A subsidiary of Canadian giant manufacturer Dorel Industries, Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, famously known as Cannondale, has been in the bike manufacturing sector for over 50 years. But are Cannondale bikes good?
Cannondale bikes are good because they have high-strength frames, modern suspensions, and good warranties. These bikes also enjoy smart technologies, performance build, good control, and better geometry.
So, if you are looking for a robust bike tailored for the needs of the modern pro rider, think no further than Cannondale.
Cannondale also has a wide range of affordable bikes that promise better value for money and good service. However, that doesn’t negate the fact that there are a few worries that I’ll share.
But before that, let’s look at Cannondale’s history.
In a rush? Check out our most recommended Cannondale bicycles on the hotlist below!
3 Best Cannondale Bikes
- Scalpel-Si Hi-Mod 1: Best Cannondale Mountain Bike
- Synapse Carbon 1: Best Cannondale Road Bike
- Cannondale Quick 1: Best Cannondale Hybrid Bike
About Cannondale – Brand History
Cannondale Bicycle Corporation was founded by Murdock MacGregor and Joe Montgomery in 1971, initially as a manufacturing plant for precast-concrete housing. Later, gifted mechanical inventor Ron Davis joined the company.
Cannondale made their first-ever mountain bike, SM-500, in 1984. In the 1990s, Cannondale dived into the motorsport business.
1992 saw the manufacturer employ Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to make their first most lightweight frames and featured them in 1997.
However, following financial struggles, Cannondale declared bankruptcy in 2003 before getting a new owner Pegasus Capital Advisors.
In 2008, Canadian-based Dorel Industries came calling, and they bought Cannondale from Pegasus for about $200 million.
Dorel is also the parent company of Pacific Cycles, the company behind Mongoose, Schwinn, GT, and many other top bike brands.
Today, Cannondale makes all kinds of bicycles, ranging from MTB and gravel bikes to cyclocross and road bikes. They have also sponsored many elite teams at major events like the Tour de France and the Olympics over the years.
Currently, their head offices are in Wilton, Connecticut, but their frames are made in Taiwan, the Netherlands, and the U.S.
Are Cannondale Bikes Good or Bad?
Here are the things that make Cannondale bicycles good:
1. High-Strength Frames
If you are looking for a bike that can bear huge weight, withstand aggressive usage, and guarantee longevity, then a Cannondale is a worthy choice.
Nothing disappoints from their Cannondale Advanced Aluminum Design (CAAD) frames to their compact carbon fiber frames. No wonder most of the bicycle frames come with a limited lifetime warranty.
2. Modern Suspensions
Cannondale uses a wide range of innovative suspensions, which differ between its bikes. Most of its mountain bikes, for example, employ its pioneering Lefty Suspension, which makes them feel lighter than they actually are.
Their gravel bikes, in contrast, feature the Kingpin Suspension that promises unmatched traction and comfort off-road without making the bikes heavier.
3. Good Warranty
Cannondale takes pride in its team of artisans. They confirm that by offering limited lifetime warranties for all their frames apart from a few. The exceptions are dirt jump, gravity, downhill, and freeride bike frames, which come with a 3-year warranty.
The manufacturer also offers a 5-year warranty for seat stays, swing arms, chainstays, and full-suspension short links. However, Cannondale-branded components come with a 1-year warranty as the non- Cannondale components are covered by their respective manufacturers.
4. Smart Technology
Cannondale is popularly known for employing the smartest innovations, and it’s not just in its suspensions. One innovative technology that captivates pro-level road racers is SmartSense, popular on Cannondale Synapse road bicycles.
SmartSense promises to simplify road riding through its built-in intelligent lighting, rear-facing radar, and Garmin Varia. These technologies make you more visible and more self-aware. They enable you to react quickly to what’s happening around you.
Even better, you can customize SmartSense using the Cannondale app.
5. Performance Build
Cannondale bicycles are performance-tailored, and you can tell that from their build quality. These bikes go through rigorous testing at the company’s head office laboratories in Wilton, Connecticut, to match the needs of modern cyclists.
Everything from the frame material and design to the suspension and drivetrain is designed for optimum performance. Their road, cross country (XC), gravel, and cyclocross bikes are all made for performing at a high level.
6. Good Control
Cannondale makes all its bicycles with precision in mind. The manufacturer carefully selects and fits every part to ensure that the rider can have better control.
The bikes come in lightweight designs and a more aerodynamic build to allow you to ride faster with minimal effort.
Their drivetrains also allow smooth shifting to enable you to take on different terrains.
7. Better Geometry
Cannondale carefully calibrates the frames to ensure that the bikes have the most comfortable geometries. Every bike has a different feel to serve its purpose.
For example, Cannondale gravel bikes, road bikes, and XC bikes have a stiffer geometry for fast riding. In contrast, Cannondale hybrid bikes have a more relaxed geometry for a more comfortable casual ride.
The biggest issue with Cannondale is that the bikes are costlier than most. Most Cannondale MTBs and road bikes cost over 5,000 and others as much as $10,000-$13,000.
