Insulating feet from pedals?
so, on some winter rides (in Colorado), I've gotten cold feet from my pedals (bmx platforms on my SS mtb), and I can actually feel the square of my pedal being cold, so I think that the cold is from the pedal being a heat sink. I already wear my winter boots.
Some things to try include toe warmers chemical heat packs, an extra insulating liner in your boots, bigger boots in order fit in more insulation without creating constriction, getting off and pushing/running with your bike for a few minutes and keeping up with your eating and drinking. Or, you could sit on the couch and hold your feet next to the fireplace.
I gotta go, its -28F and sunny in my part of Anchorage.
Singletrack Advocates Anchorage, Alaska
Susitna 100 "Race Across Frozen Alaska"
I've gotten off and ran before to warm up - coming down a 2,500 foot pass.
How about plastic pedals with metal traction pins?
Wood chips are stupid
Plastic pedals break in the cold. The larger boots with more insulation for insole is a great idea. You do not want a tight or even a snug fit.
Originally Posted by campredcloudbikes
"Trust me,you don't want a big baby."
Try different insoles. They make many different kinds of insoles, try a change and make sure it fits properly, as in completely covering the bottom of the boot. t
Boots with plenty of room for extra foam & thick insoles. forget the pedals.
I put in a layer of Reflectix, that mylar bubblewrap stuff, under my insole. I can feel the increase in warmth. R value of 12. Works great. It does tend to flatten out where you put pressure down, so you may have to replace it every year if it bothers you. I keep running the same ones because I'm lazy.
Good to -30F indefinitely
"Intuition" brand closed cell foam heat-molded alpine ski boot liners inside "Neos" brand insulated knee-high waterproof overboots. Add your choice of liner socks, VBL socks, wool socks and chemical heat packet toe warmers, as required. Not cheap or pretty, but guaranteed to keep you warm in any conditions.
how are VBLs for feet while biking?
I've used them alot for hiking and skiing, also in gloves, so am already a fan.
Dave - are you adding anything to stiffen the sole with the intuitions? seems like it would be pretty flexy for walking. I have a pair for my invernos and have been thinking of trying them out in my normal neos, but my old system has been working just fine.
runs with scissors
I can confirm Dharts setup works! I’m running Intuition liners, custom nylon covers of my own making and Shimano SPD sandals, no VBLs and wool sport socks tested good to -40/45F for 13+ hours.
However I have to admit but wish I had VBLs that could wick the moisture up and out of the shoes because my feet were a bit pruned out. Funny I’m winning about pruned feet at -40F+ and not missing my toes? I’m the guy in the orange jacket in the following thread Fatbike Ride in the Susitna Drainage 1/2-1/4
The thermometer in one of the photos lies! It was colder than -30F, the diesel at the general store where we parked gelled that night.
Now the bad news; shoes 70$, liners 160$, time to fab up the shoes 10+ hours and you look like you ripped off Lurch’s shoes – fitting I guess when you ride a Pugsley?
campered - VBL's yes for sure. I'm sold on the new insulated high ones from RBH, after years of using the integral designs ones they are a world of improvement, for me at least...
Don't know what he was saying 'bout his boots on the trail, but I made Billy's boots that he was demo'ing on that ride. He told me that aside from not having the cleat set properly, he never had an issue with his feet. Couple of secrets to reveal...
1- RBH VBL's...never been a fan of the bread bags in the boots, though having used them in Fairbanks for years, they make the difference...and these RBH VBL's (www.rbhdesigns.com) are far superior to any bread bag...with good wicking sock liners the chimney venting effect and wicking will keep the moisture out of your critical boot insulation and keep the dreaded trench-foot at bay...
2- "insolators"...neoprene bonded to quilted cambrelle(sp?) and qualofil (or some other comparable synthetic...campmor, $7.50...helps insolate your foot from the metal cleat bolted to your boot...
Sorry, can't give much more than that at this point...need to consult with a supplier and see if he's got any plans on a production boot...
The only other thing I'm going to say is that Billy's boots were a labor of love...ok maybe a bit strong...but after commuting in Fairbanks for a couple years (back when Snowcats were the pinicale of winterbiking technology for the masses), and now in Bethel, I've been seeking the perfect clipless pedal-compatible cold weather boot system. I literally searched the world over until I finally found components that I thought might fit the bill. It's really something when you can be in Bethel AK and order a pair of boots from England that were made in China for a Japanese company. The kicker is they were delivered quicker than a jacket ordered from Arizona the same day...
