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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 10-30-10, 05:30 PM   #1
Chalupa102
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Clipless or platforms?

Do you guys use clipless or platform pedals during the winter? If you are one who uses clipless, what footwear do you use that keep your feet warm during the ride?
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Old 10-30-10, 06:28 PM   #2
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Clipless.

Lake MXZ302.

It all seems like a very personal choice to me. Over the past four years of participating in this forum, near as I can tell, people who prefer clipless in the three-seasons, also prefer clipless in winter. Those who prefer platforms in the three-seasons seem to prefer them in winter as well. Yes, there are a few who switch back and forth, but again, near as I can tell, folks stick with their personal preferences year 'round.

For every reason I can cite for why I prefer clipless, there's someone else who cites those same reasons as why they prefer platforms. That's why I say it's more a personal preference than anything else.

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Old 10-31-10, 02:57 AM   #3
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people who prefer clipless in the three-seasons, also prefer clipless in winter.
Not me, I love clipless 3 seasons, but on those really cold days there is no way. On the plus side the pathways are usually pretty clear when it's below -20c (-4f)
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Old 10-31-10, 06:34 AM   #4
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I prefer flat BMX pedals with pegs all 4-seasons. This facilitates the use of any shoe I want to wear, some of which are quite large -- goretex boots, tennis shoes, sandals, etc.

I've ridden previously a few years swearing by clipless pedals, and I still think they're easy to use -- so I'm not anti-clipless, just prefer regular pedals now.

I have an almost flawless set of candy-c's and spd's in the tool box...
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Old 10-31-10, 08:55 AM   #5
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This will be my first real winter where I attempt to ride regularly and I will be using regular old pedals. I wear a lot of different shoes (boots too) so I like to keep it simple with my pedals.
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Old 10-31-10, 09:14 AM   #6
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SPD clipless, Lake MXZ302.
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Old 10-31-10, 12:57 PM   #7
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Clipless are the expensive answer, the custom shoes you need to keep your feet warm come from LAKE and others - multiple hundreds for the shoes. If you're road riding a lot, not just commuting in the winter i would consider them then.

Platforms and regular winter boots are perfectly viable for commuting... just make sure you're not using $5 platform pedals - get some pedals with grippy teeth.
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Old 10-31-10, 12:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Not me, I love clipless 3 seasons, but on those really cold days there is no way. On the plus side the pathways are usually pretty clear when it's below -20c (-4f)
I'm not buying another specialized clipless shoe just for winter commuting... this is why a lot of clipless riders are 3-season only - it is no co-incidence. Cold feet suck.
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Old 10-31-10, 03:40 PM   #9
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+1. I'd actually like to see a correlation of how much people spend on bike-specific gear vs. how much of the year they actually ride.

I'd almost guarantee that there's a strong, negative one.

Ask yourself (if you're an all-year rider) just how different the roads and MUP's look between July and January in terms of cyclist numbers.
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Old 11-01-10, 06:55 AM   #10
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Clipless are the expensive answer, the custom shoes you need to keep your feet warm come from LAKE and others - multiple hundreds for the shoes. If you're road riding a lot, not just commuting in the winter i would consider them then.

Platforms and regular winter boots are perfectly viable for commuting... just make sure you're not using $5 platform pedals - get some pedals with grippy teeth.
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I'm not buying another specialized clipless shoe just for winter commuting... this is why a lot of clipless riders are 3-season only - it is no co-incidence. Cold feet suck.
My clipless pedals cost me $40. My 'winter' clipless shoes cost me $40...in 1999 The neoprene booties I wear over my 'winter' clipless shoes* cost me $15 in 1999. Total cost $95. Amortized over 11 years thats $8/year. Hardly expensive.

I'd not buy a true 'winter shoe' for my area because I have too many commuting days where I need the warmth in the morning but not in the evening. Friday was a prime example. 20F going in but 70F going home.


