I shave my legs because I’m that much of a cyclist. My story in that regard is funny, really. I am a product of too many noob cycling enthusiasts reading way too much into “The Rules”. Once I shaved them the first time, my wife liked it and asked me not to grow the hair back after a hunting trip. I’ve had glistening guns since.
Until Specialized built their own wind tunnel and tested shaved legs for aerodynamics, we amateurs were a bit hit for excuses. Now, having been proven, aerodynamics is a fair reason, but that’s not really the “why”.
The real reason we amateurs shave our legs… here, come a little closer so I can whisper… is because it makes the guns look awesome.
Sure, go on about your massages and your road rash survival prep, sell that stuff to the gullible.
It makes the guns look awesome. The fact that shaving will give you a few seconds per mile of free speed is great, but it ain’t awesome.
That’s not the end of the story, or the post for that matter, because I’ve gone the extra mile for you, my dear reader. I’ve taken that theme and I ran with it, just so I could write this post about my results…
This is a delicate subject, so I’ll treat it like a bull would treat a china shop, if said bull didn’t miss every single shelf in the place. Ahem. Here’s the big nasty…
Um, let’s just put it this way; it ain’t the movement that chafes a cyclist, it’s the hair. The more you have, the more you will chafe, with one exception – and only guys have two (sorry, Lance)… Usually two, ahem.
Now, I’ve tried every option I can think of except a full Brazilian (is it called something else when a guy does it? I’m too old, and not crazy enough to Google it – some $#!+ you can’t wipe out of the browser history unless you’re Hillary). I’ve failed to go all the way because… no. I just can’t do it, man. I did go almost that far, just to see what would happen.
Anyway, here’s the unabashed truth: Boys, leave the boys alone. Going that far isn’t worth the trouble. Keep everything tidy and trimmed, yes, but a full shave of anything dangly is unnecessary and, um, well there are issues when hair grows back. If you start down that road, you’ll chafe twice as bad on a 5 o’clock shadow, if you know what I mean.
Look at me, brah; bloody bad. The key here is to use a trimmer with a guard – and be careful. One wrong move and you won’t be worrying about chafing.
Next, everything in the sensitive zone should be tidy and short as you (and your spouse) can stand it . With long, curlies, comes chafing. On the inside of the legs, I go all the way up until I run out of leg. Since I’ve been doing this I haven’t had a saddle sore worthy of thinking about time off the bike. I shave the guns daily and trim every two weeks (and before century rides for good measure). This assures no burning sensation upon entering the shower.
Because dammit that hurts!
Anyway, one remarkable thing about this TMI post, I don’t use saddle cream. I don’t need it. 160 miles in two days? No problem. 385 in four? No worries at all.
The key is daily shaving of the legs, till you run out of leg, and proper tidying up of the forest… there shouldn’t be one, in other words. Maybe some weeds or cat tails. No forest.
As long as I’m careful and diligent, I am, without question, happier with legs slick enough my sister is jealous. No. Seriously. She is.
Besides, it’s faster, and better for massages (even if I don’t get them). Oh, and road rash. That too.
The guns look awesome. Outside of that, there really isn’t a good reason for an enthusiast to bother shaving. U less you, like so many others, put too much stock in the rules. Well, that and everyone else is doing it. Chuckle.