Are Cannondale bikes really good?
Yes, they are one of the top players in the industry and can be compared to Giant, Trek, Specialized, Raleigh, and Diamondback side by side. In fact, the latest road bikes from Cannondale are being used in the Tour de France, which signifies how reliable they are.
Cannondale also triumphs in both road and mountain bike sectors. They have been pioneers in the cycling industry for a long time and over time, have earned a solid reputation and a hardcore fan base worldwide.
As expected, these premium bikes come with a hefty price tag. But as they invest a lot in research and innovations, it’s normal that they won’t be cheap.
Cannondale – Brief History
Joe Montgomery and Murdock MacGregor started Cannondale in 1971 as a small precast concrete housing manufacturer in Wilton, Connecticut. Now the Cannondale Bicycle Corporation is an American division of Pon Holdings (a Dutch conglomerate) that supplies bicycles. Their engineering offices are in Freiburg, Germany.
A bike trailer named bugger was their first bike-related product. In 1983, they introduced their first bike, which was an aluminum touring bike with a traditional track frame design. This bike was moderately successful.
After that, Cannondale was doing well throughout the 1990s. But in 2003, they reached rock bottom and declared bankruptcy. Cannondale’s full assets were purchased by Pegasus Capital Advisors fund Pegasus Partners II at an auction.
In 2008 Dorel Industries (a Canada-based diversified consumer products company) bought Cannondale and salvaged the company. Since then, they have grown rapidly and now they are one of the most influential bike manufacturers in the world.
Where Cannondale bikes are made
Despite being an American brand, since 2010 most of the Cannondale bikes have been made in Southeast Asia. Some of their better quality models are made in Vietnam whereas the high-end models are Taiwan-made. Cannondale’s US factory still does some assembly work though.
Bike tech invented by Cannondale
One of the most unusual bike inventions by Cannondale is the Lefty Oliver fork. It is a one-legged suspension fork that is 30 mm long. Both the damper and coil are fitted in the left leg for a stiffer and lighter fork for gravel or cross-country applications.
CAAD Aluminum Frames
CAAD (Cannondale Advanced Aluminum Design) refers to a series of aluminum frames. These advanced racing frames were first introduced in 1996 and are still being used for the CAAD series and other aluminum-made models. Hydroformed, butted, heat-treated, and often tapered, they are stiff, light, and comfortable.
Kingpin Suspension System
Cannondale’s latest innovations include the Kingpin rear suspension system. Topstone carbon gravel bikes were the first to introduce this system. Using a thru-axle pivot, it connects the seat stay to the tube, allowing up to 30mm of flex to the entire rear end. This results in peak performance and optimum comfort while adding almost zero weight.
HollowGram Si Cranks
The Hollowgram Si Cranks are the lightest crankset Cannondale has ever made. They are stiff, strong, modular, and extremely light due to their hollowness, which also brings about a greater performance compared to the competition. These cranks feature direct mount one-piece chainrings too.
BallisTec Carbon Frames
Cannondale’s in-house carbon technology is called BallisTec, which makes their carbon frames stiff and light. There are several levels of these frames but the best of them is the BallisTec Hi-Mod, which is mostly found in expensive bikes.
SAVE (Synapse Active Vibration Eliminator) is a micro-suspension technology that Cannondale uses in most of their models. It implements flexing points into the seat post, fork, and rear triangle to absorb shock and reduce vibrations.
BB30 and BB30A
These are the bottom bracket standards made by Cannondale and were released as a free design. With a 30 mm aluminum spindle, an oversized shell, and a wave-taper crank interface, they helped reduce the confusion regarding the bottom brackets that were prevailing on the market.
Cannondale’s hydroforming process is called SmartForm that accommodates tube shape and wall thickness. This process incorporates Cannondale’s double-weld techniques and post-weld heat treatment too.
Cannondale bikes – Price range
The high-end models are really expensive as they innovate new technologies and incorporate them into their products. The 2022 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Disc Dura-Ace Di12 is the most expensive bike as of the year 2022, costing around $14,000.
There are also bikes for every purpose and budget. They offer a lot of mountain (MTB) and electric hybrid bikes under $1,200.
Some other mentionable bikes are 2021 Scalpel Carbon SE LTD MTB (the most expensive mountain bike, around $7,700) and 2021 Topstone Neo Carbon 1 Lefty (the most expensive electric road bike, around $9,800)