Thoughts on Carrera Crossfire-E

Discussion in 'Which electric bike should I buy?' started by Earn, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. Nealh

    Nealh Pedelecer

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    Currently the Kudos Safari with Nexus 8 and long life 36v lifepo4 battery, not one bike but a pair for £995.
    Disadvantage of heavier battery otherwise a nice solid reliable brand with hub gears.
     
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  2. egroover

    egroover Pedelecer

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    A great offer, and anyone after a couple of bikes of that type, it'll be hard to beat.
    However, the differences between a Crossfire-e and a Kudos Safari are many, not really comparable, but I do take the point that either would satisfy a potential rider
     
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  3. Neil Young

    Neil Young Just Joined

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    Hi do you have the exact make and details of the pannier rack. I'll ask them to fit one during my 6 week check

    Neil
     
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  4. Borwick

    Borwick Just Joined

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    Very much enjoying my new Crossfire. Early days but no cutting out problems yet ...

    I fitted a Topeak tourist rack (not the specifically disk brake one) with a spring clip. Works fine.

    Only issue is that when the chain is on one of the smaller two sprockets, it chatters against the wheel stay when freewheeling. The chain loses tension and then the sprocket takes it up. It does not do this when the wheel is lifted off the floor. It does it on the bigger sprockets too but the chain is tighter so it does not make contact with the stay when it slackens. A puzzle to me. Is the motor coming on momentarily and taking up the slack?

    I notice discussion of having to fully discharge the battery before recharging. Mine is down to 6 per cent and is only dropping very slowly now despite use. I thought that lithium batteries did not like being fully discharged and reacted better to more frequent top-ups.

    Has anyone successfully replaced the front chain ring with a double or triple? I guess it will not be straightforward as there is the torque sensor there to contend with.

    The chain looks heavier duty than I have ever come across. Might anyone know the specification for replacement. I usually take a repair link out with me but would have no idea which to get to fit this chain.

    Many thanks for your assistance.
     
  5. Lud

    Lud Just Joined

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    Don't think the chain is anything unusual, it should be a standard derailleur 1/2" x 3/32". Specifying a heavier chain (eg 1/8" width as used on single speeds) wouldn't be logical as the motor drives the wheel directly so the chain experiences no more than normal cycling demands.
    Regarding the chain-slap, all I can think is that the freewheel is sticking, so that if you move the pedals back slightly during a descent the chain slackens as it fails to reverse the block. Can you back-pedal easily or is the block reluctant to rotate backwards?
    Do you get the same symptoms if you ride with the motor completely switched off?
    Haven't heard of swapping to double-chainring, as you say it's probably complicated.
    On battery management, this seems to be wide-open for discussion, lots of opinions - even the instructions which come with the bike aren't clear; page 4 of the Ebike manual says simply "charge the battery before riding" (do they mean top-up whenever you return home?), page 8 says "always discharge the battery completely and then fully charge it". Always? The separate manual for the Phylion battery states on page 6 that the battery "features no memory effect", which in theory means there's nothing to worry about however we use it! I try to follow the advice which I've seen from various sources, I top-up fairly regularly and do a full discharge/ recharge around every 6 weeks. Doing a full discharge needs planning, you need to be near home when below 5% and preferably not at the bottom of a long hill! (there's a very noticeable power drop on my bike during the last few percent run-down).
    Regarding cutting-out, I've had about 3 instances in 6 months ownership, instantly resolved by pressing the button on the battery. Cutting out seems to be caused by the "wrong kind of bump" in the road.
     
  6. Borwick

    Borwick Just Joined

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    Many thanks for your helpful reply. The chain chatter occurs when the motor is off too and when back pedalling too, so it looks like a sticky sprocket. I'll give it a squirt and see if it improves. I think I will just charge up as and when as I have done with other bikes. The batteries seem to have lasted well on those.

    Keen to compare my Crossfire with friends' expensive Treks. From memory they did not seem much better and certainly not 3 times as good!
     
