CSC XP750-26 AND -20
Two sizes of the same bike
California Scooter Company, also known as CSC, has been selling motorcycles and electric scooters for many years. They started selling e-bikes just a few years ago when founder Steve Seidner decided he wanted to buy an e-bike for himself. Confused over what would be the best bike to buy, he instead decided to build his own by relying on a list of companies that he had already been dealing with to source parts for his scooter production.
They let us have one of each of their 750-watt fat bikes—one with 26-inch wheels (XP750-26), one with 20-inch (XP750-20) wheels, and both with 4-inch tires.
Both bikes are surprisingly similar in almost all specs, with an aluminum, diamond-shaped frame with the battery partly sticking out of the downtube. They are sized fairly closely, the 20-inch smaller wheels allow it a slightly lower stand-over height, and can fit a slightly shorter rider, probably down to about 5-foot-3 or so.
The bikes are built with comfort in mind, with ergonomic saddles and grips, and an adjustable stem to allow up to 60 degrees of height/angle adjustment of the handlebar. Tektro E-500 hydraulic disc brakes use dual-piston calipers and big stainless steel 180mm rotors. Both bikes use an air suspension fork, with eight levels of damping adjustment, plus a lockout with adjustable preload. The ride is made even more comfortable with the sheer volume of the 4-inch Kenda Juggernaut tires. These bikes just glide over the bumps in the road. We took them over every surface we could find. They were fun in the sand, in the dirt and on the street.
Both bikes offer integrated lighting, with a Buchel Shiny 50 Lux LED headlight and a dual LED taillight that flashes when you are braking. Because of the amount of ground clearance, the bikes are spec’d with 170mm alloy cranks. The trend of using shorter cranks has grown more popular on many e-bikes to cut down on pedal strikes. We experienced no issue with this on either bike.
They both have double-wall aluminum rims, each in their specific size, to handle the forces of the fun time riders have on fat bikes! The bikes are fitted with a derailleur protector. There are optional fenders and racks. CSC stocks a variety, or there are plenty of choices elsewhere, as the mounts are standard.
CSC wanted to go with a known motor system to provide reliable power, so the choice was a 750-watt geared, brushless Bafang rear hub motor that can offer peak output over 1000 watts, which is more than enough to get you moving up any hill. The big 650Wh battery fits partway into the downtube—about half of it sticks out of the top and it locks in place. Cells used are Samsung 18650 lithium NCA (LiNiCoAlO2). There’s a USB-A port at the top to make it possible to charge or power your phone or other devices while you ride.
The Intelligent AP-7 color LCD digital display is one of the best-looking displays we’ve seen. It’s bright enough for everything from full daylight to the dark of night, offering speed, battery percentage, current output wattage, trip meter, time, and more.
WHO IT’S MADE FOR
Being fat bikes means they can handle almost any type of terrain you can find—from pavement to dirt to dry sand to snow and even ice, with a ton of grip for any surface. Remember that with fat-tire bikes, varying the tire pressure can greatly enhance your riding ability on a given surface. If you’re on sand, take it down really low to 5–6 psi, and if you’re on pavement, bring it back up closer to 25–30 psi.
If you’re taller or going on longer, more adventurous rides, the 26-inch version may be a better choice. If you
like a smaller, more agile bike, the 20-inch is definitely an option. The 20-inch bike has a minimum seat height of 31.69 inches and a maximum of 38.78 inches, the 26-inch has a minimum seat height of 33.66 inches and a maximum of 40.75 inches. Both are available with a white or black frame, and you can have the battery in any color you want, as long as it’s black. CSC also makes a 20-inch version with a taller, BMX-style handlebar.
The stand-over height isn’t tremendously different between the two bikes, thanks to a steep downward slope on the bigger bike’s top tube. They are very much two versions of the same bike. It comes down to looks and riding style. Some adults aren’t really comfortable on a smaller bike, thinking it looks like it’s more made for kids, but there are others who really love smaller bikes.
There are some rutted, rooted, just plain nasty bumpy roads where we ride, and we had plenty of fun on both bikes. Fat bikes can be fun almost anywhere; it’s like riding a monster truck. The one thing we didn’t get to test them on was snow, but in our experience they should be just as capable on snow, slush and ice.
The bikes are both Class 3 with a throttle, so the throttle can be used to go up to 20 mph. The pedals can be used with pedal assist up to 28 mph, and there are five levels of power. Their claim of 25–40 miles is pretty accurate from our test rides if you’re not using the throttle. We generally kept it in level 3–5, because the bike feels a bit heavy at lower power settings.
It comfortably cruises at about 15–17 mph on flat streets using pedal assist. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can always add more power. The 20-inch is a bit more agile, while the 26-inch is more relaxed. We liked both equally for different reasons.
The 20-inch bike weighs 55 pounds, which is well within the limits of most e-bike-rated car racks. The 26-inch bike tops 60 pounds with no accessories, so check your rating. We were carrying them around on a Hollywood Destination E hitch-mounted bike rack, which is rated for up to 70 pounds per bike and up to 4.5-inch tires, so it had no problem holding the bikes. We were grateful for the ramp accessory on that rack.
Both bikes are well built and well spec’d, even at their recent $1999 price, with some brand-name parts. With the price drop of $400, thanks to the reduction in tariffs and container fees, that deal becomes even better. We really liked the more maneuverable 20-inch bike; it’s still pretty big when factoring in the tires. It’s a little sportier than the 26-inch bike, though the latter glides more smoothly over bumps. We also like that CSC offers a one-
year, unlimited-mile warranty on all their bikes.