Are Cannondale Bikes Good? This is one of the most common questions that people ask when they encounter this brand the first time. In this post, we will not only answer this question but also cover all things about Cannondale and their bikes. Read on to find out!
Cannondale is known as one of the most innovative bike brands in the world and has been leading revolutionary bike design for the last 50 years.
The company differentiates itself from other brands, by claiming to be the leading manufacturer of high-end bikes. Cannondale celebrates its 50 year anniversary this year.
History of Cannondale
Cannondale was formed back in 1971, by Joe Montgomery and Murdock MacGregor.
Montgomery named the company after his local train station, the Cannondale Metro North in Wilton, Connecticut.
Interestingly, Cannondale did not begin by manufacturing bikes. Mainly due to Montgomery’s camping bike trips, Cannondale began by developing the Bugger bicycle trailer, as well as designing lightweight bicycle bags which became incredibly popular among bike manufacturers.
Despite the connotations of Cannondale bike trailers, they still managed to export much of their products to the UK. The trailer was what really launched the company, as they developed a reputation for high quality through their bicycle trailers.
More Than 35 Years of Bicycle Innovation
Cannondale didn’t actually produce their first bicycle until 1983 when the model ST500 was launched. As the company has continued to do, the model ST500 was revolutionary in its design and production.
The bike had a welded frame that sat over aluminium tubes, which was revolutionary at the time. It was mainly down to the design of Todd Patterson, a natural mechanical engineer and designer, who brought the company to focus on welding aluminium frames for their bikes.
The new design meant the bikes were lighter, meaning they could go faster than their competitors’ bikes. The model ST500 began as a touring bike before Cannondale followed up the following year with a mountain bike and road racing bike.
The company gained attention for its state of the art design and enjoyed major success because of that. Cannondale continued their new designs throughout the 1990s and 2000s, growing from producing 21 models in 1992 to 59 in 2017.
Cannondale’s Mountain Bikes
Cannondale really benefitted from the exponential growth in the popularity of mountain bikes.
Most of this is due to the fact that back in the 1990s, the aluminium shell that was the base of all of Cannondale’s mountain bikes was incredibly flexible and able to withstand the bumps that come with mountain biking.
Cannondale even developed a process called the Cannondale Advanced Aluminium Design when looking at their mountain bikes. This was just essentially a process that allowed Cannondale to develop their bikes using computer software.
Cannondale’s mountain bikes originally came with BMX styling and a European sprung saddle. Cannondale’s mountain bikes have become so popular that they have become staples in world championship races and the cycling choice of two Olympic medallists.
Cannondale has always put a lot of investment into the production and design of their bikes, which allows them to charge premium rates at the same time.
where are cannondale bikes made?
Cannondale bikes were primarily designed in the United States, specifically at their headquarters in Wilton, Connecticut. However, manufacturing and assembly have mostly shifted to Asia, with a large portion of production occurring in Taiwan and China. This change in manufacturing location is mainly due to lower production costs and the growing expertise of bike manufacturing in these regions.
Please note that my knowledge may be outdated, and it is always a good idea to check with the manufacturer for the most up-to-date information on their production process and locations.
Cannondale was originally just focused on pedal-powered bicycles, but in the 1990s, they looked to expand into off-road motorcycles.
Cannondale hoped that by using their extensive design knowledge of Aluminium, they could use that to produce a game-changing bike into the market by the early 2000s.
Having pumped upwards of $20 million into the project, they produced the MX400, which copied the aluminium frame of the 1997 Honda CR250. Cannondale took a big risk in doing this, as the MX400 would be the first American built motocross bike since 1982.
However, when the MX400 came out in 2001, the problems were clear to see straight away. All of Cannondale’s new innovative parts did not function well and made the bike very tricky to ride. Also, the aluminium base of the Honda CR250 which the MX400 was modelled from was atrocious and showed how poorly designed the MX400 was.
Cannondale was attempting to launch a new innovative two-stroke bike, into a motocross economy that was already making a move into the future by changing to four-stroke bikes. The bike was credited in the legendary Jody Weisel’s “ Worst Bikes I Ever Raced”. It was a terrible experiment that almost bankrupts the company.
Six13 was another step towards innovation for the company, as they designed their first use of a carbon/alloy design. The bike was so lightweight, that when Gilberto Simoni was supposed to compete in the 2003 Tour de France, the bike violated the 15-pound minimum weight, so the team had to add weights to his bike.
The main carbon fibre frame weighs only 2.5 pounds and it shows Cannondale’s continuing development of their processes, even moving away from a completely aluminium frame that made the company so popular in the 1990s
Cannondale still prides themselves on being an incredibly high-quality brand, producing the very best bikes on the market. As of their 2020 catalogue, they still offer 58 bikes, ranging from mountain bikes, road bikes and even doing a kids bikes range as well.
Cannondale has also established themselves in electric bikes as well. These bikes can go for up to an eye-watering $9200. Their bikes will become more and more popular as more people look to electric transport.
Cannondale will continue to innovate into the future. Having been close to bankruptcy multiple times in the 2000s, they have established themselves under ownership of Dorel industries, a Canada-based consumer products company.
Since their purchase, Cannondale has managed to control their costs a lot better, having transferred all production to Taiwan in 2009. Smartly enough, Cannondale also managed to sell off their motorsport division which meant the company now completely focuses on bicycles.
Cannondale is set up well for the future. They can continue to differentiate themselves with such high quality, and the brand looks set for the future.
Cannondale Bike Categories
Cannondale has a really large target market. They made a wide range of bikes that are suitable for different riding styles, heights, and ages. Here are all types of bikes that Cannondale offers:
- Road Bikes
- Mountain Bikes
- Trail Bikes
- Active Bikes
- Cross country
Most Popular Cannondale Bikes
Here are some of the most popular Cannondale bikes in all their bike categories that are available:
- Road Race Bikes: Cannondale CAAD13 Women’s Disc 105
- Endurance Road Bikes: Cannondale Synapse 105
- Urban Bikes: Cannondale Bad Boy 1
- Gravel Bikes: Cannondale Topstone
- Hardtail XC Bikes: Cannondale Catalyst
- Hardtail Trail Bikes: Cannondale Trail 2
- Fitness Bikes: Cannondale Quick CX
Cannondale Bike Price Range
- Road Race Bikes: $1,000.00 – $12,500.00
- Endurance Road Bikes: $1,300.00 – $7,875.00
- Urban Bikes: $1,200.00 – $2,250.00
- Gravel Bikes: $1,250.00 – $8,500.00
- Hardtail XC Bikes: $2,700.00 – $9,000.00
- Hardtail Trail Bikes: $600.00 – $2,200.00
- Fitness Bikes: $600.00 – $1,600.00