it if you have the patience to get used to the feeling; if not just trim if all you want to do is not look like a hairy monster in the peloton.


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

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1677 posts]
10th April 2013 - 21:13

20 Likes

I just don't understand why you would. Aerodynamic? I'm sure there are better ways to save milliseconds. Easier when you crash? I'll take my chances. Worried about standing out against the crowd? Do so with pride.

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

sm's picture

posted by sm [369 posts]
10th April 2013 - 22:43

19 Likes

#33 motivates me to be the disher of pain, albeit a hairy disher

[custom] '12 Cannondale CAAD10 - Rival

badkneestom's picture

posted by badkneestom [134 posts]
11th April 2013 - 0:21

20 Likes

Unless you are regularly spending several hours a day in cycling kit, and are sufficiently hairy for it to poke through for the horrifying 'furry lycra' look, I just don't see why anyone wouldn't rather be doing something else.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3683 posts]
11th April 2013 - 10:02

21 Likes

Rob, I took the plunge and went for it a few weeks ago. I decided to try it now before the weather warmed so if I wasn't keen I could keep it hidden beneath my bibtights and if I did want to keep it up, I'd be casual about it and not too self aware! In all honesty, it makes my legs look better, bringing out definition I never knew I had. My girlfriend doesn't complain, and aside from nicking myself the first couple of times, it's painless and quick if you keep on top of it.

I've also noticed an obvious increase in my trophy stats on Strava as well since shaving! Cool

YorkshireMike's picture

posted by YorkshireMike [87 posts]
11th April 2013 - 10:15

19 Likes

I never thought i'd shave my legs, but have been doing so past 5 years, it is one of the best things i've done. Your bib shorts no longer ride up your thighs due to hair, instead grip solidly to your thigh muscle & as yorkshiremike says, definition looks great, you'll not be disappointed!

Poggy's picture

posted by Poggy [47 posts]
12th April 2013 - 8:26

20 Likes

I'm also toying with this, not sure it is properly allowed in Yorkshire though. I did have an off recently which resulted in a cut knee, hair & scabs together are not a nice combination.

posted by Woodface [13 posts]
12th April 2013 - 9:56

24 Likes

My girlfriend is happy for me to have five bikes but draws the line at me shaving my legs. That's a p45 offense apparently. Swings and roundabouts I suppose.

posted by egb [43 posts]
12th April 2013 - 13:37

22 Likes

That is the one reason why old farts like me shave the stumps,cant wait to get the winter herbage off the legs.First TT after a holiday in sun,tues 7th May. Wink

posted by foxyloxy [52 posts]
12th April 2013 - 17:08

22 Likes

A badge of commitment, innit?

Shaving your legs means you care enough about posing er... cycling you're willing to be ridiculed by 99% of the population.

"What do they know anyway!"

posted by OldCog [7 posts]
12th April 2013 - 22:50

20 Likes

[[[ I always thought shaved legs meant you were a racing cyclist...even when you weren't.
P.R.

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [325 posts]
13th April 2013 - 1:27

27 Likes

And your spuds! Big Grin

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [488 posts]
13th April 2013 - 11:47

23 Likes

Never shaved my legs. Grew up into BMX, then MTB so no need.

That said, now I am more roadie than mtber I was tempted last summer but the wife and kids were requesting quite strongly that I didn't!

However, after my long lay off due to injury, one of the side issues has been sleep. In particular that I can't sleep on my right side much. Over the last few months this has meant I am now seeing lessening of leg hair down one side of my left leg! Yes really. I might have to shave this summer when I break out the shorts or look like I have a stripe!

posted by Super Domestique [1682 posts]
15th April 2013 - 11:59

17 Likes

This question arises every year when the sun begins to shine.Shaving legs for racing cyclists was not a remedy for going faster unless you had hair like a sheeps back on your legs.
The main reason it allowed massage of fluids(wintergreen in my day)massaged to the legs to warm muscles and to give some protection from wet mornings riding a TT/RR.In hot days when riding and tar melted on the roads( yes this used to happen)and little beasties attached themselves,removal was easy after the event.It also allowed treatment for gravel rash and the less painfull removal of the dreaded ELASTOPLAST if needed. Big Grin

posted by svalbard [4 posts]
15th April 2013 - 22:14

19 Likes

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 [199 posts]
16th January 2014 - 22:36

17 Likes

Hmm, there is so much more I could do to improve performance before leg shaving enters the equation. Each to their own I suppose

posted by arfa [626 posts]
16th January 2014 - 23:01

14 Likes

Don't bother.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2516 posts]
16th January 2014 - 23:04

11 Likes

Personally, the Rules be damned; I find the obligation to shave my face every morning quite burdensome enough.

posted by Lord Fishface [24 posts]
16th January 2014 - 23:15

14 Likes

arfa wrote:
Hmm, there is so much more I could do to improve performance before leg shaving enters the equation. Each to their own I suppose

Absolutely - there's no performance gain. I don't ride hard enough to crash and I can't afford a masseuse. There's no logical justification. I tried it just to try it and see what the fuss was about.

