Manufacture: Big Cat
Model: Long Beach Cruiser XL 500
Type: Low-Step Cruiser
- A Fusion of the Big Cat XL 500 and Beach Cruiser 350
- Low-step Frame Design – But still fat like the other Cat!
- 500W Rear Hub Motor
- 48V 12 Ah Lithium Battery
- LCD Display 3″ Bafang C961 Controller
- Shimano Acera 7 Speed Gear Shifter
- Safety Features
A Fusion of the Big Cat XL 500 and Beach Cruiser 350
The classic design of beach cruisers date back almost 100 years! So how can one make something old feel new again? Slapping ole’ reliable with an electric battery and motor upgrade is what you do! Check out the Big Cat Long Beach Cruiser XL 500, a fusion of the Big Cat XL 500 and Beach Cruiser 350.
Big Cat took what they know works in their Ebikes and applied it to the classic style of the Beach Cruiser. Their other 350 model still being a great bike for this type, is not as powerful as this version. I like it when a company who nails a product right takes that knowledge and spreads it out into their other bikes on the line-ups. Slick features like the low step frame take the powerful look that the Fat Cat XL 500 has and turned it into a classy yet deceivingly powerful electric bike. Let’s feast on the Beach Cruiser XL 500’s elegant features and components to fully comprehend it’s beauty and reliability.
Low-step Frame Design – But still fat like the other Cat!
In our other review of the Big Cat XL 500, we mentioned the low-rise frame which makes getting on and off the bike easier. Big Cat took it a step further, by designing this cruiser to have no step at all! Step though easily and comfortably. Right at the crank is where the frame hangs at it’s lowest, so for more laid back attire like a dress or a kilt (for all you ‘ Scots out there!) this offers a much more approachable and enjoyable ride right off the bat.
Roll around smoothly and effortlessly with the balloon CST tires on the sand, down the trail, and all forms of loose terrain. Even though this bike is definitely more tuned for summer and warm weather, the Long Beach Cruiser XL 500 can handle everything that the regular XL 500 would. Just with some more swing and swag!
Riders up to 295 lbs can enjoy this wonderful ride. Like the regular XL 500, this bike is perfect for a new rider trying to shed a slab before or during summer. So next season not only will you have a nice new bike, but a new and healthier you too! Electric Bikes are the best for breaking the ice into a more fit and active lifestyle, assisting you up hills and through strong winds that would normally make you wobble a bit. The bike with battery weighs 63 lbs just like the XL 500 does.
500W Rear Hub Motor
Reflecting it’s cousin, a 500W Rear Hub Motor powers you around the seawall and provides excellent assistance up hills and inclines. The Crank also has a 12 magnet Cadence Sensor for smooth shifting and matched assistance, a nice add on for a more responsive and efficient discharge to the motor instead of overworking itself, draining the power faster. Reach up to a max speed of 20 miles or 32 kilometers per hour with the throttle opened up to full.
Again, one thing we would like to see is this bike in a mid-drive configuration. While most riders will love the rear hub type of motor, mid-drives are just more efficient and are very quiet. Maybe Big Cat would remove the throttle since it seems a lot of mid-drive types do not have one. Even if they did, you would have more certainty of your range available since less power is drawn using assist-only mode.
48V 12 Ah Lithium Battery
Stay powered up with the reliable 48V 12 Ah Lithium Battery. Fully charging these batteries takes from 4 to 6 hours and has a cycle life of 1500 charges. Lithium batteries unlike a Lead Acid type, can be left uncharged for prolonged amounts of time. Lead Acid on the other hand, you need to monitor and keep the charge up to prevent “Memory loss” in the battery. This is a known fact about Lead Acid types, so Lithium is the better and more reliable option.
If you would like to learn more about the advantages of Lithium batteries or more about Lead Acid, check out two of our more in-depth posts Lithium vs Lead Acid Batteries.and Lead Acid Battery Anatomy.
The max range of the Long Beach Cruiser XL 500 is up to 30 miles or 48 kilometers. This will vary on each of the nine PAS settings. Hills, uneven terrain, and amount of throttle use will affect your range. Roll down hills and flat stretches to conserve your power and enjoy your day! As always, we recommend bringing your charger that comes with the bike in case of the need to recharge at any regular power outlet.