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  7. Lud

    Lud Just Joined

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    I tried a very short ride on a friend's Kalkhoff. It has a bottom bracket motor so it drives through the gears, whereas the Crossfire's hub motor is effectively a single speed and not so good at steep hills. The Kalkhoff seemed slightly noisier and less refined, but is better-equipped with lights/rack/mudguards, and longer-range battery. On the whole quite satisfied with the Crossfire, although I wish they hadn't bothered with that nasty, clunky suspension fork and used the money saved to specify a nice chromoly steel rigid fork instead.
     
  8. Borwick

    Borwick Just Joined

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    So, my new Halfords Special, a Carrera Crossfire electrocycle. I have had a non-electric Crossfire 3 for a few years and very much like it as a comfortable hybrid bike; ideal for London commuting and bumping up and down kerbs as well as a bit on off-road paths. It rolls very well and is surprisingly nippy. The electrocycle is similar in specification except it has hydraulic disc brakes. So, I was interested to acquire the electric version when I discovered it.


    I have had a Cyclamatic electric MTB for 6 years now and enjoyed it immensely. Although heavy and just a 24v motor it has made trudges through muddy paths enjoyable and caused me to bike on such unattractive ways when otherwise I would have driven the car. The Cyclomatic is also a cheap bike, or mine was; a factory returned machine on eBay. It democratised the eBike and made their advantages available to all. A logical development of the bicycle itself which has given freedom to so many billions of people. The old Cyclomatic had some needed some mods - principally better gearing and a triple chainring and it helped me up some steep hills.


    My main reservation about the e-Crossfire was its gearing. In the modern style - it has a single chainring and a mere 8 gears on the sprocket. The largest is large but I was concerned about hill climbing and wondered if it would need modification to be useful.


    The steepest hill I know well is in the Lake District - Bank End, just up from Duddon Bridge on the way to Ulpha. On my ordinary road bike I have a triple chainring and a big granny gear. I sweat and pant and that hill is an effort. The sweating is added to by the constant risk of wheelies as the hill is so steep. Proficient lycra'd-up cyclists overtake me standing out of the saddle to do so but they are not going that much faster. Despite its weight, the Cyclamatic with added gears can manage it better but it is still an effort. I wondered whether the Crossfire, although lighter and 36v rather than 24v would make it at all with its denuded gearing.


    Happy to report that the ascent was fairly easy, neither sweating nor panting and all done on only the "Tour" setting, the next to lowest out of 4 assistance settings. Out of interest I went back down again and used the maximum assistance "Sport" setting. Then, I found that there was no need to select the lowest gear and the ride was again fairly easy. Trying Bank End for fun or information is not something I would do on a non- e-bike …


    So, the gearing is fine for any route I am likely to take. The bike is nicely balanced for steep hills and the brakes were reassuringly effective on such a steep descent. It has shown me how eBikes have developed in the last 6 years.


    So far, I have done only 100 miles or so. I thought I had escaped the battery cutting out issue, but no. Left out overnight in heavy rain, I went ut for a run the following day. After a couple of miles, a cut out. Fortunately I had the battery release key. There was a lot of water puddling near the battery connectors. These were dried and off again fine. No issue since, yet.


    The bikes have come on. An eBike within the reach of all now has the capacity to be a serious mode of transport for the many. An equivalent to the Honda 50 of the 1960's plus environmental and health benefits. It will be interesting to see if the very recent if unfortunately named Carrera Crossfuse takes up that mantle …


    I have modded my Crossfire. A Topeak Tourist rack and front mudguard move it a bit towards practical commuting. Likewise, a back mudguard made from chopped up bits of an old mudguard cable-tied to the rear rack, But I have also put on puncture resistant Slime inner tubes and 2.25 inch mtb type Schwalbe Smart Sam Plus tyres for off road tracks. These are cleverly designed tyres. They are wide and have an aggressive tread with lots of knobbles. However, they have a double row of diamond shaped knobbles around the centre which, when deformed by a man of my stature, form a narrow slick which contacts the tarmac. There is very little road noise and the bike rolls forward very well. In mud and especially in snow, all of the knobbles cog in to the ground and there is mtb style traction and security.

