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Now that CANNONDALE is closed down - is it safe to buy one?(48 posts)

Now that CANNONDALE is closed down - is it safe to buy one?candybike
Jan 25, 2003 10:56 AM
I was looking at getting a Cannondale road bike - but several dealers just told me they are out of business. Even the Cannondale dealer said he stopped doing biz with them and they have nothing to sell that is new. He told me to look at article at http://www.bedfordgazette.com/news/ for what happened.

Anyway - now should I try to drive a deal on one or skip it due to losing warranty after company goes under?

The local Trek / Motobecane dealer says Cannondales use 'weird' parts that I will never be able to get now that they are closed. is that true

anyone know of great discounts on Cannondales as they are closed out?
also - local Fuji dealer emailed me this by the time I got homecandybike
Jan 25, 2003 10:59 AM
JANUARY 24, 2003 -- BEDFORD, PA (BRAIN)--Cannondale officials declined to confirm or deny on Friday reports that the company's bicycle, motorcycle and apparel factories in Bethel had been closed, the locks changed and its employees let go without pay.

Citing Securities and Exchange Commission rules, Scott Montgomery, Cannondale's vice president, declined to comment on the closure or the company's future.

He also declined to comment on an article in the Friday edition of the Bedford Gazette, a local newspaper. It reported that Cannondale was likely headed for bankruptcy, echoing speculation from within the industry since before Christmas.

Montgomery also declined to comment on reports that the company laid off Bill Luca, its vice president of finance, earlier in the week.

All this comes after Cannondale furloughed about 500 of its 650 employees at the Bedford factories in late December then failed to rehire them in mid-January as the company had promised.

At the time, Tom Armstrong, a Cannondale spokesman, said the company traditionally cut back factory operations during December and January, reflecting low consumer demand during the winter months. "It's something we've always done," he said at the time.

It looks as if there are several scenarios for the troubled bicycle and motorcycle maker, all of which would result in drastic changes in the way Cannondale operates.

Besides filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company could split up, selling off the motorsports and bicycle divisions to separate companies; divest its unprofitable motorcycle division; find a white-knight; or be taken over by creditor Pegasus Partners, which has an option to buy an aggregate of nearly 3 million shares of stock.

Several companies have been named as possible buyers of the business among them the American Bicycle Group, K2 and Trek. Officials at K2 admitted taking a look at the company, but said it was common practice to sniff around when a company is looking for a buyer.

One other possibility is that Joe Montgomery, the company's founder, will somehow find a new creditor willing to bankroll the company and its struggling motorsports division. Despite Montgomery's history of pulling the company from the brink of collapse, despite heavy odds, few think he can pull off another miracle.

Cannondale ended its fiscal year last June posting a $15.4 million loss. In the first three months of its 2003 fiscal year (July through September), the company reported a net loss of $8.4 million--a rate almost three times faster than all of last year. And the company's list of creditors is long. Many industry suppliers report that they stopped offering the company credit months ago, shipping everything C.O.D. only.
...they'll....divve
Jan 25, 2003 11:08 AM
....be fine...having said that I think it would be wise however to hold off on any motorbike or quad purchase. They're going through a rough time currently and it's inevitable that something drastic is going to happen to the moto devision. I'm confident the bicycles will be fine however. No investor in their right mind would squander that.
...they wont be fine - they will be sold probably tophil the wheel
Jan 25, 2003 11:17 AM
the asset sell off in the Chap 11 or 7 will go to of course who ever will pay the most -- TREK, K2, or even Pacific cycle - who will take them to WalMart same as they did Schwinn and GT (both even bigger Cycle companies that went under)
Not quite...Matno
Jan 25, 2003 1:10 PM
They didn't take GT down to Walmart level. GT still makes and sells high quality bikes, with almost all of the original employees & R&D dept.
Not quite...YES - about the same - WalMart vs Toys R Usphil the wheel
Jan 25, 2003 1:57 PM
maybe GT is not in WalMart - I never go there
BUT they are clearly in Toys R Us - I have seen them there - both Adult and kid models

No dealer in my area carries GT and the industry news has been full of stories of GT people going to Nirve, Felt, Specialized and so on

BUT that is not the point - point is; if GT and Schwinn can be purchased by Pacific -- so can Cannondale and then they will be sold to anyone who pays and the production will go to China - just like Schwinn and GT
"Phil" probably works for Specialized, or was fired by C'dale...Niwot
Jan 25, 2003 8:37 PM
... he has way too many angry anti-Cannondale messages in this thread. Nobody would do that unless they have an ax to grind.
NO - but I was burned on a GT 'I-drive' andphil the wheel
Jan 26, 2003 6:07 AM
besides riding the bike message boards; I read the stock and investment boards - does not make me an expert - but I can see what is happening - Cannondale is gone and shows ANOTHER reason to not buy bikes that go agianst the industry standard - ANY company (even an old one like Fuji) could be gone next year. Then where is the consumer who has the non-standard bike? Or worse - a brand with high defects - like guess who
patriotismShihtzu on EPO
Jan 26, 2003 9:45 AM
Wave your flag sure enough
You guys are the powerhouse nation of the world

Chip-n-dale might be a good bike to buy to support your already too good econonmy. But outside of the USA ain't nobody want one! They are way overpriced on foreign markets.
I can get a pinarello or colnago for cheaper.

