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#4723095 - 04/10/18 08:37 PM Winter cycling shoes?
buck91 Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 2432
Loc: West Michigan
Does anybody use winter cycling shoes with their clipless pedals? The season is passing which means its clearance time (though my size is somewhat rare in clearance) and I am debating if its worth it. Historically, welll back in the day when I rode a lot, I had pretty good tolerance for winter with a +1 shoe size and thick socks. On the bike, I find thats less and less the case and it actually kept me off the bike entirely this winter. I know many people throw on heavy shoes or boots with platforms in the winter but thats a rather unappealing option to me.
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#4723115 - 04/10/18 08:51 PM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: buck91]
maineiac Offline


Registered: 12/09/06
Posts: 12
Loc: United States
Have you tried winter "booties" that slip on over your regular cycling shoes (and have a cutout on the bottom for your cleats so that you can still clip in)? I cycle in ME thruout the winter on my fatbike and booties work well for me and are a durable and inexpensive solution.


Edited by maineiac (04/10/18 08:52 PM)

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#4723135 - 04/10/18 09:06 PM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: maineiac]
buck91 Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 2432
Loc: West Michigan
Originally Posted By: maineiac
Have you tried winter "booties" that slip on over your regular cycling shoes (and have a cutout on the bottom for your cleats so that you can still clip in)? I cycle in ME thruout the winter on my fatbike and booties work well for me and are a durable and inexpensive solution.


Well, yes. Hard to find ones that fit well over my size 49 Pearl Izumi shoes that I wear woolies with. If I go with a lighter merino sock I can fit the neoprene LG booties over my 49 shimanos but they are only good for about 20 minutes in colder weather.
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#4723156 - 04/10/18 09:40 PM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: buck91]
wwillson Offline

Administrator


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 2138
Loc: Naperville, IL
Insulated Perl Izumi booties work really well. I can ride for an hour down to about 25F without getting cold feet.

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#4723343 - 04/11/18 07:20 AM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: buck91]
Wheel Offline


Registered: 12/22/11
Posts: 562
Loc: Upstate NY
Lake makes some winter shoes that are good. They are only compatible with 2 bolt cleats, but I've tun them down to 20 degrees or so.
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#4723462 - 04/11/18 09:58 AM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: buck91]
853okg Offline


Registered: 02/28/18
Posts: 34
Loc: USA
I have much experience with winter cycling shoes. Are they worth it? Well, they're a LOT warmer than regular cycling shoes, especially, as you've noted, if you get them large and wear extra socks. Living in Michigan, I'd say they'd make a big difference. You can add shoe covers and make them warmer.
I used to cycle year round, which in my area means lots of cold weather. I'd use old track tubulars for inner tubes, ride a small (mid 60s) fixed gear, and ride in large, low boots with extra socks and covers over my toe clips. Modern winter cycling shoes aren't as warm, but much higher performance. So if you were doing group rides in cold weather, for example, it makes a big difference. You can toss in a couple of those toe warmers even.
I'm old now, and ride for fun and fitness, as opposed to income. So I rarely venture out in genuinely cold weather.
BTW, I've used most major brands of winter cycling shoes, and IMO they run the gamut. Some are much warmer than others. Also, I haven't purchased a pair in several years and I'm sure the market has changed. Some are much stouter and warmer than others. I think my favorite pair were Lake (whereas I've always used Carnac and Sidi), and had a rotating knob to adjust. They have super thick neoprene and are very warm. It's for this reason I'd do some research before purchasing. For me, the sole criterion would be warmth. I've raced in snow on many occasions (never in winter shoes) and cannot remember ever suffering from cold feet. But training-that's different.

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#4723482 - 04/11/18 10:32 AM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: maineiac]
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 4333
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: maineiac
Have you tried winter "booties" that slip on over your regular cycling shoes (and have a cutout on the bottom for your cleats so that you can still clip in)? I cycle in ME thruout the winter on my fatbike and booties work well for me and are a durable and inexpensive solution.


