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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 10-11-08, 05:14 PM   #1
thaetviking
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Winter Shoes

Well it snowed here in Gillette WY the other day and that told me it is time to order some new winter mountain bike shoes. Look for a recommendation and a good place to pick them up.
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Old 10-11-08, 06:53 PM   #2
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I use Lake mtn bike shoes ... in one size larger than the Lake mtn bike shoes I wear for summer.
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Old 10-13-08, 10:48 AM   #3
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I use lake winter boots as well. I picked them up before my coldest ride last year (-15F, with bootie covers on top), and was very happy with them.

Some of the Lake winter boots have a problem with the stitching on the back coming loose. I don't know if those are still floating around or not. Mine have the problem, and I have to get them sewn. Lake said they would pay for it, but have to follow up with them.

Good luck!
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Old 10-13-08, 11:08 AM   #4
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I use lake winter boots as well. I picked them up before my coldest ride last year (-15F, with bootie covers on top), and was very happy with them.

Some of the Lake winter boots have a problem with the stitching on the back coming loose. I don't know if those are still floating around or not. Mine have the problem, and I have to get them sewn. Lake said they would pay for it, but have to follow up with them.

Good luck!

the heel stitching still rips out. on some pairs. it is not like there was a recall and Lake got
all the shoes off store shelves...so they are still out there

Lake will fix them for you (1 month turnaround) or pay for a local cobber to sew them up,
or you can stick half a tube of shoe goo in there yourself.


anyhow, the Lake shoe [fixed] is really awesome with the BOA lace. fast in, fast exit, unlike the
old lakes with laces plus impossible velcro straps. winter riding is fun again


you will need to keep an eye on the heel counter stitching. if it is a problem shoe it will fail
within 3, 3 hour rides.

anyhow I like Lake vs any other winter specific shoes for all the good reasons. the bum heel stitching
was a production problem, not a flaw with the shoe design
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Old 10-18-08, 10:22 AM   #5
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I have a pair of Lake MX300 one size bigger than normal and a pair of Answer Kashmirs two sizes bigger. The Lakes get used for inclement spring/fall weather, the Answers are for serious cold weather riding.

I replaced the crappy insoles of the Lakes with some stock insoles which gave me a bit more wiggle room with thicker and/or water-proof socks. The Answers allow me to get away with a variety of sock combinations which can keep the toes toasty down into the -20F range.
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Old 10-19-08, 09:58 PM   #6
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From all the comments that I have read over the last couple of years I am of the opinion that the Answer Kashmirs are as good as the Lakes and cost about half the price. I have the Kashmirs in two sizes over and they are very comfortable. But you may need to wear overboots over them for longer rides below 30F. As far as I know the Northwave boots are the only ones that are breathable. Or at least I though they once used Goretex instead of neoprene. They are reported to be the warmest of the bunch. All the rest use neoprene and don't breath so your foot eventually will get cold from it's own moisture and heat lost out the bottom of the sole. But they are much more convenient that putting multiple layers on your feet. Just 1 pair of thick wool socks on under the winter boots and off you go.

I would look at the new Pearl Izumi and Shimano winter shoes. They both use Goretex and are suppose to be breathable. This will keep your foot warmer longer in below freezing conditions. It seems that too many of the manufacturers are focusing on waterproofness instead of breathability. This is OK for some climates but doesn't work well for below freezing riding.

Last edited by Hezz; 10-19-08 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 10-20-08, 11:12 AM   #7
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i use my airwalk winter boots, excellent cold protection -20C, and incredibly comfy for biking, feels like wearing normal running shoes
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Old 10-20-08, 11:35 AM   #8
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is it ok to wear neoprene shoe covers with regular street shoes? do they make some for regular shoes? i have seen some that have a rubber sole, maybe i will look into those...ideas welcome
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Old 10-20-08, 12:10 PM   #9
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winter riding secret squirrel infos
----------
go to costco and buy a big box of handwarmers for 20 bucks

and for winter riding, use yer Lake [or otherwise no-mesh wintar shoe....]

slap on a wool sock
tape a handwarmer across the toes, [only need a small
piece of tape to hold it steady till yer foot is inside]
stick foot in your normal winter shoe and go ride


it should be good for 4 hours easy and often good for 5
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Old 10-21-08, 08:44 PM   #10
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Not sure if this is what you are looking for but I wear Magnum or 511 tactical security guard/police boots. They are fairly durable in most weather (I get them to last a season of slush + a summer), with Wigwam -30 socks I have gotten this arrangement to work down to about -30 celcius (cold in farenheit). I have put my feet in plastic bags between the socks and the shoes on occasion. My feet get cold easily though.
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Old 10-22-08, 03:14 PM   #11
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I wear LL Bean Snow Sneakers. I didn't want to spend $300 on a pair of shoes that I'd wear for a few months a year. I noticed my toes getting cold below 30f due to the material they have on top of the boot. A pair of toesties from PerformanceBike solved that problem. I wore the Snow Sneakers down in the single digits.
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Old 10-23-08, 06:39 AM   #12
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I had the 301's that I wore every day for ~5 months a year for three seasons. Wasn't terribly impressed with the quality of the product, but their none to generous sizing didn't much help.

