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Thread: cold toes info

  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    cold toes info

    ive got a ? for all you northerners im here in AZ mountains and riding in snow how do you keep your toes warm or at best not frozen any advice would be great my hats off to you
    all up there.
    thanks fixgeardan

  2. #2
    Alaska Turner Mafia
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    individual differences

    There's quite a contingent of winter bikers in Alaska. If you're a true enthusiast up here, you learn what works for you through trial and error. I ride with people that have different styles that keep them riding, so many methods work, it may just depend on your own likelihood of generally getting cold feet.

    Personally I wear Lake's winter boot a size larger than I wear normally, so I can put on thicker wool socks. That's good to about 15F for me. Below that I have still enough room to put a chemical hand warmer on top of each set of toes, and then another thin sock over it helps keep the warmer in place. That's a nice thing about the Lake's, they have a large toe box area. I bought a set of Performance shoe covers in their largest size, which I'll use for below zero conditions. By the way, these are about the most insulated I've seen, and only $19 right now!

    A big source of heat loss if you run clipless is the cleat bolted to your boot. This can be an enormous transmitter of cold to your feet, so be sure to have a good insulating layer under your sole. Felt works pretty well.

    If you've tuned into this board you'll probably recognize some of these names. Mikeem uses a high quality pac boot with platform pedals. QueenBee has some rare shoe covers for her Lake boots that keep her riding. Adam just uses Lakes, but a bunch of sizes larger to accomodate plenty of layers of socks. Summer shoes and Performance covers work for many. Pat Irwin can just about use tennis shoes as long as he has fleece socks.

    One other thing to remember is it's not all in the shoes. Wear a thick pair of warm tights with windfront panels so the blood flow to your feet is still warm by the time it reaches your toes. Hope this helps to give you some ideas. Maybe others will chime in with their own tips.

    Randy
    Last edited by EndoRando; 01-09-2005 at 12:31 PM.
    Deceleration Trauma is my middle name

  3. #3
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    I use winter bike shoes (Answers) that are two sizes larger then my summer shoes and they have a lot of toe space for wiggle room and extra socks. When it's colder then about 15 F I put a pair of NEOS insulated overboots over that. This system is really warm but the overboots are so huge I needed to go to a platform BMX style pedal for winter riding which lets you put your foot down fast if you slip on ice. The overboots are so big they almost double as snowshoes and keep you from sinking in when pushing the bike on soft sections of trail. For hands I use a thin polypro liner glove and home made fleece insulated handlebar pogies which are very warm.

  4. #4
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    neoprene booties

    full neoprene booties for me. they make a huge difference cutting cold and wind. no need for different shoes. takes a minute or so to pull them on and off my cycling shoes, but the added comfort while riding is worth every second.

  5. #5
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    overkill?

    Yep - I got cold toes even in August -I think that maybe the capillaries are all blocked with mayonaise colored cholesterol plaque... I really prefer to use my Time Atac pedals and have tried various ways of attaching the cleat to warm boots for winter riding.

    Last year I took the largest Lake winter boot available and mated it to a Neos overboot. I cut the bottom out of the Neos, with a definate bias towards the inner edge for crank clearance. I shoe goo'd the overboot to the outsized Lake then replaced the insole of the lake with a piece of sleeping pad, and then cut more of the pad to insert between the toe of the Lake and the Neos overboot.

    These boots are great at -15 F but too warm at 10 degrees. Great for commutes and evening rides - I imagine the winter racers would question thier value. They do clear the cranks, and do provide a snow-shoe like experiance when sloggin.
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  6. #6
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    Pat's warm advice

    As you can see, lots of different setups work well for lots of different people. The common factor is to remember circulation more than insulation. Keep the blood flowing and it won't take as much to keep the little piggies warm.
    Pat

  7. #7
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    but what if you still get cold feet?

    I wear liner sock, smart wool sock, summer shoe and neo cover and still got cold feet today in VT where the temp was 25. The one time I raced in Alaska I wore a liner, wool sock and Pac boot over a BMX pedal and never got cold. Clipless pedals may be my weakness so is there a bed liner (Lake?) I could throw in and gain some insulation? Any other hints would be really appreciated.

  8. #8
    Caveman
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    NEOS bashing

    still trying to get a good system with the neos. I love having size 13 feet.
    So far I've thrashed a pair of navigators till they leaked (in one month) and riped open a pair of trekkers on the first ride, weak non-alaska proof material
    going to try the surveyors next..

  9. #9
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    Strap on clipless and NEOS

    About 4-5 years ago I found these;

    http://lousbikes.com/site/itemdetails.cfm?ID=1619

    They are the system that finally worked after years of trying different things. Get the Power Pedals and do some modification, I use 1" velcro for the main strap and added a heel cinch made from 1/2" self sticking velcro. I'm sure people could come up with a number of ways to improve these. Obviously the trick is to stop any movement between the platform and footwear. Used to use Frog Speedplay with them and now use Eggbeaters. Works great, I call it strap on clipless. You can use it with anything from tennis shoes to hiking boots to winter boots. I like the NEOS as they're waterproof and depending on what you use inside you got clipless that works from 40F above to 40F below. One of the best things about this set up is you've got a rigid platform no matter what footwear you use. They go off and on quickly and I've put metal screws in to act as mini crampons. I've used NEOS for years and found them to be very tough and reliable. Maybe the platfoms protect the soles from contact with the pedals. t

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