Not enough clearance for the crankarm, unless you use a pedal spacer, or something.

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#4723761 - 04/11/18 02:57 PM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: 853okg]
dailydriver Offline


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 9152
Loc: Pennsylbammyvania
Originally Posted By: 853okg
I'd use old track tubulars for inner tubes, ride a small (mid 60s) fixed gear, and ride in large, low boots with extra socks and covers over my toe clips.


??? You used to use WHOLE seta, or Conti cotton latex tubed, track tubulars installed inside of a clincher (like the Conti Gatorskins, or 4 Seasons) for winter use and flat protection??
I remember back when a low gear inch, fixed gear early season training regimen/piling on the miles was REQUIRED for serious (road AND track) racers, but not so much now it seems.

Originally Posted By: 853okg
I'm old now, and ride for fun and fitness, as opposed to income. So I rarely venture out in genuinely cold weather.


You actually rode for a domestic pro team at one time?
(I'm guessing that the 853 in your username refers to the Reynolds tubing?)

My North Wave winter shoes are pretty good, especially with full neoprene covers over them. wink

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#4723981 - 04/11/18 07:05 PM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: buck91]
JLawrence08648 Offline


Registered: 01/20/17
Posts: 200
Loc: NJ
Northwave are great, I have Specialized now, before that I had a cheap pair from Nashbar that were fine, $75. I only got the Specialized because they were used for $35 but used one season. Before that I used booties.

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#4724504 - 04/12/18 09:32 AM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: dailydriver]
853okg Offline


