Hair vs. no hair, the debate is over for me.....



bgoetz

Active Member
Nov 25, 2010
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Well, I hit the deck today at a race, completely my fault, just took a sharp hairpin a bit to fast (~25mph), clipped the side of my shoe and pedal and out the bike went. Took a hard hit on my left side, but was able to get back on the bike, fixing the shifter that was pushed sideways as I rode and keep right on going for the duration of the race (30min). I still managed a 15th place finish out of 47 people, even despite the fact that my bars were completely sideways and the bike only wanted to go straight in the corners.

On to the fun stuff, once I got home I had to clean all of the major road rash on my shoulder, forearm, and calf. I will just say it sucked and leave it at that, but one thing I noticed was my calf was 100 times easier to manage and bled significantly less than my forearm, which had basically the same wound. The only thing I can contribute this to is the fact that my legs have no hair and my arms do. It was like every hair was torn from my arm causing much more bleeding (you could actually see all of the little spots of blood where the hairs were), and the hairs grabbed every piece of dirt and ground it into the wound. I am sold on shaving......
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
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That is one of the reasons a lot of guys shave. Now don't go bleeding all over your Cannondale frame. I know its red, but blood turns brown when it dries.

Anyway, on smooth pavement, bare skin tends to slide more smoothly whereas, as you discovered, hair doesn't. I have had an instance though where I did not slide but my forearm struck the pavement with enough force that I bled out of my hair follicles, leaving a bunch of red dots like what you described.
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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I always found it way harder to get the assorted road trash out of wounds than it ever was to get hair out...

The only real downside, for me, to not shaving back in the day was if you binned it in a very spectacular fashion the first aid folk would over react and stick on about 400sq/ft of gauze and tape, and on the arms that was a ***** to take off afterwards. Given the quality of British healthcare, afterwards was immediately when you got back to the car so you could clean everything up properly before putting a covering on it that less resembled something the size of a king size bed sheet.

Half the time you'd get just as much road rash on your arms and shoulders as you did your legs... and personally I never shaved my butt cheeks and that's where half my road rash was when I crashed. If you're really shaving because it's easier to clean up wounds, you'd shave everything bar the wedding tackle and your head.

Most guys won't man up and admit that the only real reason for shaving is because (a) nearly all racing cyclists do it and (b) it looks better and they want to show off the definition in the legs...

Figuring that showing off oiled up legs with defo whilst wearing tight lycra is only one step away from prancing around in the wifes delicates while she's out, guys feel like they have to come up with a bunch of false reasons like, it's easier to clean when you crash, it's easier for the masseuse to massage, its more aerodynamic - false, false and unless you shave in some weird shape of varying heights around the leg to allow the boundary layer to detach later - false.

This'd be a 2 minute got seeing that he'd shaved his leg hairs...

:p

 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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Originally Posted by kdelong .

That is one of the reasons a lot of guys shave. Now don't go bleeding all over your Cannondale frame. I know its red, but blood turns brown when it dries.

Anyway, on smooth pavement, bare skin tends to slide more smoothly whereas, as you discovered, hair doesn't. I have had an instance though where I did not slide but my forearm struck the pavement with enough force that I bled out of my hair follicles, leaving a bunch of red dots like what you described.
Do you shave your arms now?
 

An old Guy

Active Member
Feb 12, 2011
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I found that the pain of crash cleanup is lessened by morphine. Having experienced trauma staff do the cleanup is also helpful.

If you don't need morphine to continue or a ride in the ambulance, you are not hurt.

Man up. Don't shave.
 
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kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
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Not now. I don't ride competitively anymore so my decents are a lot less insane. Back in the day I worked for a defense contractor in a radiation isolation booth with rubber gloves that came up past my elbows. I either had nubs or they were bare. If you didn't shave your arms, the gloves would slide on your arms and pull your hair out.
 

Cruzzer08

New Member
Jul 19, 2004
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[COLOR= black][SIZE= 10pt]I went down in a corner a couple year ago about a month after crit season was over, so I was lazy and hadn't shaved since the last race, i lost about 3/4 of the skin on the left side of my calf... I regretted not shaving for over a month!! Not only is the injury worse with hair but the healing is too, when the scab hardens half the hairs are poking through and the other half are weaved into the scab so every time you move it feels like your getting a wax job in your wound!! But I don't shave specifically for the crashes (of course that’s what I tell my non cycling buddies)... We all know in here that nothing is sexier then vascular, toned, hairless power sticks!!! Even if they're covered in scars..lol [/COLOR][/SIZE]
 

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