In short: When Pros are putting in special requests for unbranded Limus’ on the muddiest of days it’s no wonder we found the Limus excelled in the muddiest of conditions.
With the wet weather finally arriving, mud is now expected for the majority of the remaining CX season. This means riders will be looking to maximise traction on the bike in order to minimise time spent off it, therefore aggressively treaded mud tyres, like the Challenge Limus will be the most common selection for the Pro riders.
The Challenge Limus tyre has been around for a fair few years now, however we were lucky enough to get our hands on the brand new Team Edition S3 model to put it through its paces.
The first thing to mention is that all of Challenges tubular selection are available in open tubular models too. These can be mounted to a standard clincher rim and can provide excellent ride feel, speed and traction compared to a standard clincher tyre. Of the big 3 tyre manufacturers: Dugast, FMB and Challenge, it is only currently Challenge who offer open tubular models – therefore allowing those riders who still run clincher setups to use quality CX tyres.
The Dugast Rhino has long been the favourite choice for the Pro’s, however in recent years the Limus model has becoming increasingly popular. We’ve seen Sven and Thibau Nys riding Challenge, amongst other big name riders.
What really caught our eye though was at this years super muddy World Championships in Valkenberg 3 out of the 5 races were won by riders on the Limus and we even heard rumours of a certain Mathieu Van der Poel having requested a special delivery of Limus tyres for the big event!
The first impressions of mounting the tyre onto our test rims clearly showed the severity of the Limus’ aggressive tread. It’s not always you have sore hands having mounted tubulars, however I guess it could be a good thing showing us just how much grip the tyres have! The process was also made much easier thanks to the Team Editions new softer sidewall, featuring 320 threads per inch allowing the tyre to comfortably roll onto our test rim.
The new sidewall also offers additional protection from wear and tear thanks to Challenges new factory installed protective layer, helping increase durability and keeping those cotton sidewalls looking clean after some muddy races!
The new sidewall technology also offers a significant improvement in performance, especially when run at lower pressures. Challenge recommends PSI of 23-90 for the Limus, however as most cross riders know riders opt for the bare minimum when it comes to tyre pressure in the mud, in order to maximise grip, and we got our test pair down to as low as 16 PSI without issue (60kg test rider).
The ride feel at lower pressures was also a noticeable difference, thanks to the corespun sealed sidewall and 320 TPI the tyre behaved predictably at these lower pressures eliminating the feeling the tyre may roll off the rim in the corners.
Although the Limus does feature a super aggressive tread, which does roll slightly slower than the Grifo model (designed for faster grassy courses) a Latex inner tube helps reduce rolling resistance and allows speed to be maintained in the straights.
The Limus features one of the deepest treads on the market which allowed us to survive longer without the tyres clogging up with mud compared to other brands, whilst also being able to dig deeper into the soft stuff to provide traction when in other circumstances the wheel may have spun out.
The Limus tread is somewhat more different to the likes of FMB’s Super Mud offering, however with all the recent success of riders on Challenges’ Limus, time will tell if other brands follow Challenges lead with re-engineered mud treads.