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Cannondale vs Giant: What’s Your Go-to Brand?

Cannondale vs Giant
Written by James Jordan
Last Update: August 16, 2023

Both Cannondale and Giant offer a range of high-end bikes and there’s no significant difference in the quality of their components to easily decide if one’s really better than the other.

But Giant is the largest bike manufacturer in the USA and they actually build bikes and bike components for many other brands, including Cannondale. When compared to Cannondale, you can guess they have better engineers, larger facilities, and latest technologies to offer better products.

Let’s get to know more about Giant and Cannondale so you can make an informed buying decision.

Cannondale vs Giant: Brand Overview


Cannondale bikes

Cannondale is a popular brand that manufactures high-performance and high-end aluminum bicycles. They also offer different bike parts and accessories, including apparels, bags, packs, and bike trailers.

Founded by Joe Montgomery in 1971, they’ve become synonymous with quality bikes as they have been at the top of the bike industry for a long time. Initially they started with backpacks, camping goods and bike trailers, while they introduced their very first bike in 1983.

During the late 90s Cannondale expanded into motorsports business but had a significant amount of loss, which resulted in their bankruptcy in 2003.

Later, Pegasus Capital Advisors, funded by Pegasus Partners II, bought Cannondale in an auction but Dorel Industries acquired them in January, 2008. They are currently owned by Dutch conglomerate Pon Holdings that bought Dorel Sports in January, 2022.

Cannondale sponsors many racing teams and gathers design ideas from professional racers. Their main goal is to create premium products with innovative designs to encourage bikers from all around the globe. Their headquarters is situated in Wilton, Connecticut.


Giant bicycle

Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd, widely known as Giant, is a Taiwanese Bicycle brand that is considered as the world’s biggest bicycle designer and manufacturer.

Giant was founded by King Liu in Dajia, Taichung County Taiwan in 1972. Initially they manufactured bicycles for other brands and Schwinn was their biggest customer.

In 1987 they started manufacturing bikes under their own label when their partnership with Schwinn ended. In 1984, Giant along with Andries Gaastra of Koga-Miyata, a Dutch bike manufacturer, set up “Giant Europe.”

In 1992, Giant bought the shares of Gaastra and became the sole owner of “Giant Europe.” Giant headquarters is in Dajia, Taichung, Taiwan.

Giant is the go-to choice of casual and Pro Tour teams from all around the world as they offer entry-, mid-, and pro-level bikes. As one of the first manufacturers, Giant named their women’s bikes “Liv” in 2011.

By 2018, more than 12,000 retail stores in over 50 countries sold Giant products with an annual sales volume reaching 6.6 million bikes in 2017 with a staggering $1.9 billion revenue.

Cannondale Vs Giant: How They Differ

  • Product range


Cannondale has a broad target market with a wide range of bikes meant to suit different needs. Their bike models include Mountain, Electric, Road, Women’s, Gravel, Cyclocross, Urban/Hybrid, Fitness, Fat bikes and Kids’, all available in different sizes.

Cannondale also manufactures all kinds of bike components such as Cranks and Chainrings, Thru-Axles, Wheels, Handlebars, Lefty, and Seatposts, Stems; and accessories like Bags, Bottles, Connected Products, Cages, Grips & Bar, Fenders, TapeInflation, SmartSenseTools & Storage, Kickstands, Racks, and Tubes.


As the largest bike manufacturer, Giant has a much bigger selection of bikes that fits every riding style and taste. Their major categories are Road, Mountain, BMX, Cross & Gravel, Electric and Kids and obviously, each category has several subcategories with a huge number of models and different sizes to choose from.

Depending on your preference, you will always find something from them. Giant also manufactures a wide range of bike gears, they are:

  • Bike Gear

Accessories, Bags & Panniers, Bottles & Cages, Computers, Fenders, Lights, Locks, Power  Meters, Racks, Trainers, Fenders

  • Service Gear

Floor & Mini Pumps, Inflators & CO2, Mini Tools, Shop Tools, Tubeless Accessories

  • Components

E-bike gear, Wheel Systems, Handlebars, Stems, Saddles, Seatposts, Pedals, Tyres, Grips & Tape, Brakes, Kickstands.

  • Rider Gears

Arm & Leg Warmers/Coolers, Bibs, Shorts & Tights, Footwear, Gloves, Headgear, Helmets, Jackets & Vests, Jerseys, Shoe Covers, Socks, etc.

  • Price range


Cannondale bikes are more expensive than Giant bikes. The reason behind this is the use of innovative design, top-of-the-line materials, and advanced technologies.


Giant has something good to offer in every price range for different types of bikers. Giant bikes are comparatively less expensive as they use their own technologies, materials, and manufacturing facilities.

  • Warranty


A limited time warranty is provided by Cannondale to the original purchaser. This warranty is void if the bike is subjected to neglect, abuse, improper repair or maintenance, modification, alteration, an accident or abnormal or excessive use.

Lifetime warranty 5-year warranty 3-year warranty 2-year warranty 1-year warranty
Bike Frames, except on freeride and dirt jumping bike models. Chainstays, Swing Arms, Seatstays, and Rear Shock Linkages of Full Suspension Frames Frames of Freeride, Gravity, Downhill, Dirt Jump and other ASTM Category Wheels, E-bike parts ( battery, motor etc), dropper seatposts Decals and paint finish, Cannondale Branded Components


Giant offers limited time warranty to the original purchaser of Giant or LIV bicycles that were manufactured from 2012 till now. If any component is found defective within 60 days of purchase it will be repaired without any labor and materials charge.