*The shoes are a Shimano touring shoe. Very similar to a mountain bike shoe with a smoother sole. I bought them 2 sizes larger to accommodate thicker socks and fleece liners.
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Old 11-01-10, 08:57 AM   #11
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I ride clip-less all year until mid December. I then swap out to platforms(Tioga Spyder, very grippy). I wear thick leather shoes( sized a little wider than normal) with 2 pairs of wool socks. Been below 0F(-18C) many times over the years.
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Old 11-01-10, 09:40 AM   #12
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I'm in the "change to platforms for winter" camp, but I think tsl pretty much nailed it. It's personal preference above everything else. In my case, bike is my primary means of transportation so I need to wear something walkable when I'm grocery shopping etc. Shoes with cleats can be slippery to walk in in summer, but in winter it can get really nasty. That's one reason why I like normal winter boots when riding in winter.
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Old 11-01-10, 12:05 PM   #13
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My clipless pedals cost me $40. My 'winter' clipless shoes cost me $40...in 1999 The neoprene booties I wear over my 'winter' clipless shoes* cost me $15 in 1999. Total cost $95. Amortized over 11 years thats $8/year. Hardly expensive.

I'd not buy a true 'winter shoe' for my area because I have too many commuting days where I need the warmth in the morning but not in the evening. Friday was a prime example. 20F going in but 70F going home.


*The shoes are a Shimano touring shoe. Very similar to a mountain bike shoe with a smoother sole. I bought them 2 sizes larger to accommodate thicker socks and fleece liners.
Try wearing neoprene booties here, hahaha... i'll be straight up and say you'll have frozen and soaking wet feet by the end of the day. You need a boot here. Maybe neoprene cuts it there, but there are slushponds and stacks of icy cold slush waiting for your feet at every intersection here. You need a real boot. know what i'm talkin a boot??
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Old 11-01-10, 01:56 PM   #14
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I use BMX platforms in the winter and toe straps for the rest of the year. I'm getting really tired of the toe straps, though, and I'm considering going clipless in the spring. I may try a set of Power Grips first as that's a cheaper proposition than clipless... at least initially.

Platforms and boots for my winter rides:

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Old 11-01-10, 02:39 PM   #15
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Try wearing neoprene booties here, hahaha... i'll be straight up and say you'll have frozen and soaking wet feet by the end of the day. You need a boot here. Maybe neoprene cuts it there, but there are slushponds and stacks of icy cold slush waiting for your feet at every intersection here. You need a real boot. know what i'm talkin a boot??
Neoprene has no problem with water. I wear neoprene on my feet when I'm standing butt deep in cold water while fishing. On bike shoes covers, water could infiltrate through the cut out for the cleat but I've sealed the cleat area inside the shoe so that that the water doesn't get to my feet. Spray, while riding, rolls right off.
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Old 11-01-10, 02:40 PM   #16
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Be careful with the powergrips, I think they're even harder to get out than clipless... Though you did say you're using toe-straps.
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Old 11-01-10, 02:43 PM   #17
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Neoprene has no problem with water. I wear neoprene on my feet when I'm standing butt deep in cold water while fishing. On bike shoes covers, water could infiltrate through the cut out for the cleat but I've sealed the cleat area inside the shoe so that that the water doesn't get to my feet. Spray, while riding, rolls right off.
Neoprene is not water-proof, water will get past it and you'll have wet shoes, then because your clipless are summer shoes you'll get wet socks, then you'll get a pair of ice-cubes or really stinky wet feet. I would never recommend it to anybody here because they would come back angry. Full boot!
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Old 11-01-10, 04:03 PM   #18
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Neoprene is not water-proof.
Beg to differ. I wear something like these to fishing in



They're water proof

I wear something like these when it's warmer



They have neoprene stocking feet which are water proof. I've used both of these for hours of immersion and they are absolutely water "proof" unless they are torn. My neoprene shoe covers are made of the same material and would be just as water proof if they didn't have a hole cut out of the bottom of them for the cleat. As I've said, I've taken care of that.