Registered: 02/28/18
Posts: 34
Loc: USA
Yes, I would use a well-worn Clement #3 track tire, for example, inside of a rather wide wired-on. Because the last thing you want to do is fix a flat in freezing weather. Plus, you get used to the heavy wheel, and when you finally ride a real bike you feel like Superman. I started riding a fixed gear for training when I was a boy in the 70s. Remember, things were a lot different back then. I went on a long group ride one snowy day in March that turned into a death march. I was riding an old, white Chiorda, with cottered steel cranks and a steel flip flop hub. I remember puncturing at about fifty miles and I thought my hands were going to freeze off. A couple of hours later and I and a buddy I'm riding with are only a few miles from home. I'm totally knackered and run into a pothole and puncture again. I have this [censored] dumb bell wrench made out of pot metal. I go to change my tire and the wrench breaks in two and I end up riding the last couple of miles on a flat Michelin Elan. It's not like riding a flat tubular. The ride finishes at a bike shop with an old bathroom (you pull the chain for the toilet) and I jump in the shower on the edge of hypothermia. I'm trying to warm up and cannot find my testicles. Anywhere. Look, I'm maybe 14, and trying not to panic. Logically, I know they must be up there, right? But inside, I'm pretty convinced that they froze and broke into tiny pieces or something. Maybe when I hit that pothole. Within the next four years I'd progressed a LOT as a bike racer. I'm now competing against my childhood heroes that I only used to read about. They clue me in on things such as the aforementioned track tire inner tube, and the Suntour Superbe Pro wrench, which unlike the Campy peanut butter wrench also has a 14mm.
I maintain that, for domestic bike racing, riding a fixed gear (and motor pacing) is a huge advantage. The difference between a bike racer and a strong tourist is the ability to go from 90 to 120 rpm right now. And that's taught by the fixed gear...at least if you live in a fairly hilly area. Once you progress to major stage races, however, it ironically has less importance. I never liked stage racing, because you feel (at least I did) as if you're never actually racing. In other words, you can ride for a week (or more) and never sprint. You're not racing to win, you're surviving by keeping your losses to a minimum. That's the reason that the fastest sprinters at the World's were always amateurs, and also why at the end of Paris-Roubaix you routinely see notoriously slow sprinters beat guys like Sean Kelly. Because at that point, all bets are off. At least that's how it seems to me. I've always self-identified as a road rider, but I've had some success at track racing and even managed to ride with some of the richest, most successful track riders of all time. I believe that in the late 80s Koichi Nakano was one of the highest paid athletes in the world. I know this: he drove a white Testarossa, starred in movies, and was featured on billboards selling all kinds of stuff. One of the things these keirin racers used are a set of gargantuan rollers that are motorized. This is something right out of a Bond movie. I want you to imagine it. You're on a track bike, on gigantic motorized rollers. and a trainer is winding you up to 200 rpm as you hope your legs don't lock up.
And no, I never rode for a domestic pro team. As I said, I'm OLD, and by the time I curtailed my racing to local events (in order to go into business for myself) the only domestic pro team was AMF (who you probably remember turned into 7/11), Within a few short years teams like Coors Light and Navigators emerged. And I remember a good buddy of mine riding for Franco Harris' Pittsburgh Power. Remember that form of US racing? They used to show it on ESPN. None of these (non 7/11) guys were, to the best of my knowledge, buying decent homes, for example.
What you have to realize is that the years between about 1980 and 1990 totally changed bike racing. At the beginning of that the US had a couple of professional cyclists (as I recall-remember I'm old). Mike Neel, George Mount, and Jonathon Boyer were more than really good bike racers, they were trailblazers. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to endure that sort of culture shock in the pre-internet era. When Greg LeMond turned pro he took a pretty large pay cut compared to what he was making as an "amateur" with Palo Alto CC/Avocet. But within the next ten years he completely changed the pay structure of cycling. I know a number of cyclists who undoubtedly could have earned a lot of money, but had no idea of it at the time Because who knew? Does anybody remember Ian Jones? IMO he was the only cyclist whose talent could be compared to LeMond's, but he was from Stamford (or Greenwich) and went to Penn. In other words, he had too much going on to go to Europe and eat gruel for little more than minimum wage. And at the time, there was zero advantage, and several disadvantages, to taking out that PRO license. Every race was Pro-I-II anyway, and any smart guy got a stipend plus results and maybe bonus incentives. I remember paying something like $1.30 a gallon for gas while in college, and then a couple of years later found myself living in Columbus and regular unleaded was in the 40 cent range. A motel could be had for fifteen bucks. And some elite cyclists were still sleeping in the van. Crazy times. I haven't kept up, but it seems to me as if road cycling isn't as big as it used to be, despite the fact that cycling is now mainstream and even the lowliest domestique can afford a nice home. I could be wrong, or perhaps cycling, and especially road and track racing, is just an analog sport in a digital world.

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#4725275 - 04/12/18 11:27 PM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: buck91]
dailydriver Offline


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 9152
Loc: Pennsylbammyvania
GREAT write up! thumbsup

Brings back MANY memories, as cycling was MY sport from age 14 on (intermediate class), and I could not give a **** about the other popular, 'Murrican stick and ball sports everyone else claimed I HAD TO 'love'. (Eddy Merckx was MY 'idol' and I could not tell you the names of even the MOST popular 'mainstream' sports stars at that time. wink )
Funny you should mention the Campy 'peanut butter' wrench, as I have a 50 year old one sitting in my pencil cup on my desk currently (as you know, they also fit the center retaining bolt on very 'old school' Campy cranks as well wink ).

I remember competing against Gibby Hatton (yes, THAT one, the future American keirin star) on the quarter mile track at Kissena, N.Y. for the 1970 Amateur Bicycle League of America National Championships, and no one was as quick as he was, even on those tiny, mandated, 78 gear inch limits set for the intermediate class.
I watched Chis Vande Velde's dad, John, win the National 4K Individual Pursuit event that year, at that event.
That track was so rough and bumpy that we dared not ride #3 Clements (let alone those tissue paper thin, slick, white treaded, Tipo #1s! crzy ), and used the file tread, 220 gram, Clement Criterium Setas instead.
(I got 6th at the road Nationals that year as an intermediate, in the uphill 72nd street sprint, held on the Central Park course.)

