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    toe tips a little cold

    No commuting this week [truck plant layoff] so I went out for a hour and a half ride on three bike paths plus city streets.Rode down to Lake Ontario shoreline and back 25k's total. Only problem was cold toe tips. I had thin cannondale socks , thermal socks, summer mtb shoes, and descent neoprene booties.
    It was -11 windchill -18c. and the time just flew by and I was late picking up my boys from school. I made home made shoe covers out of a pair of thermal socks and feet from a pair of my wife's tights with cutouts for cleats and will try them. Hope that will help or I'll get a thin pair of poly socks,thin poly gloves
    work great. I used arm warmers made out of same tights and wore them over louis garneau drytex 300 base layer under louis garneau jacket,with 12 dollar thinsulate gloves.

  2. #2
    Ice Eater gmacrider's Avatar
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    I was told neoprene booties aren't the best when it gets real cold, so I bought these:

    MEC Booties

    I'm quite happy with them. They're great when it's sloppy and wet, and also kept my feet toasty warm when it was -35C last week on my 45 minute commute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmacrider
    I was told neoprene booties aren't the best when it gets real cold, so I bought these:

    MEC Booties

    I'm quite happy with them. They're great when it's sloppy and wet, and also kept my feet toasty warm when it was -35C last week on my 45 minute commute.
    Thanks for the reply , I may look at them when I can save some more "bike cash".I just spent 80 dollars on a nokian m&g. Got one last year at Baycycle for 40 bucks in the spring, that was a good deal!

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Try a sandwich bag over your toes. Over your socks and under your shoes. This is one of the best things you can do. Experiment with layers. Layers can be big socks over your shoes. Or just about anything. Make sure you can move your toes and your shoes are not too tight.
    Maximum heat, minimum cost, lightest weight, easy to pedal and flex your ankle = Big socks over shoes with a plastic bag over the front of you foot, and repeat.

    foot
    sock
    bag
    shoe
    sock
    bag
    sock
    bag
    Covered with a neoprene booty.

    below about 15f for over three hours I add a chemical toe warmer on the sock. You need to have the shoes very loose to do this. Leave the shoes loose anyway, all the layers will tighten the shoe up as you put them on.

    This gives you the option of adding or removing layers on different temp days. This is important.
    This is just as warm as my Sorrel thick insulated waterproof boots. Much lighter and your can pedal normally and bend your ankle. I can walk in the snow and a little water and ride with snow on my feet.

    Did about 5 hours yesterday starting at 30 degrees f and ending at 18 degrees f.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    Try a sandwich bag over your toes. Over your socks and under your shoes. This is one of the best things you can do. Experiment with layers. Layers can be big socks over your shoes. Or just about anything. Make sure you can move your toes and your shoes are not too tight.
    Maximum heat, minimum cost, lightest weight, easy to pedal and flex your ankle = Big socks over shoes with a plastic bag over the front of you foot, and repeat.

    foot
    sock
    bag
    shoe
    sock
    bag
    sock
    bag
    Covered with a neoprene booty.

    below about 15f for over three hours I add a chemical toe warmer on the sock. You need to have the shoes very loose to do this. Leave the shoes loose anyway, all the layers will tighten the shoe up as you put them on.

    This gives you the option of adding or removing layers on different temp days. This is important.
    This is just as warm as my Sorrel thick insulated waterproof boots. Much lighter and your can pedal normally and bend your ankle. I can walk in the snow and a little water and ride with snow on my feet.

    Did about 5 hours yesterday starting at 30 degrees f and ending at 18 degrees f.
    I got a pair of thermal socks to go over my shoes and made cutouts for cleats,booties over that, should be like wearing insulated booties and I will try the sandwich bag. It's -25c windchill-31[-13f.] Thanks for the tip. My shoes are pretty tight with one thermal and one thin sock.

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    I've found with my 15+ mile each-way commute to work in Minnesota that the toes get cold even with the boot covers during those last few miles. On the evening we had a -30F wind chill, I found that just taking a foot off the pedal for about 30 seconds , tucking the leg up a bit, and shaking the foot brings some warm blood back into the toes.

