Cold Weather Commuting

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by [email protected], Dec 18, 2005.

  1. I started commuting last summer, and was able to ride year round
    without too much difficulty. This year, however, temps are 10 degrees
    colder, and I can't keep my feet warm. I'm currently using DeFeet
    Woolie Boolies, putting my feet in ziploc freezer bags, then in my
    shoes, and then putting Pearl Izumi AmFib Booties on over that. My
    feet stay warm enough for the first 6 miles or so, but the last two are
    really the killer to the point where it's darn near painful.

    What do people do when the temperature hits the low teens or single
    digits? Any suggestions?

    Thanks

    eric
     
    Tags:


  2. [email protected] wrote:
    > I started commuting last summer, and was able to ride year round
    > without too much difficulty. This year, however, temps are 10 degrees
    > colder, and I can't keep my feet warm. I'm currently using DeFeet
    > Woolie Boolies, putting my feet in ziploc freezer bags, then in my
    > shoes, and then putting Pearl Izumi AmFib Booties on over that. My
    > feet stay warm enough for the first 6 miles or so, but the last two are
    > really the killer to the point where it's darn near painful.
    >
    > What do people do when the temperature hits the low teens or single
    > digits? Any suggestions?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > eric

    My preferred option is a pair of 5 lb wool socks and a pair of
    oversized basketball shoes I liberated from my nephew with the big
    feet. However even then I start getting cold feet at about the 8-10 km
    mark once the temp is below about -10 C (whatever that is in F) Still
    the bulk of the heavy socks makes a big difference. I did 180 km one
    day last Dec in about -7 to - 10 C weather and while I had very cold
    feet by the time I got home they were no where near what you descibe.
    John Kane, Kingston ON Canada
     
  3. <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I started commuting last summer, and was able to ride year round
    > without too much difficulty. This year, however, temps are 10 degrees
    > colder, and I can't keep my feet warm. I'm currently using DeFeet
    > Woolie Boolies, putting my feet in ziploc freezer bags, then in my
    > shoes, and then putting Pearl Izumi AmFib Booties on over that. My
    > feet stay warm enough for the first 6 miles or so, but the last two are
    > really the killer to the point where it's darn near painful.
    >
    > What do people do when the temperature hits the low teens or single
    > digits? Any suggestions?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > eric
    >


    those must be big shoes!
    i think it might be the ziplocks. something that wicks moisture away from
    your feet would be better. if there is a lot of wet there are shoe covers
    &/or waterproof oversocks that pass moisture out...here on rare occasions
    when the temp dips into the teems, i wear thick wool socks and gore-tex over
    socks.
     
  4. Eric,

    First, loose the zip-locs ... they may be making your feet sweat.

    Cold feet are a problem that require a bit of trial and error to
    overcom...but there are a few absolutes: Layers, layers, and more
    layers.

    Get a pair of thin silk or polypro ( i like silk myself ) liners and
    use these as your first layer. They can usually be found at a good ski
    shop (especially one that specializes in Nordic skis). These will trap
    a lot of air close to your bod, and wick persperation away. Then I
    usually use a pair of De-Feet type summer socks....again, to wick
    persperation. Then, a pair of wool or wool-poly blend Thorlos (weight
    dependant on the temp).

    Also, invest in a pair of cycling shoes that are 1 size larger than you
    normally wear. This will allow for the added thickness of the socks,
    and give your feet a bit of room to move. Clamping your feet in your
    regular shoes will constrict circulation, automatically making your
    feet colder. If your shoes have ventialtion holes in the sole, tape
    them over. A pair of thin foam insoles can also provide a bit of
    insulation under your foot.

    Booties are essential....thinner ones for dool days, and thicker
    insulated ( or neoprene wet-suit type material ) for the really cold
    days. Some Euro types even use old wool socks over thier shoes. Looks
    dopey (think Flash Dance), but it does actually work. I've even put
    socks over my shoes and under the booties.

    For really cold days, try a set of the air activated toe warmers that
    you can find in hunting or outdoor stores....get them warm while you
    are dressing, and slap them on between your shoes and your booties.
    I''ve never tried them myself, but ride mates swear by them.

    Every know and then stop riding and walk around a bit to wiggle your
    toes and get some circulation going....

    Also, since your are wearing more layers on the rest of your bad to
    keep warm, don't forget to lower your saddle a few mm to compensate for
    the extra tushy height.

    And don't forget to think warm thoughts....

    Good luck.

