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Cannondale Headquarters Tour, Part 1 – Offices, and a killer coffee machine

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cannondale headquarters tour

Just an hour or so away from the 2017 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Hartford, Connecticut, is a little town called Wilton. A few years ago, Cannondale moved their headquarters there (which is just a few minutes south of their original location), and we’ve been looking for an excuse to visit ever since. CX Nats was that excuse.

Inside, the primary office building is broken into global and regional departments. The global teams define the new product road maps, then the regional teams help define the spec and other details to ft a particular country’s market. About 100 people work here. GT and Cannondale are based here, Charge and Fabric have their U.K. HQ, Schwinn and Mongoose are in Wisconsin, and Sugoi and Sombrio are in Vancouver. That means lots of conference calls, and now that all of the brands have been in the CSG stable for at least a couple years, they’re starting to work more cohesively together to complement one another’s lines without losing their identity or overlapping too much. But enough talk, come on in…

cannondale headquarters tour

CSG (Cycling Sports Group) occupies the second floor of the front third or so of the building on the left, as well as the gray building on the right. Before being broken up into offices for multiple tenants, the one on the left was where parts of the Hubble Telescope were built.

cannondale headquarters tour

On the right is where more of the fun stuff happens, but it’s also where the top secret stuff that we weren’t allowed to take pictures of happens. More on that further down. The front corner you can see houses a retail showroom. They were going to have a concept store open to the public, but local zoning laws (or something) wouldn’t allow it because there was already a Cannondale dealer in the area. The other corner has employee bike storage, a bike wash, locker room with showers, laundry and a full gym. They even offer an employee commuter points program to reward folks for riding into work. Those points can then be traded in for gear or even a new bike.

cannondale headquarters tour

As you walk inside the main building, the reception area provides a glimpse…

cannondale headquarters tour

…of the killer bar at the back…

cannondale headquarters tour

…which is where small events can be held, or employees can just gather for a coffee. A delicious, freshly made coffee from this:

cannondale headquarters tour

It’s no surprise they’ve got a top notch machine in place. After all, Cannondale used to co-title the Saeco racing team. Off to the left of this $10,000+ WMF 1400 bean-to-cup miracle worker are several single serve K-cup coffee machines that for some reason still see use. There is no charge to use this, so I’m confused why anything exists in its presence.

cannondale headquarters tour

With a cappuccino firmly in hand, we walked around to the right of the bar to an open seating area. In warmer months, the doors are rolled up to access the patio, which looks down on the gym/store/R&D building.

cannondale headquarters tour

Turning further right, there’s more lounge…

cannondale headquarters tour

…before walking into the GT Bicycles side of things. Everything from catalog design to marketing to brand management happens here.

cannondale headquarters tour

On the opposite side of the building is the Cannondale team. This side’s a bit larger, with private offices at the very front, followed by these cubicles…

cannondale headquarters tour

…and then more cubicles. Behind that green wall is where I got dirty looks for having a camera, and from a quick glance, it’s where new bikes are being drawn up and prototype frames are being evaluated.

cannondale headquarters tour

The actual fabrication of those prototypes and test mules happens over in the gray building. Behind these doors. Which only three people have key fobs to access. But are made of glass and you can look right in. Where you’ll see a bunch of bikes of various brands awaiting destructive testing.

cannondale headquarters tour

Another glass door on the back corner shows little more. Unfortunately, all of the good stuff isn’t publicly viewable. Alas, we tried. Our hosts explained that they do build early prototypes here and have stress machines to test a frame’s strength and flex, among other things. And that things do get pushed to the breaking point. There’s also a paint booth, and this is where the North American Lefty service center is housed, as well as some shipping and receiving.

cannondale headquarters tour

Little known facts: Mongoose makes pit bikes, and Dorel makes little motorized vehicles things called Kid Trax:

cannondale headquarters tour

Scattered around the offices were random memorabilia, like this business development ad for Pennsylvania featuring their bikes. Why? Because Cannondale frames used to be made in Bedford, PA.

cannondale headquarters tour

This motley crew includes such legends as Tinker Juarez, Alison Syder and Missy Giove from the long running Volvo-Cannondale team.

Entire walls are dedicated to the brand histories of GT and Cannondale. Above, Hans Rey helps introduce GT to mountain bikers after the brand expanded from BMX. He’s been an ambassador for the brand for more than 25 years!

cannondale headquarters tour

No tour would be complete without some bikes. Notice all the bikes hanging on the walls throughout the offices? We shot most of them, and there are some crazy, crazy things. Above is Peter Sagan’s 2013 custom bike, painted with an Incredible Hulk theme.

cannondale headquarters tour

Don’t get mad, but we’ll have to post the bike pics separately because there are just. so. many.

Cannondale.com

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32 Comments
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Anon
Anon
6 years ago

Where do they make the bikes?

ELEVEN_g
6 years ago
Reply to  Anon

Really?

