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frozen toes ruin ride fun

Old 12-08-13, 02:53 PM
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frozen toes ruin ride fun

do to the tight fit of my shoes I cannot wear more than two thin socks or a sock and my thin wind socks good for cool weather but today I was toast...I do own booties but hate the process to put them on.....what do you do to stay warm.....
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Old 12-08-13, 03:05 PM
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I used the booties down to about freezing but anything below that I started using some winter cycling boots a size larger to accommodate a medium wool sock and it keeps me warm down to 5 degF tested so far.
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Old 12-09-13, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog
do to the tight fit of my shoes I cannot wear more than two thin socks or a sock and my thin wind socks good for cool weather but today I was toast...I do own booties but hate the process to put them on.....what do you do to stay warm.....
If your fingers and toes are cold, you are not gonna ride. You will have to turn back or not go out anymore

You have to have warm enough gloves and find away to keep your feet warm. I layer socks and at least one pair has to be wool . Today I rode in 19 degree weather, I had 2 pairs of socks and hiking boots, I ride a Schwinn Spitfire 5 most of the time in the winter. My toes were just a few degrees away from being cold. So if it is any colder I wll have to change to 3 pairs of socks and warmer boots. I am not sure what to do if you ride a road bike with riding shoes and pedals. But if you dont find away to keep your toes warm,,you might as well hang up your bike till the spring.

Takes me at least 30 minutes to get ready to ride in the cold.

I ride all year long 5 times a week, an hour and half to two hours at a time.
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Old 12-09-13, 01:12 AM
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My article about Cold Feet ... written from the perspective of someone who has ridden in temps as low as -40C/F.

https://www.machka.net/whatworks/coldfeet.htm
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Old 12-09-13, 11:07 AM
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The most obvious thing is to put the booties on, if you are unwilling to do that because you "hate the process" then your choices are seriously limited.

Time to take up golf.
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Old 12-09-13, 02:29 PM
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Don't try to ride vented summer shoes in the winter, wait for it, winter boots/ shoes. I like flats and winter boots. Some who need to be clipped in like shimano, lake and 45 north winter shoes.
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Old 12-09-13, 03:28 PM
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sock liner, chemical toe warmers stuck to top of toes, wool sock, shoe of choice that you can fit all that into. summer shoes (&socks) have no place in winter

nice write-up Matcha!!!!
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Old 12-09-13, 04:24 PM
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do to the tight fit of my shoes I cannot wear more than two thin socks or a sock and my thin wind socks good for cool weather but today I was toast...I do own booties but hate the process to put them on.....what do you do to stay warm.....
The Opposite :
Winter time I put on My loosest fitting boots , so the circulation is not restricted,
and I can double up on the socks.
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Old 12-12-13, 09:20 PM
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Comfortably loose, even with heavy socks, is the answer . . . well, that and wind/waterproof outer layer. Neoprene booties over a loose MTB shoe with heavy wool socks will take you down to well below freezing. Once that isn't enough, an insulated hiking boot on flats will serve you well until spring.
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Old 12-13-13, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
nice write-up Matcha!!!!
Thanks ... many years experience!!
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Old 12-13-13, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Thanks ... many years experience!!
Yes,very well written. Very helpful.

Put thin plastic bags (like grocery bags, depending on where you live) over the shoes before putting the booties on. It makes them easy to put on and adds another layer of wind blocking. They bags are very slippery. Using the plastic bags, I usually wear two pair of booties if it gets cold enough. That's another bag over the first neoprene bootie. Been doing it for a couple of decades. If it's not quite warm enough to wear your regular shoes, put a plastic bag over your sock, under your shoe. It is the exact same thing as wearing a "windbreaker" jacket. Good insulation is helped by a wind breaking layer. Works on any part of you. I always wear a wind breaking jacket and tights as the top layer. I add or subtract fleece layers under neath as the temperature changes. I wear a windbreaker, a thin fleece jersey and a thick fleece jacket, done to mid twentys (F) for example,
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Old 12-13-13, 11:34 AM
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For cold toes and hands ride very hard for a bit. As hard as you can. Do a couple of repeats and then slow down to traveling speed. Keep your legs moving quickly, as fast and hard as you can maintain and still be comfortable.
Also if you need to take your gloves off in cold temps, put your gloves under all your top layers, next to your body. When you take them out they will be warm, but, get your hand in them as fast as possible. I do this all the time in the 20's to take pictures etc.

25F and very windy...........

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Old 12-13-13, 11:37 AM
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I guess you have to weigh the inconvenience of 10 seconds putting on booties vs getting frost bite. Me personally I put my booties on for anything under 45 degrees.
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Old 12-13-13, 11:41 AM
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Thick wool socks (Wigwam Outlast) and loose-fitting sneakers work for me down to 0 F. I'll try the plastic bags and booties if it ever gets cold outside.
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Old 12-13-13, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes
For cold toes and hands ride very hard for a bit. As hard as you can. Do a couple of repeats and then slow down to traveling speed. Keep your legs moving quickly, as fast and hard as you can maintain and still be comfortable.
To warm the hands, "windmills" can be effective.

