Part of the fun of winter biking is experimenting with various combinations of clothing and equipment, to find out what works and what doesn’t. No two rides are the same in winter. Riding in the summer is boring by comparison.
Today’s experiment was riding the fixie with toe clips and hiking boots. This was a mixed bag. On the plus side, it was great having the boots to walk through the snowier sections in the park. With boots, I’m more inclined to take the bike into the park in snowy weather, because I know that if I have to, I’ll be able to walk longer distances in the boots than if I were wearing cleats. I also felt more confident riding through snowy and icy sections, even with 700x23c road tires.
The downside to this setup is that the boots don’t fit into the toe clips very well. Even with the straps set at their loosest setting, I felt like I was pedaling on tiptoes, and I had the tendency to want to jam my toes as far forward as possible, which needless to say, was uncomfortable. The straps kept my feet on the pedals at high cadences, but they didn’t hold the boots in very well on the upstroke, so I wasn’t able to pedal very efficiently.
So the verdict here is that I like riding with the boots, but I need a different pedal retention system. I may try out a set of Power Grips straps.
ObClothingNotes: NWS said it was 24 when I left and 30 when I arrived. I wore 2 layers of socks under the boots. Feet stayed warm. Top: short sleeve, arm warmers, PolarTec, windbreaker. This was a bit on the warm side.
ObRoadNotes: In the park, the Grist Mill Trail was clear except for a few icy spots. River Rd was mostly snow covered, but rideable with caution. Outside the park, roads were completely clear but salty.