Keith
Keith
6 years ago
Reply to  Anon

Had to stop USA production so they could have a cool HQ….hmmm

Ben
Ben
6 years ago
Reply to  Keith

What bike company are you a fan of? They probably make their bikes in the same places. And if they didn’t, you’d cry about how expensive they were.

BuyAmerican
BuyAmerican
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

I’m a fan of Gunnar. Yeah, uh, they made my frame in Wisconsin. And I know that my rig will outlast me because it’s made so well. And for those reasons, I’m happy to pay a little bit more.

Keith
Keith
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Ben, I own a 2010 (last year they were made in the USA!) Cannondale Flash 29 converted to single speed. Yes, made in the USA. Also all of my Asian manufactured bikes have a carbon Lefty on them! So Yes, I am a Cannondale guy to the end…..I’m just disappointed they aren’t made in the USA anymore. I own almost $30k worth of MTB’s, so I doubt I’d cry! Nice try.

fred-duder
fred-duder
6 years ago

I have never really thought of where these folks worked. Nice looking office space.

JasonK
JasonK
6 years ago

Alison Syder? Or Alison Sydor?

Jxnatti
Jxnatti
6 years ago

If they were manufactured in the US they’d be unaffordable

JBikes
JBikes
6 years ago
Reply to  Jxnatti

How much less is a supersix hi-mod evo frameset than a trek emoda slr (700 series oclv)?

Not all bikes need be made in the USA, but stating it would make them all unaffordable is not true

pete
pete
6 years ago
Reply to  Jxnatti

(Deleted)

Beat_the_trail
Beat_the_trail
6 years ago

So, do they distribute directly to all the Walmarts and Targets from here, or is there a warehouse?

Ripnshread
Ripnshread
6 years ago

The last office space was better.

Jeff
Jeff
6 years ago

I think most people do not realize how few people it takes to run a bicycle business. (Not including the factory)

Not too big not too fancy. Seems like a nice place to work.

sam
sam
6 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Well this is just one office, there are definitely quite a few more people around the country.

CyclistA
CyclistA
6 years ago

Hopefully the secret plans include something actually new and interesting instead of Supersix v7. Aero anyone?

Old fut
Old fut
6 years ago

So much hate. Had the chance to buy a CAAD9 USA made, which I did. Too. As their mountain bikes haven’t ever appealed to me. Too bad. Office looks nice.

OldTimerCat1
OldTimerCat1
6 years ago

I guess having China make everything leaves you with this.

I echo the sad comment.

Looks like a museum/customer service office.

A far cry what what Trek headquarters looks like now a days, that’s for sure.

Doug
Doug
6 years ago

Just say no to K-Cups, they create un-needed waste and your coffee tastes like whatever crap flavor the person before you made.

Mike D
6 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Aeropress for life!

Nono
Nono
6 years ago

Those wmf machines are pretty boring standard office machines in Europe. Most prefer nespresso

Shawn
Shawn
6 years ago

It looks like no one is at their cubicle. might be why no one ever picks up or returns our phone calls.

Matt
Matt
6 years ago
Reply to  Shawn

You should give us a call right now! I guarantee someone will answer the phone and help you with any CSG question you have.

—Matt from CSG

Bill in Roswell, GA
Bill in Roswell, GA
6 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Way to go Matt!
Cheers,
Bill

Headshock
Headshock
6 years ago

What was Cannondale and now … a office and a prototype place , is just a brand like many others ,Dorel has destroyed all a work and a state of art , no more handmade …

mtbiker88
mtbiker88
6 years ago
Reply to  Headshock

Exactly. CannonDorel has rendered a once innovative, think-outside-the-box bike company to one solely focused on profit now. All their current offerings are heavy, warranty nightmares. I ditched ALL my Cannondales…except for one: 2002 F3000SL MTB.

JimmyZ
JimmyZ
6 years ago

Is LeBron still on board? looking forward to next post with a pic of his bike.

Biff
Biff
6 years ago

How many of you complaining about their production moving east supported them when they were one of the last large companies making their frames in the USA? This stuff doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it’s in response to factors like the loss of domestic aluminum tubing and a market that would rather buy inexpensive Chinese carbon off ebay.

Keith
Keith
6 years ago
Reply to  Biff

Well Biff…I have 8 Cannondale bikes in the family (most handed down to my family members when I got a new one) that were made in the USA. I’ve owned 14 total Cannondale’s that were made here. So I’m pretty sure I supported them back then. Thanks

Jack
Jack
6 years ago

Holy sh*t so much hate on this website.

Kuba from Poland
Kuba from Poland
6 years ago

I have a CAADX 105 and I’m nearly fully satisfied. It was made in Taiwan; the weldings look really smooth, overall quality pretty good. The only things that I’m planning to replace sooner or later but not immediately are: the saddle (it’s like shoes – you have to find something that is goog for you, not for everyone) and the other thing is the Promax Render-R brakes – good but could be better.

Jono
Jono
6 years ago

When’s part two coming out?

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