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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 01-14-07, 06:27 PM   #1
CrosseyedCrickt
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Battery powered (heated) socks

My wife picked me up a pair of these things last week and I rode in with them today.
they are the Heat Sox brand she got from Dunhams Sporting Goods.
Boy are these things tight. I wear a size 11.5 shoe so she got me the XL size (supposedly for sizes 11-13) but man did I have a time getting them on. Once I got them on the footbed area is rather loose so I'm guessing they make the legging part tight to hold up the "D" battery.
They have a switch on them for Hi, Low, and Off settings.
I rode for 1 hour today with them on hi and can't really say that I noticed much of a difference at all.
I usually ride with a sock liner and think wool sock (one or two pair) and it seemed that combination was warmer than these battery socks with a sock liner.
Anyone have experiencve with these things? Are they supposed to produce heat or just keep the chill out? I felt no heat in the toebox heating element in them... maybe i was expecting too much from such a thing. Or maybe they are just bad and I should exchange them.
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Old 01-14-07, 06:59 PM   #2
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Well, I just turned them on for 30 minutes or so and they did get warm. Maybe I do a control experiment and see on my way home in the morning.
On one foot, a sock liner and heat sock, on the other, a sock liner and wool sock of comparable thickness and thread count and then make a post stating what I sound out.
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Old 01-14-07, 09:41 PM   #3
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I don't think D-Cells can store a lot of energy. About 100kJ each. So you're either going to have weak heating or very poor battery life. I'm guessing you're going to get 10W per foot (not a lot, but you should be able to notice it), with seven hours battery life.

I don't see a reason why you couldn't put two D-Cells in series in each sock to get twice the heat, except of course the fact that a D-Cell probably weighs 100g.

Personally, with double socks, I've nevery had cold feet unless they got wet.
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Old 01-14-07, 10:05 PM   #4
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I am considering, for a future job, to make a battery pack that goes in a lumbar pack to run these things.
If I get 5 hours oh warmth on a set of D batteries I'd be happy with them, I have plenty of rechargeables. But I like the idea of a pack that can last much longer.
I'd only be using them for 4 hours a week anyhow - on my morning commute home, and they are supposed to last 10 hours... we'll see
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Old 01-15-07, 11:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
My wife picked me up a pair of these things last week and I rode in with them today.
they are the Heat Sox brand she got from Dunhams Sporting Goods.
Boy are these things tight. I wear a size 11.5 shoe so she got me the XL size (supposedly for sizes 11-13) but man did I have a time getting them on. Once I got them on the footbed area is rather loose so I'm guessing they make the legging part tight to hold up the "D" battery.
They have a switch on them for Hi, Low, and Off settings.
I rode for 1 hour today with them on hi and can't really say that I noticed much of a difference at all.
I usually ride with a sock liner and think wool sock (one or two pair) and it seemed that combination was warmer than these battery socks with a sock liner.
Anyone have experiencve with these things? Are they supposed to produce heat or just keep the chill out? I felt no heat in the toebox heating element in them... maybe i was expecting too much from such a thing. Or maybe they are just bad and I should exchange them.
I tried them 2 years ago and had absolutely no luck.

Now I use the chemical hand warmers (the kind you shake) down inside my shoe. Placed on top of my toes between the sock and the Gortex sock liner. Works great!
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Old 01-15-07, 11:59 AM   #6
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what brand chemical warmed did you use? i got the heat treat ones from REI and used them this morning (-3 F when i left the house)... wasnt that impressed. feet were still brutally cold afte an hour, and when i pulled the heaters out, they werent warm at all (under liners, heavy wool socks and lake winterboots) . of course a half hour later i pulled them out of the trash out of curiosity and they were very toasty.... so i'm wondering if i need to let them oxidize a bit more before putting them in my shoes or something.
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Old 01-15-07, 12:24 PM   #7
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I got a pair of D cell gloves for about $25 shipped. I don't know if I had the battery in the wrong way (and broke them) or what happened but the heat put out is almost undetectable. The good news is they are the warmest gloves I use even without the batteries. They are also bright orange, water resistant, and have enough space for some liner gloves.
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Old 01-15-07, 12:55 PM   #8
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When I read about battery heated socks, I always remember that episode of "Home Improvement" where Tim's Battery warmed socks catch fire on a winter camping trip!
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Old 01-15-07, 03:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by badhat
what brand chemical warmed did you use? i got the heat treat ones from REI and used them this morning (-3 F when i left the house)... wasnt that impressed. feet were still brutally cold afte an hour, and when i pulled the heaters out, they werent warm at all (under liners, heavy wool socks and lake winterboots) . of course a half hour later i pulled them out of the trash out of curiosity and they were very toasty.... so i'm wondering if i need to let them oxidize a bit more before putting them in my shoes or something.

