Like many sports that originated in Europe, cycling is not very popular with Americans. The activity, like soccer and cricket, are seen as easier and less masculine sports than activities like baseball and football. But anyone who’s seen the Tour de France for themselves know this is far from the fact. The truth is that professional cycling is one of the hardest endurance sports and requires a certain individual to reach the competitive level. However, the reality that most pro cyclists shave their legs and arms doesn’t lend any credence to the debate. As a new spectator of this sport, I’ve begun to question the legitimate need for these athletes to shave their legs. Or perhaps more relevantly, I wonder if pros are doing it should recreational cyclist also? To answer that question, let’s look at some of the claimed advantages of shaving one’s extremities. Wounds The main reason cyclists shave is its benefits in the healing process of road rash, a patch of skin taken off from a crash. When there’s no hair on your legs, it’s noticeably easier to clean the wound. Also, there is little possibility of hair getting trapped in the wound as it dries. Tape Having a smooth surface allows for easier application of Kinesio Tex Tape, or elastic therapeutic tape, which helps treat injuries. Aerodynamics While shaving your legs does reduce the amount of body drag, the gain is so small as to be almost nonexistent. With the advent of skinsuits that actually produce less drag than human skin, the only advantage here is physiological. Thinking you’re just a little bit faster than your opponent can have a significant impact on where you finish. Massage Shaved legs make it easier for masseurs to glide over the muscles, especially when the deeper muscles get worked on. (You don’t want hair to get ripped out during what is supposed to be a pleasant experience.) Do you shave your legs? Leave a response below.