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Clipless Boot or Winter Shoe Suggestions?

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Clipless Boot or Winter Shoe Suggestions?

Old 10-30-22, 01:23 PM
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Clipless Boot or Winter Shoe Suggestions?

Been riding seriously for about 3 1/2 years including the winters of 19-20, 20-21 and 21-22. Was using flat pedals and just wearing progressively heavier footwear including insulated snow boots which work great for mountain biking on trails and mud or standing water and while heavy and performance robbing, keep my feet warm down to ~0'F. Got all the other clothing to boot and now thinking of doing longer rides like a couple winter centuries even.

I finally went clipless on my road bike this summer and found a significant amount of power/efficiency, about 2mph for same effort. Given how hard it is to pedal in winter with extra weight, extra drag and the tax the old takes on your body I'd love to attempt these epic rides with clipless setup but what I have on flat pedals works REALLY well at least to keep me warm. So now I am seeing all kinds of winter foot wear. I ride SPD pedals because they are far easier to clip in, clip out of and walk around. Am willing to pay a bit more for quality, comfort and durability. I have read the 45 North offerings are really good but fragile and break easily so am at a loss. Any suggestions for durable, quality, comfortable clipless footwear good down to ~0F that will be compatible with SPD pedals?
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Old 11-01-22, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Attilio
Been riding seriously for about 3 1/2 years including the winters of 19-20, 20-21 and 21-22. Was using flat pedals and just wearing progressively heavier footwear including insulated snow boots which work great for mountain biking on trails and mud or standing water and while heavy and performance robbing, keep my feet warm down to ~0'F. Got all the other clothing to boot and now thinking of doing longer rides like a couple winter centuries even.

I finally went clipless on my road bike this summer and found a significant amount of power/efficiency, about 2mph for same effort. Given how hard it is to pedal in winter with extra weight, extra drag and the tax the old takes on your body I'd love to attempt these epic rides with clipless setup but what I have on flat pedals works REALLY well at least to keep me warm. So now I am seeing all kinds of winter foot wear. I ride SPD pedals because they are far easier to clip in, clip out of and walk around. Am willing to pay a bit more for quality, comfort and durability. I have read the 45 North offerings are really good but fragile and break easily so am at a loss. Any suggestions for durable, quality, comfortable clipless footwear good down to ~0F that will be compatible with SPD pedals?
I've been riding the same 45NRTH Wölvhammer since 2016. Nothing has broken, no issues at all. This is an old design, but when I replace these, it'll be with another pair. The only change, go one size bigger for warmer/bulky socks for the deepest cold.

I ride temps as cold as -30F (air temp), these boots aren't enough for the coldest temps. But at 0F, I'm good for 25 miles of fatbiking in my Wölvhammer with wool snowboard socks.

Afterthought: I'll be riding these boots for the Tuscobia Winter Ultra at the end of next month ... I'm doing the short route, only 80 miles.






Last edited by Hypno Toad; 11-01-22 at 06:50 AM. Reason: unfinished post
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Old 11-08-22, 10:03 PM
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Im riding Bontrager OMW they compare very closely with the North 45 boots… so far no issues… but I’ve only had them about a week.
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Old 11-10-22, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
I've been riding the same 45NRTH Wölvhammer since 2016. Nothing has broken, no issues at all. This is an old design, but when I replace these, it'll be with another pair. The only change, go one size bigger for warmer/bulky socks for the deepest cold.

I ride temps as cold as -30F (air temp), these boots aren't enough for the coldest temps. But at 0F, I'm good for 25 miles of fatbiking in my Wölvhammer with wool snowboard socks.

Afterthought: I'll be riding these boots for the Tuscobia Winter Ultra at the end of next month ... I'm doing the short route, only 80 miles.





Por un beso de la gorda yo daria lo que fuera.
Por un beso de la gorda aunque solo uno fuera.

Nice fat bike. I got a Salsa Mukluk XT I modified with upgraded carbon wheels and a carbon bar as well as a dropper. It's my go to MTB but my plan is to do longer winter rides this year because this was my year of centuries. Have done many of them starting with my first but that was in March. It was raining and 35-65 degrees that day, was armed with good base layers but I used flat pedal shoes on my carbon bike. I also have my winter beater, a flat bar hybrid that will stay flat pedal but for the winter centuries I am planning definitely need a way to be able to stay outside in temps 0-20F (it never gets colder than 0 where I live) all day long. So far my longest winter ride has been about 35 miles using winter boots on flat pedals. Yikes can argue about benefits of carbon vs aluminum or how Dura-Ace craps all over the other groupsets because its so much lighter but the truth is heavy boots, 2 wool socks and three layers on your pants and all that extra weight WILL slow you down by a huge margin.

