This article is from the Bicycles FAQ, by Mike Iglesias with numerous contributions by others.
How to do it (Garth Somerville firstname.lastname@example.org)
Many riders shave their legs and have no problems other than
a nick or two once in a while. Maybe a duller blade would help.
But some people (like me) need to be more careful to avoid
rashes, infections (which can be serious), or just itchy legs that
drive you to madness. For those people, here is my
leg shaving procedure:
Each time you shave your legs...
1) Wash your legs with soap and water, and a wash cloth. This
removes dirt, oil, and dead skin cells.
2) Use a good blade and a good razor. I prefer a blade that has
a lubricating strip (e.g. Atra blades). It is my personal
experience that a used blade is better than a new one. I
discard the blade when the lubricating strip is used up.
3) USE SHAVING CREAM. I prefer the gell type, and the kinds with
aloe in them seem to be the best. Shaving cream gives you a
better shave with fewer cuts, and goes a long way towards
4) Use *COLD* water. Do not use hot water, do not use warm water,
use the coldest water you can stand. Run the cold water over your
legs before you start, and rinse the blade often in cold water.
5) Be careful, and take your time. Behind the knees, and around the
achilles tendon are places to be extra careful.
6) When finished, use a moisturizing lotion on your legs.
Why shave legs (Jobst Brandt email@example.com)
Why do bicyclists shave their legs? This question arises regularly,
although sometimes it's a troll, sometimes it's a rider who didn't
dare ask his shaven riding companions. Had he done so, among the real
answer, he would probably have gotten:
To prevent infection when crashing.
To pull off bandages more painlessly after dressing a wound.
To get a massage of the legs without hair pulling.
To be more streamlined in the wind.
Hair does not cause infections and if it is a gash that goes deeper
than the typical raspberry, there will be more dirt in it han a few
hairs. In any case, where a wound needs stiches the skin will be
shaved around the opening anyway for the reson that hair inclusions
are as bad as dirt inclusions.
Don't put tape on a hairy leg or arm. Shave it first. Every medic
kit should have a Bic razor or better anyway.
Many folks with hair get massages and it has no effect on comfort.
You'd think from this excuse, that those who shave get massages
regularly and that massage parlors always shave their customers.
Neither is true.
If this is a streamlining increment, then the rider should
first get a tight fitting Lycra jersey and shoe covers.
The other excuses are just that. Bicycle athletes shave for the same
reason body builders and women do it. Shaving exposes the sculptured
lines of muscle definition (defo) or the absence of it for some women
and some of the best legs are on bikies. Not only that, embrocation,
(oiling up with exotic smelling greases or oils is the same as in body
building and weight lifting), it emphasizes defo. If the soigner
tells the rider that this will improve performance, he'll accept that