So today was -17C (1.4F) when I rode out, and it had been a week since my last ride. Now that I have my winter tires, I was able to go out and ride.
It is so much harder to bike with those huge tires, and the snow. Thankfully there was some ares where I could ride on the pavement, but some other areas I couldn't. I got to work exhausted, but with a good workout...
Now It's apparent that I'm not well dressed. My upper body was litteraly steaming from all that trapped moisture when I opened my outter shell, The 2nd layer (under outer shell) had ice on it, from all that trapped moisture. My legs seemd okay, they were a bit cold @ first, but warmed up.
The real problem though, were my feet and hands.
What I'm wearing:
Gloves = These with a pair of fleece wick & dry gloves under then.
Boots: these with a plastic bag over these socks . The reason I put the plastic bag is that I had problems with those boots at -14C, so I decided to try this after seeing someone suggesting that somewhere on this board. It worked better, but I still had some pain in my toes when I got to work.
Could it be that my body is too warm, causing it not to try and warm my hands and feet enough? Could it be overdressing of the feet and hands? When I leave home, I'm usually warm from the feet and hands to the point where I start feeling *some* moisture building up in it. It's only in the last 30% of my commute that things start getting ugly.
I think you need a weicking (or two) layer. Something that pushes the sweat/moisture out of the inner layer. I find two pairs of socks works really well. My base layer wicks, and the second sock is pretty thick.
I've just been wearing silk long underwear and fleece pants and fleece top. Plus a windbreaker on top. I stay warm. Wicking layers are very important. As an ice diver (scuba), I have lots of good clothing for this sort of thing.
You guys were a bit colder than we were down here in Vermont today!
As for the knobby tires, stick with it. I've been going on my MTB for about a week now and the first couple of days made me wonder if it was such a good idea. Your body just has to get used to it.
Not sure how long your staying outside at those temps, but the feet can be a problem after long periods of time. For me, my feet can't stand more than about 1 1/2 hours at those temps no matter what. Although I never tried them, I know some people who use the battery powered feet warmers. I find one of the keys to moisture control is to limit yourself in terms of how hard your working. The right combination will come to you as you experiment more.