To Shave Or Not To Shave?

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As cyclists, almost all of us shave our legs. Why? Whenever this question comes up from non-cyclists we all know the unwritten code: Easier for massage, cleaning and healing of road rash, it saves 5 seconds over a 40km TT, so the hair doesn't get caught when you're riding in the BIG RING, etc.

We all know none of this is true however. Let’s be honest. What good reason would weekend warriors like us have to shave our legs? Because it’s PRO, that’s why. It’s all about your dedication and commitment to the sport. Shaved legs are the trademark of a serious cyclist.

No one ever taught me how to shave my legs. I remember the first time I ever did it. I had just been bumped up to Cat 3 and this was the next big step towards making it to Cat 2. One hour and three razors later I got all the fur off. When finished I was bleeding at the ankles and knees and my legs were puffy and pale. Had I made the right decision? What are the guys in the hockey dressing room gonna say? This didn’t make me look pro at all…

I felt naked at first. It was the strangest feeling. After the swelling subsided and I got a bit of color from the sun I started to enjoy the sensation. There was the sheen of muscles and veins that I never knew existed. That was the defining point of feeling like a true cyclists. I was hooked.

During the Tour Down Under I was introduced to Sean Yates (Team SKY Director Sportif and British cycling legend). We had a good chat and as usual the conversation turned to, “Hey…I got a good tip for you…”. Yates got right onto the topic of shaving. He swore by shaving in the bathtub under the water if you’ve got a lot of hair to deal with. This way the hair doesn’t get clogged up in the blades. Also, use a women’s razor. They’re made for the legs, not the face.

It’s a frightening thought thinking of Yatesy sitting in the bathtub by the candlelight whilst shaving his legs with a pink razor, but I can see the logic in it.

I have no idea how Yates (left) gets all the hair off around those veins without slicing one of them open. Can you tell that Andy (right) just shaved his hairy legs that morning by how swollen they are?

There are benefits to not shaving the legs however. First of all, you’re given much more room in the peloton. No one wants to go anywhere near a guy with hairy legs. Also, your wife won’t complain about you feeling like a porcupine in bed after a few days of growth. I also found that it’s a great form of protest. I once refused to shave my legs for a whole winter until our team owner bought us some desperately needed new kit. As soon as I began to look like a gorilla, the new kit was promptly delivered.

Pro cyclists haven’t always had clean shaven legs. I struggle to think of someone these days who is brave enough to go against the grain (I suspect Dave Zabriskie would give it a go), but  Johan Capiot won the 1991 Paris-Tours with hairy legs. Legend has it that Michael Wilson (the first Aussie to win a Giro and Vuelta stage) was a hairy beast of a man back in the day as well.

My favorite hairy cyclist? Belov…without a doubt. Legend.


SIMILAR ENTRIES

Showing 3 entries
  • http://twitter.com/cyclist_dave Dave

    Does anybody wax? Are there any advantages to shaving over waxing?

  • http://www.cyclingTipsBlog.com cyclingTips

    I’ve never tried it and am 100% positive I never will after seeing this video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oicVnz2wzuQ

  • Anonymous

    Waxing over Shaving, You don’t get cut, it lasts longer between waxing, after a while it isn’t so painful, $40 and 20 minutes and you are done with no effort on your behalf, and sometimes you get a cute beautician to show your guns off to that is willing to pour hot wax on you…….bugger, I think I have just gone too far there…

  • Debbie

    Hey, I’m female and can’t stand the thought of waxing. Bad enough on the eyebrows and that is only a small area. Shaving is good. Just do it in the shower with soap. You’ll get the hang of it. Use a good razor – none of this disposable crap. Just be careful over knees and ankles!!

    Out of interest, do you do toes and tops of feet too? And how high up do you go???

  • http://twitter.com/cyclist_dave Dave

    Yeah, I haven’t done it, but I like the idea of it lasting a lot longer and not having prickly regrowth…

  • http://twitter.com/cyclist_dave Dave

    Yeah, I haven’t done it, but I like the idea of it lasting a lot longer and not having prickly regrowth…

  • Tim

    I have waxed plenty of times. It hurts in some spots more than other. And costs $60 a pop. But b$gger me it is awesome.
    One day when I have a spare 3K, it will be ELOS for me. No more hair, ever.

  • Tim

    I have waxed plenty of times. It hurts in some spots more than other. And costs $60 a pop. But b$gger me it is awesome.
    One day when I have a spare 3K, it will be ELOS for me. No more hair, ever.

  • gnowvek

    I found it’s easier to apply sun screen on shaved legs. Also if you have a bread trimmer, use that to clip off most of the hair before shaving. The shaving is much easier after that.

  • http://www.BrandWorld.com.au/ Priestie

    I use Veet. Quick, Simple, Easy. Smear it on, wait 5 minutes, shower and wipe off in shower. I use the womens product, a mens product has just been released. No cuts, no waxing pain, lasts at least 3-4 days, does most areas (just don’t leave it on for too long, avoid the tender bits).
    Smooth as silk! Giddy up!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1577957887 Trevor McKenna

    Waxing is the only way.

  • SupermanSam

    With you there on the Veet/Nads cream, Priestie. Got so many chunks out of my legs and bumps shaving is a major blood loss issue for me. But, one accidental swipe on the man bits with the Veet and you’ll never do that again.

    What’s the rule on the demarcation line though? I think it’s the hairy shorts look but can be a scarey all the same….

  • JC

    Zach Galfinakis gets third. Top effort.

