My local bike shop owner said to me "I would never use tubeless tires for a Gravel Bike". Where I ride in central Iowa, we only seem to have the large clunky gravel with fairly sharp edges. I have been getting the pinch type flats, like a snake bite. So I started reading and have viewed a number of "experts" who swear by tubeless, especially GCN presenters I follow. I am a fit Superclydesdale rider, so not a featherweight person, and all my bikes must be very sturdy. Who to believe?
Who to believe?
You can believe that the shop owner believes that tubeless is not for him/her.
But that does not mean that you are in exactly the same situation or have the same needs.
Here are some high level steps for arriving at a solution that works for you.
- Read and listen to what others say
- Look for information that matches what you intend to do and what you value / care about.
- Make your best guess at what will work best for you and try it out
- Evaluate your experience and make changes based on what did / didn't work
The answer to almost any "What's better?" question is "It depends"
It depends because what works best depends on your situation and what is important to you.
The shop owner who won't ride tubeless has made a decision based on his/her preferences. Is he/she wrong? No, it's not wrong if it works for him.
Google "tubeless bicycle tires pros and cons" and you will get a variety of results with a variety of lists for and against.
Just two examples:
TUBE VS TUBELESS BIKE TIRES: PROS AND CONS
Pros and Cons of Tubeless Mountain Bike Tires
At the end of the day you can believe your own experience.