Carrera Crossfire-E 12 month re-review

Further reading:

Video re-review at the bottom of the page.

It’s been 12 months and 1,000 miles since my last review and to be honest the bike is still going strong and with little or no degradation of battery pack either. I’ve had only 2 issues with the bike, the obligatory cut out and the power button on the LCD broke.

The power cut out is for the most part just a minor inconvenience, the fix is easy enough. Get off the bike and on the back rear left there’s a neoprene patch, take it off, expose the connector, disconnect and reconnect, re-attach the neoprene and you should be good for another 100 miles or so. All in all this takes about 30 seconds. Suntour and Halfords are constantly improving and this should be fixed with this years model. I’d be very surprised if it isn’t.

The plastic switch on the LCD broke on mine leaving me unable to turn on the bike, I did manage for a few weeks to stick a pin into the socket and hit the micro switch. The problem came when I told Halfords and sadly Halfords didn’t have a supplier setup to replace the part. I waited 4 weeks before getting more serious with my complaint and a few days later Halfords ordered a new bike and used the new part to replace mine. They swapped the entire LCD assembly and cables. Job sorted.

Other than these two issues I’ve had nothing but joy with the bike, though I’ve read on the comments section on youtube that some people have had to return and replace their bikes because of the power cut problem. Personally I’m happy with it, it’s a bike built to a tight budget, and while there are more expensive bikes around that don’t have budgetary constraints like this one, I know a couple of people with theses more expensive bikes and even these bikes have minor issues too. So throwing money at the problem isn’t the solution. I say minor, some people have reported constant cut outs, I don’t, so to me it’s very minor.

As far as I’m aware I’m the only person to have a problem with the power switch falling out.

So what’s it like to ride?

This is a question I get asked a lot especially when I’m cycling in busy urban areas at pedestrian speeds. I have to say it’s utterly brilliant and heartily recommended for anyone who’s unfit or carrying an injury. I’m both, I’m overweight, a 30 year smoker, I had torn cartilage in both knees and had my right knee surgically repaired, and riding is now a breeze.

When I started riding again last year I did struggle with some hills, and around here in Yorkshire they’re not to be sniffed at, some climbs just go on for miles and some are tough for cars in anything but second gear. But even these, while challenging at first, do get easier the more you ride. I’d say my biggest issue is breathing, and that’s entirely my own fault being a smoker, and if it was easy I’d have given it up years ago… but it isn’t easy to give up, that’s why I’m still a smoker ๐Ÿ™ this is my biggest hurdle to overcome, in time even my lungs started to open up much better and easier making these climbs less of a challenge.

But this is where an e-bike really flatters you and makes the job so much easier, it gives you up to 400watts of extra power to climb these monsters, and if you’re in any doubt about that validity, try a big hill without an e-bike and then with an e-bike if at all possible. But that’s only part of the job of the bike, mostly it’s even terrain and while it’s fun going up and then going down, it’s probably more satisfying riding at a fair pace even if the motor isn’t helping you (the motor is governed by the EU and must stop assisting you at 15mph). I find the motor really helps get you up to speed and then your cadence and gears get you up to 30mph, especially on the flat. Momentum is key, once you have it it’s easier to keep going and gain more. This to me is the most enjoyable part of riding, eating up the miles.

How far can you go on a single charge?

Another common question and the answer is very difficult to quantify.

I’ve had 35 miles of riding on a single charge and there was still 12% charge left in the battery, so I could probably manage 40 miles in total. Yes I know the Halfords website says up to 60 miles, but this is Yorkshire, I’m unfit, and a smoker as I’ve already stated, so I’m happy that 40 miles is the bikes maximum range for me. Ride around London or some other flat(ish) landscape and I’ll bet 60 miles is easily doable. The fitter you are, the flatter the landscape, the further you’ll go.

How much does it cost to charge up?

To be honest I’ve never calculated it, but even a rough estimate puts it in the range of pennies per charge. 36V 12Ahrs x cost per watt. The charger is 42v @ 2amps. This gives a total of 84 watts. P = 2A ร— 42V = 84W

840Watts is ten hours of charging (it takes 5-6 hours from flat) and I’m paying 16pence per kilo watt hour (1000watts), so less than 10p per charge.

Courtesy of RapidTables


How much power does it deliver?

The maximum watts is 400w with 250w average, torque is 50 newton metres. This is all gibberish to me too, lets just say it gets me up a 2 mile climb faster than a regular road bike, and by a large margin too.

The selector has 4 settings, 25% – 50% – 75% – 100% though even at 100% you’re still getting a workout, look at the 100% as though it’s max power, it’s 100% of the power the motor can give out, not 100% and all you do is sit and ride. Again EU legislation comes in and all EU e-bikes have to be pedal-assist and are not allowed to have a throttle, so at all times the rider needs to input some power too. While you can buy conversion kits that do have this throttle control, they’re actually classed as mopeds (motorcycles) and require said licence most likely. All retail bikes must be pedal-assist only, so at least you’re always getting some sort of workout.

If you have any question you’d like to ask me, then please do so in the comment section below. I’ll always try to answer as best I can.

I do use the bike a lot more than I would a non-pedal-assisted bike, I use it to go to town or go to my local supermarket where I’d normally use the car. I carry my fairly large and dayglow yellow rucksack to store my shopping. Obviously a full weeks shopping is out of the question, but for most things you only need one carrier bag for, then it’s perfectly fine. So aside from utility it’s also damn good fun just just hop on and ride.

