Hair Today … Gone Tomorrow

James Cornford
3 min readJul 7, 2017


For many men the wrong side of 30, hair has a mind of its own, it does not follow a clear and logical path, it has at some point decided it wants a change. This should not have come as a complete surprise, it has happened once before in our early teenage years, when suddenly your chin and upper lip became valuable real estate that had previously been left barren. Well it now appears that the momentum for change has increased, the top of my head seems to have lost some desirability, with my nose being the next on trend area, but thankfully mass migration has not occurred… yet!

One thing that can be relied upon however are my legs, they’ve always had foliage and nothing seems to be getting in the way of that, or so I thought!

I’ve been riding and even racing road bikes for a long time now, but have never contemplated harvesting the legs. For many, silky pins are part of the uniform when two wheels venture forth on paved roads. There are many benefits and although I regularly get massages, I hadn’t picked up the razor… until recently!

Having had some ongoing knee issues I decided to don some kinesiology tape for some added support, something that doesn’t interact well with leg hair, so some gentle manscaping was required. So with half a smooth leg and one full Chewbacka, it got me thinking, what should I do about the one and half hairy legs?

Vanity and conformity are the main factors for a lot of cyclists shaving, but as I am increasing my focus on the road and triathlon, should I be following suit? Thankfully the guys at Specialized have their very own wind tunnel, dubbed the “Win Tunnel” and their videos have helped me make up my mind.

So according to science the shaved approach could save me 70 seconds over 40KM and almost 2 minutes for the upcoming Ironman 70.3, without even taking the swim and run into account. However with a hairy chin, would it be worth it? Thankfully Specialized has answered that question as well, it turns out you can be aero with a beard!

So the day before my first Olympic triathlon I was found scouring the ladies toiletry section of the local supermarket for a suitable razor. I did it, I went smooth!

What They Don’t Tell You About Shaving Your Legs (TMI)!
So what was it like? To put it simply, weird, they didn’t look or feel like my legs and they were oh so pale without their protective canopy!

Did it make me faster? I’m not sure, but it does feel nicer on the bike and when having a massage, however my wife thinks it is weird and now refers to my legs as girls legs!

Now for the TMI! Be careful how far you shave, I went as far as shaving my thighs and will not be doing that again. Without going into too much detail, itches and cheese greater like stubble should be enough said!

Will I stay hair free? Only time will tell, I am committed to any time savings I can get during my triathlons, but outside of that, it is to be debated.

Image Courtesy Chandler Colins — Edwin Jagger DE86BL
Videos Courtesy Specialized Bikes



James Cornford

Cyclist, Strategist, Marketer & Journalist, fueled by tea! Writes about bikes, exploring & life’s adventures! Englishman living in USA.