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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 01-23-03, 12:06 PM   #1
streners
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keeping feet warm

i was reading a load of past threads on keeping feet warm and there were recommendations on plastic bags in socks to keep the wind out. What do people think about aluminium foil? Anyone used it? I was thinking it would reflect any heat and maybe keep it in as well as keeping the wind off. My only concern was that it might be uncomfortable but maybe over two pairs of socks it wouldn't be so bad?

Also anyone ever had the cleats freeze to their pedals? I just got back from a mild england where I could ride no problems to a -20c in boston. I really need to get out, indoor training sucks.
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Old 01-23-03, 01:29 PM   #2
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I used to use the plastic baggies for sock liners, but my feet felt uncomfortable and wet sometimes. This year I bought some Sugoi sock liners at REI(I think they were about 30 dollars). They are neoprene and really add to the warmth, kind of like a thin extra bootie.

So for MN winter weather down to about 0 degrees F, I use DeFeet WoolEator socks, then the Sugoi sock liners, then my normal mountain bike shoe(Sidi, I use these shoes for winter road riding and mountain biking), then booties. I am very comfortable riding in single digit temps for two to four hours with that setup.

I have found that on really cold days, I use my Pearl Izumi Toester booties which seem warmer than my Trek Neoprene booties, but both work. I wear my Trek booties when it's in the 20's.

For 30's, I just use the Sugoi sock liners with no booties.
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Old 01-23-03, 01:35 PM   #3
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I'm sure that foil will work, and probably is easier to mold to a shape, too. Foil, though, has a much higher heat tranfer rate than plastic, but it will do at least as good a job at being a windbreak. It will probably help trigger lights with induction loops, too!
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Old 01-23-03, 07:02 PM   #4
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Yeah, I think that foil would feel a bit colder. I have worn steel-toe boots at work in winter, and the suckers get cold fast! Now I use electrician's safety boots (no metal) and stay warmer.

Here's a trick to use with the plastic bags. Get a thin but absorbent piece of fabric to put inside next to your skin (paper towels will do in a pinch). That will absorb some of the perspiration. Better still to get a good set of shoe covers (a friend made some with neoprene and fleece that are downright toasty!)

Never had a cleat freeze to a pedal before. Then again, it doesn't usually get much colder than in the teens and 20s here.
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Old 01-23-03, 07:13 PM   #5
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This might sound strange...but the medical booties over the shoes do wonders to keep the tooties warm. I tried it the other day and it worked like a charm. You can get them at any medical supply store or even any discount store such as Wal-Greens or Target.
Of course warm socks and a good pair of shoes are good too, but in a financial pinch, the booties work good!
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Old 01-24-03, 10:28 AM   #6
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well i had been using booties and two pairs of socks but they really weren't warm enough, so i've now ordered some of the pearl izumi toe-ster booties, and if they're not warm enough i'll try the electric socks with them, thanks for help everyone
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Old 01-24-03, 11:43 AM   #7
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I had this same problem. I was using just regular cycling shoes (Specialized I think). I went out in 21F with 3 pairs of socks on (one pair was wool), plus the cycling shoes with heavy duty booties over them and my feet were painfully frozen after about an hour and a half.

So, I broke down and bought some winter cycling shoes. The pair I got were Northwave Grizzlies. They work great. This week I rode in 12F with only 2 pairs of socks and some lightweight booties over them. Toes were still toasty warm after an hour. I'm sure I could easily handle 0F with 3 pairs of socks and my heavy duty booties.

I don't know what the heck I'd wear if I were to cycle in temps less than 0F. I'm sure I'll never need to around here. Today it finally got into the single digits (F) but it was a weight lifting day for me so no cycling.

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Old 01-25-03, 12:07 PM   #8
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I use Kodiak wool socks that come up to my knees, regular cycling shoes, and neoprene booties for any temps below freezing. If the temp is above freezing (but still cool and/or rainy), I'll use my nylon booties.

For really cold temps (-20C/-6F) or cycling long distance (centuries and longer) in fairly cold temps (-12C/1-F) - I've been struggling with solutions:

I've tried those little hot packs you can pick up in the hunting/outdoor departments of most department stores but they didn't work nearly as well as I would like. They only lasted a couple hours and after that my feet were freezing.

I've also tried extra padding inside the shoe at the point where the cleat is located - that metal cleat allows the cold to get into where your foot is - and that has worked to a certain extent. Guys won't know this, but the ladies might - there are little 'toe nylons' with a pad in them which is situated at the ball of the foot. Women wear them with high heels because of the foot pain high heels cause. Well, those little pads do prevent the cold from coming through into the foot at the cleat spot. They are also small enough to prevent the feet from being too tightly packed in the shoes (which can make your feet feel colder). Right now too, I have a spot of black electrical tape over the cleat area which seemed to make a bit of a difference.

But on my rides when the windchill factor is around the -30C/-20F point, my feet still seem to get cold.
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Old 01-25-03, 05:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Machka
Right now too, I have a spot of black electrical tape over the cleat area which seemed to make a bit of a difference.

[/B]
I put a piece of duct tape over the cleat area inside the shoe below the insole. That made a world of difference.
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Old 01-26-03, 12:58 PM   #10
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I've found that switching to platform pedals and wearing shoes designed for winter hiking keeps my feet the warmest.
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Old 01-28-03, 10:12 AM   #11
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I use Lake 300mxz winter cycling boots. I can say these are the most comfortable shoes I own, on or off the bike. I usually use them with summer time socks, (defeets ect), and have never been cold, even on 10F rides. At $175+, they aren't the cheapest option but if you do any serious winter riding and desire to stay clipless, these shoes are the best.
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Old 02-03-03, 01:42 AM   #12
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Things that have worked for me to keep the feet warm-
( I've also combined some of the following)

the end of a plastic ( english muffin) bag over socks from my toes to the ball of my foot- it keeps the wind off, but not much trouble with moisture build up undeneath. The difference it makes is surprising

put an ( old) wool sock over the shoes, cut holes for cleats and duct tape the edges to prevent unraveling.

get winter shoes

use shoes one size too big and wear more socks

use wool socks

get platform/bmx pedals and wear an insulated boot like "Sorels"
you can also attach cleats to them to use your "step in" pedals- see one of my "early" replies for directions

neoprene booties and booties over the wool socks

warmer hat

cover neck ( with scarf)

wear thin liner sock ( olefin, plypropelene, wool) under standard thickness sock

installed (extra) neoprene insole ( in larger shoe) you can sometimes "get away with it" with your summer shoes too

Ride Warm
Pat

Last edited by pat5319; 02-03-03 at 01:47 AM.
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Old 02-03-03, 04:53 AM   #13
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We have been MTB riding with temperatures in the teens this winter. My feet were getting cold until one of my riding mates gave me a pair of chemical toe warmers. They are sold two to a package and react with the air to provide heat. Just open the pack, peal the backs and stick to the insoles of your shoes under the toes/ball of your foot about 15 minutes before you start riding. Nice and toasty for about 4 hours. I've not had a cold foot since I started using. They sell for about a buck in our local hardware stores and a buck and a half at my LBS. Then anything you want to use, like plastic bags, will work very well. Might even provide enough heat to keep your cleats from freezing to the pedals. Makes riding much more enjoyable in the cold.
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Old 02-03-03, 09:30 AM   #14
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Mountain shoes with gore-tex booties and if necessary chemical toe warmers

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