Tinkoff Saxo Team's mechanic takes care of UCI World Champion Peter Sagan's bike during the 2016 Strade Bianche from Siena's Fortezza Medicea to Siena's Piazza del Campo, Italy, 5 March 2016. Strade Bianche is a 176km road race containing seven sectors of white gravel roads. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
  • Haha dig the responses.

    • Nitro

      Most fascinating back-and-forth comment war I’ve ever see on the site.

      Do I shave my legs? No.

      Do I ride on Beach Road? Absolutely – why wouldn’t I when I’m lucky enough to live very close. (Mostly riding on my own, stupidly early)

      Do I ride with a saddle bag? Absolutely (A Cycling Tips one at that!)

      Am I fitter in my 40’s than I was in my 20’s? You bet.

      Did I lose 20 kilos by riding my bike? Yep.

      Am I infinitely healthier and at dramatically less risk of health problems as a result of me riding my bike? Medically confirmed as yes.

      Do I care if I’m mortally offending some people by daring to buy a bike, ride it hard, get fit, push myself more than I ever thought possible, and have a huge amount of fun – all without shaving my legs? Not a chance…

  • Aaron Heaysman

    Who really cares. All these so called rules that really mean nothing. Why bother with them. Just have fun and be comfortable

  • noob_sauce

    How silly is it for grown men to talk about what other grown men choose to do (or in this case, not do) with their body hair?

    • Timiji

      It’s almost as silly as grown men talking about what women chose to do (or not do) with their body hair, clothing, jewelry, etc. So in the spirit of equal time for equal silliness, here we are, discussing it like it really matters!

    • dypeterc

      Men shouldn’t waste their time arguing over how men should act. We mustn’t lose sight. Men should be telling women what to do, like how they should look, reproductive rights, and such.

      • Peter

        No one has reacted! We’re wise to your flame baiting ways! Ha.

        • dypeterc

          You, sir, are too wise and wily for me!

  • Hamish Moffatt

    Beard aerodynamics? Really?

  • Stonerider

    The peloton likes it because it makes him slower. Look at the Specialized wind tunnel test showing the difference between hairy and shaved legs with the same rider.

    • inopinatus

      1. Races are not held in wind tunnels.
      2. Specialized did not test with Peter Sagan.

      The truth is, Sagan’s “leg hair” is more like that of a shark’s skin, composed of superfine dermal denticles generating small sheet vortices that shed at a low magnitude, but at a higher natural frequency, thus decreasing the laminar bubble effect on the aerodynamically shielded side of the leg profile to further reduce high yaw drag and improve crosswind stability.

      • Neuron1

        There is only one “Shark” in the peloton, all the rest are prey.

        • Chris

          Too right. I remember the day the scary shark even caught a car. Hard to dislodge once he’d clamped on.

          • Neuron1

            It was supposed to be funny. Chill out. I guess that Skybots must feed off automobile exhaust as they follow the team car for prolonged periods after they crash when it looks like rain in the forecast.

    • David_Streever_CT

      MAMILS use to justify their shopping habits based on What’s Proven By The Pros.

      How do they rationalize aero wheels that save 35sec, when The Pros are eschewing 80sec with the hairy legs. (per Specialized data on 40km tt)

      • Sean parker

        The pros and MAMILS can draft for 200km. The sprinters can pop out in the last 100m and win their sprint and the stage. Aero efects are negated by the peleton swapping led riders at the front. that’s the difference between wind tunnels and races. either that or in the hills, where aerodynamic advantages are minimised, it is hte stronger/lighter not the stronger/aero riders who win time.
        The oft quoted 80 sec wiht hairy legs assumes that the rider can be in an aero tuck for the duration of the time trial, possible in a wind tunnel but not on an actual race course, so the ’80 seconds’ is subsumed by other aerodynamic factors in real time outside racy type events.
        What’s the real penalty of hairy legs? – the opprobium of dilletantes.

  • Avuncular

    It could be a Samson & Delilah thing for reasons known unto himself but I suspect when he finally brings “the house down” with a monument win, he will relent and shave.

  • Mark Blackwell

    The really big issue, which I don’t see reported anywhere yet, is Gaviria winning Stage 3 of Tirreno, sprinting from the brake hoods! These young kids need to learn some respect.

  • Superpilot

    The seriousness with which this topic is taken, just shows how fickle and fashionista the amateur ranks really are eh, considering the pros don’t care!

    • Chris

      Yeh! Bloody amateurs like Stephen Roche, whoever he is.

      Joke aside, I don’t agree with Roche, but I guess his reaction is the point of the article. That or another go at Velominati, of course.