  • http://www.BrandWorld.com.au/ Priestie

    All the way, hairy shorts just ain’t PRO ;)

  • http://oops.blogs.exetel.com.au/ Chris Little

    I genuinely hope you meant BEARD!
    (Don’t think I’ll have bread for lunch today …)

  • Alexandre

    I recently joined a team/club and all my friends are telling me to shave. I have not bought into it yet, but it has for sure been fun, they even nicknamed me the bear hehehe.

    Wade, on a different topic: could you write something about how to organize a good lead out, how you should organize your riders according to ability for example: rolleur, sprinty, rolleur, sprinty, fastest sprinter. I have been looking for a good article on this to use in my team but couldn’t find anything. Same situation with team time trial. How do we organize? Strongest to weakest? Finishing with less riders Vs finishing with all etc…As you might imagine we have different level of abilities and any advice would be great.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Alexandre

    I recently joined a team/club and all my friends are telling me to shave. I have not bought into it yet, but it has for sure been fun, they even nicknamed me the bear hehehe.

    Wade, on a different topic: could you write something about how to organize a good lead out, how you should organize your riders according to ability for example: rolleur, sprinty, rolleur, sprinty, fastest sprinter. I have been looking for a good article on this to use in my team but couldn’t find anything. Same situation with team time trial. How do we organize? Strongest to weakest? Finishing with less riders Vs finishing with all etc…As you might imagine we have different level of abilities and any advice would be great.

    Thanks in advance.

  • CJWright

    Hell of the west overall winner Dave Sommers.. of team SHAVER SPORT

  • Bob

    our American Flyers hero rides for “Shaver Sport” … coincidence?

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  • Adrian Miles

    Wade, thought you’d fess up here. Let’s face it, we shave/wax out of vanity. It looks and feels good. Makes you look fitter than you are. Same reason body builders wax. Back in the day we all said it was about massages, falling off etc. Except elite runners who get just as many massages don’t see the need, and there are plenty of sports where you fall off, over, etc and they dont’ see the need (and if it was about falling off why not the arms too!). Male cyclists. Be honest. We check the bike, we check the legs. But at the end of the day a great set of legs always trumps a great bike. (And for proof, just stand by any popular road route where there is a nice expanse of reflective glass and watch how many of us blokes steal that glance to check ourselves out.)

  • http://www.cyclingTipsBlog.com cyclingTips

    Ha! Yes…a friend of mine referred to the big glass windows on the building on Beach Road as “Windows of Form”. The guys sitting in the offices on the inside must have a laugh whenever cyclists ride by and check themselves out.

  • http://www.cyclingTipsBlog.com cyclingTips

    Ha! Yes…a friend of mine referred to the big glass windows on the building on Beach Road as “Windows of Form”. The guys sitting in the offices on the inside must have a laugh whenever cyclists ride by and check themselves out.

  • ty-ro

    I’ve got an autoimmune disorder called alopecia totalis. It is a benign disease, but basically means your hair falls out. ALL of it. I have a bald head with no eyebrows or eyelashes, no chest hair, no back hair, etc… I look a lot like a mannequin really. In regards to the shave/no-shave argument is I have legs as smooth as a baby’s bottom with ZERO shaving. Sure, sometimes I get frightened looks from small children on account of me looking a bit like Voldemort, but it’s not that big of a deal.

  • Ian Underthesea

    I steal the wife’s Epilady and rip the stuff out by the root when necessary. It doesn’t come back as thick and hurts less after the first time but I would suggest avoiding the tender bits… Listening to music at the time also seems to help for some reason.

  • Martin

    Looking at the picture of Sean Yates, I think another pressing issue of PRO cycling that needs to be adressed urgently is the alarmingly vast amount of PROS that sports earings… Why??? Tell me why!

  • Genesis

    Haha Belov….part man, part ape!

    Maybe Costner was the inspiration for DZ’s moustache.

  • Gary Lyon

    Did your husband hold your handbag when you were in for your waxing appointment? ;)

    How was the confession to your colleges and non-cycling mates?

  • Billy Buster

    Done it all. Waxing is a problem over summer cos you need to let it grow long enough *yew!*. And it can work out to be expensive over a long period. The Epilady is way more torture than waxing. It’s like death by a thousand cuts. The last time I did it with a stiff vodka beforhand. Shaving is easy.

    How far? All the way… and don’t stop at the man bits. Go PRO PORNO!

  • Stevie P

    waxing all the way…gotta appointment tmw..$70 full leg, toes incl, no cuts no porcupine and at least 10 weeks until next appointment, pain is overrated !! Chicks who whinge about Waxing need to HTFU, seriously !!

  • Vince

    omg, the hockey room thingy, totaly my reality a few years back, Canada eh…

  • http://twitter.com/Tinea_Pedis Nick

    Done it.

    Never again.

  • Weirdedout

    I am surprised most of you didnt ask your wife / sister / mother first. As most will say, waxing is the way to go!

    Waxing – may hurt a little, but will grow back softer / finer, and last alot longer. First time will hurt more, but it will grow back less and less each time.

    Shaving – cut yourself, grows back darker / coarse, need to do pretty much every day or second day.

    For big events just wax the day before, and then you dont have to worry about it again all weekend :)

    And i still find it weird at the morning breakfast / coffee sitting around 4 guys who are talking about shaving more than me and my girlfriends do!!!

  • Billy Brownless

    Shut up Gary, you has-been.

  • Billy Brownless

    Shut up Gary, you has-been.

  • Ed

    I prefer to way also but the only problem is that you have a week or 10 days where the hair is not long enough to be waxed

  • Robertbb

    I for one would like a Campagnolo labeled razor to match my wine bottle opener. Replacement blades must be Ti and cost at least as much as a new Super Record crankset or the thing won’t go anywhere near MY legs.