The accessories I have are front and rear cameras, knog rear LED flashing and pulsing light and Lezyne front light. I also have some simple but effective mudguards front and rear. Lastly I have a gel seat cover. This at least means I’m visible, I have cameras for security and safety and the gel seat for comfort, though I’d love a proper seat post suspension setup, maybe a thudbuster will be coming soon.

Last year I dreaded the start of the cycling season (yes I’m a fair weather bike I know! I know!), this year I’m really looking forward to it, and that’s what an e-bike is doing for me. It’s giving me something to look forward to, some new challenges that I’ve set myself is riding 10 miles every day, but mostly the pure joy of just getting out and about, it not costing the earth and me getting fit again into the bargain. For a near 50 year old who still smokes that’s a rare thing indeed.

About The Bionic Cyclist

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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Dylan Thomas, 1914 - 1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

17 thoughts on “Carrera Crossfire-E 12 month re-review

  1. I must say i like you video of the ebike so i will go and buy one
    My distance to work is 9miles round trip its been 25 years from I ride a bike there is a footpath the full distance would you think thats practable there is very few people walking on footpart
    i would prefer to use footpath ??

    • Hi Paschal, I hope you enjoy riding the bike as much as I do, it’s an amazing lift from a normal bike.
      Do be careful on the pavement, you are NOT allowed to ride on it, but this bike can catch people out and it’s pretty quick too.

      Let me know how you get on please, I love to hear other people’s opinions and hear their experiences.
      Many thanks,
      The Bionic Cyclist.

  2. Pingback: Carrera Crossfire-E Electric Bike Review – The Bionic Cyclist E-Bike Rider

  3. Hi just came across your page , enjoyed reading your review if the crossfire E-bike , I have just got myself one and its amazing so far I live in the north Yorkshire moors and its just perfect for these steep hills !

    quick question do you happen to know how to reset the trip distance on the little computer screen ?
    many thanks


  4. Hi there, thanks for your frank and very informative reviews on the Crossfire e, I’m about to pull the trigger and buy one (as my first ebike!)
    Few concerns about the power cuts, do you know if Halfords have sorted this out by now? The 2 year guarantee is a great comfort, also Halfords offer a one payment of EUR 95 x3 year service support deal (btw I live in Dublin, Ireland) – so hopefully that extends to troubleshooting such issues.
    Also wondering what the realistic lifespan is for this bike and component parts? Are replacememt batteries hard come by? I guess it would be wise to have a succession plan in place if required! I’ve tried a few bikes more than double the price and can’t justify putting myself in debt to the tune of 2.5-3.5k for the performance difference. Seems like this bike is a winner all round?!?
    Thanks again, really appreciate the info and the reviews

    • Hi Colin, sorry for the delay in replying.
      To be honest it’s a good strong well built bike. The only issue anyone has ever raised is the powercut. It’s still a problem though I assume from the reduced number of questions and reply’s it’s almost completely sorted. That said Halfords have EXCELLENT customer service and will repair/replace the bike pretty quickly. Some people have little issue with the powercut, other say it’s a nightmare, but everyone who wanted or needed it got a new bike or refund.
      I hope this helps ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Also the โ‚ฌ95 you quote is just for servicing the bike and if you buy new hardware (tyres, cassette, inner tubes etc) then it’s fitted for free. They will also (apperently) strip, service and rebuild the bike annually as part of this service fee.
      The batteries are available some of the time should you want a spare. Though they’re the most expensive part of the bike at ยฃ400! I have just bought a new battery after waiting a few months for them to become available again.

  5. Paschal – great review and I would agree with all your comments but I think your readers should know that Halfords haven’t fixed the cut-out problem. They swapped my bike eventually for a Crossfuse and I have been delighted with it and the service from Halfords. It was swapped however, not for the cut-out problem but one which seems quite common but is not being realised by owners. Many (probably most) of the Crossfires develop a ‘cycling-through-treacle’ problem which affects pedalling when the motor is switched off and sometimes when you go over the 15.5mph. Many owners are told that all ebikes are like this because they are heavy – they are not, and the Crossfuse certainly is a dream to pedal unassisted.

    • Hi Mike, I like many readers seem to believe that the “treacle” or heavy work without the motor is down to me or the user just not being used to cycling without the assistance, buut from what you’re saying it’s actually the rear hub motor adding resistance. I have suspected this was the case for a long time, but due to not having a mid-drive to compare it too I couldn’t effectively comment on it. But now there are two owners, yourself and DrewpyFZ6 who swapped from a Crossfire to a Crossfuse who have said exactly the same thing. In fact DrewpyFZ6 loves the new freemdom and speed his crossfuse has given him.

      Thanks you for letting the world know Mike.

    • The cycling through treacle problem mentioned is the result of inertia working on the electric motor mounted on the hub.All electric motors will suffer from this when not powered, it mAkes pedalling up to speeds of about fifteen to eighteen miles an hour really hard without power input.

  6. The hub used on the Crossfire is a Bafang I believe and on other bikes these are perfectly OK. It just seems to be the Halfords-Suntour-Hesc system that SOMETIMES causes the extra friction – as if you are pedalling against a very powerful dynamo. It’s a shame because the Crossfire hub system has some advantages over the Bosch crank drive used on the Crossfuse – in particular I loved the surge it can give from a standing start when you are in the wrong gear.

  7. I have recently had a accident on mine due to the saddle bolts snapping clean off while mi-ride, has left me with jnjuries..
    Wondering how many others have had same problem, i’ve seen other cases of it.
    Halfords solicitors are looking into it and getting back to me

    • My OH has had both his seat bolts snap too, no injury or crash of any kind though, luckily. They’ve turned out to be such a pain to replace.

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