Last edited by damnitman; 01-06-2009 at 01:42 AM.
Is there a benefit to adding vapor barrier socks inside a closed cell foam boot like Intuition liners? In other words, does closed cell foam absorb moisture?
runs with scissors
With closed cell foam boot liners VBS do seem a bit pointless, however field testing of the VBS cited by damnitman actually look to draw the moister up and out of the boot making for dry happy feet.
yes there is, if you wear normal sock inside an intuition liner then your socks are going to get soaked with sweat and matted down. This is no big deal at all on single day outings since the liners are typically warm enough, but on long trips you'll need to bring allot of socks. By using VB's you can keep the same sock over the VB the whole time, since you'll only need to change them from getting totally matted out. I've been using RBH socks this winter and am really happy with them, way better than integral designs or others made from just coated nylon.
Thanks for posting this Dave. I was just getting ready to ask this exact question on the AK board as I am havinng a tough time with the feet in cold temps. The beauty of the Intuition setup is that your foot shape gets molded into the liners and you can rebake them few times if you don't get it perfect the first time.
Originally Posted by dhart
Any insole recommendations that stiffen up the setup? Thanks!
Eat Food. Chop Wood. Ride Bike.
The neat thing about the RBH products is that they are "furry" inside. This allows the VBL to wick moisture. Typically, through what indubidibly (sp?) must be pure unadulterated magic, this moisture will rise, much like wax will wick up a candle wick to the end where it mixes with oxygen, and rapidly oxidizes, accompanied by heat and light. Many VBL's of the past were nothing more that glorified bread bags, or were in fact, bread bags, produce bags, shopping bags, etc. There was nothing but a sock to magically wick the moisture up and away. People had mixed results with these "bags". Most negative criticisims included the words foot and trench, not in that order, though technically it was not truely trench foot. (something to do with moisture, mud, bacteria from dead folks and whatever else was found in a WWI trench)
These RBH VBL's assist a very light liner sock (ie coolmax or something compareable) in the magic wickening. To aid the wickening it is important to remember you want the sock inside the VBL to wick, we're not worried about insulating, yet... The "furry" RBH VBL socks probably have more surface area than a sock, so now the tables are turned and the sock helps the VBL wick. If the top of the VBL is above the top of your shoe, but lower than the top of your sock, you end up with all the moisture vapor either migrating out the top of the VBL and into your gore-tex gaiter, or as a liquid, wicking up your synthetic liner sock and evaporating into your gaiter, leaving no moisture to soak the uber important insulation of the smartwool worn over the VBL or the insulation of the actual boot itself.
On March 2nd I'll post pics of the components and techniques used to build Billy D Kooch's -40 Nome Boots...sorry havn't come up with a catchy trademarkable name yet...(no pressure Kooch!)
-Euro mountain biking boot - $140
-"super secret" gaiter -$120
-other super secret gaiter -$100
-gobs o'goo -$20
-4hrs labor -$80
-pedaling clipless with warm toes at -40c -priceless
Yes, clipless pedals do make that much of a difference in the winter...do you use toe-clips on your bad a$$ summer bike? why not? Same reasons for using clipless pedals in the winter...
-Andy, I think that to some extent closed cell foam will absorb moisture, maybe not like a cotton sock, but...you could always test them by gettin all jiggy and sweaty wid it and leaving your boots outside overnight to see if they freeze-up
-40 Nome boots.. sounds like another company I can think of...
I'm not sure the capillary vertical wicking you're talking about is the intent or even possible unless nano technology has advanced to a new level I don't experience anything like that, or ever had with VB's for that matter. The furry face is for comfort so you can wear it next to skin, without an additional liner sock like you need to with other cheaper VB's. Wicking in general is what VB's avoid doing.
Moisture and sweat oxidizing? I think you mean evaporate ... no chemical reactions just yet.
The intuition liners will absorb a tiny bit of moisture, but just on the face fabric that is stretched around the foam itself, The foam itself will not. They dry out pretty much instantly inside your sleeping bag, or with a hot water bottle put inside for a few minutes. I've done trips spending weeks in them at a time both with and without using VB's and the only advantage to using VB's in them was keeping your socks fresher for weeks on end and a touch warmer at the end of the day since your socks would still be dry.
"Yes, clipless pedals do make that much of a difference in the winter...do you use toe-clips on your bad a$$ summer bike? why not? Same reasons for using clipless pedals in the winter..."