  • gnowvek

    Yes I did mean beard :P

  • nick

    Don’t wax. When the hair re-grows, you have to let it get to a certain length before waxing again.

  • Mick Leung

    Haha anyone remember that interview with the man Sean Eadie?
    http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/riders/2002/interviews/?id=seaneadie02

    CN: Isn’t it counter-aerodynamic to shave your legs but not shave your face?
    SE: “Won the team sprint and went 10.14 in Manchester, won the World’s – wasn’t too counterproductive!”
    CN: So why bother shaving your legs then?
    SE: ” Because it feels great in bed.”

  • http://shadowlans.net/ Andy

    If I left the toes and tops of my feet I’d end looking like a tall hobbit! No a good look.
    As for how high, depends on how much time I have… ;)

  • Timo

    Waxing is ideal due to the time frame between sessions but it does require maintenance like daily moisturising and regular ex-foliation to prevent ingrown hairs. The hair thins out dramatically after a few sessions and as such isn’t as painful. That said, the pain of waxing is nothing compared to riding at Vo2 max for 30 minutes.

    Dave Moulton says it best on why we shave/wax our legs: http://davesbikeblog.squarespace.com/blog/2008/6/20/why-do-cyclists-shave-their-legs-the-only-explanation-you-wi.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=636550395 Robert Merkel

    I’m not going to shave my legs until I win a road race.

  • Harvster

    umm i have hairy legs and am a newbie – how far up should i have to shave. We are talking a major defolliation once we get into upper legs, and arse! on the other hand i will have major hair shorts if i finish at the short leg line. Whats the done thing?

  • http://shadowlans.net/ Andy

    I’d agree with the last comment “Feels good in bed”. Especially with Silk or high thread-count cotton. :D

  • Marcus

    Suggestion: when extolling the benefits of leg waxing and ELOS, it may be an idea to avoid using the phrase, “b$gger me”. It may be seen by some as less of an exclamation and more of a request.

  • JC

    You gotta go the whole leg (anything beyond that is strictly personal preference but if you wanna go further you could rely on saddle comfort as your alibi). Shaving lower but not upper legs will, as alluded to, leave you with a comical pair of mohair shorts. That can seriously upset your bedroom mojo.

  • Notso Swift

    My tips:
    Little and often, if you miss bits it doesn’t matter
    2 blade razor only, these things built like a dodecahedron clog too fast

    I have skin like a babies behind so I end up with lots of shaving burn if I did it once a week. Wax needs to grow back before you do it again… kind of misses the point don’t you think? (And yes I have done it) Also done Veet (great for longer hair) and even that sand paper they advertise on face book (sad!)
    Knees suck and behind the knees is’t much better (lost count of the number of times I have cut in line with the ligament)
    Finally I am with Eaddie, the feeling of nude skin on nude skin is great in bed!

  • Chris

    “Finally I am with Eaddie, the feeling of nude skin on nude skin is great in bed! ”

    Finally! I’m glad you caught your man.

  • Troy van Trienen

    Maybee if you shaved you would have the mental strength to win?? Chicken or the Egg?

  • Notso Swift

    LOL

  • Anonymous

    Gary and Billy… perhaps keep your lovers tiffs behind closed doors ;)

  • Anonymous

    Seriously guys, it’s ok to shave your legs (I do) but all this detail and commentary is pretty girly… PC disclaimer: ‘not that there is anything wrong with that of course!’ :)

  • http://twitter.com/parawolf Ian McGinley

    Wear a set of speedo’s when applying and then into the shower when scrubbing the veet off. Saves the sensitive man bits from accidental exposure.

  • Debbie

    I’m finding it really, really funny!! lol. You guys talk about it way more than we do….. On another note, from a girlie point of view, I love the smooth look of it. Don’t think I’ll be able to talk my husband into it though. Being half italian, he would have to start at the toes and finish at the nose!! lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/deryck.walker Deryck Walker

    Currently sporting man-beard and hairy legs, and enjoying the space people are giving me at crits!

    I’d love to think they are avoiding me because i look like a scary powerful cycle-yeti, however im sure its due to me
    looking like a newbie.

  • Anonymous

    The clinical term for this is

    Kleptonarcissus – The act of stealing a glance at one’s reflection.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-Davies/751754223 Brad Davies

    I have never shaved – only waxed. I have grown to enjoy the pain. One thing I don’t do is wax when I have a cold or am on the cusp of one. Hurts like hell

  • Anonymous

    I agree with this approach, I held off until I won my first, then second local races, then was in France for a race, so thought now is the time…

  • Anonymous

    Tried shaving and tried waxing – prefer the waxing however I no longer do either.

    A simple ultimatum from my wife; “you can either have hairless legs or have sex, your choice”.

    So I’m the bustling bushy bloke in the B -grade bunch.

  • John

    There is clearly a need out there for a new way. Some kind of pill or injection that causes all the hair on one’s legs to fall out. A bit like the injection that CSIRO developed as an alternative to shearing sheep.
    In the meantime, put my vote down for waxing, for all the reasons already given.

  • SupermanSam

    CT hasn’t mentioned the Pro’s who shave the arms as well…what’s that excuse?

  • justanotheropinion

    nair

  • Anonymous

    Hairy boardshorts is a viable option though – avoids more ingrown hairs in the sensitive region, and for the seriously hairy, you have to stop shaving somewhere!