    //jtp//
     
  5. LF

    LF Guest

    A couple of ways that work for me: 1) Shimano sandals with several
    layers of wool socks under good waterproof socks -- I prefer the Rocky
    socks over sealskins. THis works well with SPDs. 2) Platform pedals
    and winter boots, with layers of socks underneath. Works well when
    really cold.
    Regards,
    Larry
     
  6. [email protected] wrote:

    > I started commuting last summer, and was able to ride year round
    > without too much difficulty. This year, however, temps are 10 degrees
    > colder, and I can't keep my feet warm. I'm currently using DeFeet
    > Woolie Boolies, putting my feet in ziploc freezer bags, then in my
    > shoes, and then putting Pearl Izumi AmFib Booties on over that. My
    > feet stay warm enough for the first 6 miles or so, but the last two are
    > really the killer to the point where it's darn near painful.
    >
    > What do people do when the temperature hits the low teens or single
    > digits? Any suggestions?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > eric


    I wear leather hiking boots with built-in Gore-Tex booties 1/2 size
    larger than my normal shoe size to accomodate thicker socks. Tight shoes
    = cold feet. I wear two pairs of socks, usually a pair of SmartWool
    socks or bulky ski/hockey socks over a pair of regular athletic socks.

    -Bob Matter
    Hammond, Indiana
    ----------------
    Cyclists and pedestrians fare best when accomodated with their own
    exclusive space free of dangerous automobile traffic.
     
  7. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    On 18 Dec 2005 18:50:45 -0800, "Johhny Two Pedals"
    <[email protected]> wrote of chili toes:
    \
    >
    >And don't forget to think warm thoughts....


    and a light dusting of powdered cayenne before putting on your socks.
    --
    zk
     
  8. <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >I started commuting last summer, and was able to ride year round
    > without too much difficulty. This year, however, temps are 10 degrees
    > colder, and I can't keep my feet warm. I'm currently using DeFeet
    > Woolie Boolies, putting my feet in ziploc freezer bags, then in my
    > shoes, and then putting Pearl Izumi AmFib Booties on over that. My
    > feet stay warm enough for the first 6 miles or so, but the last two are
    > really the killer to the point where it's darn near painful.
    >
    > What do people do when the temperature hits the low teens or single
    > digits? Any suggestions?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > eric
    >

    I wear a pair of heavy wool socks over a pair of cotton socks, and just
    street shoes over them. That's good down into single digits - e.g. today I
    did 28 miles, with a starting temperature of 12 F and a finishing
    temperature of 7 F. At 12 I was able to develp a good equilibrium, but as
    the temperature fell, my feet did get cold but not badly. Two weeks ago,
    the temperature was minus 4 F and I did my 21 mile commute -again my feet
    got cold but not frozen.

    The coldest I've ever commuted in was minus 15 F. I wore a heavy leather
    boot over the socks that day and still got cold but not frozen.

    The "nuclear option", for a short ride to avoid a zero mileage day in minus
    20 which we hit one day some years ago, is to wear Sorel boots, which are
    too clumsy to use for more than minimal bike riding but did keep my feet
    warmer than my hands and face.
     
  9. max

    max Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Zoot Katz <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On 18 Dec 2005 18:50:45 -0800, "Johhny Two Pedals"
    > <[email protected]> wrote of chili toes:
    > \
    > >
    > >And don't forget to think warm thoughts....

    >
    > and a light dusting of powdered cayenne before putting on your socks.


    Sounds like the xXXXx i did not fully leave until i'd sucked her toes. oh a
    sunday obaord the Hulls yatch. not far fromn the shore we could see the main
    bridge and the steamer that brought that accursed pepper and cinimon to th e
    city. The geneleman and the pimp and now the want me dead. Steer awar from
    them and find your succor the anise plant and the licorice man. Lest you
    find yourself begging for mercy in thr top of a hold full of oranges, days
    from shore. Stay away or they bring ruin Seek out the Chinese,
     
  10. > What do people do when the temperature hits the low teens or single
    > digits?


    Move to California. ;)
     
  11. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] writes:
    > I started commuting last summer, and was able to ride year round
    > without too much difficulty. This year, however, temps are 10 degrees
    > colder, and I can't keep my feet warm. I'm currently using DeFeet
    > Woolie Boolies, putting my feet in ziploc freezer bags, then in my
    > shoes, and then putting Pearl Izumi AmFib Booties on over that. My
    > feet stay warm enough for the first 6 miles or so, but the last two are
    > really the killer to the point where it's darn near painful.
    >
    > What do people do when the temperature hits the low teens or single
    > digits? Any suggestions?