Hmmm. I’ll have to disagree with there. While I think it’s cool you guys have worked out a good clipless system, I think the benefit of pedaling clipless at 5 mph on mostly flat, non-technical terrain is pretty minimal. Certainly not as important as having clipless for summer mountain biking. I wouldn’t spend the time and money. Much easier and cheaper to buy regular boots and learn how to spin on flat pedals.
It’s my experience, having biked to Nome on clipless and flats, being able to jump on a nice big platform when you’re in marginal on and off riding conditions is far more important.
That said, it would be cool to see a mass produced clipless compatible boot that was designed for real arctic temperatures, but I’d still use flats. I don’t miss my clipless one bit in the winter. Once you go flat you never go back.
This is alot of damned work. If we were real cold weather cyclists, we'd just have our toes amputated, then we wouldnt' have to worry about them anymore. Pete, you're a practical guy, how bout you test it out?
I think one of my feet would get cold in bunny boots. I've got a couple of decent set-ups for platforms, so I got to agree with Pete. A few minutes off the bike keeps them warm for at least an hour. Funny how you can run at -30 in a pair of tennis shoes and be just fine, but freeze your feet in 20 minutes on the bike.
Originally Posted by thirstywork
Good point, I should try it out. Can we move our ride back tomorrow until bout 11:45pm so I have time to glue a bunch of $hit to my Lakes.
I am humbled by your intrest...
yep, sure...I grew up in Nome and not a lick of technical single track anywhere in the winter, cna't think of any in the summer either...though the technical aspect of riding in the winter is less of a terrain thing and more of an efficiency thing. LEGAL DISCLAIMER- I am not a sports-physiology musculoskelatal type guy, just a knuckle draggin' firefighter, so there will be generalities and assumptions used here for illustrative purposes only...but it seems to me that if it takes 8 muscles to spin the cranks with clipless pedals and 9 with platforms (one extra to keep your foot on the pedal) it is more efficient to save that last muscle's glucagon for trying to catch MikeSee at the sprint to the finish (He rides clipless, doesn't he?)...Roadies ride clipless right? They arn't riding anything technical, just spinning away at 80 rpm...gotta be a reason they arn't riding platforms...You are right though, jumping onto a platform and cranking away is much simpler than putting the death-grip on a frozen piece of plastic and steel with your instep, that's why the Cook Brother's Mallets are great, a top of the line mating of a platform and a self-cleaning clipless pedal, none of those SPD ice-ups, though the cleat pocket could still pack with snow, but that's alright because of the pedals traction pins. I can completely zone out/nap while I ride and my feet stay on the pedals
The reality of it though is truly a personal thing, some folks feel more natural on platforms, even in the summer, and some feel more a part of the bike with clipless, even in the winter...
the wax oxidizes, the sweat evaporates...though if the sweat rapidly oxidized, and was accompanied by heat and light, this thread would be completely moot, as would any threads about headlamps or batteries...
"Less sophisticated vapor barriers have been used for years for socks and sleeping bag liners, but never before has there been a combination of fabrics to provide the warmth of an insulating fabric with a vapor barrier and a soft, comfortable, wicking lining." http://www.rbhdesigns.com.
Gotcha - you lost me there on the wax, oxidation, sweat part. looking foreword to seeing his setup. I think the wicking they are talking about is just for next to skin comfort - your post sounded like the socks are designed to transport moisture out the top. I just don't see how that's possible, or why it would be a good thing.
Regular geek out session continues...
Pete- just don't sniff any, its bad for you.
I'm a platform person by necessity with big feet. And by the # of times I've crashed / endo'ed into soft snow lately its been a good thing for sure. Safety first people.
omg!!! people have we forgot about the simpleest thing????...as one said its personal, all this thread started as was a question and some of the replys thought it would be cool too bash ideas of others..BULLSH!T!!!!!!!..thats not what this is about..i personaly have used both ideas...i have a pair of old ass boots with x-gaiters glued to them(yes pete GLUE)..and rode the yukon quest with them..i wore simple poly socks, a vapor barrier then a fat wool sock over them 5 weeks guys!! the point of a vapor barrier sock is too keep the boot dry!! damn...come on they aid in warmth cuz the vapor loss is nil..you dont want the vapor too creep up and escape thats not the point..as for the fancy dancy new age vbl out there save your money, the old ones used right work the best...plus you can buy a couple pair for the same price..keep the boots dry is number one in warmth!!!....as for the spd's of course i have used them duh!!!..come on guys get real its all personal. right??..i set up my spuds the same GLUED x gaiters too some 2 sized bigger shoes and wore the same set up..worked great!!!..o and i have never used heater packs!!!..its all what you feel comfortable with and what you like..so to you people that cut some one down for telling you what they use well, go to hell..your just lame...i mean mtb is a friendly sport...o i bet you were a roadie!!!..o did i just say that ooo darn..but really its all what works..and if its -60 below..your running anyway its just the way it is!!!...so boys you gonna ride or what??
