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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 01-17-00, 11:32 PM   #1
SnoTurtle
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OK, i just got back from a morning ride, and my feet are FREEZING, i have some neopreen booties that go over my shoes, that helps keep the wind and water out, but my feet still get cold, anyone have any ideas on keeping your feet warm? my shoes are tight, and i can only fit one pair of cycling socks on my feet... should i buy bigger shoes and layer socks? HELP!
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Old 01-18-00, 08:51 PM   #2
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Sno,

I can sure identiy with cold feet. IMO that's the most difficult part to keep warm. Despite being (maybe) in real good shape, most of us don't have good circulation in our feet. They are the farthest part from the heart, & have to return the blood uphill to boot!

While peddling, pressure on the bottom of the foot restricts circulation even more. Couple that with too tight shoes, stuffed with heavier than normal socks, & you may have a problem.

Booties are a must, & IMO shoes that will allow layers of socks (one thin, one thick) might help.

Depending on the temp, I wear my regular cycling shoes (Shimano's) with a pair of thin 100% wool boot liners and a heavy pair of X country wool knee socks. Booties cover all that. Do I still have colt feet?? Yep, but at least they're bearable.

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Old 01-19-00, 07:29 PM   #3
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Hey, i have some coolmax ski socks, and also some knee high wool socks, there the best, they arnt very thick when worn together, but nothing gets past them. Also, when its really bad, i sometimes wear gators, there to keep out the snow from getting in your shoe, i dont know if you have that problem or not, but they mayhelp keep the cold out. Check out a local REI or somthing. Keep on ridin'
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Old 01-20-00, 10:26 PM   #4
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Thanks Q and RR,

I went and bought some knee high ski socks, and some light weight wool socks the other day, i also found some thicker booties that go up well past my ankle. Im going to take a ride tomarro morning, i'll let ya know if im better off

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Old 01-31-00, 09:17 AM   #5
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Shimano just released a new shoe that's supposed to more of a winter shoe. Cant remember what they called it, but it's blue...
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Old 02-02-00, 11:02 PM   #6
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Dude, Is this the shoe your talking about? looks like some major hardware, and only 877g a pair!

Shimano's Lavadron winter shoe.

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Old 02-04-00, 10:09 AM   #7
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I just found some Sidi Storm shoes, there made for cycle cross and winter riding, but at $225 i can live with cold feet...
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Old 02-04-00, 09:06 PM   #8
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$225.00 ????!!!!! WOW! That'll but a lot of socks. Speaking of socks, LL Bean has some battery powered electric socks. I think they use 1 or 2 "D" cells. I've heard they work real well. Haven't tried them myself tho. You can find'em at WWW.LLBEAN.COM

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Old 02-05-00, 05:46 PM   #9
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Sno,

I have found a combination of wool and gore-tex cycling socks with booties the ticket. But, on longer/colder rides I use Grabber Mycoal toe warmers. They last up to 6 hrs. They are thin and fit inside your shoes. You can find them at any Ace hardware. The only bad thing is the cost @ $1.50 a pair, so I choose the days I use them carefully.
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Old 02-06-00, 10:56 PM   #10
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I agree with cyclpsycho. I have tried all sorts of boot and sock combinations without luck. Grabber Toe Warmers are the only thing that work for me (aand they work very well). I buy them by the case. The last case I bought I got after doing a search on the internet and found some smaller distributor which beat the prices of campmor and rei.
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Old 02-07-00, 12:05 AM   #11
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cyclpsycho and jayarejay, I'll check out the Grabber Mycoal toe warmers, jay, do you happen to have the URL of the distributor?
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Old 02-09-00, 05:47 PM   #12
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http://www.coldpacks.com/
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Old 02-17-00, 10:52 PM   #13
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I don't have much of a problem with cold feet. I wear one pair of wool socks and a pair of cotton. Over my shoes, attached to the toe clips are toe warmers that i've been using for 15 yrs. It's been suggested to me to put dry mustard powder in my socks or cayanne, but i've never tried it.
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Old 02-19-00, 11:45 PM   #14
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I'm not much for the fancy schmance. I commute every day in Wisconsin where the snow and the cold stays below freezing for months at a time.

Once I rode to work with my normal work shoes when it was -60F (with wind chill). Oops, that was stupid. I almost didn't make it due to my feet freezing.

Now I wear what we call swampers - such as Sorel brand. The real old timers used to call these pack boots.

Anyway, for real winter riding, they are hard to beat. You can fall off you bike into a snow pile, bang the snow off, and you are back on your way without snow filling your shoes.
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Old 10-09-00, 03:02 PM   #15
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Cold feet

Larger Shoes are a must, you need the extra "dead air space" to keep warm when it's really cold. I have shoes one size larger than my summer pairs, with these I can use a liner,(wool, olefin, polypro. etc.) and two medium layers, (wool). If I put the end of a plastic bag, muffin bags work great, over my toes it cuts the wind well enough I rarely have to use booties.
NEVER use cotton socks, if they get wet you're toast.

Covering your ears and neck really help keep your feet warm too, I use earmuffs, scarves etc.