Now my shoes may be wet...from sweat...because the sweat can't go anywhere. But, as I've experienced with leaking waders, that's not going to make your feet all that cold because the neoprene also insulates so that there is no heat loss due to evaporation. A layer of body temperature water trapped against the skin in an insulated container is going to be just as warm as a layer of air.
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Old 11-01-10, 07:05 PM   #19
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Beg to differ. I wear something like these to fishing in



They're water proof

I wear something like these when it's warmer



They have neoprene stocking feet which are water proof. I've used both of these for hours of immersion and they are absolutely water "proof" unless they are torn. My neoprene shoe covers are made of the same material and would be just as water proof if they didn't have a hole cut out of the bottom of them for the cleat. As I've said, I've taken care of that.

Now my shoes may be wet...from sweat...because the sweat can't go anywhere. But, as I've experienced with leaking waders, that's not going to make your feet all that cold because the neoprene also insulates so that there is no heat loss due to evaporation. A layer of body temperature water trapped against the skin in an insulated container is going to be just as warm as a layer of air.
You going to ride your bicycle in those? Maybe those are in fact water-proof, your conversation about waders is surreal. Despite the entertainment, I don't here you saying anything about the actual booties.

Full boot!
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Old 11-02-10, 04:44 AM   #20
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I always ride platforms. I find them especially useful in the winter time for two reasons:

1. You can wear whatever you want. Boots or shoes, and no need to have duplicate cycling/non-cycling shoes. Also, if your shoes get soaked from soppy wet snow, you are not stuck with the same pair of shoes.

2. I would argue that it's safer in fishtail-snowy conditions. There are some instances each winter where I have to put a foot down quickly to stay upright on the bike. There is zero chance of failing to unclip on platforms.
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Old 11-02-10, 08:47 AM   #21
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You going to ride your bicycle in those? Maybe those are in fact water-proof, your conversation about waders is surreal. Despite the entertainment, I don't here you saying anything about the actual booties.

Full boot!
That 'Swooosh' sound you hear is something going completely over your head.

Neoprene bicycle shoe covers are made of exactly the same material as fishing waders. The neoprene is, essentially, the same material as your bicycle tubes are made of except they have little air bubbles throughout the material. The point being that neoprene is water proof whether it's used in a pair of fishing waders or in bicycle shoe covers.
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Old 11-02-10, 08:57 AM   #22
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Then again, there are neoprene wet suits that functionally require a layer of water to seep in between body and suit. The water inside the suit acts as an added insulation layer (once your body warms it up of course). A lot of full neoprene paddling gear follows that principle. If you're looking for waterproof stuff, and it's made of neoprene, make sure it's the right kind. The material in itself can be misleading in this particular case.

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Old 11-02-10, 09:17 AM   #23
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Platforms with powergrips year-round on my commuter. In the winter I wear hiking boots. Clipless on my 'fast and light' bike.
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Old 11-02-10, 09:19 AM   #24
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^ this

I have some neoprene overshoes that are not waterproof. However, they limit the amount of water that can pass through.
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Old 11-02-10, 11:14 AM   #25
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Then again, there are neoprene wet suits that functionally require a layer of water to seep in between body and suit. The water inside the suit acts as an added insulation layer (once your body warms it up of course). A lot of full neoprene paddling gear follows that principle. If you're looking for waterproof stuff, and it's made of neoprene, make sure it's the right kind. The material in itself can be misleading in this particular case.

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The neoprene itself does not absorb water. It is a closed cell foam and is hydrophobic. Neoprene is made from the same material as an inner tube but it has been foamed and has air bubbles in it. Water splashing on the outside of the material won't pass through so your feet won't be wet and cold. As I've said water may infiltrate through the cleat opening but the neoprene itself is water proof.
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