‘Some of us shave our legs’ is the line in our recent #OddOnes TV ad which lists the interesting quirks found in cyclists, and the shaving of male legs never fails to drum up conversation.
Of course, for many (Not all! I’ve seen some hairy legged girls on bikes in my time) female cyclists, shaving our legs has little to do with cycling and everything to do with normal routine – but for our male colleagues on the road, it seems to be a bit of a scary topic. We love Nick Hussey’s account in Shave Legged Freaks..
But look – Sir Chris Hoy does it, so it has to be cool:
Firstly – why do road cyclists shave their legs?
Aerodynamics is often given as the reason. Specialized showed us here that this is a very valid reason.
Other reasons for road cyclists needing shaved legs are that in the unfortunate event of a crash, tending to wounds on smooth skin is a lot easier and more hygienic.
In addition, a sports massage is easier to administer and thus more effective if the legs are smooth, as opposed to resembling a grizzly bear. Even if you don’t get a regular sports massage, giving your own legs a rub down after a long or tough ride will certainly keep them fresher.
Finally – it’s just what road cyclists DO once they reach a certain level of cycling expertise, otherwise known as #OddnessRating.
Of course, it’s a completely personal choice, and we’re certainly not suggesting that all road cyclists should shave their legs, only that some choose to. If you’re thinking of joining them, we’re here to help..
Our top tips for de-fuzzing your legs
1) If you haven’t shaved your legs since the end of last summer (or ever), and they’re now very “bushy”, we’d recommend starting off with hair removal cream. The reason being that very hairy legs are harder to shave, because the excess locks will clog up your razor every half-a-stroke. ‘Veet’ is the market leader in hair removal cream, but make sure you run a test area as suggested in the instructions before using it all over – in case you have an allergic reaction.
Hair removal cream is easy to use:
a) Step 1 is to open ALL THE WINDOWS because it smells really bad.
b) Smother it on evenly, wait as recommended on the packaging
c) Clear a small area to check it’s loosened all the hair (wait a couple of minutes if not, but never exceed recommendations)
d) Swipe it all off. This stage gets messy, so be ready with a bath full of hot water or a shower to remove remnants.
2) Use the right tools for the job. If you’re going for the good old razor, make sure it’s new, sharp, and clean – it will work better.
3) More advice on the tools. Use shaving foam or cream, ideally one that claims to be moisturising and contains a caring agent, such as Aloe Vera, this will reduce the likelihood of a rash. Especially for this purpose, we stock dznutz Bald Super Smooth Shave Cream.
4) It’s best to shave after a nice hot bath. You don’t have to jump in with a rubber ducky, a glass of wine of scented candles – and a soak in some hot water will soften up hair follicles, ready for the treatment ahead.
5) Always shave from your foot upwards – just as in sports massage, you work towards the heart. Where to stop shaving is a popular question among male cyclists – as explained in this Vulpine Blog Shave Legged Freaks. It’s totally up to you. The general population (probably) won’t know what’s going on once your shorts stop, so if you’re really not sure, and have a significant other, perhaps ask them their preference. Failing that, just stop somewhere that seems sensible (shaving your bum as Nick Hussey explains in the blog, is perhaps too far).
6) Moisturise afterwards. It’s not girly, and it will reduce the likelihood of a rash that makes you look like you’ve got an oncoming case of chicken pox.
There you go, the simple guide to joining the #OddOnes leg shaved clan.
Have you got any more suggestions?