Do you find the 45NRTH Wolfhammer boots to be hard to clip in and out of? I tried a variety of clipless shoes before finding myself doing well with the Bontrager Cambions. They seem to clip in and out easier. I tried other brands including Giro for SPD compatible platforms but the clipping in and out is much harder which is frustrating. I have to tilt the pedal and push VERY hard and even then it's not hard enough. In group rides sometimes I have to fall back for a while before both feet actually lock in. Sad to know the Cambio is not out of production. That is what the local Trek store told me about their winter boots as well. I guess that doesn't help me know for this winter's plans.
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Old 11-11-22, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Attilio
Por un beso de la gorda yo daria lo que fuera.
Por un beso de la gorda aunque solo uno fuera.

Nice fat bike. I got a Salsa Mukluk XT I modified with upgraded carbon wheels and a carbon bar as well as a dropper. It's my go to MTB but my plan is to do longer winter rides this year because this was my year of centuries. Have done many of them starting with my first but that was in March. It was raining and 35-65 degrees that day, was armed with good base layers but I used flat pedal shoes on my carbon bike. I also have my winter beater, a flat bar hybrid that will stay flat pedal but for the winter centuries I am planning definitely need a way to be able to stay outside in temps 0-20F (it never gets colder than 0 where I live) all day long. So far my longest winter ride has been about 35 miles using winter boots on flat pedals. Yikes can argue about benefits of carbon vs aluminum or how Dura-Ace craps all over the other groupsets because its so much lighter but the truth is heavy boots, 2 wool socks and three layers on your pants and all that extra weight WILL slow you down by a huge margin.

Do you find the 45NRTH Wolfhammer boots to be hard to clip in and out of? I tried a variety of clipless shoes before finding myself doing well with the Bontrager Cambions. They seem to clip in and out easier. I tried other brands including Giro for SPD compatible platforms but the clipping in and out is much harder which is frustrating. I have to tilt the pedal and push VERY hard and even then it's not hard enough. In group rides sometimes I have to fall back for a while before both feet actually lock in. Sad to know the Cambio is not out of production. That is what the local Trek store told me about their winter boots as well. I guess that doesn't help me know for this winter's plans.
My boots are great for clipping in/out, I'm a big fan of Crank Bros pedals and the Pugsley runs their Mallet E. I use Crank Bros on all my bikes, Eggbeaters on road bikes, Candy on gravel bikes, and Double-Shot on the commuter.

I had a race in February on frozen Lake Minnetonka, we started with temps around 10F and found a patch of water on the ice (going under a road where road salt melted the top layer of ice). I got my feet wet and that quickly froze into my cleats ... I spent the rest of the race on terrible platform pedals. This is what my rims looked like when I got home (and I bike 10 miles from the race to get home) ... I don't want to think about how much my Pugsley weighed when I got home.



Congrats on the long rides and centuries! At the risk of self-promoting ... I've done many century rides on this Pugsley and completed the 2021 DAMn with this bike. Here's a thread on The DAMn and my post from last year.
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Old 11-11-22, 10:57 AM
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45nrth japanthers till toes say its cold then wolfhammers for its cold. No issues clipping in or out
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Old 11-14-22, 07:10 AM
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I am planning on staying with flats for my fat bike for my fat MTB as pretty much every ride I will slip more than once... but I never fall due to the beauty of flat pedals providing instant bailout coverage. That's really 99% of fall and injury avoidance in biking across the forest: knowing when to stop riding and walk the bike, and going slowly enough that if you suffer a forced dismount you can just put your feet down and be fine.

This is for using my gravel bike on mostly road, maybe very light trails like double track dirt road that cars can easily drive or fire road in extended cold for long rides in temps 0-20'F.
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Old 12-12-22, 04:14 PM
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Attilio If you haven’t decided on something yet, I can recommend the Northwave Celsius XC Arctic GTX (or the previous model, Celsius Arctic 2 GTX) insulated cycling boots, particularly in combo with a pair of electric socks. That’s a roughly $300 setup, but it works better than anything both in terms of warmth and ease-of-use.

The Northwave Celsius are roomier than a standard road to accommodate a thicker sock, and roomier than the Mavic Ksyrium winter road shoes I also have and which I use, because the only fit a standard, thin cycling sock, for the range mid-30°F to 50°. The Northwaves with electro socks easily handle down to 0°F depending on sock heat setting.

I’ve been very happy with these options, and they really have economized my selection and dressing routine compared to old method of various sock weights, chemical toe warmers and overshoes.
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Old 12-16-22, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by M Rose
Im riding Bontrager OMW they compare very closely with the North 45 boots… so far no issues… but I’ve only had them about a week.
They're back! I have a pair bought maybe 3-4 years ago, and they are just great. Recommended them to friends but then they seemed to have been discontinued. Retail price then was $200, so the price has gone up. I wonder if they've changed the design.
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Old 12-16-22, 04:04 PM
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I just today tried on some Lake MXZ200 shoes. I am a 46 usually, tried these in a 47, wearing a medium weight wool sock, they were tight in the toes, passed. I don't fit Lake shoes very well it seems. Found some Shimano 702 winter shoes on sale, have ordered these.
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