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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 09-22-09, 11:49 AM   #1
SlimAgainSoon
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Feet

It is still pretty daggone warm down here, but it will get cold (or chilly, to some of you) sooner or later, and when it does ... my feet get cold.

I do fine in other ways ... I've got my wardrobe worked out. But the feet ... they just get too cold.

Any advice? We're talking temps into the mid-20s, at the coldest.

I cycle some with clipless pedals, but this winter will probably spend most of my commuting time on a utility bike with old-fashioned platforms, so any shoes (or sandals, which I am using in the summer) will work.



My toes thank you in advance for your help and kindness.
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Old 09-22-09, 12:06 PM   #2
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I like smartwool or fox river socks of medium weight (basically x-country ski socks) and a slightly oversized slip-on shoe like Cabelas sells. I haven't found a need for insulated footwear even down to -25f below. My feet generate their own heat, and so long as I allow a little air space around the sock they're fine. The minute I wear a laced shoe and eliminate that air space, they get really cold really fast. Also, this setup doesn't work when I'm actually walking in snow very much. It does work great on platform pedals though. I think it has something to do with the fact that the outside of the shoe is only being exposed to air. If you make contact with something solid and freezing like ice and snow it will lose its insulation faster.

Last edited by Cosmoline; 09-22-09 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 09-22-09, 12:43 PM   #3
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Well if it doesn't snow where you live then you can actually keep using your clipless shoes, most bike clothing manufacturers make insulated shoe covers that will keep them warm. But if it does snow I wouldn't recommend the cleats at all, ****ers slide enough in the heavy rain.
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Old 09-22-09, 01:23 PM   #4
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I use Trukke boots. The current model is called Thundersnow III. They are marketed as a snowmobile boots but they work well for me with platform pedals.

I got these after a long search for a double insulated boot suitable for winter biking. The Trukke boots have a stiff sole, unlike normal shoepacs from Sorel or Baffin. The Trukke boots stand up to pedaling unlike the others which are too soft.

They may seem like overkill, but they work great when there's snow on the ground. In my experience the lightweight insulated biking shoes marketed by Sidi, Lake, etc. aren't near warm enough unless you live in Florida.
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Old 09-23-09, 11:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon View Post
It is still pretty daggone warm down here, but it will get cold (or chilly, to some of you) sooner or later, and when it does ... my feet get cold.

I do fine in other ways ... I've got my wardrobe worked out. But the feet ... they just get too cold.

Any advice? We're talking temps into the mid-20s, at the coldest.

I cycle some with clipless pedals, but this winter will probably spend most of my commuting time on a utility bike with old-fashioned platforms, so any shoes (or sandals, which I am using in the summer) will work.



My toes thank you in advance for your help and kindness.
Generally, it is pretty easy to keep your feet warm when using platform pedals because you can use some lightweight hiking shoes or lightweight leather shoes with thick socks. When you start using clipless pedals it can get a lot harder to keep your feet warm. The easiest method for clipless is some dedicated winter cycling shoes, but hey cost a bit of cash.

If you go with platform pedals it is best to have the large surface area BMX type of pedals as they don't cause blood flow problems in the foot as much.

An oversized leather pull on shoe with a thick foam sole works well for cold temperatures when combined with thick socks and a large platform pedal. Properly conditioned whey will be highly water resistant and breathable. Which will keep your foot warmer. If you can find some that are only 6 inches tall or so it will save some weight.
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Last edited by Hezz; 09-23-09 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 09-23-09, 07:02 PM   #6
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Having lived, been active outside, and cycled in northern Alberta, central Alberta, and especially Winnipeg for 40+ years, I decided to write the following article, which I've posted the last couple winters, on what works for me when it comes to cold feet:

http://www.machka.net/whatworks/coldfeet.htm

The article takes you from temperatures nearing the freezing mark, all the way down to what works for -40C/F.
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Old 09-24-09, 11:55 AM   #7
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Machka has some great advice!!!

I bike year round in Canada and have Exus bike shoes with Time Attac clipless on them ... I wear wool socks and use the MEC Nylon booties, and that's about it. (even on the coldest winter day). My feet can be cold starting out, but after 5 minutes at most they are nice and toasty! The booties cut the wind and wet while the wool socks keep everything nice and warm!
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Old 09-25-09, 08:57 AM   #8
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Try, in this order. sock liners, smartwool socks, plastic wrap or plastic bag, slide into shoe and then a shoe cover.
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Old 09-29-09, 12:43 PM   #9
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That sounds like too many layers /\
It's better to have a little air space around the feet.
This thread reminds me that I have to check out LL Bean for irregular ski socks.
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