  • Anonymous

    ha, classic – i totally had an image of a bloke standing over the bath, wielding an electric bread knife to defuzz

  • pinarello413

    Go the Veet or Nads. So easy and you don’t have to worry about shaving rash or waxing rash (and then ingrown hairs etc).
    Why get rid of the hairs on your legs, well it’s PRO, and if you fall off it is just easier to treat.
    I mean how impressed would the doctors treating that poor Malaysian track cyclist that had the splinter in his leg would have been! Cool, don’t have to shave before surgery!! http://www.sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral/news/21322/Awang-recovering-from-crash

  • HR Puffinstuff

    My girlfriend made me use an epilator.
    I have waxed before. And let me tell you, the feeling of waxing is like dipping your legs in a bath full of jelly compared to using an epilator. When you first begin it is absolute excruciating pain, like nothing you could imagine. You basically spend 1.5 hours in non-stop severe pain. It does get better as you get used to it though, and as your hair grows back less thick each time.

    I do however hate sitting there for 1-1.5 hours to do this and am considering going to shaving.. How long does it usually take you guys? and how often do you do it?
    I’d like to wax but it’s such a waste of money for a student.

  • HR Puffinstuff

    My girlfriend made me use an epilator.
    I have waxed before. And let me tell you, the feeling of waxing is like dipping your legs in a bath full of jelly compared to using an epilator. When you first begin it is absolute excruciating pain, like nothing you could imagine. You basically spend 1.5 hours in non-stop severe pain. It does get better as you get used to it though, and as your hair grows back less thick each time.

    I do however hate sitting there for 1-1.5 hours to do this and am considering going to shaving.. How long does it usually take you guys? and how often do you do it?
    I’d like to wax but it’s such a waste of money for a student.

  • AaronG

    Leg shaving/waxing is all about VANITY for me. I’ve been in the club for a year now. However, 2 years ago I got hit by a car and the experience knocked out the “smooth legs/arms is better if you fall off” excuse. I got broken ribs, punctured lung, collarbone etc, but I also got some bad cuts on my (hairy) arm and (smooth) buttock. In the emergency room, the doctor was scraping out the glass and cleaning the wounds like there was no tomorrow – I remember watching my wife grimace as I was smiling away, full of the best drugs medicine can offer (legally).

    So, no matter if you’re smooth or hairy, morphine will be there to rescue you. (I can’t comment whether the surrounding arm hair increased or decreased the risk of infection – no issue in my case)

  • Chris Lee

    How do you get the hair off your balls with speedos on?

  • Chris Lee

    How do you get the hair off your balls with speedos on?

  • http://www.BrandWorld.com.au/ Priestie
  • http://twitter.com/parawolf Ian McGinley

    A different method… keep clear of the sensitive man bits with veet, unless you are into chemical burns and that sort of thing

  • Guest

    A new way – wouldn’t it be good if the rate of hair loss was directly proportional to the number of ks ridden? Sure, I might be a bit hairier than I am now, but I’d be riding more ks to get smooth and silky.

  • Morgs

    Epilator! HR I think she hates you for sure… Thats cruel. I used that thing once and I vowed never again the pain was intense AND it took ages to get all the hairs.

    Seriously, shavings pretty easy once you get the hang of it. If you find it too hard I recommend IPL. Works a treat and only hurts for a tiny second.

  • Anonymous

    If you’re going to shave, do long strokes up your legs, and then slide the razor back down to start again- this clears the hair from between the blades. Go against the grain, and use shower gel. It gets pretty quick after a while. If you are going to go high, avoid the bits that will contact the saddle, and clipper these bits- especially if you have coarse hair, as this avoids heaps of ingrown hairs.

    I waxed for a while initially, and whilst the pain is OK to begin with, it gets a bit intense around the bikini (budgie) line, and at the end you are ready for it to end. The worst thing about it is if you have been busy, your legs are wookie-like and it is friday, it requires a bit more planning to get a wax. 5 mins in the shower with the razor is heaps easier.

    I sympathise with the above comment about sex vs shave. My female partner constantly gripes about my legs when they are shaved. Makes the point that if she wanted smooth legs she would have been a lesbian. I also think that it is a long bow to draw to say waxing is any more effeminate than shaving- i don’t think many outside the racing cycling community (ie. 99% of the population) would make any distinction.

    For me, there is definitely an identification of myself as taking racing seriously when I have smooth legs. Sadly at the moment, smooth they are not.

  • Rob_James

    Shaved legs are not “the trademark of a serious cyclist.” It’s sad what many homogenized folk pass as serious, hard and meaningful. Onwards.

  • Rob_James

    Shaved legs are not “the trademark of a serious cyclist.” It’s sad what many homogenized folk pass as serious, hard and meaningful. Onwards.

  • Chris

    :-)

  • Ben

    Hairy legs is the sign of a pure cyclist. They are for hard men who loves hills, and who are prepared to head off on a solo mission to victory, knowing that their epilated enemies cannot see through the follicles to the talent that lies beneath.

  • http://9monthstonewyork.blogspot.com/ Grace Mimmo Fitzpatrick

    If only we can get you blokes to shave your pits – that’s the bit the REALLY counts when it comes to l’arôme du pédaleur ;-)

  • Nick

    Have my first race coming up soon, have been training decently for it etc. Would definitely consider shaving my legs but I’m stuck with the problem: What if I’m appearing too wannabe-PRO before I even have any results/achievements to speak of?

    Don’t want to be the guy that people say “Why bother shaving the legs!”

  • Anonymous

    We are certainly a funny bunch us cyclists. [I am laughing as I write this].

    Imagine if someone from the non cycling community or a knuckle dragging MTB’er ;-) accidently strayed onto CT today. The mind boggles at the thoughts that would go through their head as they read the blog and then all the comments.

