Serious cyclists will take any advantage, no matter how small, to increase their chances of going faster. High performance athletes will even shave body hair to reduce drag and increase their chances of placing higher. Hair removal for cyclists is a small benefit that will also make cycling more comfortable.
The main obstacle for cycles is air resistance. We all know from childhood that drag will slow us down. By removing the hair on the arms and legs, cyclists become more aerodynamic and streamline, like a shark zipping through water.
Cycling is all about using the leg muscles to propel one forward. That means plenty of rubbing of the legs on the bike seat. Removing body hair from the crotch & anus regions means less chafing, less moisture-collection and less discomfort from hairs being pulled.
Okay, sometimes it's easier to give into peer pressure and follow the crowd. Cyclists usually gather in a tight group, on the road and in friendship. If everyone is going for the smooth, silky look under the guise of 'aerodynamics', then fitting in with the crowd may also be for you.
You can spend a little or a lot of money on the removal of hair and it all comes down to:
For some people, one method may satisfy all three but for others, a combination of methods may be better.
This method zaps the hair follicles with laser light and burns the hair-producing cells. After a few sessions, the hairs fall out and take a few months to grow back. For some lucky people with the xact skin & hair type (light tone, dark hair), the effects can be permanent.
These devices are relatively inexpensive. Smooth skin lasts for up to 6-8 weeks but the the process can be painful. A wet epilator can be used in the tub or shower may help reduce pain but it's still going to hurt. Check out some epilating tips to make the process a tiny bit less painful.
The most popular epilator brand is the Epil Silk from Braun that has some additional features such as a vibrating massage bar, attachment caps & even an additional razor. The reviews are positive for this brand but still, this method is too painful for most people.
Just like the previous methods, waxing removes the entire hair & root and leaves skin smooth for longer. This is perhaps the most painful hair removal method.
Men and women have been using electrolysis for decades. A skilled technician inserts a tiny electric probe into individual hair follicle and zaps the cells with an electric current.
The pain is tolerable but since this is very labor and time-intensive, the price can be quite high. The cost of doing the face & armpits is more affordable, but larger areas like the legs, back and arms can be excessive.
The hairs are only removed at the surface of the skin and stubble will grow back within a few days. Do not use hair removal creams after a long ride, since chafed or sore skin may get irritated by the chemicals.
Between the legs, look for a hair removal lotion dedicated specifically for that area.
This is the least-expensive hair removal method but needs to be repeated often, sometimes every day. As the hairs grow out, the stubble will be sharp & bristly. When wearing tight cycling clothing, it may be prickly & uncomfortable, especially during a long distance ride.
Cycling is a very competitive sport and gaining any advantage will only improve aerodynamics and speed. Hair removal for cyclists may be one of those small advantages that can improve your overall standing.