Which is the better electric bike (ignoring the hype)? – Halfords Crossfuse vs Juicy's Roller
As the UK’s biggest cycling retailer with huge advertising campaigns and a range of bikes to match, it’s pretty likely that you’ve heard of Halfords and the range of eBikes they sell. With the Crossfire and Vulcan eBikes proving popular, a new, more refined model has entered the market – the Carrera Crossfuse. We know Halfords will soon be marketing this in every way they know how, but does it really deserve your attention and how does it compare to the Peak District's very own, Juicy Bike?
We’re confident we know which one comes out as the overall winner. Naturally, we’re biased, but we also think the facts and stats speak for themselves. And so, we’ve stirred up a little contest…
Going up against the Carrera Crossfuse in a head-to-head specification table, based on their design and intended performance of both bikes we've chosen our very own equivalent, the Juicy Roller. We believe both bikes will do the same job at least as well as each other - commuting with ease or weekend leisure extender.
Pitted against the Halfords Crossfuse in a head-to-head specification table (below, based on one used by popular independent eBike info site Pedelecs), is the challenger: our very own equivalent, the Juicy Roller. Our helpful review awaits your good judgement.
NEW: See our recent comparison of the best electric bikes we think are out there.
|Frame Type:||Mens Womens varients||Unisex|
|Frame Style:||Diamond or Sport Hybrid||Step-through Hybrid|
|Frame size:||Minimum inside leg 73cm (29in)||Minimum inside leg 71cm (28in)
inc. suspension seat post
|Motor:||36V Bosch Active||36V rear Aikema 55 NM 250W|
|Battery:||400WH Li-Ion||380WH (with 470WH option) Li-Ion|
|Range:||"Up To" 80 miles (claimed by Halfords) 30 miles (claimed by Bosch)||33 miles quoted by Juicy (55 miles with 470WH battery)|
|4 levels of pedal assistance/start-up assist||5 levels of pedal assistance/start-up assist|
|Suspension:||Suntour NEX front forks||Light weight mono-shock front suspension and suspension seat post|
|Brakes:||Hydraulic front/rear||Hydraulic front/rear|
|Gears:||9-speed Shimano Alivio||8-speed Shimano Acera|
|Controls / PAS levels||Bosch Purion LCD display 4 levels||3 levels as standard with optional LCD 5 to 9 levels|
|Tyres:||700 x 35C||700 x 35C Kenda Puncture Resistant with reflective safety stripe|
|Quoted weight:||24 KG including battery||19.5 KG including standard battery and 1.7 KG of free extras|
|Warranty:||24 Months||12 month (optional 24 months +£69)|
|Mudguards:||No||Free full length polycabonate front and rear|
|Luggage Rack:||No||Included Fitted Free - 25 KGs load|
|Lights:||None||Free LED Lights Front and Rear|
|Risk Free 14 Day Home Trial:||No||Yes|
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Time to look a little closer
With similarities and differences in abundance, there can be no clear winner just yet. It’s time to dig a little deeper. To help you decide, here’s some more in depth analysis:
Both brands come equipped with a 36V 250 Watt brushless motor, one (Juicy) hidden in the rear hub, the other placed in the centre of the frame. Positioning the motor in the rear hub (as on the Roller) allows for greater stability and increased torque, compared with a front drive system, whilst a crank driven bike (as on the Crossfuse) enables the use of hub gears, a favorite option for the German market where hub gears are the cultural norm. Centre drive motors can be over complicated, expensive and can place increased strain on the chain and gear-set.
The motor chosen for the Crossfuse is the lower power option from the Bosch Active Line range. We can't fault the workmanship or build quality and as yet have heard of no issues. Reputation is what Bosch trade upon and the price they charge reflects perceptions of their quality that reaches back many generations.
Juicy have chosen Aikema motors for our latest bikes. We've been blown away by the power these tiny, lightweight motors produce and their near total silence whilst powering at speed is testament to Aikema's build quality and advanced design.
The Juicy Roller comes with an 8-speed Shimano derailleur and stainless chain for easy maintenance. Carrerra (who make the Crossfuse) have opted for a 9-speed version. Both are great for hills and ease of maintenance.
The Roller uses Juicy's very own Torque sensor which intelligently decides how much power the motor should be using based on how much energy the rider put onto the pedals. This system gives you a very natural feel and is noted to be extremely responsive.
The Crossfuse uses the Bosch Active Line which also uses a Torque sensor as a component within the motor, to know how much assistance to provide. The whole Bosch system, motor and integrated sensor, is mounted between the pedals which can improve balance and stability at high speeds and over uneven surfaces.
Both brands have opted for lithium-ion batteries, considered to be the safest and most efficient currently available on the mass market. But while Juicy supply 380WH mostly hidden, in-frame batteries as standard (though higher capacity options are available as optional upgrades), Halfords have opted for a 400WH “Dolphin” battery. That’s a little more energetic than Juicy’s, but does sit attached outside, rather than integrated into the frame.
Both companies wisely choose to position the battery, which is a considerable mass, between both wheels and reasonably low down in the bike which helps keep a lower centre of gravity. Significant, mainly when walking and parking your bike.
The 380WH battery in the standard Roller, combined with its low weight and efficient motor is more than enough to get you the 33 miles we (Juicy) quote. Don’t live in an area as hilly as our local Peak District? Look forward to going further! The upgraded 470WH battery will get you a massive 55 miles through the Peak District and in flatter areas, who knows how much further.
Halfords claim the Carrera Crossfuse battery can manage a massive 80 miles. Bosch claim the motor and battery can achieve a much more moderate 32 miles. Bosch say their 500WH battery can achieve 50 miles but does have an additional cost of £700. Ouch. Roller's 470 WH upgrade battery is £150.
The Roller, fully equipped with pannier racks, mudguards and the battery upgrade, weighs less than 21kg! We are very proud of this super light hybrid. This intense weight loss regime hasn’t affected the feel of the bike and most would say it is the comfiest bike we offer with the added benefit of increased range.
The Crossfuse hits the scales at around 24kg, quite the difference considering there is no accessories fitted as standard.
Juicy provide lights, mudguards, and a sturdy rack as standard on all their bikes. These are available for the Crossfuse but must be purchased as additional add ons.
Crossfuses come with a 2 year warranty as standard. The 1 year warranty on Juicy Bikes can be converted to 2 years for an additional £69.
Which bike wins?
That's a very difficult question. Most important is what you think because a bike is a very personal companion. Making your own mind up is especially difficult when clouded by the marketing muscle of the larger bike brands and manufacturers, which afterall is what prompted us to write up our own comparison. In our view all bikes are winners, but only after they've found their unique and happy rider to partner with on some fine days out.
Want to hear what others have said about our Roller? We're very proud to see our Roller listed on Cycling Weekly's list of 5 best electric bikes for 2018 (as we were last year too).
As we’ve said, we won’t deny our own proud bias – but it’s precisely this faith in our bikes that make sharing these reviews an absolute pleasure. You can see Cycling Weekly's review of Roller at this link.
Objective comparison is great, and an independent review is even better, but there’s no substitute for trying out an electric bike for yourself.
Why not test ride a Juicy Bike at a stockist near you with expertese and honest advice about which is the best bike for you.