    - Glenn

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    GALICO Galico's Avatar
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    I have gone to my mountain bike shoes and pedals, but I find even in the big chill that when I wear neopream booties my feet are wet. So with all these bags, booties etc. sweat is retained and it gets cold. The cold spot with my road shoes is under the clips-with all the layers you still have just carbon and steel. I am just jealous of those folks who's feet never get cold. Perhaps I'll cut out some Sorrel felt liners for my clips and wear them over my shoe's and wrap it all with Duct Tape and just keep them on all all winter.

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbushee
    I've found with my 15+ mile each-way commute to work in Minnesota that the toes get cold even with the boot covers during those last few miles. On the evening we had a -30F wind chill, I found that just taking a foot off the pedal for about 30 seconds , tucking the leg up a bit, and shaking the foot brings some warm blood back into the toes.

    - Glenn
    This is a good point to bring up. That is a good suggestion. I would like to add...

    If you still have a long way to go and your toes are getting way to cold, don't just keep going. Get off
    the bike and walk the bike for a short while. Your toes will come right back. It only takes a little walking.

  9. #9
    By-Tor...or the Snow Dog? hi565's Avatar
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    I just bought these the Performance Neoprene bootie, plus my tights. I am eagerly waiting for them, since they are a day late. I have been told they are good, water proof, wind proof should do the trick for me.
    ----------------------------------------------------------

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galico
    I have gone to my mountain bike shoes and pedals, but I find even in the big chill that when I wear neopream booties my feet are wet. So with all these bags, booties etc. sweat is retained and it gets cold. The cold spot with my road shoes is under the clips-with all the layers you still have just carbon and steel. I am just jealous of those folks who's feet never get cold. Perhaps I'll cut out some Sorrel felt liners for my clips and wear them over my shoe's and wrap it all with Duct Tape and just keep them on all all winter.

    The bag is only on the front. Just like my tights. The front is water tight and the back is breathable. In fact the bag thing is not as sweaty as Sorrel waterproof boots with the rubber bottoms. The small amount of sweat is warmed when you move and gets up to body temp. it's not a problem if you know how to manage your body temp.Also you need the right amount of insulation. Don' think for a second that the sweat from the bags is colder than no bags. You need to keep creating heat by moving in either case. I can ride for eight hours in 15f temps with the bags on. When I take my shoes off yes, my feet are sweaty, but not cold.

    If you do the Sorrel liner, duct tape thing..can you post pictures?

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hi565
    I just bought these the Performance Neoprene bootie, plus my tights. I am eagerly waiting for them, since they are a day late. I have been told they are good, water proof, wind proof should do the trick for me.
    I have been using a pair six years, they are great. I did damage the zippers. I finally put in better zippers. It was really my fault with the zippers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    I have been using a pair six years, they are great. I did damage the zippers. I finally put in better zippers. It was really my fault with the zippers.
    Are these the "toastie booties" ? and how much are they? THANKS.

  13. #13
    GALICO Galico's Avatar
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    I am going to try your method in about 1 Hour. I will report. It's not bad 30 F, but major inversion-the air tastes like a mixture of diesel fuel and steel-I'll eat a carrot for antioxident

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cristoff
    I got a pair of thermal socks to go over my shoes and made cutouts for cleats,booties over that, should be like wearing insulated booties and I will try the sandwich bag. It's -25c windchill-31[-13f.] Thanks for the tip. My shoes are pretty tight with one thermal and one thin sock.
    If your shoes are tight that may be a problem, you need to have room to move your toes. If this is the case add insulation over the shoes I only have one sock in my shoes. You can get a very large very stretchable bootie to fit over another bootie if you find the right one. I do that too when it gets to about 0 degrees. I have a couple of wind chill charts, I stopped using them a few years ago, other than impressing your friends they are not too useful. If you cover all your skin dress about another 10 to 15 degrees warmer if it's windy. If you put a small thermometer on your bike, over time you can remember what to wear at what temps. Then you can dress appropriately on the first try

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cristoff
    Are these the "toastie booties" ? and how much are they? THANKS.
    I think you mean the ones I use in my post about the socks and bags? Yes. They are the best ones I have found so far. I see you are up North. There will be times when they will not be warm enough alone. You need to experiment with layers. When it gets below 0 f I do not use cleats. it lets in too much cold.
    If it's very windy I may add on top another bag over the booties and another bootie over that.

