Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Cure for Cold Feet and Cold Hands

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Cure for Cold Feet and Cold Hands

Old 10-27-20, 12:50 PM
  #1  
jkinner
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 10

Bikes: Thorn Nomad, Haibike XDuro Trekking

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Cure for Cold Feet and Cold Hands

I'm considering signing up for Adventure Cycling Association's North Star tour that goes from Missoula MT to Anchorage, Alaska in summer of 2021. I reviewed journals from some hearty souls that did that ride in 2014 and 2018 (I don't think ACA offers the North Star tour every year) and came away with these impressions: 1) Fantastic Scenery; 2) Great Friendships; 3) Rain....and more rain; and 4) Cold...temps reported in 30s and 40s for large share of trip. I did a ride in the NW and Yukon territories several years ago and experienced the same things reported in the journals above. I also remember my feet being blocks of ice and unable to feel my fingers on many days of that tour despite wearing gloves and shoe coverings. So.....
1. I am considering purchasing winter cycling boots such as Lake's MXZ304 or 45NRTH's Wolvehammer or the Shimano XM9. All of these are pricey and the reviews of these boots on the web seem all over the place (love, hate, ambivalent). Anyone have any experience with these and your opinion of them?
2. I'm also considering buying bar mitts - used traditionally by Mountain Bicyclists in winter to keep my hands warm. Any opinions about these?
3. Any other tips/advice regarding keeping hands and feet warm greatly appreciated!
jkinner is offline  
Old 10-27-20, 02:31 PM
  #2  
epnnf
Senior Member
 
epnnf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 178

Bikes: 2016 Masi strada vita due, 2019 Kona Dew Plus

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 126 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 13 Posts
You are assuming the tour will not be cancelled due to the covid hysteria.
IMO never get anything waterproof, since it is guaranteed to keep that body part wet.
Bar mitts, pogies, would be overkill. Some insulated gloves, big enough to accept polypro liners, would go great.
epnnf is offline  
Old 10-27-20, 02:35 PM
  #3  
Troul
:D
 
Troul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Mich
Posts: 2,515
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 280 Times in 195 Posts
wool liners
Troul is offline  
Old 10-27-20, 04:06 PM
  #4  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,314
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 958 Post(s)
Liked 128 Times in 99 Posts
Bar mitts are great!
Once you keep the wind off, keeping warm becomes ever so much easier.
Failing that, surgical gloves on first keeps the insulated gloves from soaking up any perspiration, this retaining their insulating properties better.
I’ve used both the Lakes and the Wölvhammers.
while warm - for a cycling shoe - the lakes are no game changers. Wasn’t entirely happy with the lacing system. Quick and easy, but I prefer tighter over the foot, looser up the ankle.
The Wölvhammers are great as boots. I considered buying a pair for general winter use. They do look quite clumsy, but once on the bike, actual influence on ride is minimal.
Still, my true friend in need are the heated insoles. The last winters I’ve been using industrial elements and a DIY battery solution.
But both Therm-ic and hotronic have good stuff.
dabac is offline  
Old 10-27-20, 07:07 PM
  #5  
jleeg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Dauphin, PA
Posts: 59

Bikes: Moseman with Campy NR circa 1979, Merlin Titanium from1993 with newly installed Campy Chorus 12, Raleigh Tamland II gravel grinder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 51 Times in 23 Posts
Good hat. Helps keep core temp up so extremities stay warmer longer.
jleeg is offline  
Likes For jleeg:
Old 10-27-20, 08:39 PM
  #6  
Flip Flop Rider
Senior Member
 
Flip Flop Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: South Carolina Upstate
Posts: 1,690

Bikes: 2010 Fuji Absolute 3.0 1994 Trek 850

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 636 Post(s)
Liked 314 Times in 192 Posts
Originally Posted by Troul View Post
wool liners
this

more wool in various locations
Flip Flop Rider is offline  
Likes For Flip Flop Rider:
Old 10-28-20, 04:41 AM
  #7  
Ghazmh
Senior Member
 
Ghazmh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: The banks of the River Charles
Posts: 1,405

Bikes: 2020 Seven Evergreen, 2019 Honey Allroads Ti, 2018 Seven Redsky XX, 2017 Trek Boon 7, 2014 Trek 520, 2006 Gary Fisher Montare

