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some ideas

Some things to try include toe warmers chemical heat packs, an extra insulating liner in your boots, bigger boots in order fit in more insulation without creating constriction, getting off and pushing/running with your bike for a few minutes and keeping up with your eating and drinking. Or, you could sit on the couch and hold your feet next to the fireplace.

I gotta go, its -28F and sunny in my part of Anchorage. :thumbsup:

Good luck,

Ak29
 

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Wood chips are stupid
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No

campredcloudbikes said:
I've gotten off and ran before to warm up - coming down a 2,500 foot pass.
How about plastic pedals with metal traction pins?
Plastic pedals break in the cold. The larger boots with more insulation for insole is a great idea. You do not want a tight or even a snug fit.


akdeluxe
 

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Try different insoles. They make many different kinds of insoles, try a change and make sure it fits properly, as in completely covering the bottom of the boot. t
 

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I put in a layer of Reflectix, that mylar bubblewrap stuff, under my insole. I can feel the increase in warmth. R value of 12. Works great. It does tend to flatten out where you put pressure down, so you may have to replace it every year if it bothers you. I keep running the same ones because I'm lazy.
 

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Good to -30F indefinitely

"Intuition" brand closed cell foam heat-molded alpine ski boot liners inside "Neos" brand insulated knee-high waterproof overboots. Add your choice of liner socks, VBL socks, wool socks and chemical heat packet toe warmers, as required. Not cheap or pretty, but guaranteed to keep you warm in any conditions.
 

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Caveman
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Dave - are you adding anything to stiffen the sole with the intuitions? seems like it would be pretty flexy for walking. I have a pair for my invernos and have been thinking of trying them out in my normal neos, but my old system has been working just fine.
 

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runs with scissors
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I can confirm Dharts setup works! I’m running Intuition liners, custom nylon covers of my own making and Shimano SPD sandals, no VBLs and wool sport socks tested good to -40/45F for 13+ hours.
However I have to admit but wish I had VBLs that could wick the moisture up and out of the shoes because my feet were a bit pruned out. Funny I’m winning about pruned feet at -40F+ and not missing my toes? I’m the guy in the orange jacket in the following thread http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=477363
The thermometer in one of the photos lies! It was colder than -30F, the diesel at the general store where we parked gelled that night.
Now the bad news; shoes 70$, liners 160$, time to fab up the shoes 10+ hours and you look like you ripped off Lurch’s shoes – fitting I guess when you ride a Pugsley?
 

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Don't know what he was saying 'bout his boots on the trail, but I made Billy's boots that he was demo'ing on that ride. He told me that aside from not having the cleat set properly, he never had an issue with his feet. Couple of secrets to reveal...

1- RBH VBL's...never been a fan of the bread bags in the boots, though having used them in Fairbanks for years, they make the difference...and these RBH VBL's (www.rbhdesigns.com) are far superior to any bread bag...with good wicking sock liners the chimney venting effect and wicking will keep the moisture out of your critical boot insulation and keep the dreaded trench-foot at bay...

2- "insolators"...neoprene bonded to quilted cambrelle(sp?) and qualofil (or some other comparable synthetic...campmor, $7.50...helps insolate your foot from the metal cleat bolted to your boot...

Sorry, can't give much more than that at this point...need to consult with a supplier and see if he's got any plans on a production boot...

The only other thing I'm going to say is that Billy's boots were a labor of love...ok maybe a bit strong...but after commuting in Fairbanks for a couple years (back when Snowcats were the pinicale of winterbiking technology for the masses), and now in Bethel, I've been seeking the perfect clipless pedal-compatible cold weather boot system. I literally searched the world over until I finally found components that I thought might fit the bill. It's really something when you can be in Bethel AK and order a pair of boots from England that were made in China for a Japanese company. The kicker is they were delivered quicker than a jacket ordered from Arizona the same day...
 

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Is there a benefit to adding vapor barrier socks inside a closed cell foam boot like Intuition liners? In other words, does closed cell foam absorb moisture?
 

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runs with scissors
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With closed cell foam boot liners VBS do seem a bit pointless, however field testing of the VBS cited by damnitman actually look to draw the moister up and out of the boot making for dry happy feet.
 

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Caveman
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yes there is, if you wear normal sock inside an intuition liner then your socks are going to get soaked with sweat and matted down. This is no big deal at all on single day outings since the liners are typically warm enough, but on long trips you'll need to bring allot of socks. By using VB's you can keep the same sock over the VB the whole time, since you'll only need to change them from getting totally matted out. I've been using RBH socks this winter and am really happy with them, way better than integral designs or others made from just coated nylon.
 

