Oversocks for winter biking

November 1, 2008

I got advice to try oversocks for winter-biking-with-cleats from two independent sock sources, so I did, and they worked great. I promptly (more) holes in the bottom, then saw someone at a party with socks reinforced with some weird plasticky goop.

Turns out, the plastic goop is tool-handle plastic, available from hardware stores. The socks I use for oversock purposes are made of stretch polarfleece, available from foxwear.net. The polarfleece will not unravel from where you cut holes for your cleat.

To make the socks last longer, you need to reinforce the bottom. For that, you use Plasti Dip
IMG 0669
Take your bike shoes, and stick them inside some sort of plastic bag to protect them from the goop (I used newspaper bags). Then put the socks on over the shoes, and pull them tight against the bottom. Pour the plasti dip into a pan you don’t care much about,
IMG 0670
and smear it all over the bottom of the shoes. Hang the shoes to drip/dry someplace you won’t mind the smell:
IMG 0671

(Re)cut holes in the bottom for your cleats after they are dry.

I’ve tried the neoprene thingies that are supposed to go on over your shoes, and these are cheap, and for me, worked better. It may be that my feet are too large for standard-sized neoprene covers.

3 Responses to “Oversocks for winter biking”

  1. wunderwood Says:

    No to mention the stylish and wintery bright blue color. It would be even better with yellow or orange socks.


  2. wsanders Says:

    S is very tolerant of your “projects!” For something like this, I would be banished.

    I have been inspired to order $75 worth of doodads from Ledsupply. My requirements are different – instead of riding on busy streets with psychotic Boston drivers, I am on a pitch black bike trail filled with inattentive pedestrians, no streetlights (“dark as a graveyard” in the words of our neighborhood police sergeant), and three dangerous places where the trail crosses a very busy street.

    So I’m using two 3-watt yellow Luxeon3’s and two 3-watt orangered Luxeon3’s, to be installed without lenses as 180-degree “marker” lights. I hope to run the whole thing off 8 AA NiMH’s, so I am using 2 separate BuckPucks. We’ll see how that works, I’m sort of hoping the battery thing will solve itself, lest I need to carry a car battery along to power the whole thing. I can always downgrade to two LEDs in the AAs don’t have enough electrons. But the current generation of AA NiMHs are very impressive and are up to the task I think.


  3. dr2chase Says:

    Based on my recent experience running my bike on batteries, I think you are pushing it (depends upon how many hours you want to get from 8 batteries). You might also try Sanyo Eneloops — they have a lower mAH rating, but they keep their volts up longer as they discharge; this makes a noticeable difference.

    I’ve discovered a couple of things. #1, especially true of the yellow and orange-red family, is that you get much greater efficiency running them at reduced power. This is partly intrinsic to the device, and also partly an effect of finite heat-sinking — hotter means dimmer.

    Depending on what size BuckPuck you got, you might get your best results running in a pair of parallels. Actually, if you got the 1000mA BuckPuck, you could run all 4 lights in parallel and still get good light out of them, AND run it efficiently for a long time from a set of 8AAs. For a highbeam, you could wire up a DPDT to convert to serial-parallel (double the current) (I will whip a quick circuit diagram and post).


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