LCD Display 3″ Bafang C961 Controller
The LCD Display 3″ Bafang C961 Controller displays your battery power, speed, trip distance and total distance traveled, and the nine levels on the PAS selector. This display is waterproof and will withstand the ocean spray and rain no problem.
For total flexibility from rider to rider, there are nine levels of assist plus the mentioned throttle to blast uphill and inclines. For repairs or check-ups make sure to turn the battery off first before removing the connector! This will cause the battery later issues and may require the help of an Ebike mechanic to fix this issue and getting you rolling again.
Shimano Acera 7 Speed Gear Shifter
Identical to the XL 500, the Acera line by Shimano are mid-level components made for trail riding and handling wet and dirty conditions. The rider can smoothly shift up and down, combined with the electric motor for a smooth and easy ride! You will find Shimano parts on 1000s of bike around the world, proving these parts are made to last!
Some extra features included are the Front Basket for groceries or carrying a little pup, watch everyone smile as you ride by 🙂 Also a simple but handy feature for anyone who is hauling some cargo – the large Pannier Rack has enough area to hook up 2 side bags and a top mount bag too if desired.
We mentioned in our other review of the XL 500 regarding the following: With some slight modification (This may void the warranty if mangled or somehow damaged) an owner of a Fat Cat Beach Cruiser XL 500 could set up the rack as a second seat for passenger instead!
Hang on tight and feel the stopping power of the Tektro 160mm mechanical Disc Brakes. These discs will take on the water and sandy areas smoothly and surely. Disc brakes are better than regular clamp style brakes because they grip onto the small metal rotor instead of just brush against the rim.
This does not make a bike low quality, but some clamps are better than others. For example my fixie with a flip-flop hub uses clamp brakes front and rear. Since the rim line is plastic, the rubber pads grip very nicely. With any new bike, test ride it first and make the adjustments you need for optimal performance.
One difference between the XL 500 and the Beach Cruiser model is that there is only a front LED light and not one for the rear. Since this bike is going to be used by most buyers as a day bike, this is not a big issue. Just slap on a rear USB chargeable light for better visibility to other road users and pedestrians.
- 500W Rear Hub Motor
- 48V 12 Ah Lithium Battery (4 – 6 hours to charge)
- 1500 cycle Battery Life
- LCD 3″ Bafang C961 Controller
- 9 level PAS System with twist throttle
- Front LED Light (no rear)
- Max Speed of 20 Miles or 32 kilometers per hour
- Max Range of 30 miles or 48 kilometers
- 18″ Fat Aluminum Frame
- Weighs 63 lbs with Battery
- Max Rider Weight 295 lbs
- Crankset with 170mm Arms & 12 Magnet Cadence Sensor
- Shimano Acera 7 Gear Derailleur
- 160mm Front and Rear Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes
- CST 26×4″ Balloon Tires
- Aluminum Alloy 36 spoke Rims
- Seat: 11″ L 9″ W
- Seat To Floor: 42″
- Rear Pannier Rack
- Pannier Rack Dimensions: 16″L 5.5″W
I have to admit that I like the Fat Cat Long Beach Cruiser XL 500 a bit more than it’s cousin – the XL 500. I am a surfer myself so due to my love of going with the flow and living in the moment, I am a bit biased towards the Beach Cruiser model. In no way am I saying the regular XL 500 is sub-par, but the Beach Cruiser is just more tuned to my style, I give it 100 / 100! If this bike came in a mid-drive option I know it would be even smoother and slicker than it already is. Can’t complain though, the Beach Cruiser XL 500 is a strong and sexy ride for those summer days and can take you from point A to point B in all weather conditions.
Like what you see in the Long Beach Cruiser XL 500? Tell us what you think with a comment below. With so much character and snazz, who wouldn’t? Complete Pros, Cons and more observations can be found at the bottom of this review.
Big Cat Long Beach Cruiser XL500$1895
- Battery Life of 1500 Cycles.
- Long range capabilities despite heavier weight.
- Very comfortable and smooth ride.
- No Front Suspension.
- Has a Front Light, but not a rear one.
- Might be too heavy for some riders.