Besides, they only employed 650 people. You want to be a patriot, go rent a movie but don't buy a overpriced-n-dale.
....it's funny...divve
Jan 26, 2003 12:14 PM
....how often bashing is backed up by ignorance. For your information Europe is Canondale's largest market. They're the big money maker for them and they have a wholly owned production/assembly plant in Oldenzaal - Netherlands. They don't quite produce the frames there but just about everything that hangs on them is put together there specifically for the European market. They can even do the painting there.

Regarding claims of propriety parts, their regular road bikes with exception of the CAAD6 and a version of the CAAD7, are outfitted with standard parts, including the bottom bracket. Most of their mountain bikes use the Headshok, but can be retrofitted with standard 1/8" suspension forks if desired...personally I can't see why you'd want to do that however. Their carbon Lefty or latest Fatty Ultra are the ultimate XC forks. There's nothing out there that can touch them on weight and performance. They're as light as a SID and stiffer than Fox Forks.
They have my vote! (nm)jtferraro
Jan 26, 2003 4:52 PM
how were you "burned on a GT 'I-drive' "?ctisevn
Jan 26, 2003 10:32 AM
ride through a campfire? what happened? as far as I know there warranties are still good. the parts are still available.
how were you "burned on a GT 'I-drive' "? out of service 6 monsphil the wheel
Jan 26, 2003 4:01 PM
now yes - but my frame broke right before the Chap 11 and I had a $2000 bike down for over 6 months while I wasted tons of time trying to get service from the 'new owners'

then when I did get a new frame
it was not nearly as good - they did not have my model
your frame broke?ctisevn
Jan 26, 2003 4:17 PM
thats a pretty beefy frame and the suspension is perhaps the most laterally stiff design out there. put one next to an fsr-xc or any horst link bike and see which is stiffer. no contest. I rode one for a season the first year they were out and was pretty impressed. either way, you got your issue resolved in the end. you may have had to wait but they did have some problems they were working through you know. be thankful you ultimately got taken care of. It appears you are of the type to look for things to be bothered by. thats fine, just dont scare people with your glass is half empty perspective
Yeah, I agree. "Phil" is clearly, VERY anti-Cannondale! (nm)jtferraro
Jan 26, 2003 8:45 AM
VERY anti-Cannondale! ??? says who? in what way?phil the wheel
Jan 26, 2003 4:16 PM
I admit I have always felt that Cannondales were over priced (as are Colnogos and DeRosa etc) BUT I am much more pro-consumer than I am anti-Cannondale

now the big question - IS IT OK TO STATE YOUR OPINION ON A BRAND? next time someone says they like their Jamis, Motobecane, Felt, or Mercier - AND THEN another poster states they do not like that brand - SHOULD WE BRAND THE NEGATIVE POSTER A HATER?

how about this - any one who does not think a Fuji Team is a great bike is ANTI_FUJI ! worse they are anti-Asia
IN FACT THEY ARE ASIA HATERS!!!

see where this leads?

hey -- I dont drink wine or eat cheese -- and Merciers suck! those damn frogs - they are ruining the world

a good deal in a bike speaks for itself; a company that stops paying its suppliers and employees speaks for itself; marketing products by creating useless non-standard variations from industry standards speaks for itself -- and I should have the right to comment on it -- and if you want to say I am anti this or that - try to at least get it right
{but of course you are not required to}
SMART DEALERS STOPPED PAYING - WARRANTY IS DEADphil the wheel
Jan 25, 2003 11:13 AM
THE SMARTER BIKE SHOPS ALREADY STOPPED PAYING CANNONDALE. AND JUST LIKE WITH SCHWINN AND GT - THEY WILL GET STUCK WITH BAD WARRANTY PROBLEMS.

Warranty is an obligation against assets - but with no assets and filing either Chap 11 or 7 - Cannondale will not have to honor those. Plus some components are non-standard. So lots of customers will get stuck and then expect dealers to make them whole.