    I am in New England, most of my riding in the winter is on a mountain bike. This is warmer than a road bike and it rarely gets below about 10 degrees farenheit. I stop using the road bikes around freezing.

    These are the "Performance bike" house brand. They are on sale now in the catalogue for $19.99 US.
    If you need another layer between your shoes and the booties, you need to buy very big booties for the room.

    http://www.performancebike.com/
    Last edited by 2manybikes; 01-21-05 at 10:18 AM. Reason: incomplete

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galico
    I have gone to my mountain bike shoes and pedals, but I find even in the big chill that when I wear neopream booties my feet are wet. So with all these bags, booties etc. sweat is retained and it gets cold. The cold spot with my road shoes is under the clips-with all the layers you still have just carbon and steel. I am just jealous of those folks who's feet never get cold. Perhaps I'll cut out some Sorrel felt liners for my clips and wear them over my shoe's and wrap it all with Duct Tape and just keep them on all all winter.
    You can get insoles that have a tin foil like material on one side and a felt material on the other to keep cold from penatraiting through that cold spot. I bought mine at the dollarama.There are more expensive ones at Marks Work Wear House.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    If you put a small thermometer on your bike, over time you can remember what to wear at what temps. Then you can dress appropriately on the first try.

    The bag is only on the front. Just like my tights. The front is water tight and the back is breathable.
    2ManyBikes,
    Great insite and ideas! Thermometer...Is it on the bike while you ride also? If so what kind, where and how do you prevent breakage?

    ADDED:
    Tights. Which brand of tights are these and how do they do in wet snow, sleet and cold rains?
    Last edited by vrkelley; 01-22-05 at 10:24 AM.

  18. #18
    GALICO Galico's Avatar
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    2manybikes. Bags work, life is good and I will save on duct tape expense. When I get to work Monday my employees (who already think Im weird in my superfly winter gig) see me removeing baggies from my toes will really talk. They really chuckled when I headed home in a big rain wearing a garbage bag. Thanks
    You Don't Have to Love Pain to Ride-You have to Learn to Deal With It.

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    2ManyBikes,
    Great insite and ideas! Thermometer...Is it on the bike while you ride also? If so what kind, where and how do you prevent breakage?

    ADDED:
    Tights. Which brand of tights are these and how do they do in wet snow, sleet and cold rains?
    Some where I found a small 1" diameter round plastic thermometer. I've been using it since 1994, sorry I don't remember where I got it. Just about anything will do.. I just took it apart and drilled a hole in the back, put a small bolt through and bolted on a Velcro strap. Then I took a normal office stapler and stapled a piece of inner tube in place to cover the bolt head. This keeps the bolt head from scratching the bike. I strap it on the bars or a tube anywhere. I'll post a picture later tonight if the blizzard gets here and we don't go out. It just bounces around.It has never broken. It's the round type that uses a bi-metal spring, not the type with a glass tube.

    Also since the mid 90's I have been using the Performance Bike brand T*****x tights. The front is totally waterproof and the back is breathable. Depending on the temperature I wear a different number of layers of breathable bike tights under them. I always use these as the top layer. They are not expensive either.
    They have a nice piece of reflective trim on the zippers too. Even in the rain if you keep moving your legs do not get very wet. If you stop or it is very windy a little will start to get in the back. If I get caught in a downpour and have hours to go I put on rain pants.

    If you plan to ride in sub freezing temperature I suggest buying the tights big enough to fit at least a couple of tights under them.Here they are..

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=15777

    about the cold...
    every one feels the cold differently, mtb bikes are warmer than road bikes. Riding in the snow is warmer than on pavement. Very roughly about every 15 degrees or so you may want to add or subtract layers for really the best comfort. The longer you stay out the more it becomes critical to have the right number of layers.
    Of course bike speed and wind speed changes the temperature too. So does the level of exertion. You need less clothing f you are working hard.