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dhart said:
"Intuition" brand closed cell foam heat-molded alpine ski boot liners inside "Neos" brand insulated knee-high waterproof overboots.
Thanks for posting this Dave. I was just getting ready to ask this exact question on the AK board as I am havinng a tough time with the feet in cold temps. The beauty of the Intuition setup is that your foot shape gets molded into the liners and you can rebake them few times if you don't get it perfect the first time.

Any insole recommendations that stiffen up the setup? Thanks!
 

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Rbh Vbl

The neat thing about the RBH products is that they are "furry" inside. This allows the VBL to wick moisture. Typically, through what indubidibly (sp?) must be pure unadulterated magic, this moisture will rise, much like wax will wick up a candle wick to the end where it mixes with oxygen, and rapidly oxidizes, accompanied by heat and light. Many VBL's of the past were nothing more that glorified bread bags, or were in fact, bread bags, produce bags, shopping bags, etc. There was nothing but a sock to magically wick the moisture up and away. People had mixed results with these "bags". Most negative criticisims included the words foot and trench, not in that order, though technically it was not truely trench foot. (something to do with moisture, mud, bacteria from dead folks and whatever else was found in a WWI trench)

These RBH VBL's assist a very light liner sock (ie coolmax or something compareable) in the magic wickening. To aid the wickening it is important to remember you want the sock inside the VBL to wick, we're not worried about insulating, yet... The "furry" RBH VBL socks probably have more surface area than a sock, so now the tables are turned and the sock helps the VBL wick. If the top of the VBL is above the top of your shoe, but lower than the top of your sock, you end up with all the moisture vapor either migrating out the top of the VBL and into your gore-tex gaiter, or as a liquid, wicking up your synthetic liner sock and evaporating into your gaiter, leaving no moisture to soak the uber important insulation of the smartwool worn over the VBL or the insulation of the actual boot itself.

On March 2nd I'll post pics of the components and techniques used to build Billy D Kooch's -40 Nome Boots...sorry havn't come up with a catchy trademarkable name yet...(no pressure Kooch!)

-Euro mountain biking boot - $140
-"super secret" gaiter -$120
-other super secret gaiter -$100
-gobs o'goo -$20
-4hrs labor -$80
-pedaling clipless with warm toes at -40c -priceless

Yes, clipless pedals do make that much of a difference in the winter...do you use toe-clips on your bad a$$ summer bike? why not? Same reasons for using clipless pedals in the winter...


-Andy, I think that to some extent closed cell foam will absorb moisture, maybe not like a cotton sock, but...you could always test them by gettin all jiggy and sweaty wid it and leaving your boots outside overnight to see if they freeze-up
 

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Caveman
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-40 Nome boots.. sounds like another company I can think of...

I'm not sure the capillary vertical wicking you're talking about is the intent or even possible unless nano technology has advanced to a new level ;) I don't experience anything like that, or ever had with VB's for that matter. The furry face is for comfort so you can wear it next to skin, without an additional liner sock like you need to with other cheaper VB's. Wicking in general is what VB's avoid doing.

Moisture and sweat oxidizing? I think you mean evaporate ;)... no chemical reactions just yet.

The intuition liners will absorb a tiny bit of moisture, but just on the face fabric that is stretched around the foam itself, The foam itself will not. They dry out pretty much instantly inside your sleeping bag, or with a hot water bottle put inside for a few minutes. I've done trips spending weeks in them at a time both with and without using VB's and the only advantage to using VB's in them was keeping your socks fresher for weeks on end and a touch warmer at the end of the day since your socks would still be dry.
 

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"Yes, clipless pedals do make that much of a difference in the winter...do you use toe-clips on your bad a$$ summer bike? why not? Same reasons for using clipless pedals in the winter..."



Hmmm. I’ll have to disagree with there. While I think it’s cool you guys have worked out a good clipless system, I think the benefit of pedaling clipless at 5 mph on mostly flat, non-technical terrain is pretty minimal. Certainly not as important as having clipless for summer mountain biking. I wouldn’t spend the time and money. Much easier and cheaper to buy regular boots and learn how to spin on flat pedals.
It’s my experience, having biked to Nome on clipless and flats, being able to jump on a nice big platform when you’re in marginal on and off riding conditions is far more important.
That said, it would be cool to see a mass produced clipless compatible boot that was designed for real arctic temperatures, but I’d still use flats. I don’t miss my clipless one bit in the winter. Once you go flat you never go back.
 
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