    Again, to move it back to a more off-road bike I have fitted a Suntour cantilevered suspension seat post and this makes a better tide in the rough. Incidentally, I have had no grumbles with the Suntour front suspension forks which in my opinion add to the bike. A quick release seat post clamp is handy when there is a change of terrain. These are after all hybrid bikes. In view of its now many eBay led improvements, I may name mine the Carrera Bastardo ...
     
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  9. dazbobaby

    dazbobaby Just Joined

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  10. LeighPing

    LeighPing Pedelecer

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    Pics are welcome. :)
     
  11. dazbobaby

    dazbobaby Just Joined

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    Remove the neoprene cover from the connecting barrel, add a ziptie like so :)
    The zip tie pushed the barrels together.
     

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  12. d8veh

    d8veh Pedelecer

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    I think you've solved a different problem with that one. That wouldn't normally affect the battery. You can disconnect it completely and the display still won't go off. Try it.

    If the display goes off, the battery has either shut down or disconnected. The disconnection only needs to be momentary to switch the display off.
     
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  13. egroover

    egroover Pedelecer

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    Have to agree, the barrel connector on mine is cabled tied securely like yours (always has been), it aint going anywhere, but I still get the occasional cutout. There's no logic to it, I have had it cutout stationary at the lights (bike not moving an inch), on the flat, on smooth tarmac, on bumps, going fast, going slow, there's no pattern to it. It can go for a couple of months without cutting out, and then I get it 3 times in a week. I don't worry about it, as the rest of the bike is great
     
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  14. egroover

    egroover Pedelecer

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    Nice to hear about your bike, the mods, and your experience. I've ridden mine in 4 hours continuous rain, it performed brilliantly, however I did get a little moisture in the control buttons, and had to take it apart and dry out with a hair dryer. If you are leaving yours outside, I'd recommend getting a cover
     
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  15. topographer

    topographer Pedelecer

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    If my ebike cut out at lights, worry is exactly what I would do.
     
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  16. egroover

    egroover Pedelecer

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    It happened once at the lights, guess what, I just rode off like riding a normal bike and pulled over a little further on and reset it. If I worried about little inconveniences like this, I'd be worried lol
     
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  17. Ziyi

    Ziyi Just Joined

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    Does anyone know the exact size of the rear spokes for this bike?

    I had a small 1 inch diameter piece of branch fling up into my rear wheel and break 2 of them a couple of weeks ago, now 2 more have gone (literally) and the wobble is getting bad.

    I don't want to ride it again till i can get it sorted for safety and not making it worse, however, the travel time will increase fir me and the cost is going to be painful till it's fixed.




    On the subject of cut outs on this bike, i have done over 1200 miles commuting to work in just over 4 months, i had random cut outs once or twice sometimes 3 on one leg of my journey (once or twice a week) in the first 500 miles.
    It seemed to stop entirely until i reached around 1125 miles and started cutting out again this last week, 6 times in one way to work and 3 on way back just a couple of days ago.

    Like has been mentioned it seems to happen in similar circumstances but never repeatable.
    I have had it cut out over very bumpy tarmac, cutting across smooth grassed fields, also starting up a steep hill after going downhill at 30+mph as the motor kicks in when the speed drops back into the 16.9mph limit.

    The worst is when you stop and it cuts out and you are in a poor starting gear, i've had my bike even cut out literally just after switching on when about to start my ride, having not moved yet.
     
    #317 Ziyi, Dec 5, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  18. Nealh

    Nealh Pedelecer

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    You will need to remove a good spoke and measure it.
    Re the cut out issue it is surely a battery or controller one ( over sensitive bms/software ) or bad battery/controller contacts.
    Ignore the rear hub connector that has been said to resolve the problem as all it does is connect and power the hub via the ECU/controller unit, the connector supplies power to the hub via the controller and sends back sensor signals but no power supply.
     
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    #318 Nealh, Dec 5, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  19. egroover

    egroover Pedelecer

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  20. Brynric

    Brynric Finding my (electric) wheels

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    I’ve had a couple of rear spokes break.
    My local Halfords (Evesham) have dealt with the problem so far.
     
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