I kind of prefer the look but can't really be bothered to keep it up on a regular basis. I'm a part-time fair-weather shaver. My wife takes the piss, quite rightly.

posted by Pauldmorgan [199 posts]
17th January 2014 - 0:33

13 Likes

1) "Easier after a crash". My downhill biker friends DEFINITELY don't shave their legs. And they hit the deck much more regularly than I do.

2) "Aero gains". Really? I mean, reaaaally?

3) "Looks better". Worth having to explain yourself to your non-roadie mates?

As you can tell I don't plan on shaving my legs any time soon.

Asolare

posted by Goldfever4 [190 posts]
17th January 2014 - 23:13

8 Likes

Goldfever4 wrote:
1) "Easier after a crash". My downhill biker friends DEFINITELY don't shave their legs. And they hit the deck much more regularly than I do.

2) "Aero gains". Really? I mean, reaaaally?

3) "Looks better". Worth having to explain yourself to your non-roadie mates?

As you can tell I don't plan on shaving my legs any time soon.

1) So do mine, but they don't get road rash. Typically have more robust clothing or armour on.

2) I don't think any has ever tried to claim is was for aero gains.

3) Yeah it does, I ride around in brightly coloured lycra so what people think doesn't really come into it.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [638 posts]
18th January 2014 - 10:09

11 Likes

I've just taken the clippers to the jungle on my legs, not trimmed since end of November but now the new year is here it's time to shave again. Shaved legs are better when in the wet as there is no hair to dry off, a quick wipe down as I'm sorting myself out when I get into work and a dusting of talc powder is how I dry my shaven legs.

Redvee's picture

posted by Redvee [149 posts]
19th January 2014 - 0:42

10 Likes

But where does one stop? Just above the shorts line? I would look like I was wearing hairy shorts then. Thighs. How about waist level? Balls and arse could do with it. Then I would look like I was wearing a hairy shirt!

posted by mattsccm [297 posts]
19th January 2014 - 17:39

10 Likes

In an era where the agregation of marginal gains is clearly effective, I'm surprised that people haven't researched the question of aerodynamics on Google.

If they did, they would discover research by the eminent Mike Burrows, who discovered that whilst really hairly legs slowed you down, slightly hairy legs were in fact more aero than shaved ones.

And if you want to go to extremes, he discovered that slightly hairy legs, but with a shaved strip down each shin, were the speediest legs of all.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
19th January 2014 - 20:40

9 Likes

Neil753 wrote:
And if you want to go to extremes, he discovered that slightly hairy legs, but with a shaved strip down each shin, were the speediest legs of all.

I read this entire thread to help me frame a carefully-worded and cleverly nuanced argument to explain to my wife why shaving my legs *might* be acceptable, agreeable maybe even necessary.

Unfortunately, glancing over my shoulder, she read this last and the debate has been terminated and buried before it has even begun.

Hairy legs for me for the forseeable...

posted by thecyclingdad [14 posts]
21st January 2014 - 18:05

9 Likes

If you look like a racing snake then it lends credibility to the, 'I'm a cyclist' answer, when someone asks about said shaven legs. However if you come up with that answer and you have to move your gut to see your shaven legs, it's possibly slightly less compelling! I fall somewhere in between these camps, hence non shaven legs. Can't say I'm not tempted to see what benefits there may be though.....decisions decisions! Hmmmmmm

posted by fullers1979 [43 posts]
21st January 2014 - 19:36

4 Likes

I'm lucky enough to have inherited legs with hardly any hair, and lost the hair of my shins from years of skiing. So no need to shave here.

Am I kidding myself?

drmatthewhardy's picture

posted by drmatthewhardy [546 posts]
21st January 2014 - 21:51

5 Likes

Well, i've tried it this year although gone a bit feral over the winter. I go with the 'feels nice' and 'you can see the muscle definition'. I'm converted. Or a weirdo.

posted by edster99 [291 posts]
21st January 2014 - 23:33

5 Likes