    What I'm getting at is you need to experiment.
    You don't typically buy "A" pair of tights for the winter. Unless you have some other tights already.

    What works for me might not work for you. I would use three breathable bike tights (or four if colder) and my t*****x tights around 15-20 degrees. I dress warmer than most. but I also go all day long, much longer than most. I could dress lighter and work hard for an hour. But I like to go for 6 hours, and I can't ride all out for 6 hours in the cold. Sometimes I just cruise along and enjoy the scenery

    What they say about layers being the best really does work. Once you own all the right gear you just add what you need for that ride.

    Here is the thermometer with the velcro on it. I think the Velcro was a pump strap to start with..it's just bolted on.
    Last edited by 2manybikes; 01-22-05 at 03:22 PM. Reason: incomplete

  20. #20
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galico
    2manybikes. Bags work, life is good and I will save on duct tape expense. When I get to work Monday my employees (who already think Im weird in my superfly winter gig) see me removeing baggies from my toes will really talk. They really chuckled when I headed home in a big rain wearing a garbage bag. Thanks
    Glad to hear it! Life is good !! I'm glad I could help.

    I can't take credit for the bag idea. I got that from a bike shop employee that was always helpfull.

    Save the duct tape for the full coverage fairing. what?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galico
    2manybikes. Bags work, life is good and I will save on duct tape expense. When I get to work Monday my employees (who already think Im weird in my superfly winter gig) see me removeing baggies from my toes will really talk. They really chuckled when I headed home in a big rain wearing a garbage bag. Thanks
    To speed dressing, undressing...I try to keep layers together and peel them on and off together--like what little kids do. With that may layers, I tend to wear the middle and outter layers more than once before washing.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    ....You don't typically buy "A" pair of tights for the winter...I suggest buying the tights big enough to fit at least a couple of tights under them.
    I only have 1 pair of Col'Lizard Polar Tech 100's. Below 30F, adding a pair the pertex rain pants. Gave up on the long Johns. Too short and bind at the knee. So the base layer tights must be pretty thin. What sort of thin tights would those be?

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    I only have 1 pair of Col'Lizard Polar Tech 100's. Below 30F, adding a pair the pertex rain pants. Gave up on the long Johns. Too short and bind at the knee. So the base layer tights must be pretty thin. What sort of thin tights would those be?
    If you bought your tights to fit close when nothing is underneath then it can be a problem. I have some close fitting tights that I like to use with out layers underneath. I really only like one layer under them.

    To do this comfortably, I had to buy another pair of larger t*****x tights, now I can put 6 layers if I wanted to underneath. Nice thick polar fleece tights. Stretch bike tights. I agree, long johns are not comfortable.
    I have some Duofold, not underwear, the same company, but stretch polar fleece. Lowe Alpine, Campmor, these were the cheapest and are quite nice. and Pearl Isumi etc.etc. All stretch fleece bike tights.
    They might be too thick for you, you might have to look around. Of course thicker is warmer too.
    Campmore has a good return policy. I think the Campmor tights are thicker than long johns, but you could probably return them. However, they are stretchy like proper bike tights,they might be more comfortable. It might be worth a try.
    Last edited by 2manybikes; 01-22-05 at 07:42 PM. Reason: incomplete

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    Following the "bag-cold toes" theory. I should be able to stuff a plastic grocery bag length-wise on each leg....between the base layer and the outer layer to keep the thigh's warm.

  25. #25
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    Following the "bag-cold toes" theory. I should be able to stuff a plastic grocery bag length-wise on each leg....between the base layer and the outer layer to keep the thigh's warm.

    The point where my tights end and my booties start sometimes gets a little cold. I put a sandwich bag on the front of my ankle/lower leg. It works great. Cover only the part facing the wind, so the sweat will get out. It will certainly be an improvement, give it a try. If it still is not good enough you need more insulation thickness. Let us know how you make out, if you like this I think it will be very popular! You may have invented the next best winter cycling tip!

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