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I echo the sentiment of some others here, in that shaving your legs is only for truly serious riders, meaning those who race regularly or are trying to make a career out of cycling. No one in our weekly ride group shaves.
The only time I ever contemplate it is when I look down at my cycling shorts and realize how funny it looks to see hairs poking through the material here and there.
giant-steps has got it right.
IMO its a big waste of time and serves vanity more than anything. there are merits to the easier wound cleaning thing for sure however. if you ride MTB and do shave, be prepared to take some razzing - just be sure to back it up with some good riding!
in full disclosure - i do it.
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Oly Tri: 2:48:33
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From the several training manuals/books i have read they all agree that the number one reason to shave your legs is to reduce the risk of an infection should you crash.
I have not yet decided to shave .... although contemplating it. I have been razzed by several of my cycling counterparts to shave if I am to be taken as a serious cyclist. My response is that I do not race in crits thus not increasing my chance of crashing. They say I road race but since I am always bringing up the rear there is least likely chance of crashing.
We will see ... but if I do it will not go unnoticed because my legs are rather hairy. LOl
As someone that *should* regularly shave their legs but sometimes doesn't (LOL) I have to say I don't see how men deal with riding with the wind hitting their legs. It's weird. I will have to ask some of the guys that shave but I know one of them shaves his legs because transitions during triathalons is made easier. Actually, I thought they shaved because alot of people get irritated from the silicon bands on the spandex shorts. I know I do if I don't shave and so a couple of guys I ride with will only shave where the band is.
The only way out is through...
Would not be caught with hair on my legs at any race/organized ride. To me, it identifies you as a "for real" cyclist.
"Excellence is but for the few."
So, hold up. Giant-Steps, you're saying my hairy knuckle dragging mtb legs make me more aero? Awesome! Next time I get a hard time from roadies, I'll go with that.
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Leg shaving is part of bike racing culture. Racers have long argued the reason for this. The easiest theory to discount is aerodynamics since wind tunnel tests have actually shown smooth legs to be slower than hairy ones (perhaps similar to the way dimpled golf balls are more aerodynamic than a smooth ball of the same size) Another theory is that since massages are such a big part of recovery for bike racers that smooth legs are better to massage. The masseurs I talked to said that hair was no big deal though I haven't asked any soigneurs. There is also the argument that smooth legs get less road rash and/or are easier to disinfect afterword. I would imagine that hair might act more like a lubricant than something that would catch on pavement and while more germs could cling to the greater surface area of hairy legs antiseptics will have no problem in either case.
The most likely reason I can think of for bike racers to shave is appearance. Bike racers shave their legs for the same reason body builders shave their bodies; to showcase their toned and ripped muscles. Smooth legs look more muscular.
I'm not arguing against races shaving their legs; just the reasons they claim to shave. When it comes down to it shaving is vanity. I'm still in favor of the practice. There is nothing quite like on a hot Summer day sliding into smooth cool sheets with freshly shaved legs. Women also seem to dig it. Girlfriends of every bike racer I knew liked their men to shave their legs since they preferred to cuddle up to smooth legs than hairy ones.
Yeesh! Would NEVER consider this...!
But then my pref is always to keep things as simple as possible, shorts & t-shirt, the fewer doo-dads and extras the better, IMHO.
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In my locale, only serious racers shave their legs for exactly the reason you've stated.
I would say, whether you decide to shave or not shave, would be your personal decision, based on how serious your riding is.
Serious mountain bikers don't shave...
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Whatís the team thought on men and shaved legs? I feel a little funny with shaved legs (letting my leg hairs grow back) I know itís supposed to help to clean out the wound and help your legs slid across the pavement but is it necessary?
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