    Hilarious stuff and yet we freely and openly discuss it among our cycling flock. But shy away from it when fronted by Neanderthal man in the street.

    I am astounded that over the years we have not been branded by the media as some weird religious cult. Or maybe we have and thats why there is the whole cars v’s bikes who harrrr.

    We do weird shaving rituals
    We congregate in packs
    We meet a few times a week and then again on Sunday morning for mass
    We make pilgrimages half way around the world to ogle the best disciples at work,
    We are then intrigued, bemused and shocked by the rituals of the other pilgrim flocks when we reach Lourdes France
    We try and brainwash everyone we meet into joining our weird circle and speak our dialect language
    We slowly but surely isolate ourselves from any other form of social activity where at least one other cult members is not present

    We are cyclist and We love it!

    Wade early in the year you promised more cycling features for the Age. I think you should post this blog. Imagine the funny mail we will all get to read from the general public. I dare you ! ;-)

    Peace PaT

  • Travis

    Yeah but you are getting laid.

  • Quincy

    Eyebrow area is much more sensitive than calves. Bear that in mind :-)

  • Slhaydon

    Better to win with hairy legs than lose with shaved. Get the first one under your belt then shave away. The one thing shaving will help with though is your psychology – you will start the race feeling like a PRO and the rest will see you as a contender. I am hairy BTW and face the very same debate with myself.

  • Jez

    nah theyre not avoiding you thats just you gettin flogged off the back of b grade ;P hahahahha

  • Tim

    Yeah, read Dave Moulton’s explanation. “It’s traditional” stops most questions…

    +1 for the electric razor; I used to use a blade razor and regularly cut myself to shreds. Electric Razor is a load more convenient with the risk.

  • Anonymous

    I shave to just above the short line and clip the rests so it’s short (also softer than lower leg hair) First time I shave I did the lot. Three days later it felt like someone was sticking pins in the tops of my thighs. never again

  • Slhaydon

    My legs are unshaven. I do not feel that my calibre of riding warrants the shaved look as I neither belong to a club (yet) nor do I race. I simply love riding for leisure most weekends and some week days. I have, however, done several paid mass participation rides and I have to admit that whenver I saw a shaven brother (sisters I expect to be shaven regardless) I felt differently toward them and that they were the ones whose wheel I should follow. Although I am unshaven I was almost sneering at my hairy brothers!?

    I am doing the 3 peaks coming up and I am debating the shave / wax. Will it give me a much needed psychological boost to feel and look PRO? even if my capabalities are far from this? I dont really care whether others then see me as a contender to actually come in a top 10 place as this will soon become evident when I make my way to the back of the starting line and know I face finishing in the dark.

    One thing I would like to touch on CT is what goes on under the skin. I have picked up a nasty knee pain recently. I have just come back from the physio where it became evident that the only thing I am doing differently that could explain said knee pain is LOADS of mountain training and that although my pedal stroke seems good on flat in heavier gears when I hit the mountains and start getting tired after about 80km I change up into the lighter gears and concentrate more on getting to the top alive than my pedal stroke and this is helping toward the pain. Coupled with this it has now become apparent that I am hardly using my arse muscles (is that the technical term!?) and heavily relying on my quads to do all the work. I am told these ‘arse muscles’ need awakening and have to do the ‘Arabesque’ and that foam rolly thing on the floor over my quads which is excruciating.

    My reason for such a long, non-related paragraph, is that I was hoping you would agree that a post on technique, muscle useage and posture etc would be a great idea. I am sure I am not the only amateur with hairy legs that would benefit from some sound advice from you shaven club / team riders to avoid pains, trips to the physio and unnecessary anxiety about the 235km ‘challenge’ that I may not complete because of bad technique.

    It may come too late for me on this occasion if it comes at all but it would make fascinating reading.

    Cheers

    Simon

  • Anonymous

    for sale……… One epilator (USED once!)

  • Taka135i

    No problem here.

    I never have hair in my lower leg and a handful on my thigh. So it is a once-in-a-blue-moon job in the shower. The only advantage of being an Asian. :)

  • CJ

    Yes, in the cycling circles they are generally referred to as AUDAX riders!

  • George Greenall

    I shaved them once. Skin irritations, spikey regrowth. So for the past 10 years it’s a ritual every weeks to catch up with my beauty therapist to get em waxed. The first 2 or three times were the most painful, but after that the hair thins out. 20 mins and you’re outa there!

    Why hairless legs? If you work so hard to get strong, fit legs why not show em off!

  • George Greenall

    Ripped off! I pay $25 bucks for full leg, 20 mins, at a salon I have paid 40.

  • George Greenall

    2 inches above the tan line, presume higher if you are a pro and get massaged.

  • brycerider

    Too much trouble I will just cope with being called a YETI

  • http://www.happyfamilies.com.au Justin Coulson

    Invariably I find myself asking if anyone has any spare moisturiser. That always gets a few raised eyebrows :)

  • http://www.happyfamilies.com.au Justin Coulson

    I’ve done the epilator once… on my chin! I did the full head wobble like I was getting sucked into the machine. Very funny stuff for the crowd that dared me to do it.

    As for how long for the shave – my wife thinks I take way too long. Can be up to 20 minutes, around 10 mins a leg. But I go up to a long pair of undies kinda line. Can’t bring myself to go all the way to the ‘briefs’ line, but can’t do the hair-shorts either.

    The women’s Gillette razors seem the best to me. They’re made for the stuff. And once a week usually does it. Can stretch it a little more, but then it’s getting long. Oh, and the wax job is both too expensive and too painful.

  • http://www.cyclingbrussels.be RaphBxl

    It is true that nothing says “real racing cyclist” like shaven legs. Since I don’t race, I don’t shave.