The warranty won’t cover any damage caused by accidents, improper use, bad maintenance, modification, and aggressive riding. :

Lifetime 10 years 3 years 2 years 1 year
Frames, except on downhill purposes bike models. Rigid forks Frames on downhill purposes bike models Wheels, E-bike parts ( battery, motor etc), dropper seatposts Decals and paint finish, rear shock linkages
  • Manufacturing facility


Cannondale had manufactured their bikes in Bedford, Pennsylvania for a long period of time. But it was shut down by Dorel Industries that acquired them in 2008.

They now have engineering offices in Freiburg, Germany and manufacturing facilities in Taiwan and Vietnam. Some bikes are assembled in the USA.


Giant has manufacturing facilities in a number of countries all over the world, including Taiwan, China, Hungary, and the Netherlands. As said before, they also manufacture bikes for other brands due to which they had to expand manufacturing facilities internationally.

  • Manufacturing materials


Aluminum and carbon fiber are commonly used for Cannondale bike frames. In fact, Cannondale started using  SmartForm, BallisTec and CAAD aluminum while their competitors were using steel. They pioneered a lightweight yet stiff and robust frame technology with the use of titanium and carbon materials.


Giant mostly uses aluminum alloy and carbon fiber for their bike frames. They use the Aluxx aluminum technology in their aluminum frames and the Advanced Composite Technology in carbon fiber frames that provides a great weight to strength ratio.

  • Braking system


Cannondale uses different braking systems for different categories. You’ll find hydraulic disc brakes and rim brakes on cheaper models, and electronic shifting and mechanical disc brakes on high-end bikes.

Also, a flat-mount caliper is often used to ease flex and increase the stopping ability.


Giant uses Rim brakes, Hydraulic, and mechanical disc brakes and the Maestro braking system on their bikes of different price ranges.

Their innovative Conduct Hydraulic Brake system initiates Absolute Braking Stability that delivers a smoother and consistent braking ability in all conditions.

  • Suspension System


Cannondale has full suspension bikes that come with a “single pivot suspension system.” In this system the two wheels move freely, which ensures more responsive suspensions and provides a comfortable and smooth ride.

Cannondale’s Synapse series comes with the Synapse Active Vibration Elimination (SAVE) micro suspension system that helps reduce vibration and improve control, comfort, and handling.


Giant uses their own Maestro system with active braking pivot (ABP), Monolik and Re: Aktive systems. This technology focuses on separating the drive and pedal motion from the suspension, which makes climbing hills  more efficient.

For CrossCountry bikes they use an advanced single pivot and linkage driven Flexpoint pro rear suspension system that is superlight and was designed to provide efficient and responsive handling.

  • Advanced Technology


Pioneering dozens of innovative bicycle technologies, Cannondale might have the longest list of in-house invented technologies and implementation on bikes among all the successful bicycle brands. All of these top features usually come with the high-end bikes, but their entry- and mid-range bikes also possess some advanced techs.

Some of the most popular innovations of Cannondale are: Lefty Fork, Kingpin Suspension System, CAAD Aluminum Frames, HollowGram Si Cranks, SAVE Micro-Suspension, BallisTec Carbon Frames, SmartForm Frames, BB30 and BB30A bottom bracket standards, Cannondale App and Wheel Sensor


Giant uses advanced technologies in their products and made popular at least two technological advances.

One in 1987, with the introduction of CADEX bikes they became the first major brand to mass-produce a carbon fiber frame road bike and the other in 1997, the “compact geometry frame”  road bike that had small rear triangles and sloping top tube. These two advances are widely used in the bike industry now.

Giant also boasts some other notable advanced technologies such as D-Fuse, Advanced Composite Technology(ACT), ALUXX SLR Aluminum, and FlexPoint Suspension system.

Giant Vs Cannondale: Which One Is The Better Brand?

Cannondale is recognized as one of the most durable and strongest bike manufacturers in the bicycle industry and has a great product range.

On the other hand, Giant is the biggest bike manufacturer in the world with a range of options to choose from.

The choice between Giant and Cannondale will depend on your personal preferences, needs, and budget. Instead of the brand, we recommend that you focus on the quality of the components and do a test ride to see if you enjoy your ride.


Are Cannondale bikes lightweight?

Ans: Most Cannondale bike frames are made of carbon and aluminum, which makes the bike lighter than steel or other alloy.

Are Giant bicycles made in the USA?

Ans: Giant is a Taiwanese brand that has no manufacturing facilities in the USA.

Does a used Cannondale bicycle hold a good resale value?

Ans: If your bike has some of the advanced technologies that this brand offers then you can assume the bike to have a decent resale value as time passes by.

About the author

James Jordan

As a kid I inherited the love for mountain bikes from my father who used to ride for weeks through the Colorado trail in the city of Denver. He had his gang, and I followed pretty much the same track.

Later on, my interest in biking grew more after joining the Enduro race back in 2013. My buddies and I also participated in the Downhill racing for the third consecutive year, and it’s been an amazing experience.

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