Are Cannondale Bikes Good? (Helpful Tips)

Cannondale is one of the most respected bike brands in the world today, with a history stretching back over fifty years.

They have built a reputation for utilizing cutting-edge technologies and supporting riders. Reputation only counts for so much, however, so, how good are Cannondale bikes really?

Here’s How Good Cannondale Bikes Are:

Cannondale bikes are considered among the upper echelons of bike brands in the world today. 

Although not one of the largest brands out there, Cannondale continues to build high-quality bikes with an excellent build quality and a variety of different prices suited to every rider.

A Brief History Of Cannondale

Cannondale’s beginnings are somewhat unusual in the biking world.

The company was founded in 1971 by Murdock MacGregor and Joe Montgomery. The name comes from the Cannondale Metro-North train station in Wilton, Connecticut. They were not initially founded as a bike manufacturer. Instead, the company was initially founded to manufacture precast concrete housing.

The arrival of Ron Davis to the company shortly after changed things completely. However, bikes were still not in their sights.

Ron had been a VP at CBS Laboratories before joining Cannondale and was a keen inventor. He had ideas for a new combustion engine that would run on Ammonia. Following some success with their prototype, the company then decided that they needed to raise capital to continue development. Developing new products was seen as the way to do this.

Around this time, Joe Montgomery returned from a camping and biking trip with his son and had the idea of the Bugger bike trailer. Ron Davis and some other former CBS engineers worked on the prototype as well as cloth bags and cargo carriers for the trailers.

The team then went to the Bicycle Show in New York to display their new product and were blown away by the interest in their products. However, bike shops were more interested in the bags, rather than the trailers.

It took less than six months for Cannondale to become the largest manufacturer of lightweight cloth bicycle bags in the world. Cannondale products spread so quickly across the USA that within 20 months they had more than 2,500 dealers working with them.

This infrastructure was then used when the company began producing camping goods – backpacks and tents.

By this point, the company had well and truly dipped its toe in the cycling industry. The next logical step was to dive right in.

Todd Patterson joined the company and began working on welding aluminum bike frames.

In 1995, the company became publicly owned after an IPO of $22 million.

In the late 1990s, the company moved into motorsports, making all-terrain vehicles and motocross bikes. However, this proved to be a disaster. Due to high demand, the company was unable to reduce the cost of manufacturing their bikes fast enough. They were losing money on every bike, and the company went into bankruptcy protection in 2003.

Pegasus Capital Advisors then bought the company’s assets and sold off the motorsports side.

In 2008, Dorel Industries from Canada purchased Cannondale from Pegasus for $200 million.

In January 2022, Pon Holdings from the Netherlands purchased Dorel Industries

Are Cannondale bikes Good?
By Cannondale Japan

How Reliable Are Cannondale Bikes?

Cannondale bikes are very reliable. The bikes themselves are well-made and use reliable components from some of the top brands in the industry. Anyone buying a Cannondale can be confident that they are buying a well-made, reliable bike.

What Types Of Bikes Does Cannondale Make?

Cannondale makes a wide variety of bikes, for all disciplines.

In their road bike division, they have race bikes, endurance bikes, gravel bikes, cyclocross bikes, and e-bikes.

Their mountain bike range includes cross-country, trail bikes, and e-bikes. 

They also have an urban bike range and a fitness bike range, as well as making kids’ bikes for all ages.

How Expensive Are Cannondale Bikes?

Cannondale bikes are neither especially cheap nor expensive. Instead, they sit somewhere in the middle. 

As with most brands, they have both cheaper and more expensive bikes in their collection.

Their entry-level road bikes, the CAAD Optimo 4, can cost as little as £1,000, while their top-end SystemSix Hi-MOD Red eTap AXS costs £13,000.

Their cross-country F-Si range goes from £2,700 up to £9,000. Their Scalpel trail bike comes in five models, from £4,000 to £8,300. Their hardtail dirt jump Dave bike costs £1,200. The hardtail Trail range has several models all for less than £1,000.

How Durable Are Cannondale Bikes?

Cannondale has built its reputation on well-designed, well-built, durable bikes. This high standard continues to this day.

What About Older Cannondale Bikes?

Older Cannondale bikes still have a good reputation. Their older road bikes are known to be stiff bikes that corner well and are still high-quality.

Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?

Most parts for older Cannondale bikes can still be found, although some parts, such as linkages for full-suspension bikes, can be harder to find.

What Are Typical Problems With Cannondale Bikes?

There are no major issues with Cannondale bikes. They might not utilize some of the latest, cutting-edge technology that their peers do, but unless you are looking for the absolute latest innovations you will find a great bike for the price.

How Long Do Cannondale Bikes Last Compared To Similar Brands?

Cannondale bikes have a reputation for being absolutely bomb-proof and should last for years. They use high-end components on their bikes, from reputable manufacturers, so there is no weak link in the bike construction.

Do Cannondale Bikes Hold Their Value?

A Cannondale bike’s resale value is largely determined by its condition. As they are so durable and use good components, they should hold their value reasonably well as long as they have been well looked after.

Are Cannondale Bikes Still Being Made?

Cannondale Bikes was acquired by Pon Holdings in January 2022 and continues to manufacture bikes today.

Where Does the Cannondale Bike Brand Name Come From?

The Cannondale brand name was named after the Cannondale Metro train station in Wilton, Connecticut. The full story was told in the 1983 Cannondale catalog.

Are Cannondale Bikes Good?
Cannondale Metro train station in Wilton, Connecticut (By Noroton at English Wikipedia)

Where Are Cannondale Bikes Made?

Despite being an American brand, Cannondale bikes are manufactured in southeast Asia. Many of their high-end bikes are produced in Taiwan, whereas their more affordable bikes are manufactured in Vietnam. Also, many of their top-end bikes are still assembled in the United States.

Is Cannondale Worth the Money?

Yes, Cannondale bikes are worth the money. Their bikes often use unique technology like their famous ‘Lefty’ forks and are made to a very high standard. Yes, it is possible to buy a slightly cheaper bike with a similar spec from brands that sell direct. However, many riders love the quality of Cannondale and its good customer service.

How Do Cannondale Bikes Ride Compared to Similar Brands?

Cannondale makes a large range of bikes most of which are some of the best bikes to ride on the market. However, Cannondale loves to innovate and test new ideas, which naturally involves a certain amount of evolution. This evolution naturally weeds out the failures and allows the best designs to move on to the next generation of bikes. Rarely, but from time to time Cannondale has made some bikes that have not been the best received by the bike community. However, the same can be said for most brands that value innovation. It’s a big challenge to make a bike that has been engineered to perform well, and also looks good.

Final Thoughts (Are Cannondale Bikes Good?)

Cannondale makes a huge range of well-made bikes and is well known for innovation. The Cannondale brand has endured the test of time and has a loyal customer base from all over the world, so they must be doing something right. Cannondale bikes have also been race-proven both on and off-road, which also is a good indication of how well their bike can perform.

Other brands you might be interested in:

Are Cannondale Bikes Good?
So Are Cannondale Bikes Good?

Peter Ballin

Pedro is the primary writer on the site. He’s raced downhill and enduro at a high level, spannered at mountain bike world cups, and also written a book called Mountain Bike Maintenance. He’s appeared in both print & online major media publications across the Uk, France, and Japan (and even appeared on French Television). He’s made his living from bikes in various forms, from mountain bike guiding in France and Spain, Trail building in New Zealand and Canada, and working as a bike mechanic in the French Alps for many years. Pedro loves a good adventure and is often settling random challenges like riding down Mount Fuji, swimming across Lake Geneva, and hitchhiking across America.