Cannondale has come a long way since its birth in a crowded loft above a pickle factory in 1971, when it introduced the cycling industry's first bicycle trailer. The company grew quickly during its early years, adding cycling apparel and accessory lines along the way while also earning a strong reputation for innovation and quality. That reputation proved invaluable when Cannondale introduced its first bicycle, a touring model, in 1983, followed by a road racing model and a mountain bike model in 1984. Cannondale raised the cycling world's eyebrows by equipping their bicycles with handcrafted aluminum frames that were both lighter and more flex-resistant than the steel models that dominated the industry at the time. Cannondale's reputation encouraged both bike dealers and customers to give the bicycles a try, and widespread industry skepticism quickly gave way to a host of imitators.
Today Cannondale is the leading manufacturer of high-end bicycles, selling more than 80 models in over 70 countries worldwide. Widely regarded as the bike industry's leading innovator, Cannondale and its handcrafted bicycles have won numerous design awards including the "Publisher's Award for Innovation" from Bicycling magazine, "Technological Development of the Year Award" from VeloNews magazine, ""Best Of What's New" award from Popular Science, "Best New Products of the Year Award" from Business Week, "Design Recognition Award" from ID magazine, "Computer-Aided Design Award" from Design News magazine and a "Design and Engineering Award" from Popular Mechanics.
Many of the ideas that keep Cannondale products on the cutting edge come from the sponsored athletes on the company's professional racing teams. Possessing an outstanding heritage in competitive cycling, Cannondale today sponsors the Siemens mobile/Cannondale and Saeco/Cannondale road racing teams, and selected regional amateur teams. Cannondale mountain bikes have captured 11 World Championships, 17 World Cup Series overall titles, 16 National Championships and two Olympic medals. The company's road racing bikes have won eleven stages at the Tour de France, 27 stages at the Giro d'Italia, two Giro d'Italia overall victories, a Professional World Championship title, and two Italian National Championships.
The feedback provided by the company's racers, combined with Cannondale's flexible production processes, fuel a near constant stream of both new innovations and improvements to existing products. Those refinements aren't limited to the company's competition-oriented road racing and mountain bikes, however; the insights gained through racing, coupled with Cannondale's quest for constant improvement, have also benefited the company's wide array of lightweight recreational bikes as well as its lines of state-of-the-art cycling apparel.