- Comfortable ride
- Good components
- Decent value
- Good for on and off road riding
- Mudguard and pannier mounts
- Available in men's and women's versions
- Not much of a looker
- Suspension fork dulls the ride on-road
- Disc brakes can be very squeaky
Price as reviewed:
If you’re after a solid all-round hybrid bike for commuting to and from work both on and off tarmac, then the Carrera Crossfire 2 is a great option.
As you’d expect from a 400-odd quid hybrid bike, the frame and fork are both aluminium, with a very relaxed geometry to allow you to ride in a comfortable upright position, reducing pressure on your lower back and neck. This means that the Carrera Crossfire 2 is far from the fastest hybrid bike around, but should be a good choice if you have any history of back trouble, and if you’re organised enough to leave the house on time each morning, not needing to rush to make it into work.
Although the frame is practical, it isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing bike out there. Of course for the price you can’t expect sleek carbon curves, but you may well want something a bit more flashy than the grey and green paintjob, with no other colour options available. All of the gear cables are also run externally, which not only spoils the look of the bike, but also leaves them exposed to the elements.
As a hybrid bike that is designed to be ridden on and off road, the Carrera Crossfire 2 comes with a Suntour NVX fork to provide front suspension. This gives 75mm of travel for a much more comfortable ride when taking on any roots and rivets that litter your local bridleway, while there is also a pre-load adjuster, which means that you can adjust the stiffness of the fork for a harder ride when riding on smooth tarmac.
However, it would be good to have the option to completely lockout the suspension, letting you turn the Carrera Crossfire 2 into a non-suspension bike when your ride isn’t going to include any off-road sections.
The other components on the Carrera Crossfire 2 are exactly what you’d expect to find on a sub-£500 hybrid bike. The gearing is all from Shimano, with Altus shifters and rear derailleur, and a Tourney front derailleur. Perhaps you could have asked for an Altus front derailleur too, but to be honest the Tourney does a good enough job.
The mechanical Tektro disc brakes offer a decent level of stopping power in both dry and wet conditions although it’s maybe best not to test the Carrera Crossfire 2’s off-road credentials with a section of steep and technical single track. However for normal riding and commuting they do a good enough job, even if they tend to squeal when riding on wet and muddy roads and bridleways. But at least that means that pedestrians will always know when you’re coming.
The Kenda K935 tyres on the Carrera Crossfire do a good job of complementing the Tektro brakes, offering decent grip off-road until things start to get really slick and muddy. On road they are a little on the sluggish side, but do at least offer good puncture protection, so you shouldn’t end up late for work with dirty, greasy hands after having to mess around with tyre levers and a mini pump.
The Carrera Crossfire 2 comes with all the mounts you’ll need to turn it into the ultimate year-round commuter bike. That means mudguard mounts to keep you dry when riding on wet roads, and pannier rack mounts so you can carry everything around without the need to wear a rucksack. Unfortunately, these aren’t supplied with the bike, so you’ll have to buy them seperately, but at least the option is still there if you want it.
Visit the Halford website for more details.
The Carrera Crossfire 2 is a good value hybrid bike that is equally at home when on or off road. Most of the components offer good performance for the price, and the pannier and mudguard mounts mean you can turn this into the perfect year-round commuter. However, there are certainly better looking bikes out there, and the lack of lockout on the fork means it can be a little sluggish on the road.
Frame: Carrera Crossfire Alloy
Fork: Suntour NVX
Shifters: Shimano Altus
Front Derailleur: Shimano Tourney
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Altus
Chainset: Suntour XCE, 48/38/28t
Brakes: Tektro Novela Black Mechanical Disc, 160mm rotors
Saddle: Carrera Performance Saddle
Wheels: Carrera Alloy Double Wall Disc Brake Specific
Tyres: Kenda K935, 700x42mm