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Does shaving your legs improve your cycling performance?

Why do cyclists shave their legs?

Have you ever noticed the shaved legs of professional cyclists, even male cyclists? In case, you haven’t, give a close look to the legs of any cyclist and you will find their legs having a clean, shaven look. Shaved legs are a quite common phenomenon in the cycling world. It has been in practice for a long time. The question that arises is the reason behind it.


Can shaving really improve your cycling performance?

There is a debate regarding the same. There are some to mention that shaving legs improve the aerodynamics while on the bicycle and you can ride faster. But today, with such tight custom cycle clothing like high speed Lycra skin suits, jerseys and bib shorts with no scope of seams and grippers, it will make a very slight difference.

What the study has to say?

According to a study conducted by Chester Kyle in 1987, it was pointed out that bare leg aid in aerodynamic improvement only 0.6%. This can help you to save only 5 seconds in a 40 kilometre race, cycled at 37kph. Basically, the benefit or advantage of a shaved leg during cycling will also depend on how hairy you are.

Wounds tend to heal faster with shaved legs

Whether you are a serious amateur rider or a professional cyclist, painful road rash will be a part of your life. After you experience a nasty fall, cleaning the wounded area becomes easier when you have a clean, shaven leg. Moreover, the chances of getting infections also lessens and the process of wound healing is also faster. In fact, when the wound dries, and your leg hair gets trapped, it is a very painful experience. It can be avoided with shaved legs.

Shaving the legs has become a part of the tradition among the male cyclists

Shaving the legs has become a part and parcel of the male cyclists. It is a tradition that has been followed for almost more than 100 years. There is no practical reason behind the practice though. Generation after generation professional cyclists are found to be shaving their legs. In fact, it has become the norm to be considered as a serious cyclist if your legs are shaved. When your legs are shaved, you are also accepted into the group.

There is no scientific evidence that proves that shaved legs can dramatically improve your performance. But it does have its own benefits in the very little way it can.

Since it has been a tradition for a long time and male cyclists believe that it actually enhances their performance, the practice remains constant. In case, you are a cyclist and leg hair is visible, you will be left out from the group and no one will actually accept your appearance, even if you are a fantastic cyclist. Moreover, the appeal factor of a diamond cut, cleaned legs cannot be ruled out as well. Men are equally conscious of body shaming and in order to avoid it they do every possible things to appear attractive and appealing.

If you are a cyclist or triathlete, do you shave your legs? Maybe you”re a non shaver let us know why whether you’re for or against?


colinmcneill72 View All

Love life, my family and my bike. I'm blessed because my hobbies and passion for sports (in particular triathlon & cycling) is also my business. We provide clubs, teams and companies with the ultimate custom triathlon, run and cycling clothing.

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