Manufacture: Big Cat

Model: Fat Cat XL 500

Type: Trail and Road Bike

Price: $1895

Rating: 90 / 100




Overview

  • Made for the Trails and Daily Commuting
  • A Big Fat Frame and Tires to Handle All Terrain
  • 500W Rear Hub Motor
  • 48V 12 Ah Lithium Battery
  • LCD Display 3″ Bafang C961 Controller
  • Safety Features
  • Shimano Acera 7 Gear Shifter (Drivetrain details)
  • Specs
  • Conclusion

 

Made for the Trails and Daily Commuting

Whether encountering a muddy situation or a snow covered landscape, you need versatility and tough components that can handle the wet and colder conditions. For those who plan on commuting through the winter on two wheels, meet the Big Cat Bikes Fat Cat XL 500!

This bike was designed not just for rough weather and unpredictable terrain, but for the back trails and summer meet-ups with friends and family for adrenaline packed fun or bringing the picnic to the beach. The Fat Cat XL 500 is loaded up with high quality parts that are made to last for all your commutes and bumpy routes. Let’s dive deeper into this awesome Ebike’s details and specs below!

 

 

A Big Fat Frame and Tires for All Terrain!

The most obvious feature of the Fat Cat XL 500 is the big and curvy Aluminum Frame that for some riders may not be looking for. We recommend looking at something like the Jetson Mountain Bike if this happens to be you! This bike comes in weighing at 63 lbs with the battery. The heavier bike frame of the Fat Cat XL 500 can handle a maximum rider weight of 295 lbs, so for a newer & larger rider who is concerned about the Frame and Tires holding them up this will be no issue.

The warm heart and soul of big Bess rests on huge Kenda 26×4′ Tires and wide Aluminum 36 spoke rims. Seeing these in person, it looks like they are bigger than advertised! Rolling over sharp rocks and uneven surfaces like roots and up winds are nothing to fear with the Big Cat XL 500. If you are not familiar with a larger profile bike, all you need is to get a few rides in to get used to it.

One simple yet well-thought-out feature of the frame is it’s low rise frame design. This makes hopping on and off of the Fat Cat XL 500 easier for anyone who wants to go for a ride!

 

 

500W Rear Hub Motor

Big Cat set up their Fat Cat XL 500 with a sweet 500W Rear Hub Motor to match the girth of this bike. Acceleration for a rear hub type and being a heavier bike is impressive, using Pedal Assist for long range hauls and also has an adjustable throttle that can throw you up to a maximum speed of 20 miles or 32 kilometers per hour.

Since the XL 500 is a rear hub type and not a mid-drive, this explains the lower price point. Rear hubs are proven to be reliable and have been around for a long time. If the Fat Cat had one, this would jump the price at least $1200! We recommend starting with a rear hub if you are a beginner rider, since it will not be as sensitive to your pedaling as a mid-drive would be making for a less intensive first-ride.

The Crank is also equipped with a 12 magnet Cadence Sensor. This captures speed and cadence that offers more accurate feedback when pedaling. Making for an overall smooth cycling operation to keep your cruising easy and stress free.

 

 

48V 12 Ah Lithium Battery

Powering the Fat Cat is the 48V 12 Ah Lithium Battery. Fully charging these batteries takes from 4 to 6 hours. The amazing capability of a Lithium battery unlike a Lead Acid type is how you can leave the battery uncharged for prolonged periods of time. With Lead Acid, you must monitor and keep the charge up to prevent “Memory loss”

If you would like to learn more about the advantages of Lithium batteries or more about Lead Acid, visit our other posts Lithium vs Lead Acid Batteries.and Lead Acid Battery Anatomy.

The maximum range rating for the Fat Cat is up to 30 miles or 48 kilometers. This will vary on each of the five PAS settings, hills, uneven terrain, and amount of throttle use. Make sure to roll down hills and flat stretches to conserve your power and maximize the day! We always recommend bringing your charger that comes with the bike in case of pushing your range out further than capable.

 

 

LCD Display 3″ Bafang C961 Controller

Bafang makes many components, most popularly known for their motors. They also make reliable controllers – This displays your battery power, speed, trip distance and total distance traveled, and PAS selector.

Truly made for any rider’s preference or style, there are 5 levels of assist plus the mentioned throttle to blast uphill and inclines. For troubleshooting make sure to turn the battery off first before removing the connector! This can cause battery problems and may require the help of an Ebike technician for fixing this issue and getting you back onto the road.

 

 

Safety Features

For reliable grip and stopping power, the Big Cat XL 500 is equipped with Tektro 160mm mechanical Disc Brakes. These brakes can withstand the wet and cold winter conditions., keeping debris and dirt out for smoothness and consistency. When trying out the Fat Cat or any bike for the first time, make sure to test the brakes to find out if any tuning needs to be done which will give you rock solid response on pulling the brake lever.

An LED headlight and rear light illuminates you and your Fat Cat to other road users and pedestrians. I love Ebikes that come with this feature not only because I think it should be an industry standard for commuting bikes, but it saves you the extra $$$ for a nice new helmet or maybe some warm gloves to take on those chilly morning treks!

 

 

Shimano Acera 7 Gear Shifter & Pannier Rack

Shimano is known around the world as a top manufacture of regular bike and Ebike components. The Acera line are mid-level components made for trail riding and handling wet and dirty environments. The rider can smoothly shift up and down, combined with the electric motor for a fun and no-sweat ride!

Alongside all the nice technical gizmos is a simple but handy feature for anyone who is packing some cargo – the large Pannier Rack. Has enough area to hook up 2 side bags and a top mount bag too!

With some slight modification (This may void the warranty if mangled or somehow damaged) an owner of the Fat Cat XL 500 could set up the rack as a second seat for passenger instead! Take you and your date out to a picnic at the park or load up the dog for a ride they will never forget!

 

 

Specs:

  • 500W Rear Hub Motor
  • 48V 12 Ah Lithium Battery (4 – 6 hours to charge)
  • 1500 cycle Battery Life
  • LCD 3″ Bafang C961 Controller
  • 5 level PAS System with twist throttle
  • Front and Rear LED Lights
  • 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 Deraileur
  • 160mm Front and Rear Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes
  • Kenda 26×4″ Fat Tires
  • Aluminum Alloy 36 spoke Rims
  • Seat: 11″L 8″W
  • Seat To Floor: 42″
  • Rear Pannier Rack
  • Pannier Rack Dimensions: 17″L 5.5″W

 

Conclusion:

For a rider that wants strength and aggressive terrain capabilities on the trail or road, the Fat Cat XL 500 hits every nail right on the head! We give it 90 / 100 regarding the incredible amount of high quality components, accessories, quality of performance and competitive price point for a fat tire style of electric bike. I recommend this bike to beginner and advanced riders alike for its adjustable features that make it 100% adaptable.

The only thing I would comment on is if the Fat Cat was available in a mid-drive option. This may jump the price a bit, but I feel that there are plenty of riders like myself out there who don’t mind investing a bit more moolah to get an even better performing machine. This is no worry for new riders, the Fat Cat XL 500 already packs plenty of wallop and torque to have a blast.

That’s a wrap for this Big Fat Cat! What do you like about these fat tire types of bikes? Let us know with a comment below!

Does the Fat Cat XL 500 meet your standards? Fill out our contact form here with the subject headline “Question about Fat Cat XL 500”

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Rowan McLeod

16 Comments

  1. Reply

    I sat on one of these the other day. Wow! My friend is a mountain-biking enthusiast and he recently bought one. Now he’s trying to convince me to do the same. I’ve only ever owned really cheap bikes that you buy from big retail stores, so this is a significant change. I can’t believe just how much this thing has to offer.

    • Reply

      That’s where many of us started! First bike from Walmart or Canadian Tire, Craigslist etc.

      Before I got into Ebikes, the most expensive set of wheels I had bought was only $250! Now with all this tech to assist us on our adventures, it’s even more exciting! It’s like hopping onto a bike for the first time again, without falling over and requiring training wheels of course. See more about the Fat Cat XL 500 here!

      – Rowan @ Radical Electric Bikes

  2. Reply

    Great post! I think it’s fantastic you share so much information about these bike’s so people can do a thoughtful decision so they don’t regret later.
    Also love the passion you have for two-wheeled vehicles!

    From sweden

    • Reply

      Hi Gustav! I want to provide accurate and true information in all of my reviews. I know what it’s like buying something online and then it turns out to not be what you thought it was, feels pretty crappy!