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 425 Post(s)
Liked 295 Times in 177 Posts
My fingers and toes get cold, go numb and hurt easily. I use Bontrager OMW boots, 45Nrth Sturmfist gloves with neoprene Army issue glove liners, Bar Mitts, Wool socks of varying thickness. Any combination of the aforementioned items allows me to ride in the low twenties/upper teens somewhat comfortably.
Ghazmh is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 04:54 AM
  #8  
OldTryGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Posts: 4,940

Bikes: 1981 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2018 Specialized Red Roubaix Expert mech., 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 830 Post(s)
Liked 298 Times in 196 Posts
Might not Embrocation Cream help?

https://www.bicycling.com/training/a...w-about-embro/

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=embrocati...l_8v7h86rt0r_e
OldTryGuy is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 05:16 AM
  #9  
Trakhak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 2,277
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 646 Post(s)
Liked 297 Times in 199 Posts
My friends and I, training in cold weather in the 1960s, used oil of wintergreen to fool our legs into thinking that they were warm.
Trakhak is online now  
Old 10-28-20, 07:24 AM
  #10  
Toadmeister
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Iowa
Posts: 399

Bikes: 2019 Jamis Renegade Exploit 1x11. Motobacne NX Fat Tire

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)
Liked 163 Times in 80 Posts
I'd consider bar mits a must. I have the Cobra Fist on my winter Fat Bike and really like those.

Those chemical hand and foot warmers (I use them for hunting) are great for 4-6 hours typically but are disposable and you can only carry so many with you. That said, I'd still recommend them over battery operated ones.

As someone else mentioned a base and mid-layers of wool, merino wool. it will still insulate when wet and be funk resistant. Another lesson I learned from hunting. You will still want a shell of synthetics to break the wind and rain.

Cool sounding trip!
Toadmeister is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 07:28 AM
  #11  
shelbyfv
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 7,460
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1918 Post(s)
Liked 1,435 Times in 798 Posts
A couple of bar mitt threads in the Winter Cycling section.
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 07:32 AM
  #12  
topflightpro
Senior Member
 
topflightpro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,060
Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1603 Post(s)
Liked 333 Times in 231 Posts
For feet, I love chemical toe warmers. I also saw some full foot warmers recently too.

For hands, I find having liners are key. You need that double layer to keep hands warm. IME, the chemical hand warmers don't really work because you have to move them regularly to get them to emit heat.

As for the suggestions of embrocation, I would not recommend using it on hands and feet. I've used it plenty of times. I find that it doesn't do much for keeping me warm when pedaling, but it does get quite hot after I stop riding and it doesn't wash off easily.
topflightpro is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 07:39 AM
  #13  
Andrey
Senior Guest
 
Andrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 324

Bikes: Many

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 17 Posts
I started using Shimano winter boots last year and my toes were still cold after an hour on the bike when the temp was in the 30s. I also use chemical warmers inside the boots and they help a lot. When the temp is in the 30s or bellow I use a thick XXL neoprene bootie over the winter boots with chemical warmers inside the boots.

It also depends on how long the ride is. If it is too cold I may still need to get inside after two hours of riding to warm up before going outside again. I also recommend using chemical warmers for gloves. Oversized good cycling winter gloves or ski gloves with silk or wool liners should be sufficient enough. Add chemical warmers to widen temperature range. Electrical gloves and socks/insoles are great, but make sure you have a way of charging the batteries on the tour
Andrey is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 08:38 AM
  #14  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 28,011
Mentioned: 196 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12071 Post(s)
Liked 3,989 Times in 2,098 Posts
I did their Northern Tier Tour in '99. One guy on the trip had done the North Star route. He said it was fabulous. In 2000 I crossed paths with the tour in Glacier National Park. They had gotten rained on heavily the first two days out of Missoula, and it rained on them (heavily) crossing Logan Pass the next day. (I rode up to the summit with them then headed back to camp.) This was only the first week of the trip.

You are definitely going to want quality, WATERPROOF rain gear to keep out the cold rain. Love my Showers Pass 2.1 Elite jacket. It has pit vents and a back vent to help with breathing. Don't really care if I sweat some inside. The key is keeping the cold rain (and wind) off your body. I have toured in enough bad weather in the mountainous to know this. In 2014 I got weight weenie flu a couple of days before heading out to MT for a two-week trip. Left the quality rain jacket behind along with my cold/wet weather gloves (see below). On the penultimate day I got caught in a cold rain storm just as I was starting to descend from 7,300'. I was quite hypothermic by the time I made it down. Not a fun experience. I will never make the same mistake again.

