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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 12-11-10, 06:55 AM   #1
bnelson
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frost bitten toes

any one have this happen?What do you need to do?
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Old 12-11-10, 07:29 AM   #2
rumrunn6
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I used:

good quality stiff walking shoe
mini clips
thin rubber over boots
2 pair socks - 1 thin sock liner 1 thicker high quality wool (and synthetic blend) sock
chemical toe or hand harmer taped to top of toes between sock liner and wool sock
toe warmers are thinner and have an adhesive side
hand warmers are thicker but you can flatten them and tape them to your sock
chemical warmers can be used more than once if you store them in an airtight plastic bag
be sure to activate them for 5 minutes before putting them in your shoes

I was able to ride up to 3 hrs in 17 degrees last year
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Old 12-11-10, 08:45 AM   #3
nashcommguy
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Originally Posted by bnelson View Post
any one have this happen?What do you need to do?
This is an often posted question and there are many different ways. The best system I found relys on keeping one's lower leg warm, especially the ankle pulse point. I use a good winter boot that comes up over my ankles. Cycling specific isn't necessary. At least one size larger than normal is though. 1 pair of cycling socks and one pair of knee high wool socks w/an extra layer of material that covers the shin. They're snowboard socks and Smartwool makes them. Got them from www.campmor.com If you ride clipless putting some insulating material over the cleat slots from the inside will prevent that area from becoming a heat sink...but it doesn't last forever. My commute is a little over an hour and it holds well for that amount of time.

Oh, and one can add a set of those elastic ankle wraps from the pharmacy. They help alot in keeping the pulse point warm. Trial and error is what worked for me when I started commuting in Chicago years ago.
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Old 12-11-10, 02:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bnelson View Post
any one have this happen?What do you need to do?
This is not likely to happen on a bike ride if you make reasonable attempts to keep your feet and legs and body warm. This is a bigger problem for those who are Alpine climbers and explorers who may be in extreme cold for several days without any place to get warm after a few hours.

As a bike rider you are not likely to be away from home and shelter for more than a few hours. Also, because winter riding is more strenuous there will always be some blood pumping in your feet even if they are cold.

If you ride in the far north you may have to be more careful about what you wear but these people are generally experts on what to wear in the cold so know what to do.

In general, if something is cold do something to keep it warm and don't ignore the problem. Ignoring the cold is the most dangerous thing and the most likely to lead to a frostbite condition. For instance, if your toes and feet get too cold on your commute you need to find another method to commute until you can address the problem. Or, get off your bike every 15 minutes or so and walk your bike for 2-3 minutes. That will usually suffice to get your feet warm unless you are way under dressed for the cold.

Last edited by Hezz; 12-11-10 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 12-11-10, 08:26 PM   #5
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I teach outdoor education: Here are the reasons for body heat loss affecting the extremeties:
1) Convection - air flow across the surface drawing away heat ie. ventilated cycling shoes
2) Conduction - lack of insulation (dead air space) around the body part or other areas of the body creating contact with cold.
3) Constriction - lack of adequate circulation - make sure your shoes are big enough, your head, neck, arm pits, groin, and legs are warm enough. Head and neck loose about 1/3 of body heat during normal outdoor activities. Brain responds to cold blood by constricting blood vessels in your extremeties first preserve the core temperatures. Frost bite is a common consequence of hypothermia in freezing temperatures.
4) Radiation - contact between an area of the body and good heat conductors like metal plates where cleats are screwed into the sole of your shoe, damp insulators (socks get damp and loose their dead air insulating value),
4) Evaporation - nothing sucks heat from a body faster than damp clothing. Avoid overdressing, and change out of it or it will draw down your body temperature until you do.
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Old 12-14-10, 07:43 PM   #6
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Kayakplayer, That was an excellent post. I think I just learned a whole lot more about stuff I already knew.

RPK
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Old 12-14-10, 09:24 PM   #7
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7 degrees yesterday. I used wool socks, chemical footwarmers, and my Dr. Schols jogging shoe. Feet were slightly nippy but not uncomfortable by any means. Rode 10 miles of single track. I hate wearing heavy boots. The foot warmers did the trick.
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Old 12-15-10, 07:51 AM   #8
RobertFrapples
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any one have this happen?What do you need to do?
If you already got frostbite, you need to see a doctor.
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Old 12-15-10, 07:26 PM   #9
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I think in the more severe cases of frostbite, one will need to have the toes (or tissues) cut off - which is probably a good to try and prevent it .

Yes, that is a good post by kayakplayer. In a nutshell, that's what you need to keep in mind as you dress up to negotiate those frigid temperatures.
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Old 12-17-10, 04:36 PM   #10
mtalinm
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this is the first BF post I have clipped and saved. thank you kayakplayer...


Quote:
Originally Posted by kayakplayer View Post
I teach outdoor education: Here are the reasons for body heat loss affecting the extremeties:
1) Convection - air flow across the surface drawing away heat ie. ventilated cycling shoes
2) Conduction - lack of insulation (dead air space) around the body part or other areas of the body creating contact with cold.
3) Constriction - lack of adequate circulation - make sure your shoes are big enough, your head, neck, arm pits, groin, and legs are warm enough. Head and neck loose about 1/3 of body heat during normal outdoor activities. Brain responds to cold blood by constricting blood vessels in your extremeties first preserve the core temperatures. Frost bite is a common consequence of hypothermia in freezing temperatures.
4) Radiation - contact between an area of the body and good heat conductors like metal plates where cleats are screwed into the sole of your shoe, damp insulators (socks get damp and loose their dead air insulating value),
4) Evaporation - nothing sucks heat from a body faster than damp clothing. Avoid overdressing, and change out of it or it will draw down your body temperature until you do.
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