Shaved Body Hair

rasajadad

Hall of Fame
It seems that this has become the norm on the men's tour. (I guess on the women's, too.) What's the rationale other than aesthetic? Do they shave, wax, what???
 

OrangeOne

Legend
Other than aesthetic, the main reason to remove hair is to make massage much more comfortable. As sports science progresses, one of the things that has been learnt is that regular massage is a key factor in aiding recovery and preventing injury. Massage is much more comfortable in the absence of body hair - this is the main reason cyclists shave down and I assume the main (non-aesthetic) reason tennis players are following.

As to method: I'm sure each would have their own preferred method....
 

courtrage

Semi-Pro
i never go hairless but a buddy of mine use to do that when he was younger. you can just brush the sweat off your skin if you dont have hair. i swear i felt cooler when i shortened my hair in the past but i have no way of really knowing for sure if shortening my body hair did anything or not...
 

zhan

Banned
OrangeOne said:
Other than aesthetic, the main reason to remove hair is to make massage much more comfortable. As sports science progresses, one of the things that has been learnt is that regular massage is a key factor in aiding recovery and preventing injury. Massage is much more comfortable in the absence of body hair - this is the main reason cyclists shave down and I assume the main (non-aesthetic) reason tennis players are following.

As to method: I'm sure each would have their own preferred method....
i think cyclists shave is cuz of aerodynamics...
like swimmers shave down everything to improve aero(in water its still aero?)...
...
tennis players shave i think its cuz they dont want to look like hairy monkeys...
cuz pete sampras with his monkey chest and arms was nasty >.<
 

kv581

Semi-Pro
zhan said:
i think cyclists shave is cuz of aerodynamics...
like swimmers shave down everything to improve aero(in water its still aero?)...
...
tennis players shave i think its cuz they dont want to look like hairy monkeys...
cuz pete sampras with his monkey chest and arms was nasty >.<
Why would cyclists need to shave if they are covered head to toe with that outfit? How would shaving improve aerodynamics?
 

zhan

Banned
kv581 said:
Why would cyclists need to shave if they are covered head to toe with that outfit? How would shaving improve aerodynamics?
well think...
if the body was smooth then u would have less air resistance
now
if body has many hair and ur cutting through air at speed then it would cause air resistance...
...
thats my take...
 

OrangeOne

Legend
zhan said:
i think cyclists shave is cuz of aerodynamics...
like swimmers shave down everything to improve aero(in water its still aero?)...
...
tennis players shave i think its cuz they dont want to look like hairy monkeys...
cuz pete sampras with his monkey chest and arms was nasty >.<
I don't know why I'm replying to this again, but I am...

As I said before, the *main* reason professional cyclists shave is so that massage is more comfortable, it's the main reason by a long long way. You can watch the tour-de-France documentary "hell on wheels", which actually talks to a tour rider while he is shaving, and he quotes this very fact. The main reason most amateurs shave....is because the pros do!

For elite professionals, there may be very small aerodynamic benefits in certain disciplines. There are also aesthetic benefits (it just looks better - smooth skin with smooth lycra clothing). Some will also tell you that it's easier / more hygenic to clean up after a crash too, but this issue is debateable.

Why would cyclists need to shave if they are covered head to toe with that outfit? How would shaving improve aerodynamics?
It's rare for cyclists to wear a full skin-suit, only in a few certain disciplines on the track, or perhaps in extreme cold / rain. Most cycling is done wearing only knicks (cycling shorts) and a jersey (cycling shirt). Note that this doesn't change the main reasons above.
 

jasonbourne

Professional
OrangeOne said:
I don't know why I'm replying to this again, but I am...

As I said before, the *main* reason professional cyclists shave is so that massage is more comfortable, it's the main reason by a long long way. You can watch the tour-de-France documentary "hell on wheels", which actually talks to a tour rider while he is shaving, and he quotes this very fact. The main reason most amateurs shave....is because the pros do!

For elite professionals, there may be very small aerodynamic benefits in certain disciplines. There are also aesthetic benefits (it just looks better - smooth skin with smooth lycra clothing). Some will also tell you that it's easier / more hygenic to clean up after a crash too, but this issue is debateable.



It's rare for cyclists to wear a full skin-suit, only in a few certain disciplines on the track, or perhaps in extreme cold / rain. Most cycling is done wearing only knicks (cycling shorts) and a jersey (cycling shirt). Note that this doesn't change the main reasons above.
Another important reason is to make a potential road rash less painful or alleviate from more pain. Imagine clotted blood from a crash sticking to long hairs on your legs and arms!
 

Nike Man

Rookie
In Lance Armstrong's autobiography he says the reason why cyclists shave is to make getting grit, stones etc. easier to clean out of the skin. Im reading it right now! Doesn't say anything about massaging....
 

rasajadad

Hall of Fame
I guess I can buy the massage argument, but I've never had a massage, so I don't know for sure. Don't you get some kind of lotion or oil rubbed in?

I buy into what Lance Armstrong says about cleaning grit, etc. out of your skin. (Although I don't know if I believe him on the steroids.)

I can also accept the swimmers' excuse too.

BUT- Didn't Sampras get massages? He kind of sticks out as one of the more wooly pros. I mean you got a guy like Bagdatis who doesn't shave his face for a fortnight at Wimby, but in all the pics I see no arm or leg hair!!!

What about other sports? (I kind of remember some of the worls cup matches where they exchanged jerseys at the end, but I wasn't on "fur watch.")
 

jjk20

Rookie
I think for some athletes they shave because they may tape their ankles or something like that. And pulling tape off of hair is not fun at all.
 

i.Radical

Semi-Pro
Um.. Cyclists shave their legs because it's a pain in the ass when they fall and cut their legs.

Also, I don't know about you, but I wasn't begging to see Blake's hairy potbelly so I don't think shaving is a bad thing.
 

OrangeOne

Legend
Nike Man said:
In Lance Armstrong's autobiography he says the reason why cyclists shave is to make getting grit, stones etc. easier to clean out of the skin. Im reading it right now! Doesn't say anything about massaging....
Lance is a god, no question :). And if he said that, then one has to listen to that too.

But... it's that ridiculously painful to get stuff out anyways - i can't think it changes much!. Also, lance would have been one of the least-crashing riders, so.... hmmm.

I think for some athletes they shave because they may tape their ankles or something like that. And pulling tape off of hair is not fun at all.
Another very valid reason right there, good point!...
 

MonkeyPox

Semi-Pro
It seems awfully inconvenient to me to have to shave, what a lot of trouble, especially for the regular Joe. But I see the younger guys at the gym and stuff and they seem to shave, I can't imagine why, but to each his own.
 

MariaS

Semi-Pro
Can you tell the men who shave? Which ones are they? I don't usually pay attention to that. But I will....:-|
 
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