    Recently I afixed strips of inner tube around my toeclips, fastening
    them with zip ties. My original intention was to keep my shoes dry
    in the rain[*], but I've discovered the additional advantage of their
    keeping the cold draft off my toes.


    cheers,
    Tom

    [*] I've observed how shoes get soaked in rainy weather. The toe ends
    gets soaked first, and the dampness works its way back toward the
    heel end. I reason if the toe ends can be kept dry, the rest of the
    shoes should also remain relatively dry. I have come to question
    the usefulness of neoprene booties as a /wet/ weather tactic, at
    least at more comfortable temperatures (above freezing.)

    --
    -- Nothing is safe from me.
    Above address is just a spam midden.
    I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
     
  12. max

    max Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] wrote:

    > I started commuting last summer, and was able to ride year round
    > without too much difficulty. This year, however, temps are 10 degrees
    > colder, and I can't keep my feet warm. I'm currently using DeFeet
    > Woolie Boolies, putting my feet in ziploc freezer bags, then in my
    > shoes, and then putting Pearl Izumi AmFib Booties on over that. My
    > feet stay warm enough for the first 6 miles or so, but the last two are
    > really the killer to the point where it's darn near painful.
    >
    > What do people do when the temperature hits the low teens or single
    > digits? Any suggestions?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > eric


    i got a set of Sorel galosh-type boots w/ felt liners at a thrift shop.
    Below 10F i wear a pair of wooly socks instead of cotton. These suckers are
    water proof, while the felt liners absorb any perspiration yet dry quickly
    at work. They are big and floppy. see the dress like a dork thread for a
    picture.

    I've been considering fitting a piece of rFoil-type insulation under the
    liners, as i've noticed some coldness if i walk around much. rFoil is an
    aluminized bubblewrap, kind of expensive to buy a roll of it for just
    insulating your boot soles, but you might be able to use it elsewhere, too.

    Tell you what - it's -3F (-19C for Terrence and Phillip) this morning. I'll
    try out the rFoil idea and report back on the results.

    As an aside, rFoil makes a nice battery insulator, too. cut one continuous
    piece to fit around your battery and it'll get you should get somewhat
    longer run time when it's rilly cold. This is only an assumption, i've not
    got around to measuring the difference in performance.

    ..max
     
  13. mark

    mark Guest

    --
    mark
    <[email protected]> wrote...
    >I started commuting last summer, and was able to ride year round
    > without too much difficulty. This year, however, temps are 10 degrees
    > colder, and I can't keep my feet warm. I'm currently using DeFeet
    > Woolie Boolies, putting my feet in ziploc freezer bags, then in my
    > shoes, and then putting Pearl Izumi AmFib Booties on over that. My
    > feet stay warm enough for the first 6 miles or so, but the last two are
    > really the killer to the point where it's darn near painful.
    >
    > What do people do when the temperature hits the low teens or single
    > digits? Any suggestions?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > eric
    >


    After 4 winters of cycle commuting, and a few winters teaching skiing before
    that, I've become convinced that the only way to keep your feet warm is to
    keep your whole body warm. I've also accepted that a certain level of
    discomfort won't kill you, so I don't worry too much if the last mile is a
    little chilly.

    I use SmartWool socks in a pair of cheap SPD compatible shoes, and a fairly
    thick pair of neoprene Spokes brand booties, thicker than the P-I AmFibs. I
    think putting the thick neoprene on the outside makes for more insulation
    than compressing thick socks inside a pair of shoes where your feet will
    soak the socks with sweat. It's quite possible that the Zip-Loc bags are
    trapping perspiration inside your shoes, making your feet cold.

    I learned a long time to avoid putting cotton next to my skin in cold
    weather, and I think that is key to staying warm. Any cotton garment
    (T-shirt, cheap long johns,etc.) will hold moisture next to your skin and
    cool you off.

    I'm also diligent about keeping my head and neck covered. I use a Pearl
    Izumi lycra skull cap under my helmet in cool weather, and a P-I balaclava
    when it gets really cold. The helmet (Bell Metro) has ear muffs, a water
    proof rain cover and foam plugs for the vent holes. This way warm air is
    trapped under the helmet, instead of putting compressed fabric between the
    helmet and the scalp.

    If possible I like to have a thin layer of wool next to the skin, then a
    decent layer of fleece, then something windproof. Gore-Tex is a bit over
    rated for cycling IMO, I prefer it for skiing or winter hiking.