MUCH later on (after starting up cycling again after college and marriage), I was actually on the starting line at that same Central Park course with Greg LeMond, who was already riding for La Vie Claire at that point, (if I remember the jersey correctly) for the G.S. Mengoni Classic 50 miler at the end of the season in October.
I believe LeMond showed up for this by invitation/request from Mengoni himself, as Fred was a mentor in Greg's early career, and a life long friend.

I remember all of those names you've mentioned, including Ian Jones, and their less talented predecessors, like John Allis, Stan Swaim, and Dave Chauner, plus Jackie Simes III who was retired from amateur racing by the time I started.

Road cycling is still pretty big, especially the 'grand tours', but sadly, track cycling has all but died, save for the Olympics (it is almost impossible to see the World Championships, let alone any World Cup track events in this country now frown ).
The UCI put that final nail in (non-Olympic) track cycling's coffin when they separated the World Championship road events from the track Worlds by 5 months, and totally different locales, back about 23 years ago now.

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#4725438 - 04/13/18 07:44 AM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: buck91]
NYEngineer Offline


Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 1513
Loc: NY, NY
I fat bike all winter long in all conditions. I wear Lake 303's. They are so good that I wear a single mid weight Smartwool sock. No toe warmers, no booties. I use Crank Bros Mallets and they work well together.
Plus, not only being end of winter, Lake came out with a newer model so the 303 can be had for a very reasonable cost.


Edited by NYEngineer (04/13/18 07:45 AM)

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#4725785 - 04/13/18 01:07 PM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: NYEngineer]
dailydriver Offline


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 9152
Loc: Pennsylbammyvania
Originally Posted By: NYEngineer
I fat bike all winter long in all conditions. I wear Lake 303's. They are so good that I wear a single mid weight Smartwool sock. No toe warmers, no booties. I use Crank Bros Mallets and they work well together.
Plus, not only being end of winter, Lake came out with a newer model so the 303 can be had for a very reasonable cost.


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#4727109 - 04/14/18 08:30 PM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: buck91]
DangerousDan Offline


Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 25
Loc: Fargo, ND
For off road and winter commuting I wear a pair of Kamik "Greenbay" winter boots. Kamik rates them for down to -40 and I have ridden at -30F and been just fine. But they are not going to work with clipless pedals. If I wanted to run with clipless pedals in north plains kind of cold, I would look at the offerings of 45NRTH.

I don't have their boots, because I don't trust clipless pedals at the temperatures we see here in North Dakota, but I do have their "Cobrafist" bar mittens, and they are much better than the down insulated mittens which were intended for Alaskan oil workers.
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#4728960 - 04/16/18 02:38 PM Re: Winter cycling shoes? [Re: dailydriver]
853okg Offline


Registered: 02/28/18
Posts: 34
Loc: USA
You bring back memories. Gibby, if I remember correctly, beat none other than Beppe Saronni in the match sprint of the Jr. Championships. And I've ridden Kissena (and almost every other track in the US). It was rough. That was Harvey Nitz's back yard (speaking of Fred Mengoni). What a rider he was, and a genuinely nice guy.
You didn't happen to be at that race in Central Park where the juniors hit the wire and got their bikes stolen, were you?
I recall Jackie Simes when he was the coach of the Olympic track team, this would have been right before he started PRO, and about the time he set a roller record. He was, it seemed to me, long retired. He was screaming at his guys on the track (T-town was new then) and jumped on his bike to show them what he meant. And schooled them. I was impressed. And shocked. And a little depressed.
T-town was a murderer's row around then. I remember seeing guys like John Nicholson, Peder Pederson, Rene Pijnen, and Danny Clark. Couple of years later and Danny Clark, Noel Dejonckheere, and others were regulars in American crits. Good times.

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