We must first discuss a little physics about the origin of the power of the arrow that glides. The strength of the bow comes from the combination of the distance of the drawstring and draw weight. How far the bowstring is pulled before releasing the arrow is one factor. Another factor (draw weight) is the amount of strength needed to pull the bowstring in full. From those factors, we have found problems with the crossbow. The distance of the bowstring on the crossbow is much shorter than the bow in general. To compensate for these deficiencies, the crossbow draw weight is generally very high. Medieval European crossbows did have great power, but for this reason, refilling arrows became a difficult and time-consuming process. It’s really different from the best cross-bow on absolute survivalist that we can use in this modern era.
Due to the extremely high draw weight, it was not possible for soldiers to fill crossbow arrows using their bare hands. In general, they must use tools such as cranequins or windlass.
The projectile form of these two long-range weapons also has different characteristics. Arrows from bows have a length and weight greater than crossbow arrows (bolt). Because of this, the bow arrows can reach a greater distance than the bolt fired from the crossbow. The bolt which is short and thick will lose stability when flying far and become less deadly. The design is suitable for delivering strong blows over short distances (because it is light, the bolt can go faster). On the other hand, arrows from a bow (though not as powerful as a crossbow medieval) can remain stable when flying for long distances.
The nature of the projectile leads to a further issue, how to fire both weapons. Archers with bows can make thick rows, stay behind formations and shoot through the heads of fellow soldiers in front of them. Meanwhile, the crossbowmen must make a thin line, stay in front of the formation and shoot straight ahead in a flat row.
One of the advantages of crossbows is in their mechanism. Archers with crossbows can pull the bowstring and leave the strap locked in a state ready for use. Crossbowmen can be on standby with a crossbow that is ready to be fired at any time.