    But the massage thing is true though. I have gotten leg massages with hairy legs, and it is really unpleasant.

  • nB

    shaving certainly makes it easier/quicker to slap sunscreen on in the mornings before I go riding – I’d do it for that reason alone!

  • aleko

    Add me to the waxing brigade!

    A few tips:
    - Get it done by using the proper was & strips they have in the salons. Using the wax from coles is the equivalent of using those disposable razors… you’re just asking to get hurt
    - Ask around to see if your mates know anyone that does it. Cost can drop from $50+ to $25
    - Hairy legs should clipper down with No 1 or No 2 blade (hair clippers) beforehand. Reduces the pain cosiderably.
    - Exfoliate daily in the shower. Exfoliators are < $5 from coles/priceline. Stops the ingrowns.

  • http://hatfullofsky.net/littlewords lauren

    I find it highly amusing that you’re all talking about using a razor for women when I shave my legs with a bloke’s one.

    I have one word for you fellas: exfoliation! Seriously. Get a scrub mitt and go to town on your legs. You’ll end up with super smooth skin and it’ll help prevent ingrown hairs. Plus, if you shave it makes it easier because there’s no dead skin to clog up the razor. Another word is: moisturise. And not just when you bung on sunscreen before a ride.

  • Slhaydon

    I think I am in the wrong place? Is this one of my wifes beauty salon forums ; )

  • Stu

    had to take pain killers before going. No real advantage for blokes as we have tougher and hair than women (unless middle eastern!). Quicker and cheaper to shave although I do know a guy who waxes only because the chick who does it is hot…..

  • I’msmoothazbro

    I think we should ask the boys from St Kilda footy club, from the pictures I saw they seem to be pretty up to date with the best de-hairing techniques.

  • Anonymous

    Shave as reward when you get your first win, not before.

  • Crothenb

    Shave!
    FWIW some years ago I used to only shave just up past the tan line. Then one Sunday morn out at the Glenvale Crits I was second wheel coming into the last corner I hooked it into that last corner and was flying(50kph?) when I rolled my back tyre and put it down on my left hip and thigh.
    I lost alot of skin that morning…..ouch!!!
    All I can say is that where I had shaved was not as badly chopped up as where I hadn’t. The skin seemed to have been ripped off by the hairs catching on the bitumen.
    Dressing the wound where there was still hair was a real bitch too.
    Hence I now shave all the way up my legs.

  • Anonymous

    Your bike seat is prob too low, getting a proper bike fit would sort that out. I finished 3 peaks last year by putting a newspaper down my jersey at half way cos it was raining and cold. I’m on the 3 peaks video paying out on all of the dudes with shaved legs stranded at the half way mark who were whimpering that they couldn’t go on, I had hair on my legs last year, it helped.

  • Slhaydon

    Yeah, cheers. Know it could go up by up to 5 mm but seat post is absolutely jammed – have tried everything so got a new saddle coming which hopefully may give me a couple of mm. Need to take bike back to paconi to have unstuck but fear it will mean re paint! so have to put off otherwise no bike : (

  • Fwsm

    But how far up should you go? I agree is you have shaved legs then everything from the waist down should go. But what if you have a hairy chest? or bushy arms? Can I keep a beard?

    As far as I can tell the only safe rule is to shave everything from the eyebrows down.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stefan-Rohner/100001954136176 Stefan Rohner

    real men use WAX!

  • paper boy

    Adrian you are on the money mate. If there was any advantage at all they would have been shaving race horses and grey hounds bald as a Brazilian bikini line a long time ago.
    There is nothing I enjoy more than taking on some shaved, fake tanned and polished punters with matching bike and kit including socks, helmet and gloves, with their bike worth more than a third world nations food bill; Having them look at my mismatched kit and my hairy legs as they catch up to me from behind and they wear a look of contempt as they pass me, thinking that a ride in the hills is a quasi race and they are going to win a jersey by passing this old guy. After sitting on their wheel watching them put on the speed until they finally blow themselves up and I cruise on by. That look of contempt is gone from their faces and it is replaced by the truth. Some ugly, hairy,old bastard just left them on the hill. Sorry about the ego blow mate go and shave your legs.

  • paper boy

    Adrian you are on the money mate. If there was any advantage at all they would have been shaving race horses and grey hounds bald as a Brazilian bikini line a long time ago.
    There is nothing I enjoy more than taking on some shaved, fake tanned and polished punters with matching bike and kit including socks, helmet and gloves, with their bike worth more than a third world nations food bill; Having them look at my mismatched kit and my hairy legs as they catch up to me from behind and they wear a look of contempt as they pass me, thinking that a ride in the hills is a quasi race and they are going to win a jersey by passing this old guy. After sitting on their wheel watching them put on the speed until they finally blow themselves up and I cruise on by. That look of contempt is gone from their faces and it is replaced by the truth. Some ugly, hairy,old bastard just left them on the hill. Sorry about the ego blow mate go and shave your legs.

  • Ben

    correct…. the only real reason to shave!!!

  • Ben

    far out that looks painful…. I’ll stick to shaving!!!!

  • hks

    There is a good video here with PROs opinions, but somehow I can’t see it. The audio is there though http://media.theage.com.au/tour-shaving-secrets-revealed-1061901.html

  • Anonymous

    now thats spookily familiar…..

  • Anonymous

    If you have shaved legs it’s much easier to pick up lesbians

  • Micyle

    And then perhaps you can do something funky like grow a (handlebar) moustache on your thigh or calf – but just for Movember, otherwise it would be stupid!

