More about warm feet. And a neat Farmer John suit.

Outdoor Research’s Radiant Hybrid Suit(TM).
Now, aside from being in black as opposed to high-viz lime-green,
wouldn’t this make great cold temp recumbent wear?

Today I updated my “warm feet for winter riding” blog entry with a bit about wearing neoprene vapor barrier socks under summer road shoes and then covering it all with a neoprene booty.  Super warm.  However…(see below).

What I like about this solution is it lets me keep using my nice SIDI road shoes and Look Keo pedals into the winter.  I prefer the SIDIs over my touring shoes with Shimano SPD walkable cleats because the metal SPD cleats conduct cold air into the shoes.  That, and my touring shoes have never fit too well.  With the Keos, the bolt openings are hidden away and covered by the plastic cleat.  The main problem on cold days has been the light, thin sole of the SIDIs taking the full brunt of the cold wind.

In an earlier version of this entry, I said that — the full brunt of cold wind — can be addressed with “all the neoprene.”  I need to adjust that.  The neoprene vapor barrier socks are amazing.  That remains true.  But many neoprene booties are open on the bottom of the foot.  So, while your foot is, indeed, overall, kept warmer by the neoprene covering, the soles of your shoes are still exposed.  It’s warmer, but there’s a limit.  It’s a great solution that goes only just so far.

For cold weather bent riding, with cleats, wear a neoprene vapor barrier, socks, and then a cleated boot like Shimano’s winter boots.  Here’s a review about them with lots of comments.  From there, you could add the neoprene shoe covers, I suppose, to add a few more degrees of warmth.

But if it’s really cold, for now, until I find a better solution, I’m saying either forget about the cleats and wear Pac Boots and use platform pedals.  Or keep the cleats and use a fairing.

By the way, while I’m thinking about it, check out this fantastic pair of Farmer Johns from Outdoor Research (OR).  This would make an excellent riding suit for the frigid cold.  I have a fair amount of gear from OR — a bivvy bag, gaiters, gloves, a hat, a ziptop baselayer shirt… —  and have been extremely happy with all of it.  There are other brands to like, but OR is strong in the technical/expedition department and I’ve developed a good amount of trust in them.  And they have that infinite warranty.  Holy cow.

Have fun, stay healthy, and don’t slip on the ice,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

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