And since more and more dealers will not pay - then Cannondale will get in worse and worse shape - WHAT A MESS

I beat you see lots of Cannondales on EBAY in the next few months
Good-I'm looking for a nice CAAD5 frame! (nm)Alexx
Jan 25, 2003 11:39 AM
maybe collectors item - Seen a Schwinn or GT road lately?phil the wheel
Jan 25, 2003 2:04 PM
did you notice that Schwinn and GT brands now contain zero road bikes?? guess why?

in 10 to 15 years Cannondale road bikes may bring a nice price on ebay - as collectors items to be hung on the wall -

this is only natural progession in business - weaker brands go away - new ones come on or older ones come back -- road growth is in brands like Felt, Motobecane, Mercier, Jamis, Giant, and so on -- Cannondale just did not keep up - too much money for too little product
Non-standard parts?JimP
Jan 25, 2003 1:37 PM
What parts are "non-standard"?
Jim
headsets and bottom bracketsphil the wheel
Jan 25, 2003 2:05 PM
no and yesweiwentg
Jan 25, 2003 5:17 PM
the Campy hiddenset, while it's definitely not a standard headset, is not made by Cannondale. it's made by Campy. Campy has definitely screwed up over the years. their MTB groupset was a failure, and the Permalink was an exercise in idiocy - should have been named the Empheralink (from empheral, meaning transient or fleeting). but Campy didn't screw it here; from what I've heard the hiddenset is reliable. I wouldn't quite call it non-standard. Empella CX frames can use hiddensets, and I know there are other bikes.
as for the cranks/BB, the bearings are probably standard.
can you say "ephemeral"? (nm)Kerry Irons
Jan 25, 2003 6:11 PM
oops ... nmweiwentg
Jan 25, 2003 8:00 PM
Speak inglush!Sintesi
Jan 25, 2003 8:17 PM
Strange word make Sintesi brain hurt.
dudectisevn
Jan 25, 2003 8:32 PM
mine too. dictinary.com
fine, rag on me :)weiwentg
Jan 26, 2003 5:58 AM
I may have misspelled one word, but I think the point remains. if you want a synopsis, the headset is not quite non-standard, and while the cranks are, you can quite easily get the bearings. that should be all the maintenance you need.
fine, rag on me :) YOU ARE CORRECT - spelling is not the issuephil the wheel
Jan 26, 2003 6:09 AM
consumer protection is
Is it safe to buy a Cannondale?Spoke Wrench
Jan 25, 2003 11:41 AM
If you are looking for risk-free, the answer is clearly not.

I don't think that enough facts are available yet to make a very good decision regarding Cannondale. A chapter 7 bankruptcy is different from a chapter 11. It looks to me like the real question is: What will become of Cannondale Bicycle's assets and what does whoever ends up with those assets plan to do with them?

I can think of three quite different scenerios which could impact current Cannondale owners in very different ways. I'd imagine it will take at least a year for this situation to play out.
talked to my LBS; they're not going out of businessweiwentg
Jan 25, 2003 12:07 PM
Great Lakes Cycling in Ann Arbor, which is by no means a small dealer, tells me they're not closing down. they closed down two factories (read the articles), but that's it.
remember, things like this happened to Schwinn several times over their history. they may finally have been bought by Pacific, but they survived for a while. I think Cannondale can at least match that.
Your LBS is wrong or worsephil the wheel
Jan 25, 2003 1:53 PM
Cannondale is going out of business - that is the fact - they even stopped paying employees - they we be de-listed soon - then file either Chap 11 or 7 - all stockholders will lose everything

so why is your LBS telling you different? does he carry C/Dale? does he have stock left? I wonder why he might tell his customers the opposite of what is in the newspapers and on the web (including finanical sites)
You may be the one who' s wrong or worsectisevn
Jan 25, 2003 2:32 PM
Id think 2 or 3 times before I made such opinions public and declared them to be factual. "Cannondale is going out of business-that is fact" Do you know something that hasnt been made public? Your warnings are reckless and your previous statements about GT are a bit misinformed as well. don't be a hater.
You may be the one who' s wrong or worse - wait!phil the wheel
Jan 26, 2003 6:16 AM
wait and see -- Cannondale will be in Chap 11 before the season starts. Suppliers have stopped shipping them components to build bikes with - dealers have stopped paying them for receivables that come due (just like they did with Schwinn & GT)- since the dealers will eat the warranty issues {which are many}

and since the employees are no longer being paid - what would be the next step? and maybe they will come back, or be purchased, but if they go thru a Chap 11 - ALL liabilities are washed out - including defects

And way less than half the GT employees from the southern Cal headqtr'ers are at Pacific -- all upper level people gone -
Phil is Cannondale hater! (nm)jtferraro
Jan 26, 2003 8:51 AM
What does that mean?phil the wheel
Jan 26, 2003 4:08 PM
I admit I have always felt that Cannondales were over priced (as are Colnogos and DeRosa etc) BUT I am much more pro-consumer than I am anti-Cannondale

now the big question - IS IT OK TO STATE YOUR OPINION ON A BRAND? next time someone says they like their Jamis, Motobecane, Felt, or Mercier - AND THEN another poster states they do not like that brand - SHOULD WE BRAND THE NEGATIVE POSTER A HATER?

