The Reasons Why Cyclists Shave Their Legs
Cyclists are prone to shaving their legs, but have you ever wondered why?
The simple answer that many will give is that a lack of hair makes for better aerodynamics, but that is certainly not the only reason why you find razors in the cyclist’s tool kit. The treatment of injuries, hygiene, massage, and pure aesthetics are also some of the reasons why shaving is considered a must, and let’s not forget that it’s something of a tradition among professional riders.
If you asked the average cyclist why they shave their legs, you might get any or all of the above reasons mentioned, but it is likely to be aerodynamics that come at the top of the list. Male riders who have a particularly shaggy pair of legs will definitely see the benefits of shaving, as wind resistance will be lowered as soon as that hair is gone. Whether improvements in speed come via improved wind resistance or just a psychological belief remains to be seen, but cyclists swear that it makes a difference.
When training or taking part in an event, recovery is a big part of the process. One of the most effective ways to keep the muscles in tip top shape is through massage, and you cannot argue that it is much more pleasant for a massage therapist to work on smooth legs rather than those that are hairy or stubbly. The reality here is that cyclists also find the experience to be much more enjoyable when their legs are hair free. If unshaven, there is also the chance that individual hairs could be plucked out during the massage, which can be more than a little painful, and certainly not relaxing.
If you have ever ripped off a Band-Aid, you know how painful it can be when it snags a few hairs. Bumps and scrapes on the legs are common among cyclists, which is why cleanly shaven legs are a good idea. Imagine cleaning wounds and tearing off sticky bandages every time you get a cut if you have hair. That alone would be enough to make you shave it all off.
We also cannot deny that shaved legs are more aesthetically pleasing, as it makes it easier to show off the leg muscles that you have worked so hard to build. Nothing boosts the ego more than having a group of people tell you how great your legs look in bicycle shorts, hence the need to keep things clean and free from hair.