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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 11-16-13, 10:13 PM   #1
bakeoh99 
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Chemical toe warmers

My toes have been getting semi-numb riding at night lately. My feet tend to sweat some and combined with cold air is making them very cold. Tonight I tried the Grabber chemical toe warmers. I put one on top of the left foot and one on the bottom of the right. The toe warmers worked remarkably well, although the one on top of the toes seemed to have more effect. Combined with toe covers this combo is a hit.

http://www.grabberworld.com/products...e-warmers.html
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Old 11-16-13, 10:15 PM   #2
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I've been a fan of them under the foot between the foot and SPD plate for a long time. Not a "hot" sensation but it divides the frozen metal from the foot which counts for a lot.
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Old 11-18-13, 09:14 PM   #3
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If you go out a short while only, you can put used toewarmers in ziplock bags to stop the chemical reaction and continue to use it another time.
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Old 11-18-13, 09:39 PM   #4
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I use them outside a vapor barrier, inside a wool sock. Toasty.
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Old 11-19-13, 04:24 PM   #5
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Love them. I find for me, that putting the adhesive side on the insole rather than to my sock provides better heat. +1 on the ziplock tip, works pretty good.
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Old 11-19-13, 06:18 PM   #6
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I use Foot Warmers, they keep my feet warm at temps. in the 30s and for rides 25 to 50 miles. Any rides longer then 40 to 50 miles, no matter what you are wearing you are going to get cold.
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Old 11-19-13, 06:22 PM   #7
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I have good results with them.
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Old 11-20-13, 10:44 AM   #8
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I have had mixed luck. They need air to react and if the airspace in your shoe is too small or the shoe to air tight they stop heating. I found letting them heat outside the shoe for 10 minutes helps a lot. I also use the bag to save tip between my morning and evening commutes. Wrapping in tin foil then bagging is even more effective.
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Old 11-20-13, 12:38 PM   #9
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I'm wondering how long i can keep unused grabber chemical warmers. I bought them a few years back in case but actually never had to use them

Last edited by erig007; 11-20-13 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 11-20-13, 07:46 PM   #10
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I'm wondering how long i can keep unused grabber chemical warmers. I bought them a few years back in case but actually never had to use them
Somebody gave me a case, and some of them started going bad within a year. I guess the bag wasn't 100% air tight on some.
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Old 11-21-13, 09:02 AM   #11
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yep that's what I do. I also use a sock liner. I stick or tape the warmer on top of the liner sock right at my toes, then put on a tight knit wool sock. they last for about an hour before they suffocate and need more air to reactivate.

which btw like aruban says, you can reuse them by putting them in an air tight baggy. I frequently used a set for the ride into work and then used them for the ride home. and like bent-not-broken says just air them out for 5-10 min before using them to really get them going. when the temps really drop and the big boots come out I use hand warmers cuz they cook a bit better
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Old 11-21-13, 09:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bent-not-broken View Post
I have had mixed luck. They need air to react and if the airspace in your shoe is too small or the shoe to air tight they stop heating. I found letting them heat outside the shoe for 10 minutes helps a lot. I also use the bag to save tip between my morning and evening commutes. Wrapping in tin foil then bagging is even more effective.
Same here, I can't get them to produce heat for long, when I take off the shoes they get hot again so that means that my cycling shoes and shoe cover combo don't let enough air in for the chemical reaction to take place.

I just ordered myself some battery heated socks on EBay...
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Old 11-21-13, 05:58 PM   #13
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There are different types of toe warmers. The toasty toes brand are designed specifically for tighter fitting boots and less air flow. I've found them to be very good at producing heat over an extended period of time.
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Old 11-22-13, 08:19 AM   #14
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There are different types of toe warmers. The toasty toes brand are designed specifically for tighter fitting boots and less air flow. I've found them to be very good at producing heat over an extended period of time.
so I thought I would check them out on Amazon and was brought to a product listed as "toasty toes" but the product doesn't seem to have the same name. What are your PKGs actually labeled? got a picture?

http://www.amazon.com/HeatMax-Toasti...ds=toasty+toes
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Old 11-22-13, 09:38 AM   #15
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Same here, I can't get them to produce heat for long, when I take off the shoes they get hot again so that means that my cycling shoes and shoe cover combo don't let enough air in for the chemical reaction to take place.
Have you tried to insert a small soft tubing inside your shoe to bring air to the chemical toe warmer? The cold air from outside should warm up while moving through the tube.
Maybe some polyolefin gardner Heat Shrink Tubing like those:

or


Last edited by erig007; 11-22-13 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 11-22-13, 10:46 AM   #16
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crazy ingenious! you an engineer? I think heat shrink tho would compress and close off
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Old 11-22-13, 11:32 AM   #17
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Sandals as the outside layer, rather than shoes, resolves the air circulation issue. An inner vapor block layer keeps the cold air out, and outer insulating layer traps heat in. I can adjust the sandal straps to ensure I get good circulation even as I add layers - something I couldn't do with my normal cycling shoes.

