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  1. #1
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    Aerogel - Insoles - Warm?

    Has anyone used Aerogel insoles to warm up their riding shoes? They are available for reasonably cheap and the science sounds really interesting. NASA designed for thermo insulation in space suits, super-light, nanotechnology, etc. etc, The stuff is used for sleeping pads and such. I read a short article on clothing that was made with the material, but people didn't like it because it was TOO hot. - just curious if anyone has tried it????
    Aerogel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  2. #2
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    stuff works great, though for this application we are mostly talking loss through the bottom of a shoe/boot, so mostly conductive heat loss prevention. If the area above the foot is losing too much heat, these will do little.

    Thus: Bottom of feet cold? Bueno. Tops of feet cold? No Bueno

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombinate View Post
    stuff works great, though for this application we are mostly talking loss through the bottom of a shoe/boot, so mostly conductive heat loss prevention. If the area above the foot is losing too much heat, these will do little.

    Thus: Bottom of feet cold? Bueno. Tops of feet cold? No Bueno
    Thanks - For me, the major cold intrusion seems to come through the boot sole - through the cleat mount and all the metal of the pedal. There's a major heat sink there. I'm going to pick up a couple pairs and try them out.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  4. #4
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    I tried them, wasnt impressed.
    Jason
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  5. #5
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    45NRTH had a tease on their facebook profile awhile back asking if anyone could ID the material, a bunch of people jumped all over it. I'm not holding my breath, but I'd like to see if they can make a good boot using the stuff. Maybe it would succeed at beating the clipless-pedals-as-heatsink-connection thing I've experienced.

    EDIT: I'm not pulling this out of my ass.
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  6. #6
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    Have them, work ok. A little better than what came with my sorrel winter boots.

  7. #7
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    My Saloman boots (Tundra) have aerogel insulation - they work well and are lighter than other similarly-rated boots. I put superfeet red insoles in them, however, as extra protection. Not sure about just an aerogel insole or pad - but for a whole boot it works well.

  8. #8
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    Aerogel boots

    Salomon uses the material at least one of their boot lines. Lookup their Tundra boot.

    Super light and very warm!

    I haven't seen an insole. That would be cool!

  9. #9
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    I put a pair in some clipless hightop downhiller type boots I used to use in winter. They were OK, but not the best thing since sliced bread. I wish I'd tried them in only 1 shoe first for a good experiment. I switched to 5.10 impact hightops and flat pedals after an ankle injury and found my feet are much warmer.

  10. #10
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    I picked some Toasty Feet for my Lake MXZ302s this winter. I'd say they are as warm as the heavy felt/bubblewrap/felt liners the Lakes come with, but about half the thickness. So no, not as super awesomer as the marketing suggests. But for how thin they are pretty damn good.
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-reg View Post
    I picked some Toasty Feet for my Lake MXZ302s this winter. I'd say they are as warm as the heavy felt/bubblewrap/felt liners the Lakes come with, but about half the thickness. So no, not as super awesomer as the marketing suggests. But for how thin they are pretty damn good.
    Are they thin enough that you could put them in in addition to the original insoles?
    Latitude 61

  12. #12
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    I don't know. But my boots are over sized, so I plan on putting them under the insole and then putting the insole on top.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  13. #13
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    They are 3-4mm thick, so depends on your shoes and socks.
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  14. #14
    Fatback
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    I didn't notice any difference between the Toasty Feet insoles and what I already had. I also said the same thing about Intuition liners. In my opinion the problem is lack of circulation, not so much lack of insulation. As long as my feet rest on pedals, even flat pedals, there is just enough pressure to cut off blood flow. Step off the bike for a minute or two, and boom, warm feet.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

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    Agree with Thirsty's post. Most heat lost through lack of circulation (compression on pedal and/or too tight of boots) and heat sink. Although I did cut some insoles out of a Therm-A-Rest Ridge Rest and they seem to work pretty well at improving the heat sink issue...providing you can fit them in your boot. Plus, you can get a lot of insoles out of a mattress.

  16. #16
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    I'll second the sleeping pad insoles. Easy to make, work really well. They do wear out after a few hundred miles for me, mainly in the heel, especially if there's a lot of pushing. Lay down on your sleeping pad and I'm sure you can find a few spots on it that you wouldn't miss. I prefer to use the cheaper, blue closed cell foam pads though.

  17. #17
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    Can you buy sheets of aerogel?
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  18. #18
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    I've got an email in to Aspen Aerogels, trying to get a hold of a small quantity of their Spaceloft. No response yet. I would imagine there are other sources.

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    " I prefer to use the cheaper, blue closed cell foam pads though"

    That is potentially why they wear out so fast. I used a green Coleman mattress and it didn't last at all. The Thermarest is thicker and I don't think it compresses as much as the blue pad.

    "trying to get a hold of a small quantity of their Spaceloft"

    For those special night rides with Tim R. and Paul?

  20. #20
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    You're thinking of space grass, TB. totally different.

  21. #21
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    Touche'. Let me know if you want to make a set of insoles. I think I have a lot of Therma left.

  22. #22
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    Cork?.

    A guy up at Fatbikes AK suggested buying cork off a roll at Lowes or Home depot and making an underlayer for the insoles. This assumed an oversized boot. Sounded like a good suggestion.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBerntson View Post
    Touche'. Let me know if you want to make a set of insoles. I think I have a lot of Therma left.
    TB: Sign me up!!!

  24. #24
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    I have tried the cork insoles from Birkenstock and like the shape. The metatarsal button under the toes is good. Not as good as getting off the bike though.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirstywork View Post
    I have tried the cork insoles from Birkenstock and like the shape. The metatarsal button under the toes is good. Not as good as getting off the bike and into a hot tub though.
    Fixed it for you, Greg.

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