February 14, 2013 - see Bob's original Foot Warmer Review
In the winter of 2002-2003, I performed my original 2,200 mile cycling test of Hotronic Foot Warmers. Since then I have been cycling mostly during the pre-dawn hours for aerobic exercise about 2,000 miles each winter from November through March, or on average 25 miles/day four days a week. During that period of time, in our area, temperatures in the morning average 26 degrees Fahrenheit with one month’s average lows down to 20 degrees and one or two days of the year down to 5 degrees.
Below I have outlined my overall product impression, tips to ensure long product life, and a message for cyclists that ride in temperatures below 20 degrees F.
The Hotronic Foot Warmer is the only product I will use to keep my toes warm during winter cycling in cold weather.
Over time I learned a few tricks to extend the life of the Foot Warmer product.
Since my initial review in 2003, more new products have been introduced by other manufacturers that have allowed me to comfortably cycle in temperatures down to 5 degrees F. These items include high end insulated cycling boots with vibram soles, handmade icebike mittens, and carbide studded bicycle tires.
The Foot Warmer battery attaches firmly and securely to the most widely distributed high end insulated winter cycling boot on the market and the Foot Warmer keeps my toes nice and warm with imperceptible heat. I use only a thin wool sock so there is a nice air pocket between my foot and the boot and I seal the upper part of the winter boot so warm air doesn’t escape.
Friends that I’ve ridden with in 25 degree temperatures with the same insulated boots and without the Hotronic Foot Warmer have had to take an indoor break mid-ride to change their chemical toe warmers because they became rock hard and ineffective in producing heat.
As a side note/safety tip – I have learned through experience to always use top of the line carbide studded tires when bicycling in temperatures below freezing so that you do not fall on ice. A pair of these tires will last 2,200 miles on clear pavement and is less expensive than one trip to the hospital emergency room.
I enjoy riding outdoors regularly when temperatures dip below 45 degrees F and Hotronic Foot Warmers are my go to toe warmers whether I am wearing cycling booties or cycling insulated boots.