There are several types of cold weather gloves, such as PI AmFibs. (There are also AmFib shoe covers. See below.) Also look into Gore products, like the C5. Whether or not you go with bar mitts, you would likely do well with good, cold weather gloves that are least water resistant for when you are off the bike. For example, freezing cold (literally) tent poles are painful to handle without good gloves. Ask me how I know..

My ex really likes her Lake boots, but they could turn out to be overkill on many days (or not). Have you considered wool socks and a waterproof or water-resistant bootie/overshoe? Gore makes a model of the C5 overshoe that is both water resistant and insulated. That would give you some flexibility on days with moderate temperatures.

I don't see carrying chemical warmers for use on a daily basis to be practical, especially on a route that is more remote than many others.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 08:51 AM
  #15  
dedhed
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 6,941

Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1352 Post(s)
Liked 783 Times in 537 Posts
https://www.bikeforums.net/winter-cycling/
dedhed is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 03:29 PM
  #16  
Chris!
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 134

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 24 Times in 14 Posts
I just got a pair of 45nrth ragnarok shoes, So far so good for a shoulder season boot. When its cold I like the 45nrth wool hat with ear flaps. Most of the time I wear a simple glove cycling glove, when its really cold I will wear a pair of pearlizume lobster gloves. like wool but it can really hold the moisture. I have a smartwool shirts thats a synthetic wool blend so it dries quicker. Check out REIs house brand wool stuff a bit cheaper.
Chris! is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 04:26 PM
  #17  
coffeesnob
Senior Member
 
coffeesnob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Va
Posts: 575

Bikes: Trek DS 8.3 - cannondale M500

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2530 Post(s)
Liked 56 Times in 34 Posts
wear shoes
coffeesnob is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 08:42 PM
  #18  
Cougrrcj 
Over forty victim of Fate
 
Cougrrcj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 3,506

Bikes: A few...

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 478 Post(s)
Liked 186 Times in 135 Posts
As someone who worked 33+ years outside in all weather as a mail carrier in Cleveland winters -- keeping the fingers DRY is primary. Even thin gloves with a wet-proof outer layer. When carrying mail, I wore thin leather full-finger 'driving gloves' with a pair of surgical gloves over that - OR I wore TWO pairs of surgical gloves without the driving gloves... Dry and toasty, even down to -10°F and I still had the dexterity to 'finger' through the mail... Yeah, I went through several pairs of surgical gloves per day - mostly due to wearing trough them, but it was worth it!!! Bike riding doesn't need the fine dexterity so a thicker waterproof glove would work for the outer layer.

Shoes/boots -- again, keep the feet DRY. I used brush-on silicone. I pre-treated my driving gloves, shoes and insulated leather boots with several applications of Pecard Silicone and I was good for the whole winter!!



Re-apply more before the next year. My insulated leather boots are going on their 14th year!!!


.
__________________
'75 Fuji S-10S bought new, 52k+ miles and still going!
'84 Univega Gran Tourismo
'84 Univega Viva Sport
'86 Miyata 710
'90 Schwinn Woodlands
Unknown brand MTB of questionable lineage aka 'Mutt Trail Bike'
Plus or minus a few others from time-to-time

Cougrrcj is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 09:03 PM
  #19  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 8,865

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2488 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 929 Times in 632 Posts
Cure for Cold Feet and Cold Hands

Amputation. Don't leave the fireplace. (From a guy with hands and feet hung out on skinny poles a long ways from any heat source and who also runs cold blooded.)

L have lots of tricks. Mittens and good cycling boots go a long ways. A warm head makes a huge difference. Warm torso and legs also. Tights with wind blocking fronts (or newspaper over the thighs).

I have the 45North Fasterkatt boots and love 'em. I also wear cycling shoes one size up. I dress by slipping my bare feet into produce bags. Socks for warmth over the bag, Another bag over those. A pair of very thin old-man's knee socks over that. (The two bags per foot mean that the socks stay dry and thermal no matter how much I sweat or how wet the roads and weather are.) The bag trick is a lot more work and not nearly as warm as those super boots but they allow me to use my 3-bolt shoes, cleats and pedals.
79pmooney is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 09:10 PM
  #20  
fooferdoggie 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 449
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 131 Post(s)
Liked 107 Times in 62 Posts
I have trouble keeping my hands warm on my e bike as I go so fast that 22mph when it is 30 degrees is really cold. I use this guys they work great and even when it is raining https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I have their electric socks too but thick wool socks with some insulated waterproof shoes work great too but I have test that his year.
fooferdoggie is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 09:20 PM
  #21  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,444

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Volae Team, Priority Eight, Nimbus MUni, Trek Roscoe 6.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked 500 Times in 265 Posts
Whatever you do, take advice based on personal experiences with a grain of salt. People are remarkably different when it comes to cold weather response. It's pretty evident even in a thread like this.

