Carrera has done well with the price of the Crossfuse, it’s one of the cheapest Bosch-equipped bikes on the market. It hasn’t used the base-model Bosch system either, opting for the next level up, which gives between 5 and 10Nm of extra torque depending on the mode.
The system is controlled by the small, simple Purion display that sits on the bars. You move between the Bosch system’s levels of assistance from completely off, through Eco (40w assistance/35Nm torque), Tour (100w/40Nm), Sport (180w/45Nm) and finally Turbo (270w/50Nm).
Unlike the bulkier Intuvia display found on the Raleigh Motus (also on test), the Crossfuse’s Purion keeps information to a minimum, with current mode and a graphic display of the battery level split into five segments. It also offers the Walk+ assist mode for when you are pushing the bike.
The Crossfuse’s ride is typical of the best electric hybrid bikes with a mountain bike-style ride position, albeit a little more upright, which gives you a great view ahead; important when navigating your way through traffic.
The 27in wide riser bar capped with shapely ergonomic grips is comfortable too. The Selle Royal Lookin gel-filled saddle is more slender than most leisure saddles, which may cause apprehension from more casual riders at first sight. They shouldn’t worry: the deep, squashy gel padding proved comfortable even in civilian clothing.
The Crossfuse is well-suited bike for mixed-surface commuting. The big Schwalbe Tyrago tyres have a more aggressive tread that gives some bite on loose surfaces. Don’t expect mountain bike, cross-country race tyre levels of grip, however, because the Tyrago is built for the rigours of commuting with a Kevlar protection belt and pretty stiff sidewalls.
I took the Crossfuse on some pretty challenging rocky gravel trails and it handled everything I threw at it. I even appreciated the Suntour NEX fork with its 63mm of travel over the lumps and bumps, and I liked the fact that this NEX unit comes with a lockout so you can stiffen up the fork when riding on tarmac and eliminate the irritating bobbing you get when standing up and pedalling out of the saddle.
The power delivery from the Bosch system has plenty of pep, and even though the claimed range is reduced compared to the standard Active Line motor, I found the opposite to be true.
The fact that it delivers that bit more torque lower down meant I got to the cut-off speed of 25kph much sooner and therefore managed to extend beyond the Raleigh Motus’s best combination of distance and elevation by no small margin, hitting 94.63km (58.88 miles) with 900m (2,952ft) elevation.
That’s 11km further and over 152m more climbing than the Raleigh, although the Raleigh’s extra accessories mean that it’s carrying 4kg more standing weight.
The Powerpack 400 battery included with the Bosch system can either be charged in place on the bike or removed and charged separately. It locks to the bike when in use, so you don’t have to worry about this expensive essential being stolen when parked up.
Recharge time is a claimed 6.5 hours using the standard Bosch charger that comes with the bike.
The Crossfuse’s drivetrain and brakes are all supplied by Shimano; the MT201 hydraulic disc brakes offer great power and plenty of progressive control. The Acera gearing is a well-chosen 1x system with a 42-tooth chainring combined with a wide 11-34 cassette; it’s a good range for commuting and the 1x simplicity is welcome.
Its shift action is very light and the trigger shifter is adequately responsive. I did find, however, that the budget chrome-finish HG cassette had a tendency not to quite settle the chain quickly enough on the upper reaches of the cassette. I could tune it out with a bit of workshop fettling, but it still reared its ugly head under more pressured shifts on steeper climbs.
Carrera Crossfuse overall
The ride is incredibly comfortable, the e-assist is peppy and the range is very good. To make it a great commuter option you’ll need to add mudguards, possibly a rack (it has fittings for both) and lights, so that’ll add a couple of hundred pounds to the price tag. Be a little wary too of getting oil from the exposed drivetrain on your work clothes.
Carrera Crossfuse geometry
|Seat angle (degrees)||71.5|
|Head angle (degrees)||69.5|
|Seat tube (cm)||47.7|
|Top tube (cm)||60|
|Fork offset (cm)||4|
|Bottom bracket height (cm)||30.7|
How we tested
We put four options around £2,000 to the test that should get your to work feeling fresh. Each bike was ridden from 100 per cent charge down to zero across multiple rides, and included the type of terrain you’d normally encounter on a commute: roads, towpaths, bike paths and city traffic – and were tested in all weathers.
We were concerned with comfort and traffic-friendly riding position, as well as components to ease commuting, such as wide-range gearing, great brakes and tough tyres, rather than any racy features.
Also on test
|Features||Bosch Purion multi-function display with walk assist
Bosch speed sensor
Bosch Powerpack 400 (400w/36v)
Bosch mains charger
|Headset||Ritchey Logic Zero|
|Tyres||Schwalbe Tyrago K-Guard 700 x 40c|
|Shifter||Shimano Acera 9-speed|
|Saddle||Selle Royal Lookin 3D Skingel|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Alivio Shadow|
|Motor||Bosch Active line plus motor|
|Available sizes||M, L, XL|
|Fork||Suntour NEX HLO suspension|
|Cranks||Bosch 42t, 170mm|
|Chain||Shimano E-bike 9-speed|
|Cassette||Shimano Alivio 9-speed 11-34|
|Brakes||Shimano MT-01 hydraulic disc|
|Bottom bracket||Bosch Active Line|
|Wheels||Carrera silver alloy disc rims on Shimano hubs|