Why Do Cyclists Shave Their Legs?

We all understand why swimmers shave their legs. It allows you to be more hydrodynamic in the water.

The real question is why cyclists shave their legs.

While aerodynamics may play a small part in it, leg hair does not have nearly so much of a slowing effect as it does while you are in the water, so there must be some deeper reasoning.

We will try and debunk the mystery of why cyclists are so keen on shaving their legs over the course of this article. Some of the reasons may surprise you, and some of the reasons may just seem downright obvious.

Regardless, this should be an interesting read for anyone interested in cycling, and who knows, it just might get you to start shaving too.

Performance and Speed

Believe it or not, the main reason behind cyclists shaving their legs is actually because it makes you go faster. The speed increase is also far from negligible which is both impressive and surprising.

Researchers conducted tests with both shaven and unshaven cyclists, and they found that the cyclists with shaved legs ended up going about 5% to 10% faster than those with unshaven legs.

Shaved legs of cyclist

This difference is almost unbelievable, though it does make sense when you consider the aerodynamic implications of shaved legs. Above all else, the reason why you will see professional bike rider with almost exclusively shaved legs is that it give them both a comfort advantage and a performance advantage.


Wearing skin tight nylon and lycra clothing becomes far more annoying when you have a bunch of leg hairs getting caught between the interstices of the fabric. That pinching feeling when you put on your biking pants is entirely due to your leg hair, so it makes sense that professional cyclists would like to be as comfortable as possible over the course of longer races.

Injury Treatment

It also becomes far easier to treat cuts and bruises on your legs when you do not have leg hair getting in the way. As your legs will typically be exposed during longer bike rides, there is always the chance that you will suffer a superficial injury on your legs that may become more painful to treat if you have to pull little bits of leg hair out of the wound.

Easier Leg Massages

Cyclists are one group of athletes who require leg massages far more often than others due to the sheer exertion that they put on their leg muscles.

Having a leg massage with hairy legs is far more painful and annoying than otherwise. This is why so many cyclists just choose to shave the hair off, so they do not have to deal with this issue.

Cyclist leg massage.


The reason why cyclists shave their legs is less of a singular purpose and more of a whole host of reasons combined. You will find that shaving your legs will improve your biking experience considerably.


This post was last updated on September 21st, 2018 at 02:29 pm

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *