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Cannondale is a bicycle manufacturer based in Connecticut, USA. From road, gravel, electric and mountain bikes to equipment, clothing and components, the company produces a host of products for almost every type of cyclist.
Founded in 1971 by Joe Montgomery, Cannondale started life by making bags and trailers for the bike touring industry out of the loft above a pickle factory.
Cannondale continued just making clothing and bags for bike touring up until 1983 when it launched its first bike, the ST500. As one of the first companies to make an aluminium frame, Cannondale faced a lawsuit from Klein Bikes for patent infringement. However, after a number of years, Cannondale successfully argued that Klein’s patent was null and void.
The company entered the mountain biking market a year later with the SM-500, a unique MTB that, alongside a Shimano Deore XT drivetrain and Surgino Aero Tour crank, featured a BMX rear brake and seat post and as well as a sprung saddle.
By the start of the 1990s, with Joe’s son Scott playing a pivotal part, the company had launched operations in Europe and Japan and was revolutionising the mountain bike market especially thanks to the introduction of dual suspension. Cannondale went public in 1995 and two years later made an equally big step in its growth - sponsoring pro road team Saeco and bolstering its reputation within Europe and road cycling.
An unsuccessful venture into the motorcycle industry in 1999 nearly killed off the company altogether four years later when Cannondale was forced into bankruptcy protection to save its bicycle sector. The company was bought out for $200 million in 2008 by Canadian firm Dorel Industries.
Despite occasional years out, Cannondale has remained present in both elite road and MTB sponsorship throughout the 21st century. The company is currently bike sponsor for WorldTour outfit EF Education-EasyPost and its sister team EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, providing them with its performance road bikes such as the SuperSix EVO and SystemSix.
The company’s name stemmed from a display cannon that sat next to a pay phone the company initially used to make orders on - the cannon was labelled 'Dale'.
Current sponsorships: EF Education-EasyPost, EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
The American brand will continue its sponsorship for an indefinite period
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In the lead-up to this year's edition of the Tour de France, we sent Simon Richardson to check out all the latest tech from the Grand Depart! He was lucky enough to get his hands on the Cannondale SuperSix EVO Lab71 of the Olympic Champion & EF Education–EasyPost rider, Richard Carapaz! What do you make of this bike? 🔥
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