While on the bicycle, riding down the road, sit up straight and hang onto the handlebars with one hand, and then rotate the other arm around and around like a windmill. Then do the same with the other arm.

It only takes a few rotations before my fingers are nice and toasty warm.
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Old 12-13-13, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
To warm the hands, "windmills" can be effective.

While on the bicycle, riding down the road, sit up straight and hang onto the handlebars with one hand, and then rotate the other arm around and around like a windmill. Then do the same with the other arm.

It only takes a few rotations before my fingers are nice and toasty warm.
I may have mentioned this a long time ago. The first time I heard that from you....maybe not............

I was showing this to a friend under a ceiling fan, and snapped a blade arm completely off with my hand. fan was too low anyway. Got rid of it. You helped me redecorate the kitchen.
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Old 12-13-13, 07:24 PM
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Last year, I bought a pair of Merrell waterproof sport shoes. The sports store said they were hikers, but they were not like any hikers I'd seen before: they're more like overgrown ankle top walking shoes. The waterproofing means that they help cut down on wind penetration, and you can layer up socks. The advantage is that they're sleeker than chunky hikers so they work a bit better if you looking more for commuting scenarios.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Merrell-Mix-.../dp/B006ZBM4MU

And they were on sale - I got them for a great price. Hey, I was sold.
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Old 12-13-13, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes
I may have mentioned this a long time ago. The first time I heard that from you....maybe not............

I was showing this to a friend under a ceiling fan, and snapped a blade arm completely off with my hand. fan was too low anyway. Got rid of it. You helped me redecorate the kitchen.


Glad I could be of assistance!
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Old 12-13-13, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka


Glad I could be of assistance!
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Old 12-13-13, 09:46 PM
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It’s not legit kit, but I go with platform pedals and waterproof winter hiking shoes and beefy wool socks over polypropylene base layer socks.
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Old 12-31-13, 06:55 AM
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I ride for fun and fitness at 60. So in the winter I ride a vintage Schwinn Spitfire 5. The last few days it has been about 17 to 20 degrees F. I put 4 pairs of socks on one wool. My feet have been toasty lol.

If you cant keep your fingers and toes warm, you are just gonna quit riding when it is cold, simple as that.

I ride about 20 miles at a time, a nice workout on a 50 pound bike (-:.
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Old 12-31-13, 09:21 AM
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My problem is that my feet are so F'ing long that it's REALLY hard to find shoes (SPD cycling shoes anyway) that are a "size too large" in order to fit additional sock layers inside. I normally wear US size 13 shoes. My SPD bike shoes say they are size 48, and one time I tried wearing 2 pairs of socks (1 cotton crew, 1 Smartwool) and my toes were way too tight and got really cold.

This morning my bike computer said 23F and I was wearing my SPD shoes, these Bontrager ones:



along with Bontrager toe covers, the Smartwool socks, and I also tried adding a piece of cardboard between my foot and the shoe insole to help give more separation between my foot and the SPD metal cleat. Toes still froze to the point of being quite painful after I got to work, 15.5 miles and 80 minutes later.

I really don't like the idea of using regular boots and platforms for 15+ hilly miles. Being clipped in really is so much better, but I've GOT to do something about my toes.
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Old 12-31-13, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
My article about Cold Feet ... written from the perspective of someone who has ridden in temps as low as -40C/F.

https://www.machka.net/whatworks/coldfeet.htm
Great resource, machka! Thanks for the link, just the inspiration I need to get out more in the cold winter!

Originally Posted by Lacumo
Its not legit kit, but I go with platform pedals and waterproof winter hiking shoes and beefy wool socks over polypropylene base layer socks.
I'm willing to chuck "legit" out the window to stay warmer in cold weather.
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Old 12-31-13, 06:37 PM
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Earlier this year, sometime around the end of October, the temperature dipped to -9C (16F) with a wind chill (not accounting for riding speed of 20-25kmh/12-15mph) of -17C (1F), I wore mid-weight (and only somewhat wind-resistant) booties over plastic shopping bags over summer weight shoes over mid-weight almost knee-length wool socks and my feet were toasty. I attribute it to the windproofing of the plastic bags with the insulating properties of the wool socks. Admittedly, I do tend to have warm feet but I think the mix of materials is a good one.
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Old 01-01-14, 11:03 AM
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I had winter road shoes/boots but they were tight. I have mountain bike shoes I use with my x and touring bike, and they have plenty of toe room. Today, -18c, I used the mountain bike shoes with Toasty Toes, and booties and my feet were great. I usually only ride in temps warmer than -10c, but I wanted to try the toasty toes my wife bought me for xmas, those, with the ample toe room and booties were great. Ski goggles and a liner glove under my boarding gloves and I was not cold at all in 1:20.
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