Why do cyclists shave their legs?

Big Jim recently posted on Fit Recovery about leg shaving for road cyclists. In the Northern Hemisphere they’re coming out of a long winter and into the warmer weather road season. Drains are being clogged all over the top half of the globe as summer approaches and road cyclists break out the razor for the first time in months. *

But why? Just why do amateur road cyclists shave their legs?

If you ask, many roadies will say its for road rash care, better massages, and of course the “aero gains” from the smoother surface (okay, aero gains are technically proven and Jim covers that in his post so I won’t go into that here). But are any of those the real reason?

Related: How much faster is an aero bike?

For me, there are only two real reasons I shave my legs.

1) It looks damn good. Simple as that. Yes, it’s vain. No, I don’t care. A set of hairy unkempt legs in the bunch just doesn’t look right. I take the time to carefully match my kit, make sure it fits perfectly and take utmost pride in my bike maintenance. Shaved legs are merely an extension of this. Smooth, tanned guns with well-defined calves punishing the pedals, it’s the mark of a seasoned road cyclist. It shows you mean business.

2) Psychological. The mental determination and motivation side of road cycling is not to be overlooked. Half the battle is inside your own head. Freshly shaved legs give a mental boost that’s not measurable, but 100% real. That ritual of preparing your bike and body the night before a big ride is all part of the experience. Knowing that your guns are silky smooth and cutting through the wind like fighter jets is definitely worth a few watts!

So get the razor out fellas (and femmes). The road is calling and it wants those legs kept super smooth.

* Not just summer. Keep those legs shaved ALL YEAR ROUND! Standards, people… 😂

5 Comments Add yours

  1. ericritter65 says:

    I used to shave ’em, but now, not so more, I really don’t see any advantage.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. bgddyjim says:

    Right there with you, brother. Spot on.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. magicmoir says:

    It is all looks isn’t it? The aero advantage is just an added bonus. I’m from a mountain bike background, and have never been tempted to shave at all. I’ve shared a photo on my blog recently of me holding the bars and my hairy arms look more unsightly than my legs. I’ve never heard of it, but do people shave their arms too?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think some riders do, or at least give it a clip if they’ve got particularly hairy arms. I don’t have that “issue” though. For us amateurs, it’s totally all about the look!

      Liked by 1 person

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