      • Superpilot

        Uh, Roche’s not a current pro is he? But yes, his opinion is important I guess. I like shaved pins personally, I just find the current pro responses refreshing, though some of them come across as ‘don’t put a foot wrong’ pr-babble, some are humorous. I often get asked. I just say its for fashion and to fit in, because you know I’m blunt with myself, and shaved legs are the least of my impact on the public given I then don lycra on a bike.. Invariably, male or female, seem to appreciate the legs that way also. His leg hair has gone faster on a bike than I’ll ever go, so I’m not gonna tell him what to do..

        • Chris

          I have to say I was surprised to read this as Roche’s opinion was what I would consider over the top. I shave down, and I’m secure enough to say it’s all about aesthetics and I like the way it looks.
          Roche: “I don’t think it is a good example. He’s wearing the world champion’s jersey, and he owes it to be respectful and to be clean and presentable.” I disagree – he earned that jersey and he doesn’t owe it or anybody anything. It certainly doesn’t mean he has to have his hair cut a particular way, anyway.
          Sagan’s hairy legs, I figure, are much like any ironic, hipster thing. It’s funny, slightly outrageous, and I assume now it’s over.

  • Chris

    While it’s worth comment, I think it’s a bit of a beat up. By this article – or is this one of those “we’re just reporting on the reaction” pieces?
    That said, it’d be better if he was making news for winning races.

  • Bobolini

    First, the Twit he sent out with shaving cream on legs doesn’t mean he’s shaving. Second, maybe his girl doesn’t like it. Third, maybe when he gets first win in stripes. Most importantly, Velominati. Best word in article…

  • bigdo

    Wow, Roche is such a traditionalist douche… and yeah, a former doper too, no matter what he says. I think you can just smell the envy coming off him whenever someone like Sagan is brought up. As for Peter, sad to see he caved into the pressure and shaved em’… but it was cool and anti-establishment for a lil’ bit wasn’t it? lol..

    • philipmcvey

      Nailed it. You didn’t see Roche letting his leg hair grow when he wore the stripes, or do anything silly and disrespectful like turning up to races ‘unprepared’ (allegedly).

  • RX178

    This is cycling version of Karsashian news. Really, big whoop.
    “I feel faint… Smithers! Fetch me my smelling salts! I just witnessed an unshaven cyclist on his velocipede! How uncouth!”

    • Sean

      This whole thing’s a joke, he’s doing a disservice to this sight, the beach road pelobunches and ace riders like Dave, Julies and me.

      Wade enough is enough, shave him please.

      • RX178

        I’m hoping to see these dudes rock MTB shorts at Le next Tour de Chicken Froinch.

  • Roger That

    Is Slovakian wedding custom. Nobody shave below waist for one year. However you can shave below another person’s waist. Is OK.

  • DJP

    PS is a young upstart punk with no respect. I couldn’t care if he’d won every race 100 times- without respect of traditions, respect of his peers, in the current peloton and from years gone by – his actions speak volumes of his character, which IMHO tarnish him as a punk. Be responsible, show respect and uphold tradition. aka Wiggins, Kelly, Indurain, Merckx, Hinault, Lemond, Moser…

    • david__g

      How on earth is he not respecting his peers? Might they catch his hairylegitis and be destined to chase those extra 30 secs for ever?

      • DJP

        Clearly you’re what we used to call a stinger if you have to ask why..

        • david__g

          So you’re not going to answer why what one man does with his body hair is disrespecting the people be rides with? I’m waiting!

        • david__g

          So you’re not going to answer why what one man does with his body hair is disrespecting the people be rides with? I’m waiting!

          • DJP

            It’s traditional, simple. I imagine a bloke like you likes Aussie Rules? What would you think if the players all started wearing short socks and long shorts? Wouldn’t care? What about cricketers wearing shorts and not long pants? How about golf pros not practising etiquette on the course (such as marking putts, waiting turns)? Simple…its part of the tradition of the sport. Professional cyclists shave their legs. Period.

            • david__g

              Oh god, you are really really weird. Aside from the golf example where pushing in is rude, I don’t care what anyone wears to play sports. And I certainly don’t care about personal grooming or let it affect my enjoyment of a sport. Tradition my ass.

              • DJP

                Cycling is a traditional sport and traditions should be upheld otherwise the sport loses its values and meanings. Read The Rules. Are you one of these beach road guys with their Rapha and the 15K carbon bike? Am I correct? Nothing traditional going on down beach road except dick head posers that have no idea about general bike etiquette, handling, cadence, choosing correct gears, correct bike setup, posture and where hands sit correctly on the bars. If you doubt me on those points then there is no more to say because it’s a case of what you don’t know you don’t know. ie: You’re a stinger :)

                • david__g

                  You seem to be doing an awful lot of projecting in your comments. And I have no idea what or where Beach Road is but clearly it makes you really, really angry so it must be OK.

