Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
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You rarely need studs in the city, because major roads are cleared for the cars. The road bike will work well in these conditions, with your regular tires. You might want puncture-resistant tires because the pavement is dirtier in the winter--especially when the plows throw crud on the shoulders, and they aren't running the street sweepers much.
Studs on a MTB are nice when you ride on poorly cleared side streets, alleys, sidewalks or trails. Studs (knobbies in general) throw up more water, so fenders are good. They're also slipperier on wet pavement so take it slow until you're used to them.
Another consideration is if you have a Plan B for transportation, like bus or walking. If you have an alternative, you can get by with less extreme gear. OTOH, I count on cycling to work every day (I work until almost midnight), so I need to be prepared for the worst possible conditions. I use a MTB with studded tires all winter, every day, "just in case." I don't use agressively studded tires. Lighter studs are more than adequate for city riding IMO, and faster in clear conditions.