As others have said mountain biking (or CX) will help sharpen you up (or loosen you up?) when it comes to losing the front wheel and generally improving bike handling as the fatter tyres and slacker geometry give you much more time to play with. It also makes you feel much faster when you get back on the roady
A low side on a road bike always has the potential to put you on the deck before you know it's happening though - especially on ice!
Will bigger tires make any difference .. Currently using 38mm
Big tyres at high pressure seem a bit pointless to me. The whole point of running wide tyres is being able to run them at lower pressures than skinny tyres. Fair point though - if you stick 28C tyres on and pump them up to 100psi, you're probably not going to find much more grip.
I think wider, grippier tyres do help a little in icy conditions. If you're on sheet ice then they'll be no better, and you need studs. If you hit a patch of ice, then the wider the tyre the more likely there is some of it might still be in contact with tarmac, and the more chance you've got of righting things once you're off the ice and back in contact with tarmac.
If I knew it was going to be icy when I went out I'd ride with studded tyres. If I'm on gritted roads and it probably won't be icy, I'd rather be on wider tyres than narrower ones if I caught a patch of ice.
Rick Chasey wrote:
Yeah, it really is much more about pressures than diameter of tyre.
Obviously at certain pressures you need certain tyre widths, but broadly speaking.
TBH, I think tyre pressures is one of the few technical aspects I actually think is under-discussed; usually because it's so personal, depending on their weight & t distribution of said weight between tyres.