    A few nights ago I rode home in sub-zero (Fahrenheit) temperatures for the
    first time this winter. I had the above mentioned head and foot wear, a wool
    T-shirt (long sleeve), a fleece pullover zipped up over my throat, bib
    shorts, 1 layer of synthetic long underpants, and a pair of SportHill
    tights. The tights are loose enough to accommodate a pair of long johns
    easily, and a dense enough knit to stop wind from getting through. I also
    had P-I lobster claw gloves and a Burley rain jacket (not breathable, but
    waterproof and vented). The toes felt a little chilly for the last 1/2 mile
    of the 7 miles, but nothing I couldn't live with.
    HTH,
    --
    mark
     
  14. BobT

    BobT Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >I started commuting last summer, and was able to ride year round
    > without too much difficulty. This year, however, temps are 10 degrees
    > colder, and I can't keep my feet warm. I'm currently using DeFeet
    > Woolie Boolies, putting my feet in ziploc freezer bags, then in my
    > shoes, and then putting Pearl Izumi AmFib Booties on over that. My
    > feet stay warm enough for the first 6 miles or so, but the last two are
    > really the killer to the point where it's darn near painful.
    >
    > What do people do when the temperature hits the low teens or single
    > digits? Any suggestions?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > eric
    >

    pac boots like Sorel caribou's

    BobT
     
  15. Joe Canuck

    Joe Canuck Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    > I started commuting last summer, and was able to ride year round
    > without too much difficulty. This year, however, temps are 10 degrees
    > colder, and I can't keep my feet warm. I'm currently using DeFeet
    > Woolie Boolies, putting my feet in ziploc freezer bags, then in my
    > shoes, and then putting Pearl Izumi AmFib Booties on over that. My
    > feet stay warm enough for the first 6 miles or so, but the last two are
    > really the killer to the point where it's darn near painful.
    >
    > What do people do when the temperature hits the low teens or single
    > digits? Any suggestions?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > eric
    >


    You are trapping moisture with the plastic when you should be wearing
    something to wick the moiture away.

    One always feels colder when they are wet.
     
  16. gds

    gds Guest

    Ron Wallenfang wrote:
    >> >

    > I wear a pair of heavy wool socks over a pair of cotton socks, and just
    > street shoes over them. That's good down into single digits - e.g. today I
    > did 28 miles, with a starting temperature of 12 F and a finishing
    > temperature of 7 F. At 12 I was able to develp a good equilibrium, but as
    > the temperature fell, my feet did get cold but not badly. Two weeks ago,
    > the temperature was minus 4 F and I did my 21 mile commute -again my feet
    > got cold but not frozen.
    >

    Interesting. Why do you wear cotton socks as a base layer. I'd think
    that this is part of your feet getting cold towards the end of rides.
    I'd guess the cotton gets damp and loses any insulating quality. Why
    not two pair of woolen socks or a synthetic liner sock?

    I no longer deal much with extreme cold but found that when I spent
    winters in Northern Wisconsin I would often run in temps down to ~-15
    F. Cotton running socks stopped working at ~ 20 minutes. Thick Coolmax
    socks kept my feet warm for another half hour.
     
  17. amakyonin

    amakyonin Guest

    It will help immensely if you get an oversize shoe that will allow you
    to wear heavier socks without cutting off circulation. It also helps to
    get some cycling specific winter boots for the added insulation and
    water resistance. These are more effective at retaining heat than
    booties. For single digit temperatures, I can make it 8 miles without
    being too cold using such a setup. For longer rides, I use chemical
    hand warmers inserted in a specially designed footbed that you can get
    at Wal-mart in the boot section.
     
  18. "gds" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >



    > Interesting. Why do you wear cotton socks as a base layer. I'd think
    > that this is part of your feet getting cold towards the end of rides.
    > I'd guess the cotton gets damp and loses any insulating quality. Why
    > not two pair of woolen socks or a synthetic liner sock?


    It was minus 4 again starting out yesterday morning (Monday the 19th) and I
    did wear two pair of wool socks, one of medium weight, the other heavier. I
    will admit that's better in bitter cold, though the cotton/wool combination
    works for me down into the plus single digits F.
     
  19. gds

    gds Guest

    Ron Wallenfang wrote:
    > "gds" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > >

    >
    >
    > > Interesting. Why do you wear cotton socks as a base layer. I'd think
    > > that this is part of your feet getting cold towards the end of rides.
    > > I'd guess the cotton gets damp and loses any insulating quality. Why
    > > not two pair of woolen socks or a synthetic liner sock?

    >
    > It was minus 4 again starting out yesterday morning (Monday the 19th) and I
    > did wear two pair of wool socks, one of medium weight, the other heavier. I
    > will admit that's better in bitter cold, though the cotton/wool combination
    > works for me down into the plus single digits F.


    I think you folks who cycle regularly at those temps just start out
    tougher than normal!!
    After growing up in the upper mid west and spending most of my adult
    life in the north east I am now safely in southern Arizona where I
    reach for a sweater when the temp dips below 70 ;-)
     
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