I use a brand called World Famous.

I know what you mean about them not lasting as I only get about 1 -2 hours also. But according to Machka (Those toe-warmer inserts work!) perhaps you have to shake them a bit more (+5 minutes) to make sure they are fully activated. Mackha seems to get 4 or more hours out of them. PLUS, it could be because they are old (as were mine - last winters purchase).

So, shake 'em more and make sure that they are new. See what happens. But this seems to be the best solution for cold.

Oh, also try these Gortex Oversocks at MEC. Pricey I know, but worth every penny.
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Old 01-15-07, 08:03 PM   #10
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The hand warmers/chemical packs have to have oxygen to work, once you put them in your shoe and cover them up ,you cut off the oxygen to them and they shut down.. use less sock-more air!
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Old 01-15-07, 11:21 PM   #11
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badhat,

Is it possible since the Lakes are lined with neoprene and don't breath all that well that between that and putting the warmers under so many layers that they weren't getting enough air to strongly activate.
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Old 01-16-07, 04:54 AM   #12
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The hand warmers/chemical packs have to have oxygen to work, once you put them in your shoe and cover them up ,you cut off the oxygen to them and they shut down.. use less sock-more air!

Erk?....!!! I'll be damned, that's probably why! Those Gortex socks I use must be cutting off the air to 'em. Maybe I should put them on the OUTSIDE of the Gortex sock.......then they'll get wet though.
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Old 01-16-07, 01:32 PM   #13
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yeah i'm pretty sure thats whats happening.

i dont really know what to do though. i'm not gonna give up the lake shoes for booties and low top shoes in this weather/road conditions. guess i gotta give up on chemical warmers and try something else.
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Old 01-16-07, 04:04 PM   #14
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Ok, here is what to do/Xfiles....wear a vest as your second layer, sew two pockets inside the vest,one on the left/one on the right/insert hand warmers into pockets/heat core of body up good and warm/wow! guess what happens????? your blood vessels will not constrict! letting warm blood flow to your?? you guesed it! feet and hands,you stay alot warmer and more comfortable/This is like a bush bean secret,so don't spread it around and what ever you do, don't tell the DOG!
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Old 01-16-07, 06:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by vger285
Ok, here is what to do/Xfiles....wear a vest as your second layer, sew two pockets inside the vest,one on the left/one on the right/insert hand warmers into pockets/heat core of body up good and warm/wow! guess what happens????? your blood vessels will not constrict! letting warm blood flow to your?? you guesed it! feet and hands,you stay alot warmer and more comfortable/This is like a bush bean secret,so don't spread it around and what ever you do, don't tell the DOG!

But wouldn't the act of cycling, heating your body core, do the same thing? Blood is warm and flowing throughout your body.....
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Old 01-16-07, 07:25 PM   #16
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But wouldn't the act of cycling, heating your body core, do the same thing? Blood is warm and flowing throughout your body.....
Nope! From your first thoughts of riding in the cold you give your brain imfomation of how cold it is,from checking the weather on the pc, to layering your clothes,so if it thinks there is any threat of hurting your vital organs,your mind will start shutting things down/dosen't matter how fast you ride/work.you basically have to trick your mind into thinking your laying on a beach in Fort Lauderdale!Thats what your doing,then everything is okaydoka!!!,i know it strange, but if you try it once,your gonna be amazed, im telling ya!
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Old 01-17-07, 08:32 AM   #17
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Nope! From your first thoughts of riding in the cold you give your brain imfomation of how cold it is,from checking the weather on the pc, to layering your clothes,so if it thinks there is any threat of hurting your vital organs,your mind will start shutting things down/dosen't matter how fast you ride/work.you basically have to trick your mind into thinking your laying on a beach in Fort Lauderdale!Thats what your doing,then everything is okaydoka!!!,i know it strange, but if you try it once,your gonna be amazed, im telling ya!

Okey dokey.
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