Superfeet Insoles are nice and stiff
I use superfeet insoles to stiffen my Intuition liners. Seems ok. I walked ~35 miles of the 350 miles during last year's Iditarod Trail Invitational, and my biggest fear of the race was foot pain while walking. Turns out this setup was pretty comfy, very warm, and plenty waterproof for walking across the one 10' wide section of open water we encountered.
Intuition liner comments. I was fortunate I already owned a pair in my mountaineering toys, along with several superfeet insoles. All I had to do was pony up $100 from Speedway for the insulated Neos, though some go with the unilsulated version. The Intuition liners are custom heat molded to your foot, but it is very common to buy a half-size size too small. Funny how they feel good coming out of the heating oven while they conform to your feet but when you get home they seem too small. Good shops (AMH) will put extra socks and toe cups to get a roomy fit, but it still seems many folks end up with liners on the tight side. Err on the big side for this use, you can always put on an extra fat sock. Another drawback is they don't have a means to tighten around your ankle, and the Neos won't help out like ski or mountaineering boots. I use a wide velcro strap to snug the liners around my ankle slightly before putting them in the Neos. You'll have to play with tightness to fit your preference.
Neos comments. Good points: totally waterproof, insulated, tall gaiter, good for deep snow walking. Bad points: not breathable, no cinch cord unless gaiter is fully extended tall, buckle is on the INSIDE and can rub on crank arm (pay EPIC/Bearbait to swap sides!), velcro opens to the inside and can rub on crank, they're a bit puffy and can catch on chainring and rip the fabric. Buy as small as you can that fits over your Intuitions.
I only use this setup when its colder than -10F or so, or longer rides. Any moisture that DOES accumulate in the NEOS freezes solid and can be simply be brushed out during a break. Similarly, the Intuitions do not absorb moisture and can be brushed off. This combined with VBL's means the only thing that actually gets wet is your liner sock. Easy to carry several of these.
VBL's are a personal choice, sometimes as much hassle as they're worth, but I like them when it's really cold. Every several hours of walking it seems like I have to pull them back up after they've worked their way down my foot. Less of an issue if actually biking.
This setup is not perfect, and some find uncomfortable. But it's possibly the lightest setup out there which really helps for bike hiking, and even riding. After 5 years of cold feet winter riding, I'm happy with the setup.
Good Luck. Dave
I was going to post a question on warm feet, when I saw this thread. Do I have this right?
I can wear a vapor barrier (rbh or whatever was mentioned), a pair of smartwool socks, and then my Lake boots?
I have been wearing coolmax socks, smartwool, and then the Lakes. Cold feet below 10deg F. Chemical warmers with limited success.
Are the vapor barrier socks thick? I seem to have enough room in my boots. Any other brands to check out?
the RBH vbl's are very thin, they take nearly no room in a well fitting boot...
If you don't want to spring for the $40 for the vbl's try the ghetto version first (produce bag from the sto'), to get an idea of the improvements you might gain...nekked foot, thin coolmax, produce bag, smartwool, lake...
So I'm speaking for the silent masses, those too meek to stand up for their rights, those who cower in the shadows of shame for their prefrence of clipless pedals in the winter...STAND UP! You Know WHO You ARE! Be counted! Apart we are the minority, TOGETHER WE WILL BE THE MAJORITY!
anyways...here are pics of the boots I made for Billy D Kooch
Component list to follow
-Shimano MT90 trans alp vibram boot-ordered from Wiggle.com, online bike store in England, I can't find them online in the US
-INSOLATORS the thick ones at Campmor
-K2 Superlight Neoprene Overboot/gaiter made by 40 Below in WA. 40below.com, talk to Joel, he'll set you up with the correct size for your boot, make sure and ask him for a set that does not have the "plastidip", (a brush-on coating used to protect the seams, tends to delaminate from the neoprene when barge cement is applied, though it seems to re-bond as the barge cement cures-more of a long-term durability issue)
-Outdoor Research X-gaiter, they don't make 'em anymore, sorry, I got the last pairs, try modifying a gore mountaineering overboot like the one made by mountain hardware, or maybe Dick at Apocalypse Designs in Fairbanks could make one, Eric at Epic, maybe...
