If I get back into cycling, does it mean I have to shave my legs?

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Jul 7, 2009
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RightWingNutJob said:
I certainly hope not. The years have seen them scarred up by motorcycle wrecks, circular saws etc.... The hair seems to help hide my scars. :D

And now back to the original question by RWNJ!

The main thing is it depends on you. It also depends a little on where you ride, because that has an influence on you!

After 10 years off from road racing, I returned to the competitive stuff. During my time “off” (I still rode my bike, just no racing), I sometimes let me legs get hairy, only to shave them again. Some things you may want to consider …

1) FWIW, I have crashed on hairy and non-hairy legs. Hair matted into a wound is a great way to make this process even less comfortable. Note – lycra/spandex (shorts and, in the winter, tights) can reduce the damage to the skin (which is one reason some don’t shave in the winter).

2) Putting sunblock on hairy legs is not quite as quick or easy

3) Getting a massage on hairy legs can result in the odd twinge of discomfort (a hair getting pulled!)

4) People can make assumptions about you if your legs are hairy. I say “can” because I have noticed where I ride (Pacific Northwest) there is a strong MTB scene and there are guys with hairy legs that are fantastic bike handlers who can lay down the power with the best of the local pros. I race in Cat 1/2 and I never hear any comments about the fellas with hairy legs in the races. People do get railed on, but that tends to be if their handling skills are sh!te (if they cannot hang with the group, it tends not to matter for long ;) Funny thing – I have heard Cat 4s complaining of some guy with hairy legs being a noob, even though he just kicked their a$$’s and his handling skills were just fine  So, knowing your local scene better than I do, you need to reflect honestly on what the reactions might be and if you care.

5) Cycling is common enough now that you should not get any grief for shaving.

6) As others have said, scars are cool

7) For me, I keep ‘em shaved because my wife hates the stubble ;)

Hope that helps!
 
cromagnon said:
I've had massages and it's hard to relax when your leg hairs ocasionally "twirl" together 4 or 5 during the massage and a bunch of them are gradually wrenched out.

Reading the etiquette b@ll@cks on this thread makes me think I made the right decision to ride timetrials. Grown men worried about fitting in, like a bunch of teenage girls. *vomits*

by etiquette i mean it is standard operating procedure, something i don't even think about, i think the term may have slighltly different meanings to some.

be careful not to become the one still thinking like a teen-ager trying to find an identity such as "rebellious tough guy". it's what adults call overcompensating.

i can't believe that this thread on this frivilous topic has gotten heated at times.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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lean said:
be careful not to become the one still thinking like a teen-ager trying to find an identity such as "rebellious tough guy". it's what adults call overcompensating.

Try not to confuse unconditional self acceptance with anger, that's what people call a cognitive distortion.
 
Having done it both ways often enough, I can comfortably say that leg shaving is 99% "I'm in the club" tribal/status/identification, and 1% practical use.

It does look good with the lycra.

To say that you'll get treated differently in the pack is comical. If you have enough oxygen in you to bother checking out whether everyone else has shaved, you should be putting in an attack.
 
cromagnon said:
Try not to confuse unconditional self acceptance with anger, that's what people call a cognitive distortion.

the reference to vomit makes you sound angry, that's connotative meaning not cog distort, it's a little subjective but that's just me

what concerns me even more is unconditional self acceptance without the acceptance of others - that can't be working to well.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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red_flanders said:
Having done it both ways often enough, I can comfortably say that leg shaving is 99% "I'm in the club" tribal/status/identification, and 1% practical use.
Finally, some honesty on this thread. Thank you.
 
red_flanders said:
Having done it both ways often enough, I can comfortably say that leg shaving is 99% "I'm in the club" tribal/status/identification, and 1% practical use.
Unfortunately, I've recently had the opportunity to test how very hair legs react to road rash. Road rash is no fun, to be sure, but the hair really doesn't get in the way. The tape hurts to pull off when changing bandages, sure, but what's a little pain to a bi' rider?

I could think of much better things to do with my time than to shave my legs...
 
Aug 20, 2009
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I personally shave my legs, but have no problems with cyclists not doing so.