                • david__g

                  And of course the main problem with your little rant there is it in no way applies to Peter Sagan who has done nothing more than neglect to shave his legs. I’d never have imagined such a thing could make another man so cranky.

                  • DJP

                    You kept asking why it mattered. I’ve had to explain the background because you couldn’t comprehend. Non traditionalists don’t shave their legs. Combined with Sagans previous stunts, IMHO it makes him a punk.

                    • david__g

                      If I wasn’t convinced you are 100% serious I’d commend your trolling but instead I’ll just marvel at a bitter old man who seems to hate anything he doesn’t agree with. Have fun rubbing the Androgel on your balls tonight.

                    • DJP

                      Hey David I don’t mind if you don’t shave your legs, because you’re a stinger (just try and stay upright hey lad) . Peter Sagan is a highly paid professional and should be making an example for little boys like you so when you grow up to be big and strong you may do something about keeping the traditions of cycling in tact and not destroy them to satisfy your own views.

                    • david__g

                      Look, I know you’re desperate for me to list my cycling experience and career and all the years I’ve been doing this that and the other (so you can belittle it, probably), but I’m not going to take the bait. You can continue to call me a stinger, a little boy or whatever. I have no need to impress someone like you. Sorry dude.

                    • DJP

                      Not sure where you get that idea David. Enjoy the latte’s today.

                    • david__g

                      The latte’s what?

                      (I assume lattes are another thing you associate with “beach road guys with their Rapha and the 15K carbon bike?”, yes? What happened dude? And I mean that in two ways. First of all, who died and made you the last word on cycling traditionalism and whether current world champions are upholding the long and storied traditions of a sport where grown men wear lycra and secondly – what happened in your life that has made you so angry towards other cyclists who don’t toe the line exactly how you think they should? What traumatic experience has happened to make you so bitter and cranky? You drop 1988 a lot but even if you were riding then, it doesn’t mean you’re that old, so it can’t be that. Jilted? Kids don’t talk to you? Never quite got that sweet pro contract? Too many pies making you not look as hot as the Beach Road boys in their Rapha? Laid off and can’t afford a 15K bike and ANYWAY! why does that kid who doesn’t understand TRADITION ride one? I bet he’s never even stroked Fignon’s ponytail! It must be…something. Come on, spill it. Talking about it might make you feel better! Perhaps the CyclingTips readers can help you out of your funk. This doesn’t have to be forever man. We can beat it!)

                    • DJP

                      You read correct Fanboy. Not angry at all, but quite fun winding you up… I think the gist of the story was to stir up the conversation about tradition and whether or not it was ok if PS shaved his legs (or not), wasn’t it? Sure has done that hasn’t boy scout! I don’t mind what weekend hacks do with their legs, their chin or their tattoos or if they stay upright, but IMHO they are one type of cyclist and then there are the others, which by all your comments, you do not even come close to understanding. Actually I think Stephen Roche piped up with the same sentiments as mine and I don’t see him being shot down in flames for an opinion? Never worked for anyone to be laid off, don’t mind a pie, and if you’re asking I never got to stroke Laurents’ piggy but I did get to awe over Steven Rooks and Gert-Jan Theunisse’s fantastic PDM Concordes and saw the dopers in all their glory. Probably when you were in nappies. How’s that bushmaster coming along anyway?

                    • david__g

                      I had to google Bushmaster and it’s…a snake, a DC Comics superhero, a gun or an airplane. Honestly, you’re getting weirder and more unhinged by the comment. I’m out, lest I be seen as encouraging an old bloke to make a fool of himself on the internet. Enjoy your next Beach Road ride or whatever it is you do for fun (google it…you might like it?)

                    • DJP
                    • Neil

                      Step out David. You can’t fix stupid.

                • david__g

                  P.S what rules? I imagine you mean the UCI Rules and Regulations and I did read them and I saw nothing about shaving or Beach Road or the word stinger or cadence. I’m confused!

                  • DJP

                    Them unwritten rules David.

                    • david__g

                      How is anyone supposed to read rules that are unwritten? Painted yourself into a corner there, haven’t you?

                      (And if they could be read despite being unwritten, why do they actually matter as long as someone isn’t unsafe?)

                    • DJP

                      That’s the point son. You shouldn’t need to read them, they should come naturally :-D

                    • david__g

                      You said “Read the rules”. Now you’re saying don’t read them? You need to have your weird points laid out before diving in head first.

