Just about every serious cyclist has been asked at some point, why do cyclist shave their legs? This question comes up all the time, from hanging around the water cooler at the office to a first date. The idea of a guy shaving their legs just seems to perplex people plus it is an easy conversation starter that generally leads to a fun discussion. Yet many bike riders don’t actually know the reason shaving your legs is a cycling thing.
- Road Rash – This is far and away the biggest reason why serious racers shave their legs. If racing crashes happen, cleaning grit out of road rash without any hair tangled in there is unpleasant enough. Anyone that has scrubbed grit out of a hairy leg wound will become a devout leg shaver. However, most enthusiastic riders go years between major crashes so this really isn’t a justifiable reason why a lot of people shave their legs.
- Massage – Getting a deep tissue massage with hairy legs sucks. It pulls on your hair and the oily hairy legs are a mess after. Professional riders get massages multiple times a week and most amateur racers, if they can afford it, have massages a few times a month. Massage helps with recovery and avoids injury. However, like road rash most enthusiast cyclists do not get massages frequent enough to justify shaving their grizzly sticks.
- Aesthetics – Looking “Pro” – Honestly this is why I think most recreational cyclist shave their legs. They see guys on TV at the Tour and the racers at their local crit, everyone looks fast and everyone has shaved legs for the two reason above. For a cyclist that doesn’t race having shaved legs shows a level of commitment to the sport, gives a level of credibility with other riders, and makes you look a little more pro.
- Aerodynamics – The first three reasons are definitely the most common ones. Aerodynamics is a bit of a stretch and some aerodynamically optimal level of stubble likely exists that is the most aerodynamic, because a textured surface is generally more aerodynamic than a smooth one. But if you have legs like Chewbacca then trimming that forest will definitely lower your drag coefficient.
- You hear someone had a crash and your first question is “How’s the bike?”
- Your wife tells you the only way she’ll let you ride across the country is over her dead body and you tell her, “If that’s the case, you’ll be my first speed bump!”
- You have stopped even trying to explain to your other half why you need more than one bike…you just go buy another one and figure it will all work out in the divorce settlement.
- You see nothing wrong with discussing the connection between hydration and urine color.
- You find your Shimano touring shoes to be more comfortable and stylish than your new trainers.
- You have more money invested in your bike clothes than in the rest of your combined wardrobe.
- “Four cheeseburgers and four large French Fries” is for you.
- You see a fit, tanned, Lycra-clad young thing ride by, and the first thing you check out is his or her bicycle.
- You use wax on your chain, AND on your legs (boys).
- Your first course when you eat out is a large banana split.
- Your bike has more miles on its computer then your car’s odometer.
- You wear your bike shorts swimming.
- Your bikes are worth more than your car.
- You buy a people-carrier and immediately remove the rear seats to allow your bike(s) to fit.
- When you move to a new area the first thing you look for is a bike shop.
- You have more bike jerseys than low-cut tops.
- You take your bike along when you shop for a car – just to make sure the bike will fit inside.
- You view crashes as an opportunity to upgrade components.
- You clean your bike(s) more often then your house.
- You put your bike in your car and the value of the total package increases by a factor of 3 (or better).
- You regard inter-gender discussion of your genital pain/size/shape/utility as normal.
- Your New Years resolution is to put more miles on your bike than your car, and you do it.
- You can tell your other half, with a straight face that it’s too hot to mow the lawn and then bike off for a century.
- Your kids bring a rear derailleur to “Show & Tell”.
- Your car sits outside your garage because your garage is full of bikes and cycling gear.
- A measurement of 44-36-40 doesn’t refer to the latest Playboy centrefold, but that new gear ratio you were considering.
- You wear your heart monitor to bed to make sure you stay within your target zone during any extracurricular activities.
- There is no time like the present, for postponing what you ought to be doing, and go bicycling instead…
- You no longer require a hankie to blow your nose.
- You smile at your evening date, and she politely points out that you seem to have bugs in your teeth.
- You can’t seem to get to work by 8:30 AM, even for important meetings, but you don’t have any problems at all meeting your mates at 6:30 AM for a hundred-miler.
- Your surgeon tells you you need a heart valve replacement and you ask if you have a choice between Presta and Schrader.
- You’re too tired for hanky-panky on a Friday night but pump out a five-hour century on Saturday.
Bespoke Wellness will be at Revolution Nights at the Dubai Autodrome every Wednesday offering sports massage and physiotherapy. Both Ben and Reiss will be there offering a free drop in clinic with a 15 min Massage, and of course they are both available to answer all your musculo-skeletal health related questions on the night.
Please feel free to use their skills and knowledge to help your performance in training. For any riders booking in on the night to see Ben at the Bespoke Wellness Clinic for a full consultation and treatment, will recieve a 50% discount on their initial consultation.
They look forward to seeing you there!
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