-"Barge Cement" awesome adhesive with a confusing name, turned onto it by a crusty dude in Fairbanks with a toe-nail collection , (rumor has it he's taken the plunge and bought a pugsly and doesn't have to sew tires together for his snowcats anymore)
-string to bind the boots like a concubine's feet, ensures good adhesion while the barge cement cures
-Shoe Goo or one of it's relatives like household goo to seal the edges and promote durability in high wear areas (like the rand)
use your imagination, design something to suit your needs. These boots are probably too warm for most riding, though they can be vented if the riding is getting warm. These boots really begin to shine when it hits -20f. I have been told comfortable at -30, standing around with coolmax sock under RBH VBL, under thick smartwool inside of boot. If the temp dips below your comfort range, ample room for handwarmers inside the neoprene boot.
don't forget to position your cleat exactly where you want it then fill the SPD "mounting grooves "(?) with shoegoo to seal the bottom.
These boots are not water proof, as the OR X-gaiter has a cordura lower, only the upper is gore, but if all your layers are bonded properly the boot system is better than water resistant.
let me try the pics again
Stand up and be counted, for what you are about to recieve...We are the dealers, we'll give you everything you need
anybody able to see the pics, I can't see them on the computer I posted them with, guess it's good they are my pics...
so I can't see the pics, I'll try on akspokes
Thanks for the reply. I'm intrigued by those photos. Is there a reason you chose those particular Shimano shoes? I may try something like this. I was thinking some leather touring type shoe that is always on sale at my LBS. It would not be quite as warm, but I want them for temps below 15deg-down to probably -20with the wind. I was looking at some of the overboots and thinking I would just cut a hole in the bottom of the overboot where the cleat is and seal it up on the edges.
How much bigger of a shoe did you get over normal?
Nice, ha, so I was right with my abstract 40 below reference...
So the only sole insulation is from the shimano boot and the campmor insole?
I'm impressed that will keep you as warm as you say. I need a ton of insulation underfoot to be happy, not as much on the top / sides.
The binding with twine for the glue adhesion is brilliant. thanks for sharing.
runs with scissors
Hello group my name is Fred and I love my SPDs and I will never again tease my wife about her shoe obsession.
Are SPD the best choice for winter biking? that’s your call but they work for me; honestly if I were not engaged in multi day events I would simply buy a pair of Pearl Izumi Barrier GTX and be happy.
Below are photos my old school system that’s worked fine for 15 years of riding in the Anchorage area.
Positive points -
• Good down to -15 F, -20F is pushing it unless I tape heat packs to outside of the shoe.
• Off the shelf stuff
• Booties collect snow and ice causing cleats to ice in wet snow
• Not water proof
• Snow will pack into them if you have to do hike a bike
• Regardless of insole used the cleat doubles as a heat sink after a couple of hours
runs with scissors
Now photos of new shoe setup in proto type testing; the orange pack cloth is just temporary for testing and the blue over bootie is just a mockup for final fitting to the shoe. The final over boot will be attached to the sandal, the upper will be a stretchy Gore type fabric, color TBA.
I’ll post the final build if anyone wants? but it won’t be for a week or so because I can get my foot in to a shoe for fitting - I’m nursing a slight tibia fracture.
Positive points -
• Good down to -45F without heat packs
• Great to hike in
• Water proof enough for steam crossings
• No crank arm rub
• Totally custom, good luck finding a boot fitter willing to help but $$ talks
• If your larger that a size 10.5 fitting the liner to the sandals could be challenging
• I only have 2 months of testing and the final version is not done
• Feet that look like prunes after 12+ hours of riding
is that a carbon heel cup added to the sandal?!
what fabric are you going to use for the final overboot? are you trying to make the overboot uppers waterproof? looks quite neos-like.
runs with scissors
The heel cup and side of the sandal are made of some type of vinyl reinforced with nylon, the mushers use to make their sled bags from it.
The final over boot will be very Nenos like; I figured with popularity of Neos there was a lesson to be learned.
