Carrera bikes are a common sight around town with the Halfords brand being popular for the low prices and un-fussy design. Calling its 2020 launch of 26 new bikes, of which 15 are road, leisure and urban bikes, a “technological first”, Halfords says it has redesigned the entire range with tweaked geometries, memory foam saddle and all tyres getting “Carrera puncture protection”.
The new range is made up of 5 bikes aimed at entry-level roadies, 5 urban bikes that will appeal to the growing number of cycle commuters, and 5 leisure bikes.
The biggest design changes can be found in the road range with all 5 new bikes now getting disc brakes, with a mix of cable and hydraulic systems. The move to disc brakes is a common one across the road market with customers favouring them for the increased braking power and control of this power.
Another move that reflects the wider road market can be found in the frames which now come with space for 32mm tyres, though 28mm rubber is specified as standard. This, Halfords says, is aimed at increasing comfort for riders when on broken rural roads.
Halfords says that a poll that it ran with YouGov “shows that 88% of people considered saddle comfort the most important factor when choosing a bike.” As a result, Halfords has included a “memory foam” saddle on each of the new road, leisure and urban bikes which they say moulds to the rider’s body, helping uniform distribution of weight for maximum comfort.
The poll also suggested that 41% of people weren’t confident that they could repair a puncture. To help avoid a ride-ending flat tyre, Halfords says that each new bike “boasts reinforced tyres, layered with aramid and light flexible rubber together with ceramic particles to help stop sharp objects puncturing them.”
Those are the key changes, let’s have a look at some of the bikes in the road, urban and leisure ranges.
Zelos Disc Men's - £300
“Performance, speed and comfort are perfectly combined in the Carrera Vanquish Disc which sits at the top of this exciting range. Thanks to the lightweight, triple-butted aluminium frame, you’ll barely notice the incline and the carbon fork with tapered steerer dampens any vibration and gives you precise steering control. This road bike can fly and you’ll be glad of the flat-mount road brakes which do their job whilst reducing weight further. Tackle the straights or the hills with ease on this top-tier road bike.”
Zelos Disc Women's - £300
“Venture further afield with the Carrera Virtuoso Women's Road Bike which comes with all the fantastic aspects of the Zelos and offers an even lighter ride, thanks to the added addition of the aluminium bladed fork. You get all the response you need with the Shimano Claris drivetrain making changing through the wider range of gears really slick and smooth. Integrated cables add to the clean lines and streamlined cockpit of the Virtuoso. A great choice to accomplish your cycling goals.”
“Whether you’re looking for an easier commute or there’s some unchartered territory crying out to be explored, the Carrera Parva Men's helps take you further. With its new geometry having been designed to offer new improved levels of comfort, the lightweight but durable alloy frame, which comes with a lifetime guarantee, is ideal for leisurely rides or around town.”
“Inspired by the Carrera mountain bike range, this hybrid bike gives you the controlled handling and response you need for a hassle-free commute. 2x8 gears are easy to use and the large range shifts smoothly helping you find the right gear and tackle any steep climb without compromising on top-end speed. Created and designed by cyclists for cyclists, the all-new design features updated geometry with a lightweight and durable alloy frame which doesn’t just look good but has you feeling good after you’ve put in the miles.”
“At the top of the range, the Carrera Crossfire 3 is the ultimate ‘go-anywhere’ bike. The all-new design includes powerful hydraulic brakes that can handle any adventure that you throw at them. The triple-butted frame makes light work of those steep climbs whilst the 18-speed (2x9) Shimano gearing offers plenty of choice on all terrains. As does the lock-out fork which allows you to stop movement of the fork on a challenging incline. Enjoy the comfort of this top tier model that’s built for more.”
“The Carrera Crossfire 2 Women's Hybrid Bike - Grey has all the features of the Crossfire 1 with some fantastic added benefits. Also featuring a new design, the suspension fork is extended in this model giving you advanced handling and allows you to tailor your level of comfort whether you’re on the road or on the canal path. A larger number of gears makes climbing hills even easier as well as helping you find the right gear when you need it. The Carrera memory foam saddle allows you to stay cycling comfortably for longer. And, if you’re really upping your cycling game, the mechanical disc brakes give you consistency, rain or shine.