  • Anonymous

    Loving all the comments on this.
    It took me about 6 months after starting cycling to really understand and appreciate men with shaved legs. Now even my non-cycling girlfriends are beginning to understand. Although it really only works if the rest of the kit and body matches the gun show.

    What I don’t understand is the claim of ‘leg swelling’ post-shave. I’ve never experienced this….

  • Brian

    I’ve never had leg swelling either… makes me wonder what on earth you all are doing when you shave your legs…

  • Brian

    I’ve never had leg swelling either… makes me wonder what on earth you all are doing when you shave your legs…

  • http://www.BrandWorld.com.au/ Priestie

    Leave the eyebrows (contrary to what Peter Garrett may think), … do the rest down.

  • http://www.BrandWorld.com.au/ Priestie
  • George Hayduke

    Hair clippers: One time buy that works for my head and legs. Using no guard, it basically gives the same results faster and without irritation. Shaving sucks big time and takes for ever, buzz it down to >1/16th in. and thank me later.

  • Brian
  • Greg

    “…my beauty therapist”

    Do you know how I know you’re gay?

  • Greg

    “…my beauty therapist”

    Do you know how I know you’re gay?

  • Anth73

    Every 5 to 6 weeks I get them waxed. The hair is getting noticeably thinner and it’s under a year since I started. Even my beautician was amazed at how quickly I’m thinning out!

  • Anth73

    Thankfully top of feet isn;t a problem for me. Toes…sometimes but usually only in summer. How far up? I’ll leave that to your imagination! :) It’s always (at least) a full leg wax. I ain’t wearing chewbacca shorts for nobody!

  • Sam

    20yrs of shaving and trying all the other methods, wax / epilator etc, I am down with the clipers too. No need to change over for the shave down of the hairy shots then too

  • http://www.cyclingTipsBlog.com cyclingTips

    I’m not sure if it happens to everyone (evidently not), but if you let your hair grow back and then shave it all off again your legs will get a bit of swelling. Not sure what it’s from…

  • http://www.cyclingTipsBlog.com cyclingTips

    I’m not sure if it happens to everyone (evidently not), but if you let your hair grow back and then shave it all off again your legs will get a bit of swelling. Not sure what it’s from…

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.faber Greg Faber

    Hairy legs bulging out past the lycra looks horrible. That is the real reason you should shave. Also, (I haven’t read any of the other comments) but depilating creams work pretty well, but they smell like ammonia. I’m not a very hairy person, but I wonder, do people shave their arms?

  • Marcus

    Your bike manufacturer should be able to do it without requiring a re-paint. And the way they will probably do it is by putting your seatpost in a vice and then using the leverage of moving the frame.

    It will total your seatpost, but the frame should be ok. And if that doesn’t work, they can saw off the post, then saw a wedge out and attack it that way.

    Recommend you leave the room when this is being done – it can be a distressing experience!

    If it is a Paconi, can I ask whether it is a steel frame and a carbon post? They stick together nicely…

  • Slhaydon

    it steel frame with ali post. spoke to kevin at paconi today who is suggesting heating frame to remove involving a repaint!! a VERY expensive exercise for 5mm – i wouldnt even pay best part of $500 for 5mm on my manhood let alone a seat post. ratrher look at buying a new bike : ) – any excuse.

  • http://twitter.com/stephenhodgeaus Stephen Hodge

    Hey Wade, I had to ring Michael Wilson after your comment at the end of the piece on shaving, he says while he may have come to some early season races with a week or two of growth on his legs, they were always shaved!! I reckon Sean Yates was ‘havin’ a laff’ if he told you that!! He is a legend though. Michael was at the end of a long day tending to his vines on the Tamar outside Launceston when I rang. Check out Velo Wines. Re why do you shave, I may have a reverse status symbol now (hairy legs that still go OK and are unique among the young guns around me on the Saturday Gallop), but I can say in response to Sean Eadie’s comments related above, my wife was a bit sad when I stopped shaving my legs after my last race, the 96 Warnambool! So yes, they are sexier!! I only ever used a razor too, but a lot of guys waxed – I am not that brave! Cheers

  • Guest

    Taking this a little further – I’ve lost a bit of skin on the road over the years. Last time, I went to the Dr to get the wound cleaned and dressed. No sticky bandages this time – a clear film called OPSITE (there are a few different kinds). It doesn’t allow a scab to form, heals with minimal scarring. Very comfortable under clothes and when riding and when removing to re-dress every few days.

    Still going to lose some skin, shaved or not shaved, but if to comes to this, make sure you’ve got a good dressing.

    I’m just surprised that there isn’t a team sponsored by them yet (that I know of) (http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2011/02/how-to-get-a-cycling-sponsorship/)

  • http://www.cyclingTipsBlog.com cyclingTips

    Hey Stephen,

    Ha! Too funny. I need to protect my dodgy sources, but I thought I’d qualify my statement about Michael with the “legend has it…”.

    I’d love to do a “where are they now” post about Michael Wilson. I’ve heard much about him. As well as you!

  • http://twitter.com/stephenhodgeaus Stephen Hodge

    Michael is a great subject for ‘where are they now?’. He was always a quiet achiever and an incredibly talented bike rider in the era when there were only a few Aussies riding in Europe. Also, he rode principally in Italy as a pro which was also a bit less visible to Australian cycling fans who only saw the classics and the Tour in that period. He loves wine and has pursued a long career in it winemaking since before he retired. I will send a photo or two to you and his contacts for you to follow up directly.

  • Faustas

    Question? What gives more pleasure than overtaking a fully kitted rider on a 9% ascent whose steed costs more than three times yours, whose age is less than half yours, and, whose glistening, shaven and taned legs would be the envy of any euro pro?

