Plays in traffic
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
I have Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase road tires (28mm), Bontranger Jones CXR cyclocross tires (34mm), and Nokian Hakkapeliitta W106 studded snow tires (35mm) for my Trek Portland.
If you're not riding below freezing, then you're probably not riding in the snow, so I wouldn't worry about it. Just stay with the Race Lites. I have them on my Portland and they're just fine in the wet on pavement.
Off-road, yeah, the CX tires are helpful, but on pavement, you'll get less grip with them since less rubber is in contact with the pavement. What you know about car tires hydroplaning in the wet doesn't apply to bicycles, since the contact patch is so much smaller.
In the snow, it could go either way, but since snow and ice go hand in glove, I'm concerned with the ice more than the snow, and the CX tires give you no additional benefit there.