Why Cyclists Shave Their Legs

Guy shaving his legs
Welcome, fellow cycling enthusiasts, to another exciting blog post on our bicycling journey! Today, we delve into a topic that has sparked curiosity among both cyclists and non-cyclists alike: the age-old question of why cyclists shave their legs. If you've ever spotted a group of cyclists whizzing past you, you might have noticed their smooth, hairless legs. So, what's the deal? Let's unveil the secrets behind this intriguing cycling ritual but, most importantly, let an average old guy who has been riding a bicycle for 60 plus years give you his thoughts on the practice of shaving legs.

Enhanced Performance:

Contrary to what some may assume, the primary reason why cyclists shave their legs is not merely for aesthetic purposes. The act of shaving offers tangible benefits that contribute to their performance on the bike. One major advantage is aerodynamics. Smooth legs minimize wind resistance, allowing cyclists to slice through the air more efficiently. This can be especially significant during high-speed races or when trying to maintain top speeds for prolonged periods.

Old Guy's View on Enhanced Performance:

I'm calling this reason general B.S. for the common non-world class cyclist. I see cyclists around town who have smoother and cleaner legs than most supermodel women out there. I really doubt that shaving their legs is going to make them any faster than they were before shaving. It reminds of the time I walked into my local bike shop and a fellow cyclist was shopping for a seat post that was a few ounces lighter than the one he currently had. I asked him why he wanted it and he said it would make his bike lighter and he could go faster. I remarked that maybe if he tried to lose  his over-the-belt gut that he had he might go faster than a seat stem that weighed a few ounces less. 

Reduced Injuries and Easier Maintenance:

Apart from aerodynamics, shaving legs also has practical advantages for cyclists. One such benefit is the ease of treating injuries and wounds. In the unfortunate event of a crash or road rash, hairless legs are much easier to clean, treat, and bandage. Hair can often become entangled in dressings, potentially causing additional discomfort during the healing process. By eliminating hair, cyclists can focus on healing their injuries more effectively.

The Old Guy's View on Reducing Injuries and Easier Maintenance:

I can sort of buy into this one but with an exception. If you are going to shave your legs and claim you do it for the purpose of reducing injuries and for easier maintenance then you probably should shave your arms too. If you shave your arms too then I can buy this as a reason.

As far as easier maintenance, I can truly see the need to shave the legs(and arms) if you are putting sunscreen on during rides. I hate lathering on sunscreen and getting it on nice and clear while dealing with the hair on my arms and legs.

Massage and Recovery:

Cycling involves repetitive leg movements, leading to muscle fatigue and strain. To aid in post-ride recovery, many cyclists indulge in massages or use massage tools, such as foam rollers. Shaved legs make these therapeutic activities more enjoyable and effective. Massage techniques, like deep tissue or sports massage, are facilitated by hairless skin, allowing for smoother gliding and enhanced muscle manipulation. It's all about optimizing recovery for the next ride!

The Old Guy's View on Massage and Recovery:

Okay, I can buy into this one but seriously, how many average riders out there get deep tissue massages?

Hygiene and Professionalism:

Cycling often takes riders on long journeys through various environments, including dusty roads and muddy trails. Shaving legs can help with hygiene, as it makes cleaning after rides more manageable. Removing leg hair reduces the chances of dirt, mud, or other debris sticking to the skin, making post-ride showers more efficient. Additionally, cyclists who compete professionally often shave their legs as a visual representation of their commitment to the sport, emphasizing the discipline and dedication it demands.

The Old Guy's View on Hygiene and Professionalism:

I understand professional riders using the hygiene and professional reasoning but I doubt there are very many local professionals out there. Shaving your legs helps make post ride showers more efficient? Come on! Be serious.

Camaraderie and Tradition:

Lastly, shaving legs has become a deeply ingrained tradition in the cycling community. Cyclists often bond over shared experiences, rituals, and traditions, and leg shaving is one of them. It serves as a badge of honor, a way of belonging to a group of like-minded individuals who understand and appreciate the nuances of the sport. By joining the leg-shaving tradition, cyclists feel a sense of camaraderie and connection to the cycling community at large.

The Old Guy's View of Camaraderie and Tradition:

I can completely buy into this reasoning for the average cyclist to shave their legs. Belonging to a group and identifying with that group is important to most people and if shaving your legs helps you identify better, that's cool. I do not understand why guys will give the other arguments for shaving when this is probably the reason they shave.

I'm not making fun of anyone. I think it's cool for cyclists to shave their legs but I really do think it is often laughable to hear the reasons. I just wanted to put my spin on it all.

Happy riding, and may the winds always be at your back!

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I hope you liked this post enough to check out more of my blog. Here is my next blog post:  Visibility for Cyclists: See and Be Seen


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