There are, however, a few affordable options (under $1,500). However, the choices are few and not for the most experienced riders.
The other thing is that while Cannondale brags about making all bike types, which is undeniable, there aren’t as many models for each bike category as it’s the case of a brand like Giant.
Moreover, most Cannondale bicycles only target average-size riders. In that case, while you may not have a problem finding a Cannondale bike if you are of medium height and average weight, you may have an issue if you are 6 foot plus and over 300 pounds as the options for such size are fewer.
Are Cannondale Bikes Worth It?
There is no denying that Cannondale bicycles are pretty expensive. Furthermore, they don’t come with as many models as it’s the case of a brand like Giant.
However, it’s hard to fault the manufacturer for the bikes already in stock. Principally, that is because the bikes are high-end, built for performance, and durable. Their numerous advantages prove they are worth it.
Cannondale Bike Range
1. Are Cannondale Mountain Bikes Good?
Cannondale makes a wide range of mountain bikes, but the legendary brand dominates the cross country (XC) sector. Its XC bikes are top-end choices that elite cyclists compete with, and it’s easy to understand why when you look at their specs.
Three things define these mountain bikes; lighter but stiffer frame, powerful suspension, and aggressive geometry. You need those three qualities from your XC bike to compete top-level.
The mountain bikes also come with top-tier groupsets and fast-rolling wheelsets to move fast and efficiently. That’s what you get from Scalpel-Si Hi-Mod 1, a top-end XC bike.
2. Are Cannondale Road Bikes Good?
Cannondale road bikes are all about comfort, speed, and aggression – qualities you expect from a pro racing bike. For starters, their latest Synapse road bikes employ SmartSense-integrated frames and an aero bar for fast riding.
Their wheels roll smoothly as their wide-gear drivetrains promise quick shifting for a fast sprint. These road bikes also have powerful bump-absorbing seat posts that don’t add unnecessary weight.
Their perfectly calibrated frame also promises endurance, and they come in sleek designs. That’s precisely what Synapse Carbon 1 promises, making it the reference point for Cannondale road bicycles.
3. Are Cannondale Hybrid Bikes Good?
While Cannondale road bikes and MTBs are less affordable and mostly target pro cyclists, their hybrid siblings are the opposite. Cannondale hybrid bicycles may not be the cheapest of their kind, but they are pretty affordable since most non-motorized options cost under $1,500.
Plus, they are super easy to ride, making them ideal for beginners. Cannondale hybrid bikes have so many decent specs that you ordinarily find on high-end Cannondale cycles despite their low prices.
The best part is that you can find most replacements locally. That is the case with the Cannondale Quick 1, a fitness hybrid bike that you can also use for commuting.
4. Other Bikes by Cannondale
In addition to road bikes, hybrid bikes (which belong to Cannondale’s active bike category), and mountain bikes, Cannondale also makes the following bikes:
- Gravel bikes
- Kids bikes
- Women bikes
- Cyclocross bikes
- Electric bikes
Overall, Cannondale gravel bikes are as sleeker and faster as the road bikes, only that they are more aggressive to take on the off-road as comfortable as the on-road.
Note that you’ll find Cannondale e bikes and women’s bikes in all the three discussed options (road, MTB, and hybrid types).
People Also Ask
1. Is Cannondale a Good Bike Brand?
Cannondale is a brand with a reputation spanning over five decades. The bikes are high-end, performance-tailored, comfortable to ride, and strongly built to promise good value for money.
2. What Does a Cannondale Bike Cost?
A low-end Cannondale urban adventure or hybrid bike costs about $950-$1,450, while a high-end MTB or road bike costs as much as $8,000-$13,000.
3. Are Cannondale Bikes Better Than Specialized?
Cannondale and Specialized are two high-end bikes that promise the best performance, durability, and competitiveness. Cannondale, however, enjoys a more extensive market base among elite cyclists than Specialized, even though both bikes promise quality.
4. Are Cannondale Bikes Better Than Trek?
High-end Trek bikes are as good as high-end Cannondale bikes. The difference is that Cannondale bikes have a better visual appeal than Trek. Trek, however, offers more excellent choices at a much lower price than Cannondale.
5. Are Cannondale Electric Bikes Good?
Cannondale electric bikes come in the most lightweight and stiffer designs and feature powerful hidden motors for fast racing. They are easier to handle, comfortable to ride, and more rigid than most competitors. So, yes, Cannondale electric bikes are good.
6. Why Are Cannondale Bikes So Expensive?
Cannondale bikes are expensive because they come with high-strength frames and high-end components and employ innovative designs and modern suspensions.
Moreover, the cycles are faster than most and fun to ride, and given the manufacturer’s reputation, they are bound to be expensive.
In Conclusion: Are Cannondale Bikes Good Quality?
While Cannondale bicycles are pricey, there is no denying that they can back their hefty prices with the build quality and top-end performance. They deliver on the tracks and are a step above most competitions. So, that makes them good and worth it.