Why Do Cyclists Shave Their Legs?

If you’re a fan of cycling, then perhaps you’ve seen that a ton of professional and amateur bikers tend to shave their legs. They are so diligent with this routine that it’s rare to find even a single strand of hair on their skin.

Is there any scientifically proven reason why do cyclists shave their legs? Even if there is, is it limited to vanity only?

People ask all sorts of questions regarding the benefits of shaving body hair. Of course, cyclists who shave their legs are also found to be shaving their arms.

So, there must be some sort of benefit that is practical. To find out how shaved legs can help you while biking, I decided to delve deeper into this topic. What I’ve found will be shared with you in this article.

I believe that reading this article will help you understand this concept better and will help you choose what you should be doing.

Why Do Cyclists Shave Their Legs?

During my research, I found that there are multiple reasons for cyclists shaving their legs. In the following sections, I’ll go through all of the factors and explain how shaving can affect that specific factor.

Makes Massages More Comfortable

One of the most amazing experiences of riding professionally is the massage that you get after you’re done with the ride. Massages are amazing, but things may get a bit painful if your body hair gets in the way, as it’s not rare for the one providing the massage to tug your body hair while massaging.

Shaving your legs means that the therapist will be able to massage your body more freely, thus allowing you to have a more pleasant experience that doesn’t include occasional tugs on your body hair.

Although this may not sound too convincing for everyone, this is definitely a good reason as to why you should shave your hair as well as your arms. However, even if this isn’t enough to convince you, there are four reasons that you should definitely check out.

Easier to Clean and Treat Wounds When Shaved

Another major reason for hair removal is that hair makes it tougher for you to remove your hair. While cycling, you never know when you’re going to fall and hurt yourself. It doesn’t even have to be a major injury. You’ll need to bandage up yourself even if it’s a minor bruise or cut.

If you have body hair, removing the bandage off of you will become extremely tough. This is because the band-aids stick to our skin with glue. When it’s time to peel them off, they tend to take the body hair along with them.

This not only makes it tougher for you to heal, but it may also damage the wound further, forcing you to recuperate for a longer time than actually necessary.

If it’s a minor injury, then you’ll have some time to shave the surroundings before applying the bandage. However, if it’s a major one, then the bandage will have to be applied as soon as possible, and there won’t be any time to shave or prepare the skin.

This is why it’s highly recommended that you stay shaved so that you’re ready for any situation that befalls you.

Related reading: How To Trim Leg Hair For Cycling?


This is perhaps one of the most important reasons why professional bikers tend to shave their leg hair. When we ride our bikes, we tend to face a ton of aerodynamic resistance that slows us down. Studies suggest that only 25% of this aerodynamic resistance comes from the bike, and our bodies are responsible for the rest of the 75%.

According to the laws of physics, the smoother a surface is, the lesser the resistance of that surface will be. Now, if you have body hair, your body naturally becomes coarse, which leads to higher resistance. On the other hand, a shaved body is very smooth, thus leading to lesser aerodynamic resistance.

The lower the resistance on your body, the faster you’ll be able to drive. So, in other words, shaving your legs can help you ride your bike faster!

This isn’t the only speculation of course. Through scientific research, it was found that a biker with shaved legs can save up to 19 seconds on a 25-mile trip. Yes, although this may sound like a diminishing return, this small change is enough to decide whether you’ll emerge as the victor or not.

So, a lot of professionals actually shave their legs for the minor speed boost it offers.

Related reading: Best Electric Shaver For Cyclist 


Another important factor is cooling. While riding a bike, you’ll definitely sweat a lot. Sweating is necessary as it can keep our bodies cool even when we’re facing adversaries. However, if that sweat fails to evaporate, things can get much worse for our bodies.

This is where body hair tends to make things worse. Generally, hair tends to hold water on the surface of your skin. So, if you have body hair, it’ll be tougher for the sweat to evaporate from your skin. This will cause the sweat to accumulate on your skin, which in turn will prevent the glands on your skin to sweat further, thus keeping your body from cooling itself.

So, another reason why bikers tend to shave their legs is that it helps the sweat on their skin evaporate easily while riding, thus allowing them to cool off easily.


Although not the most practical or important of the reasons, vanity is still one of the reasons why bikers tend to shave their legs. Body hair can make your body look hazy, and that will ruin the tight calves you’ve been waiting to show off! So, if you want the whole world to see the fruit of your hard work, you should definitely shave your legs!


Another major reason behind bikers shaving their legs is that it’s like a rite of passage. If you join any group of bicyclists, you’re likely to find that most of them shave their legs regularly, and if you don’t, they’re going to make sure you do. In fact, most bikers spot other serious bikers by judging if they have body hair or not. If you do, you’re not that serious about cycling, and probably not worth their time.

So, if you’re a good biker but feeling left out from your buddies, try shaving your legs for a change?

Related reading: How To Carry Desktop On A Bike? 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does shaving your legs make you cycle faster?

No, shaving your legs does not make you a faster cyclist but there are several other benefits I have explainded above.


These are the major reasons behind bikers shaving their legs. Now that you’re aware of the benefits of shaving legs as a biker, would you be willing to follow this?

If you ask us, we’d definitely recommend doing this. There are tons of benefits that you can receive from doing this apart from making yourself look cooler. Plus, there’s no drawback to this. So, why not?

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