When it's really cold, below zero, I use my Sorels. Sorels are heavy duty "Pack boots" with wool felt replacable-liners, and can be found in general sport stores or where hunting gear is sold. I have to use a bike with platform pedals though.
I've heard you can make them work with look pedals by: filling the lugs with body putty, drilling holes through the soles and attaching the cleats with screws, maybe a bit longer than "stock", and t-bolts with corresponding threads on the inside of them , the screws are "screwed into" the T-bolts which are inserted into the boot from the inside.

[Edited by pat5319 on 10-09-2000 at 05:05 PM]
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Old 10-07-01, 08:52 PM   #16
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I was reading recently that putting plastic bags on the outside of your socks before slipping into your shoes will keep your feet warm. I guess it acts as a sort of windbreaker for your feet. I'm going to try it this winter because I always have a "cold feet" problem.

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Old 10-07-01, 09:20 PM   #17
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Originally posted by velo I was reading recently that putting plastic bags on the outside of your socks before slipping into your shoes will keep your feet warm. I guess it acts as a sort of windbreaker for your feet. I'm going to try it this winter because I always have a "cold feet" problem.velo
It works! Trust me, I spent 1 winter as a bike courier and my keeping my feet warm was always the limiting factor. I actually preferred to put the plastic bag on first, then a sock, then another plastic bag then another sock. You will notice the difference, especially after an hour or so. Of course, this was for the -30 degree C days. They also help for wet days, but of course only 1 layer is neccessary.

Bring on Winter!!
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Old 10-09-01, 08:06 PM   #18
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Y'all,

I'm from the South. Cold here is about 25 degrees F. (or 55 degrees, depending on whether you are a car-driver with poor circulation or not.)

Anyway, once I tried plastic bags over my socks. It kept my feet from getting stiff for about 40 minutes. The remaining 20 minutes were bearable.

I like the hiking boot idea. Only down here, I don't really need it.
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Old 10-10-01, 02:04 AM   #19
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I've found that the spd pedals make my toes feel numb after about an hours riding. I think its because of the small pedal print and my budget shoes don't have a very stiff plate.

So in cold weather it really compounds the problem of cold feet, coz my toes are loosing circulation thanks to the pedals & shoes anyway.

I find neoprene over shoes really help a lot in the cold, even when its not raining.

I'll be trying the plastig bag thing this year too.

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Old 10-10-01, 02:12 AM   #20
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I was wondering if the plastic bag thing is a good idea?

My feet smell at the best of times...maybe I'll give it ago and see how it goes...I hate cold feet during winter, but I especially hate cold wet feet!

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Old 10-16-01, 12:24 PM   #21
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Anyone tried winter sandals? (The theory behind the sandals is that they don't allow icy water to get trapped inside them the way that boots do. So the water drips away instead of remaining behind to freeze the heck out of your feet. Of course, you also need excellent winter socks for this sort of arrangement.)

I've never tried this arrangement myself, but was wondering if it's worth ever looking into.
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Old 10-16-01, 12:35 PM   #22
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As far as the plastic bag thingy, a friend of mine swears by this method. His preference is Subway sandwich bags if you can get em. I've never had this problem since the coldest it gets down here is about 35 degrees.
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Old 12-22-01, 10:24 PM   #23
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I sympathize with you, Turtle.

I'm heavy in winter riding. I commute all year (in real winter, sub-zero temps (F)). Keeping my feet warm is by far the hardest thing to do.

Some suggestions: smaller booties to wear inside your shoes, along with booties outside. You should be able to get a thin liner sock under the booties inside your shoe, even with a tight fitting shoe.

As some have pointed out, plastic bags are almost as good as the booties. If you're using bags regularly, though, you might like the booties instead. The bags tear, and they're not as warm. Bags are, however, free.

An overshoe warmer, like the one Trek makes for like $14, that can go under the over-the-shoe booties.

These suggestions are for moderate cold (around freezing). For colder weather, I gave up trying to make my clipless shoes comfortable. It's not just the fact that you can't get as many socks on in cycling shoes. It's the damn metal cleat, and the corresponding hole. The whole thing is a heat pipeline straight from your heart to the great outdoors.

In very cold weather, I just went with warm shoes or boots and used Powerstraps on the pedals. Ah, comfort! As many socks as you want, warm boots, whatever you want. This strategy is the only one I would recommend for more than twenty minutes or so of sub-zero riding.

I thought I might try those heat packs at Wal-Mart sometime, too. You know, those little ketchup packet sized thingies that give off a lot of heat for while when broken? I never have used them yet, though. They're cheap, and they might make a very cold day much more pleasant.

Good luck
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Old 12-30-01, 05:37 AM   #24
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I am the original "hothouse flower" and in my first couple years of cycling I switched to indoor training when temps dropped below 40F . . .But, as this obsession for riding just keeps growing, I find myself adding layers and getting out there in 20 degree weather . . . and it's keeping my toes warm that I haven't quite got yet. Yesterday, I had 3 pairs of socks on, including one wool pair, a pair of toe covers over my shows and a pair of booties. My toes still got cold before the end of our two hour ride. Someone suggested I go to a ski shop and get toe warmers??? Has anyone tried these???
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Old 01-01-02, 09:03 PM   #25
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Don't get more socks. Use your grandmother's
advice when your feet were cold in bed, cover
your head. My suggestion is a thin loose fitting
wool cap under your helmet. If you have already
done that, then get hunter's electric
socks.
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