I've gone outside on a winter day and tossed snowballs with my brother. After 5 minutes I'm done, shoving my hands in my armpits to warm them up, while he can go another hour. It's ridiculous. A guy like him shouldn't listen to glove advice from a guy like me, and vice versa. People talk about core temperature being key. I can have a toasty core with hands and feet numb blocks of ice.

You'll have to determine for yourself what works.
downtube42 is offline  
Old 10-28-20, 11:28 PM
  #22  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 6,626

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame, Ti 26 MTB

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1654 Post(s)
Liked 497 Times in 343 Posts
Waterproof stuff isn't always a bad thing. Stuff like OutDry is awesome as the actual waterproof material is on the outside of the glove or shoe or whatever so there isn't anything to soak through and keep you wet and cold. However yes a lot of layered waterproof stuff kinda sucks in some heavy rain or wetted conditions.

In terms of useful tips, layer with good moisture wicking fabrics and plenty of good layers all over from the head to the feet. Have some dry stuff on hand like gloves and socks in your kit (or with support crews) you will thank yourself and think it was well worth it. Have some emergency stuff like surgical gloves and space blankets they may not be a whole lot but surgical gloves do keep out water and wind. Same thing with newspaper bags for the feet. Of course keep in mind the plastic or latex or whatever material doesn't breathe so if you get sweat on the inside it can get cold. Also keep toes and fingers moving, so you have blood flow to them.


Q: What happens when your Bar Mitts get old enough
A: They have a Bar Mitts-vah
veganbikes is offline  
Old 10-29-20, 06:25 AM
  #23  
c_m_shooter
Senior Member
 
c_m_shooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paradise, TX
Posts: 1,839

Bikes: Soma Pescadero, Surly Pugsley, Salsa Fargo, Schwinn Klunker, Gravity SS 27.5, Monocog 29er

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 90 Post(s)
Liked 106 Times in 81 Posts
I ride motorcycles to work all year. If your hands and feet are getting cold it is most likely because you are not insulating your core well enough. Your body restricts circulation to extremeties at the first sign of hyperthermia to sacrifice them while trying to keep you alive. Keep your head and torso warm. Waterproof gloves and boots are a good plan as long as you have wicking materials like wool or poly against your skin. Remember what the mountain hikers say, "cotton kills".
c_m_shooter is offline  
Old 10-29-20, 06:51 AM
  #24  
Trevtassie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Down Under
Posts: 1,773

Bikes: A steel framed 26" off road tourer from a manufacturer who thinks they are cool. Giant Anthem. Trek 720 Multiroad pub bike. 10 kids bikes all under 20". Assorted waifs and unfinished projects.

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 594 Post(s)
Liked 425 Times in 226 Posts
The Shimano XM9s aren't super warm, but they are waterproof, with the exception of the large hole in the top where your foot goes in. For cold weather you'd want to go a size up with thick socks. They are excellent hiking boots as well, no problem doing a 10 hour hike up a volcano.
For water proofs the Ground Effects gear out of New Zealand is pretty good (it rains a lot there in places), and is durable for long tours.
Pogies would be a good idea if it is going to get cold, You could make some lighter weight versions, more of a wind break with a light fleece lining.
Trevtassie is online now  
Old 10-29-20, 07:04 AM
  #25  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 20,398
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 639 Times in 479 Posts
Wolvhammers are too heavy. I have some and they are okay for fairly short rides in the snow. I have some fasterkats and they are about right for me down to 20F. They have been replaced by the ragnarok. For temperatures above freezing, it seems like neoprene shoe covers should be sufficient. And a lot cheaper.

Seems like there is plenty of time this winter to test out your shoes. Bar mitts seem like overkill for a tour like this but they do work well, and it's nice to be able to wear light gloves instead of heavy winter gloves. Again, you have time to test them.
unterhausen is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.