The vapor block approach is diametrically opposed to the wicking approach so common in products and habits these days.
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Old 11-22-13, 01:34 PM   #18
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crazy ingenious! you an engineer? I think heat shrink tho would compress and close off
Then insert a small hard wire inside the bigger tube there will still be room for the air to go through.

Several downsides of using tubes: potential condensation, lack of comfort (would help having slightly bigger shoes)

A hard insole with a channel under (or tubing)
a hole in your cycling shoes that you can plug with a cap while riding could do the trick as well (permanent damage to the shoes + cold + no more waterproof)

Last edited by erig007; 11-22-13 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 11-22-13, 03:13 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
Have you tried to insert a small soft tubing inside your shoe to bring air to the chemical toe warmer? The cold air from outside should warm up while moving through the tube.
Maybe some polyolefin gardner Heat Shrink Tubing like those:

or

I want to hear more about your idea..can you explain it further?

If I don't wear shoe covers the cold air totally makes the toe heaters not null and void.. but the toe covers do not let in enough air to make the toe heaters work
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Old 11-22-13, 04:12 PM   #20
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It will depends on your cycling shoes but let's say it is something like this



To insert a tube without damaging your cycling shoes there is at least 2 solutions:
-inserting the tube inside your shoe from above your foot and below the shoe laces, the tube going along your foot but above it, the outer air will reach your toes from above your foot
-Another option would be from under your foot below an insole for more comfort i believe, the tube will go behind your heel, under your insole and the outer air will reach your toes from below your foot. In this case the tube is optional since a simple channel could possibly do the trick as well

I believe the second option is better if you have some room in your cycling shoes since you will need to move your feet slightly forward to not feel the tubes going along your heels.

What you will need for about 10$ total is some cheap sandals, 2 tubes and some old socks or foam or whatever you feel is more comfy to place behind your heels and a knife or some scissors or whatever

Foam to place inside your shoes behind your heels


Cheap sandals acting as insoles



What you will need to do is to remove the strap from those sandals, cut a square in the sandal around your toe area (where you will place your chemical toe warmer so that it will be placed under your foot at the toe area), cut a small channel under the sandal going all along the sandal from the heel to the empty square that you've just made in the sandal

imagine it is the sandal upside down with 2 channels



Cut a small channel in the foam that you will place at your heel to push your foot forward and allow the tube going along your heel.

Place the optional tube in the channel under the sandal and in the foam

In the end, you've got the air that go through the tube behind your heel then go through the tube below the sandal placed below your foot up to the chemical toe warmer.

Last edited by erig007; 11-23-13 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 11-23-13, 09:57 AM   #21
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so I thought I would check them out on Amazon and was brought to a product listed as "toasty toes" but the product doesn't seem to have the same name. What are your PKGs actually labeled? got a picture?

http://www.amazon.com/HeatMax-Toasti...ds=toasty+toes
The ones I like are marked self activating, rather than air activating.

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Old 11-25-13, 09:21 PM   #22
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I have now tried the Heatmax air activated and Hothands air activated. The Hothands are much better. They stay warm for 4 plus hours. The Heatmax did not seem to get enough air to stay activated. The Hothands worked well with little air.

http://www.amazon.com/Pairs-HOTHANDS...ds+toe+warmers
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Old 11-26-13, 09:10 AM   #23
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I have now tried the Heatmax air activated and Hothands air activated. The Hothands are much better. They stay warm for 4 plus hours. The Heatmax did not seem to get enough air to stay activated. The Hothands worked well with little air.

http://www.amazon.com/Pairs-HOTHANDS...ds+toe+warmers
thanks for the exact product that you liked. I often use these at other times, like when I have to shovel or snow rake the roof. I have great winter boots and lovely winter socks but my toes can always use a boost. especially then I have plenty of air in there for activation. I got size 14 boots to make room for the socks - originally so I could go to a football playoff game
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Old 11-26-13, 09:12 AM   #24
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I have now tried the Heatmax air activated and Hothands air activated. The Hothands are much better. They stay warm for 4 plus hours. The Heatmax did not seem to get enough air to stay activated. The Hothands worked well with little air.

http://www.amazon.com/Pairs-HOTHANDS...ds+toe+warmers
but have you tried heatmax self activating?!
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Old 11-26-13, 09:18 AM   #25
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No. I have not found them searching the net. Do you have a link?

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but have you tried heatmax self activating?!
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