                    • DJP

                      Oh David. There are written rules, like the ones in the Velomenati (which I’m sure you’ve studied), there are unwritten rules gleaned from riding and racing in bunches with real pros and they all form etiquette. Etiquette – staying on topic and not making this personal – that I pointed out PS isn’t upholding. For the record I also don’t think it’s cool to do a wheel stand over a finish line. But let’s leave that one for another day. Enjoy your commute this morning. Remember to signal when turning…

                    • david__g

                      So aside from the shaving, what other awful sins against the traditionalism of cycling is Sagan committing? Enjoying himself? Being world champion? You honestly sound like a bitter, blowhard bundle of fun trying to impress everyone with your deep knowledge of something when you actually remind me of those who say things like “marriage is about tradition! One man, one woman!”

                    • DJP

                      Nothing David, nothing at all. Are you trying to make this personal?

                    • david__g

                      And no, I haven’t studied a bunch of joke rules taken way too seriously by weirdos like you.

                    • DJP

                      You shouldn’t chime in on stuff you don’t know about…

              • DJP

                Stinger is what we called someone in 1988 that had no idea about cycling but tried as hard as they could. Non-traditionalists usually. They looked terrible on the bike, bikes were ill fitted and they caused all the crashes. lol

            • david__g

              I also note you like to roll out the ‘stinger’ insult a lot (whatever that means) and appear to earnestly quote the velominati rules sooooooo…

            • absolutely ridiculous! Let’s do this then…. AFL- goes to 9 point long goals and pre-season comp. Interchanges rules and ruck changes. Cricket – goes from Test match to ODI to T20. Golf – you weren’t allowed to move a ball on the green to make way for a clean shot- this was called being stymied and finally anchoring long putters.

              Progression. Now, sit down.

              • DJP

                Another stinger enters the conversation… Sit down Dan, you’re making a fool of yourself.

                • Is there an echo in this forum?

                  • david__g

                    Come on Dan, take off the Rapha, hang up the 15K bike and take a seat. School is in session and DJP is the teacher! And he gonna teach you good about male grooming. And other weird shit.

                    • Sean parker

                      I’m just concerned about someone obsessing about the hair on another man’s legs.

                      if you want to be a roadie-drone and wear POC, and shave all the way up to your arse then go for your life. But homo-erotic cultlike obsessions about what a cyclist does or doesn’t do with his razor have nothing to do with cycling – just a lot to do with one’s own dogmatism. A dogmatism that is clearly misplaced because it has no bearing an, actually, anything.

                      if DJP is that obsessed with aesthetics than he is probably in the wrong sport and should take up bodybuilding. Cycling is about riding bikes and if some hubbard, mamil, beginner or pro wants to hirsute up it’s none of our concern.

                    • Cameron Harris

                      Please, no one mention saddlebags.

  • Owlaugen

    Excerpt from Rule 33:

    “If, for some reason, your legs are to be left hairy, make sure you can dish out plenty of hurt to shaved riders, or be considered a hippie douche on your way to a Critical Mass.”

    Regarding Mr. Sagan, I see no infraction here.

  • Hezaa

    “Okay, you might say, ‘well, there is no law that says you have to shave your legs.’ But why then have we been doing it for the past 100 years?”

    Still laughing at this line. Let us know when you work out an answer to that, sir!

  • ablerk

    Does cycling exist in a dimension that I was previously unaware of? Why is this being discussed at all?

  • david__g

    When I first saw that shaving cream photo I thought he had taken delivery of a full length Cipo muscle body suit.

    • Shane Stokes

      That was my instant reaction too!

      • david__g

        I can’t unsee it now!

  • Ariel Demian

    Just thinking of shaving my legs makes me sick

  • Arfy

    Forget Roche. Forget the peleton. On questions of style we need to know “What does Cipo say?”

  • Cycling. The most backwards and pretentious sport in the world. Who cares if he plaited his leg hair.

    • david__g

      Dude, it’s about TRADITION!!!!!!! /sarcasm fucking obviously

    • Dave

      You could also say it’s leading the way in equality.

      In most other sports, only women would get asked about this stuff.

  • Darryl McAndrew

    He’s just waiting for the ink to dry on the Gillette sponsorship

  • Gooda
  • Cameron Harris

    Stephen Roche comes off as a bit of a douche here.


  • Alison Rixon

    He has sexy legs with or without hair.

  • erkcyclisme

    As usual, Sagan gets the last laugh.

  • Daniel Augustin

    “I think the day he shows up at the start line with legs shaved, everyone else will panic and go back to their hotel.” AMAZING comment ;D


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