Final fabric selection is not completely final, I have a friend helping me out she does a lot of sewing for big name mushers so I’m deferring to her judgment. However I wouldn’t mind making the lowers out of the same stuff as my Epic frame bags- bullet proof and water proof.
cool. well let me know if you want some scrap.
and please tell me that those intuituons were used for a few years before you cut them up...
runs with scissors
Thanks for the offer Bearbait!
Yes I spent good money ordering the liners direct from Intuition, I tried to buy them from a local dealer and they wanted no part of my madness as a result I’ve also had to take a crash course in thermo molding boot liners -- the smell of foam coming from the oven always impress ones wife?
J-NO, sorry for the timeleness of the reply...Picked the Shimano MT90's because they were ...
a-looked like they had a wide toe box
d-looked straight-up burly
e-not availible in America, so they must be good
f-free expedited shipping from the UK...only 2 days to Bethel
"thinking I would just cut a hole in the bottom of the overboot where the cleat is and seal it up on the edges."
...If it read this right you will be covering nearly all of your sole. May end up with issues concerning clipping into your pedals as well as the all to important traction for those all to long push fests that so many "rides" turn into...
I normally wear 42, so I bought 44, though ultimately they may be too big...The concept I was working off of did not include RBH VBL's, just simple produce bags...They RBH VBL's increased the performance levels of any boot by probably 10-15 degrees...Therefore don't necessarily need room for two extra pair of thick socks, just one coolmax liner sock, RBH VBL and a Smartwool Mountaineering sock. The boots pictured were made for Billy D Kooch and are not oversized. His reports are all positive...I am waiting for a pair of the 40Below K2 Superlights sans plasti-dip'd seams to build myself a pair...
"ALL HAIL TO THE FATBACK, 'CAUSE FAT HAS GOT THE RIGHT OF WAY...GREG IS THE DEALER, HE"LL GET YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEED...FOR THOSE ABOUT TO RIDE...W E S A L U T E Y O U"
Thanks for the note. Just as I got all fired up about the cold it started to warm up in MN. I experimented with my winter boots (Columbia Titainum Ice Dragon) and some toe straps and it seemd to work pretty well.
I'm thinking to picking up another pair of regular winter boots for cycling. I have some old school mtn shoes that I was going to cut the spd mounts off of-actually a 2 inch by 3 inch section of the sole. If I cut the knobs off the boots in the same size I am thinking I can screw (from the inside) the platform onto the boots. Maybe some Superfeet insoles or something to stiffen up the soles. I'll try to wait until spring and get some boots on clearance.
you could try this to stiffen up the soles...
edit: Look a few posts down before you try this....
Step 1: chop up an old pair of cycling shoes.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/72475478@N00/4333382040/" title="IMG_3532 by anrothardonn, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4005/4333382040_25b2faae71.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3532" /></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/72475478@N00/4332642367/" title="IMG_3535 by anrothardonn, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4062/4332642367_0e5fa1e36b.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3535" /></a>
Step 2: cut out the front portion of the sole.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/72475478@N00/4332643099/" title="IMG_3537 by anrothardonn, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4046/4332643099_c3fd13883e.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3537" /></a>
Step 3: Shave down the non-studded tread on a pair of Stabilicers. Shave down the tread on the spd sole so that the screws on the stabilicers will still contact the ground.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/72475478@N00/4333382938/" title="IMG_3533 by anrothardonn, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4008/4333382938_7e5becbb27.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3533" /></a>
Step 4: Double check measurements and alignment to be sure it clears your crank arm, and bolt the spd sole to the bottom of the Stabilicers.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/72475478@N00/4333381178/" title="IMG_3540 by anrothardonn, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2749/4333381178_84a6e31b77.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_3540" /></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/72475478@N00/4332639337/" title="IMG_3539 by anrothardonn, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2732/4332639337_1dc17b4c57.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_3539" /></a>
Step 5: Buy some $50 Cabella's snow runners in the correct size, or any other warm boot of your choosing, and strap em in.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/72475478@N00/4332644935/" title="IMG_3581 by anrothardonn, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2706/4332644935_7be5d60cd6.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3581" /></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/72475478@N00/4332643967/" title="IMG_3579 by anrothardonn, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4003/4332643967_f82b62415d.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3579" /></a>
What's that? It's -80F, you've stuffed your tires with grass and want to go ride in your spds? No problem, your pac boots will work in these as well.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/72475478@N00/4332645941/" title="IMG_3584 by anrothardonn, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2798/4332645941_7a8b6bf150.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_3584" /></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/72475478@N00/4333388112/" title="IMG_3585 by anrothardonn, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2774/4333388112_964ae44dc2.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3585" /></a>
Add a gaiter as necessary for post-holing.
