Here’s the reason the pros shave their legs. But why do you shave yours? Or why don’t you? Join the discussion!
You’ve probably been asked countless times before, why do cyclists shave their legs? Here’s the real reason. Before you tell us that we’re preaching to the converted, let us remind you that you probably don’t have too many good reasons to give when someone asks you why, as a male, you shave your legs. Females can stop reading now, or just stick with us for some essential cycling education.
Here’s the reason the pros shave their legs:
Many hours of riding each day needs to be followed by a massage to help the leg muscles recover. Massage helps get rid of toxins, reduces the chances of minor muscle tears developing into major muscle tears and helps alert the masseuse to any potential injuries or to determine whether or not the cyclist has recovered sufficiently from his or her last hard training session or race.
How does hair removal fit in? Well, massaging hairless legs is far easier than rubbing hairy legs (think hundreds of tiny follicle knots). And since they get a leg massage at least six times a week, it makes sense for pro cyclists to shave.
Another fairly good reason for the pros to shave is that hair carries lots of minute particles of dirt, which can infect wounds and delay their healing time. By shaving, the pros ensure their roasties heal quicker. A bonus is that plaster sticks better to skin when there is no hair… Of course this usually begs the question: why then do cyclists not shave their arms too? And what a good question it is.
And here’s why the rest of us shave our legs:
We’ve chosen a sport that’s pretty geeky if you think about it. Only cyclists think the cycling look is cool. Wearing tight, bright Lycra, helmets, shiny, stiff-soled shoes and oversized eyewear is bound to create a sense of community among those who don this attire – birds of a feather and stuff. Since the pros are the pinnacle of our community, we look up to them and mimic them in many, many ways, including removing the hair from our legs. Much like Red Indians used to apply war paint before going to battle, so we make time to remove our leg hair. Many of us make hair removal a weekly ritual, usually just before a weekend race. And often, once a cyclist feels he’s reached a certain level of ability or fitness, he takes the next big step and begins to shave his legs, confirming his commitment to his chosen sport and/or form of exercise.
Of course for the genetically fortunate, a few months of regular cycling starts to develop some pretty impressive sculpting of the leg muscles, which tend to be more noticeable when they’re hairless and tanned. The funny thing about leg hair, is that there doesn’t seem to be any good reason for its presence. Of course this played right into the hands of Gillette and Co, who make a fortune from women – and male cyclists – who remove it regularly mainly because (fill in your own reasons in the comments section below)…
Vote in our poll: Do you shave your legs?