Founded in 1971 by Joe Montgomery, Cannondale has built its reputation as one of the best bicycle manufacturers in the world. The name Cannondale was derived from the popular Cannondale train station just across the road. This company has since produced some of the best bikes in different categories including road, mountain, kids, women, urban & fitness, and even electric bikes.
Cannondale started out as a simple outdoor gear manufacturing firm, before venturing into the world of bicycle manufacturing. And yes, the first bicycle-towed trailer in the world was designed and manufactured by Cannondale as its first flagship product. This was just the first of the many cycling innovations by this company. It was until Todd Peterson, an exceptional designer, came aboard that the company started developing aluminum bicycle frames. This was when Cannondale started making its mark in the biking industry.
The company has since won several awards, including:
• Publisher’s Award for Innovation – Bicycling Magazine
• Technological Development of The Year Award – VeloNews Magazine
• Best New Products of the Year Award – Business Week
• Design Recognition Award – ID Magazine
• Computer-Aided Design Award – Design News Magazine
• Design and Engineering Award – Popular Mechanics
Below are some of the high-end products produced by Cannondale:
CAAD design and manufacturing
In 1983, Cannondale produced its first road frame and was sold for $350 including the frame and fork. This frame came in two distinct colors – red and white. But in 1992, the company introduced the CAD (Computer Aided Design) 2.8 series frame which weighed a mere 2.8lbs. This was the ultimate game changer because it gave birth to the invention of the CAAD (Cannondale Advanced Aluminum Design) designation which has been a mainstay in the bicycle manufacturing market. The current generation of its aluminum frame design is known as CAAD12.
Cannondale also invented this revolutionary bottom bracket technology that has since been adopted industry-wide. This system is not only lighter, but also significantly stiffer than the traditional designs, hence giving riders greater pedaling efficiency.
Cannodale’s system integrated cranksets are popularly known to be stiffer and lighter, making them more efficient. That aside, the HollowGram SISL2 is arguably the most advanced crankset currently. This product is super-stiff and ultra-light because it is manufactured by bonding two machined, heat-treated clamshell halves using a super-strong anaerobic agent.
In fact, some of the best Cannondale mountain bikes use this product. The HollowGram SI, on the other hand, boasts of some of the stiffest and strongest crankarms the biking industry will ever see. This product is made using the OPI 3D forging process that is known to produce light, strong, and stiff crankarms. Lastly, the Cannondale SI is FEA-optimized and is lighter than the Force Carbon cranks or Ultegra cranks. It has similar interchangeable spider interface as the HollowGram cranks.
Nothing can come close to the beauty of cranks with OPI SpiderRings. Moving on, the Cannondale SpiderRings have been 3D forged and machined using a block of aluminum. This one-piece design greatly saves weight as well as reducing chainring deflection, allowing crisper and more precise shifts.
Cannondale manufactured Thru-Axles help create a super-solid connection between the main frame and swinger. They also improve responsiveness by reducing flex and play between the frame and swingarm.
Have you ever heard of the term “Lefty” Fork? Well, that is straight from Cannondale. This fork uses 88 needle bearings to help reduce friction and enhance smooth travel. It’s wild dual-crown and single leg design also delivers stiffness that you can’t find with any dual legged forks. To make it even better, they are super-light, making your ride more efficient.
All in all, Cannondale has brought in a few concepts that have helped shape the bicycle industry standards. This coupled with the many awards the company has won in recent years makes it one of the best bicycle manufacturers ever.