A famous cyclist once said, “To shave or not to shave, that is the question.” Well ok, maybe they weren’t famous. Ok, it was me.
Many an article, blog post, forum discussion and YouTube video has been created to discuss this very topic. And lets face it; this one’s all about the blokes as the ladies (unless you live in a hippie commune out the back of Nimbin) tend to shave their legs anyway.
So why would any self respecting alpha male remove his manliness like that? What could possibly be the benefits? And what do the ladies think of it?
Well, after some extensive research (ok Googling) I’ve narrowed it down to the following reasons:
- Cleaning and caring for road rash is simpler, less painful and speeds up healing when there’s no leg hair present to impede the removal of dirt, grime and host bacteria (mmmm yummy)
- Changing bandages is easier; and
- It also allows kinesio tape to stick better
- It makes post-ride massage easier and way less painful (for those of you that can afford a post ride massage or are married to a masseuse)
- Less oil is needed. “You don’t want to feel like an oiled pig.” – 1988 Giro d’Italia winner Andy Hampsten
- It’s nicer for the person giving the massage. Would you want to touch someone else’s hairy legs?
Aerodynamics = Speed
- Less weight
- Less drag
- In wind tunnel tests the Specialized Team determined that you save approximately 70 seconds over a 40km TT – that’s cheaper than upgrading to a $15k Venge to get the same results!
Look and feel
- It looks sexy and lets you show off your diamond-cut calves –
- It takes less time to dry off after a shower
- It makes you feel faster
- It feels good in the sheets the night you do it
- It really just kinda feels good
- It’s traditional and part of the sport
- Everybody else does it
- You can’t be a true Mamil without doing it
The ladies love it!
- Hmmmm ok so the jury is out on this one
- Women’s opinions are split and it really depends on who you’re asking (Mrs Tri Monkey likes it!)
- You may need to do your own research on this one. I suggest the line “hey baby, do you like you man smooth?” (actually I didn’t say this to Mrs TriMonkey, I’m not an idiot).
So are there any downsides I hear you ask?
Well fear not Tri Monkeys, in the interests of ensuring a well-balanced article I would like to also present my top five risks associated with shaving your legs:
Itchiness: Your legs get really itchy so you will need to moisturise (yep I said it – you need to moisturise). Mrs Tri Monkey regarded me with suspicion when she read this. Was I using her expensive, organic, (mixed by remote tribes in Nepal blah blah blah) moisturiser? Ah no. Ok, in truth I know I should moisturise, but I don’t.
Ingrown hairs: There is more chance that you’ll experience ingrown hair follicles – so you’ll need to buy a loofah and scrub well in the shower. Don’t just help yourself to the one in the shower. Your Mrs Tri Monkey may murder you. Not everything is to be shared apparently.
Ongoing maintenance: Once you’ve started you have to keep it up – I suggest a two week turn around otherwise the jungle gets out of control.
Bullying: You will get teased by your uneducated “manly” friends, bored ladies at work and your own children. Actually, when I think about it, you’ll get teased by lots of people so be prepared and remember the benefits I’ve taught you above.
Injuries: As you’re learning how to shave your legs you’ll experience razor cuts and the heightened risk of falling in the shower as you stand on one leg with the other against the shower door trying to get at those tricky places – this also depends on how high you go. Who knew knees and ankles could be so tricky?
Still not deterred? Ready to buy a new pack of razors and embrace the silky smooth fast sensation? AWESOME!
Although I know what you’re thinking now. How far do I go? Ankles? Knees? Boxer shorts? Higher?
My simple response to that is …. higher than length of your boxer shorts and lower than your eyebrows. Take no prisoners I say! How about I get you started on your path to aero with these resources:
Being a MAMIL I’m proud to say that my razors are blunt and my legs are smooth. I may not be the best Triathlete in my age group but when I do something I always commit.
So what do you think? In the interests of research I especially call on all the ladies reading this post to leave a reply and let me your thoughts on shaved legs on men. (Guys, don’t be shy, let me know your thoughts also)
Keep Smiling Tri Monkeys
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