Rules are there for a reason, right? At Cannondale, the rules are there to be broken. From the Cannondale Advanced Aluminum Design (CAAD) frames that changed the industry, to the iconic Lefty single-sided fork, innovating against the grain has always paid off. Cannondale follows its instincts in the pursuit of better bikes. That means seeing new possibilities and not adhering to what came before. It means holding the company and its employees to very different standards to make sure exciting innovation never slips towards a dull daily grind. And it means always pushing to make biking a better experience for everyone.
Cannondale founder Joe Montgomery knew he could make changes in the bike industry. In the 1980s Cannondale started designing its own frames. In 1983 it released a touring bike, the first mass-produced aluminum frame, kickstarting the brand’s climb to success and notoriety. Cannondale jumped into the racing scene in the 1990s, with the dominant Volvo-Cannondale mountain bike team. Riders like Missy Giove, Alison Sydor, Myles Rockwell, and Tinker Juarez put on a show and posted results at every event, from World Championships to the Olympics.
During this time, bike technology was progressing incredibly fast, and Cannondale was constantly working with its pro riders, developing new suspension technology like the Headshock, testing early disc brakes, manufacturing new tires, and always trying new things to stay ahead of the competition.
In 1998, Cannondale began providing the bikes for the Saeco road racing team. The team was built around Mario “Cipo” Cipollini, and they pioneered the usage of the sprint train to support their star rider. Cipo was one of the greatest sprinters of all time, with 42 Giro d’Italia stage wins and 12 in the Tour de France, and he built his legend by turning every appearance into a show guaranteed to get him, his personality, and his bike more time in the spotlight.
Cannondale has always embraced its pro riders, and in a sport like biking, the freedom to be yourself is just as powerful as having the best bikes under you. Cannondale gives its riders both, and the returns are impressive race results aboard innovative bikes. In a post-stage-win proclamation to a camera, Cipo proudly stated his feelings: “Cannondale makes the best bikes!”