Today I ordered a new set of 302's (up a size and the new wide version) because I just couldn't seem to find anyone making a better product at any price. Heck, I couldn't find anyone, anywhere that would sell me a 48w except Lake directly. Which is why I think Lake gets away with charging what they do.

The nice thing about proper winter shoes is that all you have to do is put them on, whereas shoes, with special waterproof socks and booties and warmers all suck up yet more time and more opportunities for failure.

And heaven help you if you have to walk in bootie covered cycling shoes in the winter slop.
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Old 11-10-08, 01:01 AM   #13
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Well it snowed here in Gillette WY the other day and that told me it is time to order some new winter mountain bike shoes. Look for a recommendation and a good place to pick them up.
Never thought I'd do it, but I bit the bullet and sprung for a pair of Lake winter cycling road shoes. Got them from perfomance, but they're on http://www.lickbike.com for 243.00 w/shipping. Have been amazed at the lack of 'cold penetration' in my 40 mi rt commute. W/a pair of Sealskinz they're amazing. It's been in the mid-30s, low 20s here in Md TN. I work 2nd shift, so I'm always riding in the coldest part of the night. Best decision I've made in terms of winter gear. When the temps dip into the teens and single digits I'll add a pair of thin merino wool socks under the Sealskinz. My rides are, generally about 1:15-1:30, timewise and the shoes work perfectly. But, any type of 'closed toe' cycling shoe w/a good bootie and Sealskinz would work. Lake makes a 'mountain' shoe, also. My full winter rig is:

Lake winter road shoe
Baselayer w/hood attached
100% closeknit wool sweater
IP Barrier jacket
J&G helmet cover
Bellweather bib tights w/foot strap
Sugoi winter pants
IP Attack padded shorts
Expedition weight balaclava
100% wool beanie
Sealskinz socks
Gordini Goretex gloves w/liners
Bolle ski goggles.

Most of this stuff I got on closeout or from a thrift store. The only indulgence were the Lakes and the IP jacket. The 100% lambswool sweater I got for 3.00 at the thriftsore. Ditto the socks(.49), beanie, (.99) and ski googles(1.99). Outside of the shoes and jacket I've got dulicates and some triplicates of these articles. Again, all purchased on closeout for up to 90% off in some cases.

Last edited by nashcommguy; 11-15-08 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 11-10-08, 10:28 AM   #14
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Has anyone ever tried Snowboard boots? I was thinking that they would work great for winter riding, because of the rigid sole and the light weight materials they are made out of...
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Old 11-10-08, 11:32 AM   #15
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my snowboard boots are huge it would be weird keeping the foot on the pedal
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Old 11-10-08, 07:12 PM   #16
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Has anyone ever tried Snowboard boots? I was thinking that they would work great for winter riding, because of the rigid sole and the light weight materials they are made out of...
Ya, I have tried them. They work OK for short rides. They will keep your feet really warm. They are stiff and flat and not too heavy. They have every attribute a good winter cycling boot could have except one glaring flaw. The biggest problem is they are designed to isolate ankle motion which is the opposite of what you need while riding. However, if you could sacrifice a pair of old light snowboarding boots and cut off the top so they were kind of a low riding shoe they would work OK. YOu might wear a gaiter with them.
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Old 11-10-08, 08:39 PM   #17
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The biggest problem is they are designed to isolate ankle motion which is the opposite of what you need while riding.
That was my focal point when shopping, and I wound up with KEEN winterport boots, which are more or less an insulated shoe with an integral gaiter. My feet were very happy in these today.
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Old 11-10-08, 11:33 PM   #18
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That was my focal point when shopping, and I wound up with KEEN winterport boots, which are more or less an insulated shoe with an integral gaiter. My feet were very happy in these today.
Looking at the Keen Winterport boot it looks very much like an adaptation of one of their scandals. Keen now makes a cycling scandal with SPD mount and a little stiffer sole. I wonder if this Keen cycling scandal in an oversized version combined with a gore-tex sock and some heavy wool socks inside would make a good winter boot combination.
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Old 11-10-08, 11:41 PM   #19
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That was my focal point when shopping, and I wound up with KEEN winterport boots, which are more or less an insulated shoe with an integral gaiter. My feet were very happy in these today.
How cold was it? How long were on on the bike? I'll be looking for something to work for a 45 minute ride in Minnesota this winter.
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Old 11-11-08, 07:03 AM   #20
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How cold was it? How long were on on the bike? I'll be looking for something to work for a 45 minute ride in Minnesota this winter.
Hmmm, well, <start edit> mid 20F's? temp of 30F with a "feels like" of 25F, according to weather.com <end edit> I need to find an historical temp-by-hour for 46038 ZIP for 6am-7am yestreday to be sure (today was warmer). My commute is 13 miles each way, so generally an hour. If you are boot shopping, be sure to buy a couple sizes larger than normal to make plenty of room around your toes so that your socks don't become compressed.
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Last edited by Wilbur Bud; 11-11-08 at 11:12 AM. Reason: To make yesterday's temperature more accurate
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Old 11-12-08, 09:08 PM   #21
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Just ordered MW-80s after way too many winters with XC race shoes and overboots. Went half a size larger than usual. I'll give feedback here once I have some miles on them.
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