    Answer: Overtaking the same rider with your own hairy legs .

  • crothenb

    Yes OPSITE works on smaller grazes and ones that arn’t losing too much fluid but I used a product thats been mentioned on here before and found it to be great for larger wounds. Goes under various name like MEFIX, HYPERFIX etc. The wound I got from the spill mentioned above weaped heavily for days and was agony to live with, once I dressed it with the above every thing was sweet, I could shower, wear normal clothing, sleep etc.

  • SupermanSam

    We’re on the same wavelength Stephen, Wade and I were talking about it the other day and I mentioned how it’s funny he’s got a Wikipedia page on him (obviously a fan has written) but it’s in Italian. I’ll send you something shortly to arrange an intro if that’s allright.
    Jamie

  • SupermanSam

    Bike fit, definitely.

    Highly recommend the place I got mine but I’ve already given them too much money they don’t need the extra free advertising.

    Do it with the right guys and you’ll get the clips and a full technical report to take home too. Skinny does a great job.

  • http://www.BrandWorld.com.au/ Priestie

    Do tell …

  • http://www.BrandWorld.com.au/ Priestie

    Do tell …

  • http://www.BrandWorld.com.au/ Priestie

    Do tell …

  • JC

    Yo Faustas, I was probably doing base kms at the time :D

  • SupermanSam

    Yeh, with ya JC, I was on a recovery ride mate…in the middle of a big training block.

  • SupermanSam

    I’ll leave it to the next CT post by Wade…you’ll be able to guess who it was when I tell you the fitting guys trained on the same model as used on Spartacus.

    Originally I had the bike fit when I bought in another store. No disrespect to the other guys (they’re a good store and good guys), but anyone paying decent $ for a bike should be talked into a proper fit (ie. more than the 10 mins they gave me). This fit took 2+ hours (maybe it was because I’m such a hubbard).

    My only tip is to not get excited with the credit card, I walked out $1,200 lighter in the pocket despite knowing full well it’s a great up-sell opportunity for them. New Speedplays, new white princesses, new saddle, admittedly at a discount but still above what I’d pay on wiggle etc. Despite the fact I had been told I’d be at least buying a new saddle after they give you the spiel about the old one impacting on your reproductive abilities…

    Saddle height reduced by 9mm, drops reduced by 7mm. Feel heaps more powerful (admittedly off a very very low base), and no shifiting back and forth on the saddle, soreness on long rides etc.

  • http://www.BrandWorld.com.au/ Priestie

    Aye gotcha, was actually thinking of going for that style of fit, seem to be a few retailers training up on it ~ Saddle height dropped by 9mm, wowza!

  • SupermanSam

    Yeh, dum I know but was set up that way when I bought the bike. I was thinking the stretch down to my drops was because I have zero flexibility. Don’t know much about the car industry, but am thinking bikes will follow that and the operators will make more out of servicing etc. than they do the new car (bike). $120 an hour or something for a fit is pretty good going for a LBS.

  • http://www.cyclingTipsBlog.com cyclingTips

    How on earth did this get off on the tangent of bike fit?

    Anyway, I’ll be posting something on bike fit next week…We can continue this conversation then.

  • CAAD9_Dan

    I’ve resorted to using the good old straight razor, no more hair clogging the razor, less likely of ingrown hairs too (no multiple blade marketing rubbish here!) A few passes on the strop and away we go. shaving feels much better too, just be careful not to cut something you need :D

  • Slhaydon

    apologies Wade, my fault. Lets talk razors and moisturiser again indeed ; )

  • Andy

    I have only ever waxed. Cannot believe there is any question on what is better etc. The more you wax, the less you have to. The more you shave the more you have to.

  • Scroggin

    Shaving my face daily is a chore enough. Shaving legs is pointless. Nothing against those of you that do it though. Maybe it’s my MTB roots.

    I don’t care what’s ‘pro’, I just love to ride. The best thing about not shaving is the look on roadies you pass up a hill that do shave :P

  • Ron

    Yup, I am annoyed enough having to shave my face every few days. Can’t be bothered to shave my legs. I’m all for looking PRO, but just can’t bring myself to start shaving my legs. But, I’m also not very hairy and it’s fair. Doesn’t look too bad.

    If I hit Cat 2 I’ll start though;)

  • http://twitter.com/StevieDexter Stevie Dexter Wynn

    Having spent the last 3 days decorating… I can say with experience it is MUCH MUCH easier to clean gloss paint from shaved legs than the hairy flavour!

  • Dave

    You shave your legs because you are queers. The excuses you come up with are just a cover for this. Simple.

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  • Wickedscholar

    I stopped shaving my legs years ago because it was a big waste of time that doesn’t serve any useful purpose. One positive side effect is that posers look down on me because I look like a hairy wannabe, that is, until I blow by them and they don’t have a chance in hell of ever catching me. I love being the inconspicuous sleeper in the group ride.

  • LoveMyHairyLeggedMan

    Shaved legs just don’t seem very masculine to me, and my biker husband knows it and keeps the hair.  At the pool yesterday I was laying out next to his shaved-leg biker friend and it was just, as always, weird.  It’s been a few years since some of his biker/tri  friends started shaving and still I can’t get used to these guys going all girlie on me for vanity’s sake.  Then again, I like a more rugged guy.  :-)  

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  • Guest

    never waxed,shaved all my legs.Did the IPL and loved it.Legs look great and tanned.Actually shaved from the nose to my feet.Love going nude to show myself off and the girls love looking.I let them feel my legs.Yes it excites me but I love them doing it.They only tell me my legs look great.

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