At Greenlight Bikes LLC, Kalkhoff electric bikes propel cyclists at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. The German-born bikes sprang from the imagination of Heinrich Kalkhoff in 1914, who hatched the idea when he delivered mail riding a cycle instead of a carrier pigeon. During the ensuing 30 years, Heinrich and an ever-growing staff honed his initial design and ultimately ventured into electric bikes. The company unveiled the motor-powered fleet to Europe in 2005. Stateside, Greenlight Bikes both rents and sells them, in addition to traditional cycles.
The eBikes are available in designs that range from comfy cruiser to high-performance two-wheeler, and they bolster riders' pedaling at three different levels. A sensor in the bike's bottom bracket gauges manpower and, with the help of a brushless motor, boosts it for up to 50 miles—the typical amount of time it takes to escape an angry corgi. Riders can also switch off electric assistance and complete excursions using their own cardiovascular electricity.