Best pedal system for riding on icy or plowed roads?
My existing winter rig is an old MTB with wide studded tires. I ride this through snow/ice/whatever on roads and trails. Because I ride this one in the deep cold, I wear warm hiking boots and use Power Grips on platform pedals. The Power Grips also allow me to get out of the pedals when I wipe out in deep snow (which happens).
But this bike is too slow and hard to pedal when conditions are not that extreme, on plowed or mostly clear roads with occasional hard packed snow and/or ice. So I"m setting up a steel touring bicycle (a 2009 KHS Flite 220) for those conditions, using Nokian A10 tires.
But what should I do for shoes and pedals? This is Minnesota, so the temperatures can be cold. It seems to me that the options are to either do the same as on the MTB (hiking boots and Power Grips) or to spring for some serious winter cycling boots such as Lakes and use them with MTB pedals. This would be much more expensive.
Yes there are other options but it depends on the temperatures that you are riding in and the distance or time you are riding. The dedicated winter cycling boots with clipless pedals are nice but not warm enough for long rides below about 20 degrees F. So it comes down to how long you will be riding and how cold it is likely to be on those nicer days.
I have tried different options but found that the warm hiking boots and platform pedals do about the best in really cold conditions. I don't know how heavy your hiking boots are. Hiking boots range from light to heavy depending on if they are casual or serious mountaineering boots. One thing I think you can try is to set your new bike up and then get some of the lightest platform pedals that you can along with the power grips. The other day I got a pair of insulated very lightweight hunting boots. I think they are made for archery hunting. They are all cordura with about 600 grams thinsulate insulation and about 8-9 inches tall. They seem to be very warm. They would be good for riding in cold without being too heavy. They are as light or lighter than the winter cycling boots. I also got them on sale for 39 bucks. Check the Cabelas catalog or your local sportsmans discount center. They are often discounted because people don't want to buy them for normal use and they have extra s left from last year.
Another option is to try these new 45NRTH Wolverine cycling boots. They look to me like the best made winter cycling boots that I have seen but are expensive at 325 USD. I would go for them if you want to try clipless pedals in that new winter bike your setting up.
Another option which I think would work for you is to just get a cheap pair of oversized mountain bike shoes. Or a pair of the less expensive winter cycling boots and make a homemade insulated overboot to go over them. Or get a very large thick neoprene cover to go over the less expensive winter cycling shoes. This can be hard to do if you have large feet since the neoprene overboots are usually made to fit tight over regular cycling shoes. However, the nice thing about this approach is that although it is inconvenient to put on an additional layer over the winter cycling boots, it gives you more temperature range options. As the boots can also be used alone without a cover in 20-30 degree F temperatures.