Hand and toe warmers don't work very well in 15F wind chill
That's about it. At least it will be 49F next Sunday.
Note: I used neoprene shoe covers and Bar Mitts with the warmers. Still didn't work after about 45 minutes.
It is really hard to get the combination of things working well. We're all a little different and we need to mix and match things and try to find things that work best for us. I tend to use my morning commutes to test and try things out... with a a 60-90 minute ride each way, it makes it not so bad if I get the combination wrong.
I got it right on Sunday.
Feet are always difficult for me. Packing too many layers in the shoes causes circulation problems. I've talked a little about putting the chem warmers between your shoes and shoe covers. That did the job for me yesterday. Warm wool socks, summer road shoes, chem warmers on the toes and neoprene shoe covers. My toes weren't always warm, but they never really got cold either.
For long rides, I have been not using bar mitts. I need to move around on the bars too much to really use them. I use either moose mitts or goretex over-mitts made for mountaineering.
I hope that helps a little. Good luck!
They're not quite as compact or insertable as the single use ones, but I've become a big fan of the reusable sodium acetate "HotSnapZ" variety of hand warmers.
I like that they have a definite reaction and don't get TOO hot, and that they aren't bothered by water like sweat or rain, but they're bulkier than disposables and get hard when they're spent. They need to be protected against puncture (though the chemicals are basically harmless if they leak - same stuff they use for vinegar flavoring on chips) and once used they need to be boiled to reset them.
I've seen them on retail shelves at outdoor stores, which isn't bad if you just want a pair to test, but mail order is definitely the way to go if you like them.
Seriously cool! I really like that they're not disposable.
Originally Posted by DSalovesh
They work great too... just boil to re-energize. I have 6 or 8 pairs of them.
Originally Posted by Dirt
Says they hold heat for about an hour?
Originally Posted by thecyclingeconomist
Hmm. Not all of the hotsnapz google results are exactly what I was looking for.
Cool! The main reason I don't use chemical hand warmers is because they're not re-usable. Where do you order them usually?
Originally Posted by DSalovesh
I haven't found a solution for my hands, I've found they tend to get cold easily. I do have the drop bar Moose Mitts but they do limit your hand movements a bit.
Wool socks and full shoe covers keep my toes from freezing although in yesterday's windchill they were only "warm" compared to my fingers. As soon as I started thinking about my toes being cold, they felt very cold.
The reusable hand warmers produce much less heat per cycle the than the non reusable ones. They are great for some things but are quite diferent in some use aspects. They take up more space, weigh more per BTU and become ridged when spent. They are way fun to click and watch the reaction. My kids learner about super saturate solutions, exothermic and exothermic reactions from them. How the disposables work is interesting too and even as they are useonce and toss they are made from largely innocuous chemicals.
A few years back, I decided to wimp out at wind chills below 20F and go with heated gloves. I don't have to take the layer approach and I don't lose the freedom of movement. My hands aren't necessarily "warm and toasty," but they aren't freezing.