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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 02-20-03, 06:21 AM   #1
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What do you wear on your feet.

I did a 1h40 ride yesterday in -5C which isn't all that cold. I was hot everywhere except my feet. I was riding my older mountain bike which only had normal (no strap) pedals so I couldn't year my shoes and booties. I wore my regular winter boots (that I have not been cold in walking around down to -20C). But by the time I got home my feet were frozen!

What do you wear on your feet?
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Old 02-20-03, 07:08 AM   #2
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Down to 40F/4C I wear my usual MTB shoes. Since they are low end, they are not highly breathable and 2 thin wool socks are fine. Someplace around 40 in the fall I switch to my winter MTB shoes, an old model of Shimano's that are all leather, no mesh. I removed the insoles & replaced them with copies made from old mousepads as a source of neoprene. These will accomadate a thicker pair of wool sock or SealSkinz. Various combinations of socks make these OK to about 10F/-17C. I use Shimano M324 pedals so that below that I can switch to insulated boots without changing pedals. I'm currently using Columbia Bugabootoo boots. They are comfort rated to -25F/-32C for walking.
I find that they are warmer but the steel shank does transmitt cold, I can feel where it is through 2 pairs of socks at -3F/-18C, which is my coldest ride so far this year. My ride is about 50 to 70 minutes depending on road conditions. Please note, individual results may differ. My right hand gets cold long before my left, but my feet seem equally hot or cold.
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Old 02-20-03, 07:38 AM   #3
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It's all about the boots, baby!

I layer my feet- I have real bad problems with keeping my hands and feet warm, even when it's in the 60s and 70s. For temperatures like what you describe, I definitely layer- first I put on the thin layer of polypropylene socks. Then I put on a pair of coolmax socks over that. I have a nice pair of mountain bike shoes that work well for me. But it makes all the difference in the world when I add my neoprene boots over the shoes. If it's seriously cold (towards the -15 to -20 C range), I'll also put on a pair of nashbar hytrel socks over the coolmax socks, then put on the mountainbike shoes, then the neoprene boots.

My feet never get cold anymore. Yay!

I got lucky- the Perfomance store in my area had a huge sale on their neoprene and polypropylene products, so I got the neoprene boots at half off! I paid $20 for shoes that normally go for $40 or so. My plan is to buy all my winter gear for NEXT winter sometime in April so I can get all the stuff I really would like to get but couldn't afford when it's seriously on sale.... I am definitely going to ride all winter next winter, and I want to be as prepared as possible. This is my first winter riding outside all winter.

Get the boots!

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Old 02-20-03, 11:38 AM   #4
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I have toe clips, so I wear "ugly green" boots. Mine have a thinsulate lining although some have a felt liner. These are completely waterproof because the uppers and soles are rubber and plastic and quite warm. I have had mine down to 5F (-15C).

I also have bib overalls with polyesther filling (these are like ski pants) that tuck right into the top of the boots sealing out a draft.

If it gets really cold, it helps to wiggle your toes every now and then to make sure they are still there This also promotes circulation.

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Old 02-20-03, 01:57 PM   #5
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Spire,The next day or so looks like some nice riding temps at least for us.But I would have to say a good heavy weight wicking sock and heavy weight wool sock.You can find at the mec store when it opens.Those toe clips are the way to go in the Arctic temps we have been getting,So you can fit some winter hiking boots inside them.
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Old 02-20-03, 04:52 PM   #6
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I wear a 44 1/2 road shoe. Bought 47 MTB shoes. One pair of smart wool socks, one pair of carhart socks. plastic bag to cover top of foot and front of the ankle. May use a cut off sock to cover the ankle as well for more warmth.
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Old 02-20-03, 07:00 PM   #7
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My feet go cold and numb pretty easy too (like around 40f).

I searched and found some lower end Shimano shoes with closed toes - one pair of wool socks and no booties keeps me warm down to the mid 30's. Lower than that and the good old Performance Neoprene booties work the magic for me (make sure you try them on WITH the shoes you intend to wear, you normally need about 2 sizes larger than your shoe size).
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Old 02-23-03, 09:47 PM   #8
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To -5C I just wear my cycling shoes with neoprene booties.

However I did a century yesterday where the low was -32C and the high was -20C and for that I wore my Sorel winter boots. My feet got a little cold toward the end of my laps but not too bad.

I also used little heat packs inside the boots which helped and made a discovery - the ones designed for feet don't stay warm very long, but the ones designed for hands do, so I used them.
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Old 02-25-03, 03:04 PM   #9
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I have a pair of neoprene booties that keep my feet almost too warm. The coldest I have been out with them on was 28 F and my feet were sweating when i took them off. The best part is i go them at Performance for 20 bucks.
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