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Old 12-19-08, 11:14 AM   #1
cachehiker
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Next Step - Neoprene Layer beneath Superfeet Insoles?

Until a week ago I've been commuting in some uninsulated but waterproof and nearly windproof Lake MX255 mountain bike shoes with Superfeet Wintergreen cold weather insoles, Smartwool Extra Heavy Mountaineering socks, and Pearl Izumi Amfib mountain bike shoe covers. I've been comfortable throughout my 9.5 mile one way commute down to the low 20's and able to get by, feet getting cold after 5-6 miles, down to 16-18F.

The shoe/insole combination has worked with the standard Smartwool Heavy Trekking socks down to 30-35F and adding the mountaineering socks and shoes covers have each gotten me another 6-9F. I'm on a quest for the next 6-9F as that's where I think I'll hit my next barrier in the form of frozen hands or glasses icing over.

Anyhow, the cold weather insoles only got me about 5F when I put them in and I suspect the biggest part of the problem is losing heat through the cleats and the exposed sole of the shoe. The shoes were purchased a Euro size and a half large to make room for the extra thick socks. Even with the mountaineering socks I still have a small amount of space left but not a 1/4" worth so toasty feets are out along with the other basic 6mm felt insoles I can find.

I really like the added stiffness and really need the arch support of the Superfeet insoles so I've been looking for some 1/8" thick felt to cut to size and put beneath them for added warmth. I'm running out of patience in my quest to find the felt locally and friend suggested installing some 2-3mm neoprene instead, possibly with some foil or aluminized mylar underneath that.

What do you think? Would it get me another 6-9F? or would I be settling for less?

BTW, after riding 5000 miles clipless throughout the rest of the year, I can't stand riding any substantial distance on platform pedals. They just feel wrong.
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Old 12-19-08, 02:07 PM   #2
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In all seriousness ... the 'parts' costs for the materials you're looking at should be quite reasonable.

If it were me, I'd by enough to make a pair of each, then MAKE the pair of each, but run side-by-side trials -- in other words: felt in one shoe and neoprene in the other, then mylar in one and a toasty foot (or whatever) in the other.

Round robin them until you have a pretty good feel for fit, volume, and temperature.

Costs very little to try....
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Old 12-19-08, 10:32 PM   #3
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Cache,

I would try some of these insoles under your present ones if you have room. They should take up less room than felt and they will have a higher insulation value per unit thickness over felt. And they are constructed using aerogel which has the highest insulation factor of any known substance.

http://workingperson.com/products/22...soles_TFM.html

Here's an interesting article to read about the aerogel material.

http://www.designnews.com/article/13...ls_Heat_Up.php
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Old 12-22-08, 01:37 PM   #4
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It's the apparent availability of the felt that's the problem and not the cost. I can find 1/4" stuff everywhere but the 1/8" stuff seems to require me to buy in bulk or pick up a bunch of 1/4" and 3/8" scraps to go along with it. I can get the neoprene from Quest Outfitters.

Also, from what I've read the Toasty Feet Insoles are thicker than what I can accomodate in the manner described previously. I don't want to lose the "loose fitting shoes" and the extra insulation they provide.

Anyway, I tore into my outdoor equivalent of everybody's bike component junk box looking for my hiking gaiters yesterday and stumbled across the unused insoles out of some Alpina NNN-BC ski boots I bought a year and a half ago. They're about 50% thicker, maybe 5 mm, made of what appears to be two different densities of felt, and offer some arch support as well.

I think I'll appreciate the added lateral stiffness offered by the elongated Superfeet heel cups more in the old xc ski boots more than the slightly stiffer pedaling platform they provide in the Lakes. I think I'll cut the bc ski insoles down to fit the Lakes and see how they do. It is, after all, a cheap experiment. It's not like the old insoles have been doing anything more than collecting dust.
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Old 12-22-08, 02:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cachehiker View Post
It's the apparent availability of the felt that's the problem and not the cost. I can find 1/4" stuff everywhere but the 1/8" stuff seems to require me to buy in bulk or pick up a bunch of 1/4" and 3/8" scraps to go along with it. I can get the neoprene from Quest Outfitters.

Also, from what I've read the Toasty Feet Insoles are thicker than what I can accomodate in the manner described previously. I don't want to lose the "loose fitting shoes" and the extra insulation they provide.

Anyway, I tore into my outdoor equivalent of everybody's bike component junk box looking for my hiking gaiters yesterday and stumbled across the unused insoles out of some Alpina NNN-BC ski boots I bought a year and a half ago. They're about 50% thicker, maybe 5 mm, made of what appears to be two different densities of felt, and offer some arch support as well.

I think I'll appreciate the added lateral stiffness offered by the elongated Superfeet heel cups more in the old xc ski boots more than the slightly stiffer pedaling platform they provide in the Lakes. I think I'll cut the bc ski insoles down to fit the Lakes and see how they do. It is, after all, a cheap experiment. It's not like the old insoles have been doing anything more than collecting dust.

new toasty feets are a bit thinner. you need to order direct from polarwrap to make sure you get
the thinner ones


and


toasty feet are so damn good anything else is just half-arsed. really

also toasty feet has an arch support version. I don't know exactly how they do it but
I just ordered 1 pair with and 1 pair without, to compliment the pair I already own because
ALL my winter boots are getting toasty feet upgrades. they are teh bomb
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Old 12-22-08, 05:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
anything else is just half-arsed.
And half-arsed I am. I've already exceeded my goal for winter riding this year. It's now below 10F most every morning and the highs rarely exceed 30F. That effectively renders the winter riding season half-over for me. I was hoping to ride into work on at least a few below 20F mornings compared to last year's best of 24F and I've already pulled that off. Toasty feet and anything else that's the least bit pricey won't be on the list until next year but a simple $5-10 trick that gets me an extra ride or two heading into February could be.

I know it's BF sacrilege but for the time being, my disposable $$$ will be invested in skis and HDTV.
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