About searching for a simple reason in favour of shaving. it' s about tradition, that' s all. No-one can argue cyclists following that "rule" in a sport so traditional as road cycling. It' s like wearing white at Wimbledon's All England Club, am I right?;)
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Not sure if this was mentioned before, but I think those of use who do shave do it mostly for vanity. Yeah, there are some real benefits in regard to healing road rash, applying warm up creams, lotions, massage. All of this is much easier to deal with when the legs are shorn. If you're lean and cut, shaved legs are freaking sexy!!! At least that's what the women say, plus mine look hideous when I let grow back in the winter. It grows back very uneven now, probably from wearing those crazy knee high tube socks throughout my pubescent years which resulted in completely rubbing out the hair follicles off the sides of my shins.:eek: I shave twice a week in the summers most of my adult life.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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ProTour said:
Finally, some honesty on this thread. Thank you.

They're honest because they agree with you? There are plenty of honest assessments on this thread that don't agree with your view. It doesn't make them any less honest because they didn't agree with you.
 
RDV4ROUBAIX said:
I shave twice a week in the summers most of my adult life.
Twice a week??? :eek: No thanks!

I'm sorry, but I think life is way too short for such nonsense.
I'm healing from my first case of road rash in 40 years of cycling, and the hair is simply not an issue.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Ninety5rpm said:
Twice a week??? :eek: No thanks! I'm sorry, but I think life is way too short for such nonsense.

I also pluck my eyebrows twice a week, otherwise the unibrow makes an appearance. I make up for all that lost time by riding really fast, don't wait in lines at the club, grocery store, or cinema. And I absolutely refuse to drive a car in rush hour, so I'm making up for it.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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Just legs? Or arms, too? Face? I always figured my mountain-man beard was better protection for my face... :(
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Steampunk said:
Just legs? Or arms, too? Face? I always figured my mountain-man beard was better protection for my face... :(

The beard's got to go. Not aero enough, unless you gel it up and shape it into a disc ;)

Shaving is quick and easy, bar the first time when you actually need shaving cream. If you do it, as RDV says, twice a week, the hair doesn't stand a chance to grow back in thick layers, so quick strokes will suffice. So whenever you take a shower, take out the misses' razor and you'll shave those new growing hairs away in a jiffy.
 
Aug 26, 2009
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In college I was shaving my legs the day before a race. Back then, I had to use the sink because the showers were too dangerous. I'm in the middle of shaving and in walks one of the Deans of the University who is also a former football player, and my academic advisor. The conversation went like this: "Swimmer?" "No, cyclist." "Oh, okay." and he turned around and rushed out of the bathroom. For the next 31/2 years, we never mentioned it again.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
The beard's got to go. Not aero enough, unless you gel it up and shape it into a disc ;)

Shaving is quick and easy, bar the first time when you actually need shaving cream. If you do it, as RDV says, twice a week, the hair doesn't stand a chance to grow back in thick layers, so quick strokes will suffice. So whenever you take a shower, take out the misses' razor and you'll shave those new growing hairs away in a jiffy.

Ha ha ha..... :D
 
Nov 24, 2009
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pedaling squares said:
Shameless bump of own thread. Bravo!

well i for one thank him, it was amusing and I hadn't seen it before. Still confused about whether or not to shave them.

What about over the winter when your wearing leggings the whole time?
 
Jul 17, 2009
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RightWingNutJob said:
I certainly hope not. The years have seen them scarred up by motorcycle wrecks, circular saws etc.... The hair seems to help hide my scars. :D

if you do and you have the urge to rub one out after the first shave you are not ghay so chill. maybe go with it
 
Jun 27, 2009
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lean said:
shaving comunicates a message. not shaving comunicates a message. what message are you trying to send?

i've heard all types of excuses, crash cleanup, aerodynamics, superficial looks, etc. all are pretty flimsy.

the reason i do it is b/c it's a matter of etiquette, it's what the culture says you're supposed to do. all the reason i need. if you drop into a race or "fast" training ride as a hairball it says you don't understand the subtleties of the sport. you look unsophisticated. i've seen hairballs go fast, which is more important, but they'd have looked cooler with a fresh shave.

you fail at life