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  1. #1
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    Pogies and boots: what's the best way t stay warm fat biking this winter?

    I've had plans to grab the new cobrafists with some 45 north wolvenhammer boots for the winter. Their price and current unavailability have me considering other options. What would be awesome/for several hours rides down to zero degrees?

  2. #2
    Off the back...
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    The Dogwood Designs pogies are great, and I like my Shimano MW80 shoes. Whether or not they're warm enough for you is another question.

  3. #3
    will rant for food
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    Zero F or zero C?

    No matter what boot choice, give vapor barrier liners a try. Can be as simple as skin-thinsock-VBL-thicksock-boot, and as cheap as a Target bag (but those can move around some). You can get to feeling pretty soupy at the skin (the thin sock helps a touch with this), but the way it keeps your thicker sock totally dry is pretty awesome, no loss of insulation effectiveness across the duration of the ride.

    Kinda gross at certain points, but gross is better than frostbite. The least gross part is at the end of your ride, you can separate all the sock parts (unless you, uh, enjoy bacteria), and obtain some comfy still-dry wool socks from the whole mess, with which you can feel downright civilized in after a shower.
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  4. #4
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    I'm looking at getting the Specialized Defrosters. I have heard good things and they are $200 vs. $350 for the Wolvhammers.
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  5. #5
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    Been happy with moose mitts. Fingers stay toasty!
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  6. #6
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    I see the wolfhammers as somewhat unnecessary, at least half the people using them are using them with flat pedals, which is a lot of money to spend on such a specialized shoe that doesn't do anything better than a good mountaineering type shoe. My advice would be to go with a very warm winter boot to mountaineering shoe depending on how cold you think it might be where you are riding. Otherwise, I use my lakes unless it's single digits or below. I have electric soles I put in them as a backup, just in case it's 15 degrees colder in the middle of the ride (we have one place here that's notorious for that). For the real cold stuff, it's nice to break out the heavy winter boots and flats. The bonus is that you can walk up hills and get the blood flowing in your feet. No matter how much insulation a boot has, the problem on a bike as compared to walking or XC skiing is that your foot isn't flexing and as such it's not circulating blood like it would otherwise (some study from a while back showed that during exercise your calf muscles function as secondary "hearts", assisting in pumping blood). This really seems to hit home with me, although I could leave the SPDs on and just choose different boots, I have serious doubts that even the most insulated clipless boots will work when there's very little circulation going on (plus my circulation to extremities is poor, but I've developed systems to overcome it) and I think the flexibility with flats is worth it in those most extreme conditions. I will put on the SPDs and rock those much of the winter, but I wouldn't spend $350 or more on clipless boots unless they had some serious built in electric heaters.
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  7. #7
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    I have some Dogwood and Moose Mitts and they are both great. I've been thinking about getting some Wolvhammers but I don't know if I want to drop that kind of cash on boots. How do they work with wide feet (EEE)?
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  8. #8
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    I'm watching with interest: this will be my first fat winter. In prior years I've done a lot of cold weather biking with Northwave Artic Celsius boots and been reasonably comfy, though my toes have always been difficult to keep warm. As Jayem suggested above, I've already bought a good pair of winter boots and flats. This will also allow me to drop the bike in the woods and strap on snowshoes to break new trail if needed.

    Like my toes, fingers have always been a cold spot for me. I've made do with ski gloves but am on the hunt for pogies. Looking forward to suggestions.

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    As a big fella with kinda weak arches I found winter boots and flats to not be good for my blood flow to my feet. On climbs or when putting the power down the soles of the boots flex and deform, allowing for odd foot positions for me. I broke down and bought wolvies, and have the dogwood pogies.

    I do still need toe warmers in the boots from time to time, but really only need very thin gloves with the pogies.

    Remember with thin gloves in the cold, if you have a breakdown or have to walk out of the woods on a very cold day, your hands might not fair so well.