      I believe in a future with no toxins in the air, food fit to eat, water clean to drink, and accessible transportation for all!

      – Rowan @ Radical Electric Bikes

  3. Ivan Brozincevic

    Reply

    Awesome bike! I was just reading a post about e-bikes and how they work. It’s an exciting new form of cycling. I’m a fan of off-road cycling, and I have a mountain bike that I like to take out for a spin from time to time. I’m interested in getting myself one of these e-bikes too.

    I like all the specs, and I feel this could be an excellent choice for my first e-bike. Big Fat Cat XL 500 looks incredible! Thanks for sharing your review.

    • Reply

      Happy to hear you liked my review Ivan! Sounds like you love the outdoors – Off-road is one of my favorite activities up in Whistler, there was an event called ‘Crankworx” where we tore up the trails, so much fun!

      For being a fully loaded package with all the safety features like LED lights and those huge tires, going into the brush where rocks and sharp objects can be encountered require a bike like the Big Cat XL 500. Check it out here!

      – Rowan @ Radical Electric Bikes

  4. Jukka

    Reply

    I’m looking for a good ebike that works for both commuting and recreation in the summer and in the winter. I live in Finland so it’s cold, wet and icy in the winter. This seems like a bike that could handle everything.

    I’ve seen people with fatbikes a lot for couple years now and even read about them a lot before. One thing that I find weird is that all the electric fatbike still seem to have deraillerus gear systems. Do you know if this is that you can still use them on lowe gear reasonably if you run out of battery? I ask this because derailleur gears are notorious for freezing and not working correctly in the winter. That’s why my main commuter is a single speed at the moment.

    • Reply

      Yes you can use the lower gears exclusively if your battery runs out. If the cold is this hindering on derailleurs, I do recommend you seek out a bike that is like what you have already, I am looking into this now since you brought up an important point of moving parts trying to operate at very cold temperatures daily over the whole year in a part of the world such as Sweden.

      So if you stay on a low gear, this is fine as long as you don’t mind staying on those gears. And as long as you have a charge in the battery, you will be A-okay!

      – Rowan @ Radical Electric Bikes

  5. Reply

    Very cool bike, I have A friend who has it and I am thinking about buying it, he says it is perfect in the city to so maybe I just will go-ahead

    • Reply

      I’m happy to hear you already have been informed on this beauty! City or trails, the Long Beach Cruiser XL 500 will take you to where you need to be 🙂 Here’s a direct link to “go-ahead” for when you are ready here.

      – Rowan @ Radical Electric Bikes

  6. Andrey

    Reply

    Dear Rowan
    Thank you very much for your fantastic website. It is amazing that you show people how to choose dream-like bike. I hope more people will know about your website and follow your guidance.
    Kind regards,
    Andrey

    • Reply

      Thank you Andrey! I strive to provide transparent and mindful reviews to help others as best as I can and enjoy getting feedback on how I am doing so I can do even better than before!

      – Rowan @ Radical Electric Bikes

  7. Bob

    Reply

    I never thought about owning a bike for getting around and just having some fun.
    Your post gives lots of information and has me wanting to check one out.
    Is there a bike you recommend for the beginner?

    • Reply

      Hi Bob! To recap, this bike is excellent for a beginner rider. Simple controls, responsive motor, and wide stance makes the Fat Cat XL 500 perfect for a first Electric bike!

      I also can recommend the Emojo Wildcat, about $400 less and rocking similar features that the XL 500 does. Here is a direct link to purchase the XL 500 here, or read our review for the Wildcat here, where in the post there are links that will also take you to a page to purchase the Wildcat if it fits your needs better 🙂

      – Rowan @ Radical Electric Bikes

  8. Reply

    Rowan,
    Excellent review on the XL500…..sounds like a bike that is well worth the money. At my age, I now prefer riding something that provides it’s own horse power like my horse Belle…HAH! She’s a pretty good ride for the money too! However, I might just reconsider and take your advice and get serious about the XL 500!

    • Reply

      Hi Terry! Yes the horsepower in an electric bike is a little different but nonetheless exciting and fun! You also never have to feed an electric bike food or water 🙂 Just plug in, charge up, and off you go!

      Here is a direct link to purchase the XL 500, add this code at checkout for 5% off! code: ELECTRICBF

      – Rowan @ Radical Electric Bikes

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