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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 12-05-10, 02:13 PM   #1
mtalinm
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am I a candidate for Lake winter shoes/boots?

My doctor insists I don't have Raynaud's syndrome, but I have the most cold-sensitive fingers and toes of anyone I know.

Luckily my lobster mitts keep the fingers warm even at 20 degrees. But I have not yet figured out the piggies. After 30 minutes of riding at temperatures below 45, the rest of the foot feels fine but the toes are cold. I typically ride with cleats (but see below). Things I've tried:

* larger shoes with two pairs of wool socks (one thin)
* larger shoes with one pair of socks to make sure I'm not cramping the toes
* wiggling the toes as I ride
* plastic bags over feet
* felt liners (to prevent heat loss through cleats)
* regular winter boots on platform pedals (i.e., no cleats)
* booties over shoes over double socks

and various combinations of the above. the only thing that works reliably for me is the chemical toe warmers - they are great but inconvenient and a bit pricey over time as I commute an hour each way most days in the winter and use a pair per day (keep them in a baby food jar at work).

I'm wondering whether I should plunk down a couple hundred bucks for the Lake winter boots. they are pricey, but if I could avoid the numbness that would be wonderful.
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Old 12-05-10, 02:40 PM   #2
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If you insist on riding with clipless pedals then they may help, but depending on the type of riding you do and the performance you expect and demand, you could try flat pedals and winter boots like Sorels.
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Old 12-05-10, 02:48 PM   #3
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Yeah I'm trying to stay with cleats. My commute is long enough that it makes a difference, and I like to do distance rides on my road bike in the winter.

Plus, those Sorel boots are expensive enough that I might as well spend a bit more!
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Old 12-05-10, 03:35 PM   #4
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Even at around -12C I've found that my Lakes aren't keeping my toes warm enough for my entire commute (about an hour). In my case it might partially be circulation related as I'd get toe numbness when cycling even when its warmer. I moved the cleats back but haven't had a chance to try them out again at a similar temperature. At -20C today they definitely weren't cutting it.

The boots weren't as large as I thought they'd be, so I can't go with a thicker sock without them being too tight. If you do decided to get a pair, you'd be well advised to find a store that carries them so you can try them on. Bring along the thickest socks you think you'd wear with them.
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Old 12-05-10, 03:56 PM   #5
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I probably wouldn't ride much below -10C...how do you find them at that temperature?

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Originally Posted by gecho View Post
Even at around -12C I've found that my Lakes aren't keeping my toes warm enough for my entire commute (about an hour). In my case it might partially be circulation related as I'd get toe numbness when cycling even when its warmer. I moved the cleats back but haven't had a chance to try them out again at a similar temperature. At -20C today they definitely weren't cutting it.

The boots weren't as large as I thought they'd be, so I can't go with a thicker sock without them being too tight. If you do decided to get a pair, you'd be well advised to find a store that carries them so you can try them on. Bring along the thickest socks you think you'd wear with them.
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Old 12-05-10, 07:47 PM   #6
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I haven't used them at temps above -10C, and from the look of the forecast I probably get a chance anytime soon.
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Old 12-05-10, 08:49 PM   #7
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I know they're warm, but Sorels are so big and clunky I have a hard time imagining riding in them.
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Old 12-05-10, 09:40 PM   #8
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I bought my felt pack boots for $30.00 and they are not nearly as big and clunky as Sorels and will even fit my mtb clips and straps.

They have a -30 rating and I have added a felt insole to improve on their cold rating and with a base sock and merino sock have ridden at -46C with toasty toes.

My friend suffers from having very cold toes and rides through the winter with Sorels that have a -80 rating.

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Old 12-05-10, 09:46 PM   #9
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A boot like this is great for cycling in the winter... as are some hiking boots and Ski boots (the walking kind).



http://canada.zappos.com/n/p/dp/69231813/c/20.html
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Old 12-06-10, 08:26 AM   #10
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I havent had the weather to try them out yet, but i bought a pair of neoprene socks, i got the 2mm pair, and bought some silk liner socks to go under them from what ive read is they are wind and water proof and will keep you comfy down to about 0f. I would imagine if you b\put a merino layer in there too they would be super warm. But i had to go a size bigger on my shoes to fit them. My problem is i have a hard time riding with something tight around my ankle so wearing winter boots for me hasn't really worked and in my experience hurt my ankles. I got both the neoprene socks and silk socks from cabelas i think the neoprenes were 13$ and silk 9$

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Old 12-06-10, 09:24 AM   #11
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We rode in about 8 to 15 degree temps yesterday and most people's toes were getting cold by the time we were done including the 3 or 4 people that had Lake boots on. Lake's aren't really designed for weather that cold and I'll ride when it's much colder than that. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm skeptical that they're going to help all that much.
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Old 12-06-10, 10:40 AM   #12
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I use winter cycling shoes, wool socks and neoprene toe covers down to about 25-30F. Below that, I wear waterproof hiking boots (without aggressive tread) that are rated at -1F. In the winter, I use Shimano M324 pedals, so I can clip in on one side and use the platforms on the other, depending on the temps. The coldest I ride in is the low teens. Below that, which is exceedingly rare in the DC area, I drive to work.
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Old 12-06-10, 10:54 AM   #13
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Here's what I did: Bought a pair of Lake CXZ 301 winter road boots. One size larger to accomodate extra sock(s). Expensive, but my commute is 40 mi rt, I'm making good money and I didn't want to eff around. Once I got the cleats set I took a small peice of styrofoam filled in the cleat openings and covered everything w/a piece of duct tape. Then placed the barrier insole back inside the boot. This moderately keeps the cleat/pedal assembly from becoming a heat sink. Then I wear a standard cycling sock and a knee high wool sock w/an added wind barrier built into the sock. Smartwool makes the ones I've got. The fact that my lower leg stays warm for much longer keeps my toes from getting cold. Before this system I was experiencing frozen toes no matter what I did. Also, I think the fact that my pulse points are kept warm helps as that's where one's blood is closest to the surface.

The same thing works for my fingers as I keep my gloves up over my wrists to cover the pulse point there. They never get cold, anymore. I've got mittens w/liners for when it's really cold.

I guess it all adds up. Good head and trunk layering. Windblocking shell, etc. Helmet cover. 100% wool everywhere possible. As mentioned above, I've never tried silk socks, but would imagine the natural fiber wicks really well. Hope this has been helpful.

Last edited by nashcommguy; 12-06-10 at 10:56 AM. Reason: editing grammar...grrrr!
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Old 12-06-10, 11:36 AM   #14
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i just bought the lake mxz302s and they are awesome for the cold. i did have to get 2 sizes larger though. i got a 13(us) wide which is a 47 i think . i normally wear an 11 in sneakers 10 in boots . i have road shoes by sidi that are 45. got the lakes for $200 at bicycleeverything .com modernbike.com was pretty cheap too.
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Old 12-08-10, 11:17 PM   #15
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Lakes + plus chemical toe warmers=Very warm.
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Old 12-09-10, 04:46 PM   #16
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I was planning to try out a pair of Toasty Feet aerogel insoles in my Lakes, but Polarwrap's customer service might foil my plans. Despite their outrageously high USPS shipping prices to Canada, I got an email from them wanting even more.

Disappointing after reading threads about them giving people coupon codes for free shipping, matching walmart prices etc. No wonder they can't get anyone to stock their product here.
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