keeping legs and feet warm in sub-zero temps

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  • keeping legs and feet warm in sub-zero temps
  • handyman

    so i am wearing, thick socks with toe wiggling space, and neoprene overshoes over my bike shos these are older pair of spesh no mesh after about 20 miles on the road i have lost all feeling below the knee. On my legs i have bib shorts and lusso repel bib tights and i could not get my thighs warmed up even after 30 miles, it was only minus 3 degrees, so what do people use to keep warm so i can try it out, on my top half i had merino l/sleeve top, prima loft gillet. w/stopper jacket and gillet, ear muffs, 2 buffs no skin was exposed to air, the top half was just about warm. I couldnt go fast as my legs were too stiff even after hill climbing

    Premier Icon twinklydave

    You sound pretty smothered already, so I can't recommend much…maybe try layering socks rather than one thick pair (I tend to run either thin coolmax or merino liner socks under a thicker wool/sealskins pair).

    Some warming muscle rub might help…and applying it would probably help get the blood flowing before you ride, which can help. I use this stuff when it's proper nippy out, it smells quite nice too 🙂

    IF you can (obviously it's not always practical) warm up before heading out on a turbo trainer – that works wonders!


    I've often found anything tight makes me cold. Especially tights (hahahaha). Sitting down on a saddle doesn't help either – I go numb in the summer – and where your feet are only in contact with a small square of metal, the pressure isn't particularly even so I think that restricts blood flow. I've been up ladders working in the cold and mu feet go numb really quick. If you can fit them in your shoes I wear Thorlo Mountain socks sometimes, which I had from climbing in the alps, and a liner. Toasty warm, but don't last very long.


    I find long knee length socks help – keeps blood warm before it gets to the toes I suppose.


    Maybe try some waterproof overtrousers. More mountain bike esq but I imagine you'd cook in them more perhaps?

    Failing that a dry suit with hot water inside it might do the trick!


    Windproof bib tights – Lusso or Giordana Windtex bibs are good value. Assos windblock bib tights if money no object.

    Fleece lined boots 1/2 size bigger than normal something like

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl

    Gore Windstopper tights. Sealskinz with merino wool.


    Sealskinz with merino wool.
    MT500 Overboots.
    1/2 sized over my normal 9 in my Spec summer cycling shoes + layered up with gaffer tape over the vents.
    Terra Nova thin under-climbing-helmet head warmer.
    I bought some thicker gloves this very evening after last night's chilly ride.
    Spec' full length bibs
    Then I stay in the woods as it's warmer!
    Lightweight rain / windproof from Montane.
    2x HH Super Lifa wear tops.
    OH – try a warm drink in your CamelBak, I did last night with some lime cordial – nice!



    Oh come on, someone had to say it!

    Agree with Gore Windstopper, I have got some of their tights and they are bloody good. Eat some cake and put on an insulating layer of fat? Works for me 🙂


    I just wear Aldi tights with baggies on top. Sealskinz socks and 5:10 shoes. It does for me, I very rarely get cold BUT I'm bigger than your average cyclist. May I recommend pies and guinness. There are reasons why mammals fatten up for winter 😀


    eat more before you go out so you have some fuel to burn to keep warm as well as do the exercise.

    Core as warm as you can; otherwise body keeps your major organs warm at the expense of the extremities


    On my feet I wear a thin pair of coolmax socks with a pair of merinos over the top, and if its the MTB, just a pair of vans, or the road bike, road shoes with overshoes.
    Legs, 3 quarter length padded bib shorts under De Marchi winter bib tights with baggies on top.
    That lot has kept me toasty right down to -15 and was positively hot at today's -5!

    Plus one for core temp. DHB do some good winter stuff like Merston long bibs and tops, Runcton jacket. Also a head warmer / skull cap of some type?

    Personally I could light a fire inside my gloves or shoes but my hands will be numb unless my chest & head are warm (or even hot).

    Premier Icon epicyclo

    I love subzero cycling, but I've found that a lot of the stuff other cyclists wear is too cold for me, eg Endura Stealth is not warm enough. They're probably generating more watts 🙂

    I prefer to layer up with wool on top of form fitting merino base layers. I wear walking boots with wool socks and a layer of aluminium foil under the insole. If it's not very wet, then cheap Tesco thick woolly gloves are pretty good because they breathe really well and can handle a light drizzle or snow. This keeps me comfy down to -15.

    Misery is when the temp is hovering around zero with sleet. Nothing seems to work well then 🙁

    its only minus 3 degrees

    -3 is not an only, it is COLD and there's bugger all you can do to keep your feet warm at these temperatures if you have poor circulation ime. Do the best you can but rejoice at the moment they finally die as you won't have to think about them again til they start to warm up, much much later. Or in other words MTFU. Current method for minimising pain of rewarming here is walking round house barefoot – no socks, no shoes – warms bone-white feet up far quicker than anything else.


    I don't think the Lusso Repel tights are as warm as the ordinary ones.
    Certainly my older/almost falling apart lusso are warmer than my newer lusso repel.

    Here's my tip to help with cold knees. I made a couple of knee pads out of the hood of an old duvet jacket (synthetic lining). I tuck these inside my tights. They do a great job of keeping my knees warm, and they offer a little protection in the event of a fall……

    Laugh if you like. My knees stay warm. 🙂



    Today in the 12cm+ snow in Sussex we had this morning it was subzero when I walked out the door with added wild-chill. I did a 20 mile ride / trek to a railway station with functioning trains. Wearing a merino vest, cycling s/s top, armwarmers and a windstopper gilet over 3/4 bib shorts and 2 pairs of merino socks with cycling shoes. On the head cycling cap + woolly hat + cycling helmet. And glasses and gloves.

    With me it seems to be as above really – keep my core nice and warm with layers and make sure I'm wearing sensible headgear and I don't feel the cold at all. Nice and toasty all the way to work…

    Premier Icon votchy

    Last night in -3 I wore wool winter cycling socks, pair of goretex socks over those and then MW80 boots, cycling undershorts and event 3/4 with liner, on top I had long sleeve technical fabric base layer and my event jacket, spesh sub zero gloves, a buff under my helmet. Did just under 2 hours and the sweat was dripping off me, as above my camelback had a luke warm drink in it. comedy effect when getting undressed after was the four inches or so of leg that wasn't covered was bright red, looked like I had red topped socks on 😯
    If there hadn't been the chance of snow last night I would've substituted the event jacket and base layer for a Gore Phantom N2S jersey. Have used these on their own over bib longs and once moving never felt the cold.


    I once asked Nick Craig how he keeps warm after a cold Merida. He replied "ride harder". Inspirational.

    Premier Icon DezB

    Merino legs warmers under waterproof trousers do it for me.
    Wish I could find some new Merinos though for less than £50. Mine are all holey now 🙁


    Best tip i can offer is pre-warm your shoes and tights on the radiator first. This helps me feet stay much warmer, as the cold shoes aren't absorbing the warmth for your feet, thus you feet dont lose heat anywhere near as much.


    +1 for warm shoes and gloves.if get my hands cold opening the garage to get my bike they never see able to warm up again.
    cover your head under the helmet i say is most important.also against what is said about i will quite often get sweaty at my core while my hand/feet can be numb.this is something im working on at the mo.i never wear a lot under my jacket.often just a base layer but this hasnt been in minus temps so will se whats ness.

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