I wanted to describe my commuting experience this winter as a counterpoint to all the threads about winter riding with fat studded tires. I'm not trying to contradict anyone or convince anyone. I just want to mention what's possible and contrast it to what people usually assume is possible. This is just one more data point for your own winter tire decision making process.
Last winter I rode on 700x35 knobby cyclocross tires. This winter I rode on 700x23 road slicks. I rode through snow, slush, freezing rain, hail, and every other known form of solid/liquid water abomination. I rode on fresh powder and packed snow. I rode during snow storms and I rode long after the snow had melted and refrozen in to sheets and shards of ice. The summary of both winters' experiences is that I had zero mishaps.
I'm not saying that the wider tires with knobs didn't help. They did help. I'm only saying that this winter I rode just as far, in just as bad of conditions, at higher speeds, and the narrow tire choice didn't negatively impact my safety.*
What did I gain from this experiment? Aside from slightly shorter commute times, I now have the ability to control a bicycle much more precisely than ever before. When 10cm^2 of smooth rubber is decelerating on black ice, you learn how to better distribute body weight and make infinitesimal braking adjustments to keep going in a straight line. I've commuted every day for many years, but after this one winter experience, all of my cornering, braking, and accelerating is more refined.
Anyone else using the same smooth skinny tire all year? Pros? Cons?
*Old safety grouches may now commence lambasting me and blaming me for the skull fractures incurred by their impressionable children.