  10. #10
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    I'll be using my winter mountaineering boots on my Pugsley this winter. It'll be my first time winter biking, but I've been using the boots for their intended purpose for years, i.e. crampons etc. They have stiff soles, good support, lightweight, warm insulation, and (here's the best part) I already own them. I don't anticipate any problems using them on a bike.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcowan View Post
    I've had plans to grab the new cobrafists with some 45 north wolvenhammer boots for the winter. Their price and current unavailability have me considering other options. What would be awesome/for several hours rides down to zero degrees?
    You'll likely do well with this combination although I don't think the cobrafists are as warm as the dogwoods. They are nice that they have a zippered vent. Hands and feet are not the area to skimp on during winter riding. The only problem I have with the 45nrth is that there seem to be a lot of quality/design issues for the price. The availability issues just adds other negative issues.

  12. #12
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    As a follow-up to my post about mountaineering boots...

    I'm not talking about my full plastic shell boots with thick felt wool liners, nor do I mean traditional insulated leather mountaineering boots. Both of those are heavy and ill suited to pedaling. The ones I plan to use are my synthetic lightweight boots with Thinsulate insulation. While of decent quality, I don't expect the longevity from them that I'm getting from my heavy plastic shell boots. As my knees get older I appreciate their relatively light weight and I can afford to replace them when they wear out.

    I'm still pondering how to keep my hands warm on the handlebars though, so I'm interested in the discussion on pogies, gloves, and mittens. If nothing else, I'll use some of my climbing mittens and see how that works out.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by car_nut View Post
    Like my toes, fingers have always been a cold spot for me. I've made do with ski gloves but am on the hunt for pogies. Looking forward to suggestions.
    Pogies. Tape or affix some toe-warmer packs to the grips for the extra cold days and throw some glove heater packs in a pair of mittens you throw in your frame back. Usually my pogies don't work so well with heavier gloves, as they make my hands sweat too much. Use a lighter "liner" type glove. This is also where pogies are nice because if you do start to sweat, you can yank the hands out and dry them quickly. Then if your hands start to get cold (as mine often do on rides with a lot of stop/starts) pull out the 150 mittens that have been baking in the frame bag. Pure ecstasy.

    Took me a little while to figure out a system that works for me, but those little chemical heaters are f-ing awesome. Don't wait until you can't feel your hands to try and warm them up, get the ball rolling at the beginning of the ride.
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  14. #14
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    Last winter I bought the Lake 303's and went from riding with cold feet to riding as long as I want in one pair of regular socks with warm feet.
    This year, I'm getting some pogies... Probably Moosemitts. I was going to get the Cobrafists last year but was told by the guy selling them that they're actually too warm and I should just get the Moosemitts...
    For some reason, I bought none and rode with gloves. Had cold fingers but warm feet.
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  15. #15
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    You dont have to go crazy expensive for wnter biking. If you use flat pedals any good winterboots will work well.

    I use neos overrshooes with hiking boots inside them combine with flat pedals...i can use vapor barrier in colder days and i know people that use felt insert like big winter boots inside the neos.


    Same for poagies, i went the cheap way...i use cheap atv barmitts that i've found on amazon for 30$... They do a great job and are cheap so if i want to modify them i wont be scare to ruin expensive "bike specific" poagies ...
    expensive cars are a waste of money. Expensive bikes...not so much!

  16. #16
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    I don't have one bit of regret about purchasing my Wolvhammers. Not once since buying them have my feet been cold, achy and frostbitten at the end of a ride. I would buy them again in a heartbeat. Expensive, yes! Worth it, yes!

    Bar Mitts are another choice to keep your hands warm. They work well and maintain their shape. Not as warm as some of the others mentioned but they work great. I can get away with summer cycling gloves most of the winter(in Iowa) using them.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Pogies.
    ....lots of great tips!!!....
    ....Don't wait until you can't feel your hands to try and warm them up, get the ball rolling at the beginning of the ride.
    Thanks for the tips!! I'll give those a try.

  18. #18
    GoCyco
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    I just picked up a pair of Wobi mitts while in Amsterdam. Not too expensive and made from recycled materials. Can't wait to try them out. I will use them for commuting in Austria as well as Fat riding.

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