Overview16 Trowbridge Road Bethel, CT 06801
Cannondale Bicycle Corporation is a major American bicycle manufacturer that designs and produces high-end bicycles, recreational bikes and apparel lines.
t: view phone203-749-7000
f: view fax814-623-6173
Cannondale began in 1971 under Joe Montgomery, manufacturing the industry's first bicycle trailers in a loft above a pickle factory. Touring frames followed in 1983 and road racing and mountain bikes in 1984, all featuring hand-crafted, oversized aluminum tubes. In fact Cannondale was the first company to mass produce aluminium frames and were considered pioneers in this kind of technology. The bikes were both lighter and more flex-resistant than others at the time.
Later they developed carbon fiber composite frames, introduced a clothing apparel line and even tried a move into motor sports. However this was never cost effective and in 2003, facing bankruptcy, they sold off the division.
The same year Pegasus Capital Advisors purchased the bicycle division and returned focus to bike production. In 2008 Dorel Industries acquired the brand, a Canadian distributor of Taiwanese and Chinese bikes that sell under US brands like Mongoose and Roadmaster. In 2004 Dorel had also purchased Pacific Cycle (Schwinn, Mongoose, and GT Bicycle brands), so Cannondale was the last publicly traded bicycle company in the USA.
The company is head-quartered in Bethel, Connecticut USA with aluminium manufacturing in Bedford, Pennsylvania and carbon fiber frames produced in China, although all manufacturing will move to Taiwan by 2011. Cannondale has subsidiaries in Holland, Switzerland, Japan and Australia. They sell more than 80 models in over 70 countries.
Cannondale has won numerous design awards, often with arrangements that are contrary to the usual industry practice. The suspension fork called the Lefty, is one such development. It only has a left side (no surprises there) and provides greater mud clearance, eliminates static friction and flexing of the fork. It's featured on high-end mountain bikes.
Apparently some of their product ideas come from sponsored athletes who have won stages at the Tour de France and Giro Italia and various world championships. These refinements are then used on competition-oriented bikes but also lightweight recreational bikes. Cannondale also produces an electric bicycle using a quick-charging and rechargeable battery.
A Cannondale invention to look out for in the near future is the so-called "smart bike". At the moment it is still a prototype and no launch date has been announced but they seem pretty smug about the whole thing. Basically they’ve pulled out the mechanical suspension inside the Lefty front fork and put in electromagnets and accelerometers instead. This gives the bike a fast responding (within six milliseconds) and adjustable suspension. It’s so fast that apparently you will hardly even notice the changes in terrain.
While Cannondale is considered one of the leading manufacturers of high-end bicycles, don't discount their range of recreation and urban bikes. There are tandems, touring, comfort and adventure bikes for all kinds of riders. They also have a range of competition, active and recreation bikes for women that have been designed to better fit the female physique.
Hours of work
Monday thru Friday
9am to 5pm (ET)
Standard Frames: Yes
Custom Frames: No
Retrofitting old bikes: No
Year Established: Originally in 1971
Products Made In: Moving from Bedford, Pennsylvania to Taiwan in 2010/2011
Availability: National and international retailers and bike shops
Types of Bicycles: Road, mountain, recreation and urban, feminine, enforcement
Construction Methods: Cannondale Advanced Aluminum Design
Frame Materials: optimo aluminum, carbon fiber