-Excellent grip on ice
-The stabilicers do not move around on my boots at all.
-Long hike-a-bike? Remove the Stabilicers(takes 5 seconds) and march along in your comfy hiking boot. Or leave em on it there's a chance of encountering ice.
-Need to walk around inside on a possibly wet floor? No problem, remove the stabilicers and you wont have to worry about chewing up the floor with the screws in the bottom of your boot.
-Wanna ride in hiking boots in the summer, with spds? No problem again.
-Size 13 feet? No problem. I ordered the Snow runners in size 14 as recommended by Cabela's for use with thick socks. I used size XL Stabilicers and they're almost a perfect match for the bottom of the Snow Runners in 14. Stabilicers come in XXL too I believe.
-You'll need to raise your saddle and bars an inch or so, since the cleat is much further away from your foot.
I'll probably use some bigger washers under the bolt heads, just to be sure they don't rip out. I'll also likely be adding a 4th bolt to make em more secure and some shoe goo to keep the top of the cleat plate from packing up with snow and ice. If I had more time and money, I would probably do a layup of carbon fiber on the top of the Stabilicers, with a cut out for the cleat. It would be stiffer, and look better.
Even if you bought everything new(using a really cheap pair of cycling shoes), total cost would be around $150, and you would be getting a nice pair of winter hiking boots out of the deal. If you already have warm hiking boots, and some old cycling shoes, total cost will be around $50-60.
Last edited by sean salach; 02-22-2010 at 08:20 PM.
Errr, right. Simple.
FWIW, I used a set of the RBH VBL's on last winter's abbreviated trip to McGrath. Yes, they did as advertised and kept skanky foot moisture from soaking/degrading the insulation they were meant to protect. Top notch.
The only downside was that they shredded my feet in the process. That comfy-when-dry furry lining tore up my ankles and even toes just two days into the trip. It became damage control to make it as far as McG.
I'd done a handful of longish (~8 hour) rides and even a few overnighters in them, as well as wearing them around the shop for a few marathon build sessions in the months leading up to the trip. But you never can tell how something's going to work until you've got it in the exact conditions you'll be using it in.
Not suggesting anyone shouldn't use these, just making the point to test them as much as possible before you really need 'em.
Sean, why hack up the shoe? Couldn't you just grind some of the tread on the Stabilicer off, drill holes through it, and put the cleat plate on the top surface of the Stabilicer and the cleat on the bottom? You may have to add some reinforcing plastic or metal, but you would skip the huge lump of the extra cycling shoe sole on the bottom. Maybe the Stabilicer is way too whispy to deal with the forces. It has been a while since I owned a pair.
runs with scissors
Sean my riding partner tried the same thing and gave up after nearly breaking his leg twice when the cleats did not release during falls.
He realized several shortcomings to his design.
• The strap-on system needs to be extremely tight to release correctly in some cases causing his feet to get cold
• The cleat/strap-on base would shift in relation to his boot causing unpredictable release
• Many warm winter boots will fit with a bit of slop helping to keep feet warm but that’s not such a good thing for SPD release
Hopefully get the right boot combo and can avoid such problems.
With the Snow Runners in size 14, and the XL Stabilicers, the straps all easily fit very snug except for that front one. Between that and the bolt heads on the inside, there doesn't seem to be any movement at all between the sole of the boot and the Stabilicer. The snow runners are also stiff enough that cinching the straps down tight doesn't compress them much. I would imagine, with a softer boot like Steggers, that you would run into all of the aforementioned problems.
Tscheezy, I seriously considered that, and it's what I'm planning on doing when I have more time/money, as mentioned. What I did there might seem complicated via my description, but is actually a good amount simpler than all of the other methods mentioned so far. Except maybe Mike's, which uses just unmodified off the shelf stuff, but is inapplicable to people with even junior sized clown feet, like moi, and costs more.
Oh, and the other reason I didn't do what you suggested, Tscheezy, is that it would require me to do one of two things:
Remove the screws from, and shave down some of the meat of at least two of the Stabilicer knobs, or build up enough rigid material to lower the cleat plate down into a cut out in the stabilicer. My way requires much less thought, effort and precision.