clean or hairy?

wexford

Maximum Pace
Jul 3, 2012
986
599
113
Tokyo
#1
I have pretty hairy legs these days because as a young racer, I used to keep them shaved for cycling. In those days it was supposedly to help you if you crashed - easier to clean the wound and keep it clean so less chance of infection. Easier to take plasters off too without pulling hairs. It was also easier to oil up, apply various creams and massage. Anyway - we all shaved.

I used to just shave to around the short line but then one race I lost the back on a fast damp descent and slid across the road and into the ditch. I'd some quality road burn down my left side. Bike was fine of course and I hopped back up on it quick enough to finish the race, but I later found out that it would have been a lot less horrid if I'd of had less hair for the dried blood to cling to. So finally I'd shave the whole bloody lot.

Of course, there may not be any relation to shaving a lot when I was younger and getting more hair otherwise Bruce Willis would probably be growing hair again too :eek:

I presume there should be very little that has changed in this regard but I thought I'd shoot the question out there. I currently don't plan on shaving my legs when I get back out there until it turns serious but then again I always thought the guys with the big hairy legs were funny looking. So what are the local amateurs doing these days?

Tom.
 
Apr 3, 2012
401
98
48
Tama Center <-> Otemachi
#2
Hairy.

Rule #33 // Shave your guns.
Legs are to be carefully shaved at all times. If, for some reason, your legs are to be left hairy, make sure you can dish out plenty of hurt to shaved riders, or be considered a hippie douche on your way to a Critical Mass. Whether you use a straight razor or a Bowie knife, use Baxter to keep them smooth.

Inspires me to try to go faster. (I'm not very fast.)
 
May 22, 2007
3,571
1,390
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#3
I have pretty hairy legs these days because as a young racer, I used to keep them shaved for cycling.
In fact you have hairier legs because you're getting older. Shaving does not make the shaved hair grow back thicker or more dense.

Get used to it if you are planning on continuing to get older.

And although it's tempting to believe, gravity does not explain the apparent male migration of hair from top of head to other, previously unforested body parts.

I say: shave if you like the feel of your silky-smooth skin as you pull your pantyhose on.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#4
When you been manually depilated by a soigner with a passion for torture, you learn pretty quick. Funny thing, is, I see very few, if any racers in Japan actually practicing the age old art of 'massage' before a race. So why do they do it? I have no clue. Maybe it's just following the pack, or purchasing Lousi Vuitton because that's what they're supposed to do. Check your cabinet and make this simple test:

1) Do you have a jar of embrocation for every season that is used regularly?
2) Do you have a bottle of natural oil that is not in the cooking cabinet?
3) Do you know what an ITB release is?

If you answered YES to 3/3 - then shave them guns. If not, then don't bother.
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#6
Shave! More than anything else, I do it as a sign of my dedication and love for cycling. It's symbolic; an identifier; a rite.

And it helps the fishnet thigh-highs slide on nice and smooth.

Deej
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#11
Funny thing, is, I see very few, if any racers in Japan actually practicing the age old art of 'massage' before a race. So why do they do it? I have no clue.
But aren't there practical reasons for shaving other than to facilitate a smooth massage and to make the legs more embro friendly? Aside from the aesthetic and symbolic considerations, I shave because:

-- It makes me feel sleek. Sleek makes me feel faster. And that feels good. :)

-- It's easier to wipe off grime during/after a ride. This comes in handy if I'm riding a train home, as I can easily wipe off the mud, dirt and other gunk and therefore be less monstrous to others. Still working on the smell, though...

-- It makes it less painful to remove bandages should you need them. I have definitely benefited from this. A few times.

-- It may help with post-ride self-massages. After a ride, I'll usually give my legs a rubdown in the shower, and having smooth legs probably helps the "glide factor."

But at the end of the day, I'll happily admit that I do it because it gives me that PRO feeling. :)
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#12
When you been manually depilated by a soigner with a passion for torture, you learn pretty quick. Funny thing, is, I see very few, if any racers in Japan actually practicing the age old art of 'massage' before a race. So why do they do it? I have no clue. Maybe it's just following the pack, or purchasing Lousi Vuitton because that's what they're supposed to do. .
Hmmm so you've come to this conclusion from attending all those fun races have you - carefull people Tim will be on the rounds of the local camp sites and Ryokans making sure you have the full on pro tour pre and post race massage session going on.

Now if you were to attend JBCF or even JCRC events many of riders are oiled up and ready to roll - you'll spot the occasional rider with strapping tape and so on - these guys take it serious. Fun rides however, well this brings us back to your comments about requiring UCI approved kit to attend them in another thread.


Actually Deej you've hit it on the head - the whole history of shaving was exactly that it was thought that as you were more streamlined you were faster - and in fact there is a micro gain between shaved and unshaved.

But most importantly is mental gains - you feel faster therefore you go faster - it’s a bit like NKS or NBS (New kit Syndrome /New Bike Syndrome) where you post a better time on a segment because the sensations seem better when in actual fact its normally just a physiological gain.
 

macuco

Cruising
Jun 7, 2012
26
0
11
Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
#13
ok, ok, but when you go to a non cycling environment, eg. an onsen or sentou (public bath), or taking a shower at the gym, etc, naked + shaved, don't you feel a bit ashamed of? or you still feel like a super macho man instead? i used to compete on MTB enduro and cross country competitions back in Brazil, so i had to shave both arms and legs too. Fell off on trails many times, but with no hair on legs and arms, even a deep cut or a bleeding scratch on the skin dried and healed faster, perhaps hair keep skin more humid and difficult to dry and heal. Now when i see some scars on my legs, i remember the good old times during the enduro trails. Also i played soccer with my dudes back in Brazil, and after the game, taking a shower at the club like a born baby was not an easy job, bit ashaming, had to hear lots of not so funny jokes, even from strangers.
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#14
ok, ok, but when you go to a non cycling environment, eg. an onsen or sentou (public bath), or taking a shower at the gym, etc, naked + shaved, don't you feel a bit ashamed of? or you still feel like a super macho man instead?
I can't say that I've ever felt "super macho," with or without hair, but I've got enough confidence to not care what others may think of the lack of hair on my legs. In fact, I've grown so accustomed to the smooth look that hairy legs actually look slightly grotesque to me now. Weird, I know.

Getting back to the idea of shaved legs being an identifier -- in my case, of a serious cyclist -- I wear my smoothness with pride. :)
 

macuco

Cruising
Jun 7, 2012
26
0
11
Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
#20
I don't bother too what others think about that, at least there are no lame jokes in Japan, people are more civilized than in Brazil. Back then, my colleagues recommended me to shave legs and arms in order to better visualize any injuries in case of accidents during mtb trails, falls or snake bites when you have to carry the bike to climb some hills on the forest. I think its easier to visualize the injury, cut, scratch, bites, hematoma after a strong hit when there's no hair in the skin. Also easier for medical treatment, wash the injury from dirt or dust, etc, and patch a band aid kit. I personally don't focus as an esthetic point of view, but as a medical prevention in case of accident.