how about this - any one who does not think a Fuji Team is a great bike is ANTI_FUJI ! worse they are anti-Asia
IN FACT THEY ARE ASIA HATERS!!!

see where this leads?
that means this:weiwentg
Jan 26, 2003 5:15 PM
everyone thinks that at the very best you're being extremely alarmist on the Cannondale issue. at worst, you hate Cannondale. I would suggest that until the facts - not rumors you haven't backed up with hard evidence - become available, you cool it.
yes, they could beweiwentg
Jan 25, 2003 5:01 PM
they could be wrong, they could be liars. they definitely carry Cannondales, and they definitely have stock left (I implied the former in the statement). the person I spoke to is a mechanic who is a personal friend. perhaps he was lied to by the Cannondale rep.
but your statements seem pretty alarmist. remember the people who said the world would end in 2000? it didn't. now, I don't deny that the world COULD end soon, and neither do I deny that that Cannondale is in financial trouble. but you can get out of financial trouble (if the world ends, I admit we're screwed). until we get facts, I wouldn't assume that Cannondale is dead.
Your LBS is wrong or worsecastrello
Jan 26, 2003 9:33 AM
"Cannondale is going out of business - that is the fact - they even stopped paying employees - they we be de-listed soon - then file either Chap 11 or 7 - all stockholders will lose everything"

Is that a "fact"? A company filing for chap 11 is not the same as going out of business. Hell, "to stop paying" employees" is not the same thing as going out of business!

Anyone will agree that Cannondale are not at their financially best right now, but "going out of business", jeeeezzzz...
I think it's safe to short their stock.Ken of Fresno
Jan 25, 2003 3:02 PM
-10,000 BIKE please.
Cannondale sucked ass anywaysShihtzu on EPO
Jan 25, 2003 3:58 PM
Hope i never see another overpriced... i mean oversized tubed crack-n-fail again. That company was all shame... i mean all name no bike.

Biggest rip off bike of ever award goes to: cant-affordme-n-dale.

hey look at me, i paid $10,000 for shimano 105 components.
Get outa here n dale good riddance.
Stop trolling...Uncle Tim
Jan 25, 2003 5:54 PM
..and keep on riding your Made in China/ Made in Taiwan bike with an Italian-sounding name.

As of today, there are three major American bicycle companies (American Bicycle Group, Trek, and C-dale). Thanks to a "my behavior has no consequences" mentality, it looks like we may be widdling this down to two. Cannondale was very competitive in the bicycle market; I know a couple of guys that got nice full Ultegra bikes last year for around $1100-1200.

This is a microcosm of what's happening to the US. Tonight I toast to the American companies that continue to put up the good fight.
Stop trolling... Most Treks made in China or Taiwan anywayphil the wheel
Jan 26, 2003 6:01 AM
quality and value is the American way - it is what we beleive in. And if the best bikes are made in Taiwan - we buy them. If the best TVs are from Japan - we buy them
Then we sell those guys software, or Airplanes, or entertainment - or what ever we are doing the best at this decade.
That is way Trek brings MOST bikes they sell from China or Taiwan (or imports frames and forks and parts to assemble here on higher dollar bikes)which is OK - but still not as good a deal as customers can get on direct imports like Felt, Motobecane, Fuji, Giant, Mercier, Jamis, etc
The American way is...Uncle Tim
Jan 26, 2003 7:37 PM
...outsourcing labor to Asia because it is cheap, and making bicycles is a labor intensive activity. Also, they don't have the level of annoying workers' rights issues and environmental regulations.

"Quality and "value" are small variables in the equation.

Yes, Trek imports a number of lower level bikes, and it is the wrong path to take. But when superficial cyclists rave on about MBK, Airborne, and Giant being great "bangs for the buck" to justify their intense desire to ride a bike made cheap by exploiting a cheap labor pool and a lack of real environmental regulation, American corporations will very easily go down that path.

My original point, if you recall, was that the ailing Cannondale was extremely competitive in the worldwide market, offering great bikes while adhering to American labor law and American environmental regulation. The Made in Taiwan/ Made in China bikes do not.

Cannondale is going down because head in the sand avoidance of the pertient issues. People want to prance around like peacocks because they got a "great deal" on their MBK, Masi, or Giant. That great deal has higher costs to both American workers but to the environment.

If the future of cycling belongs to made in Taiwan bikes with Italian and French sounding names, we are all screwed.
Well said! (nm)jtferraro
Jan 26, 2003 9:12 AM
Only if you buy a HeadShokpeter1
Jan 25, 2003 3:46 PM
Half of my mtb race team rides Crack n Fails (Yes, they crack around the chainstays, but we get a discount...). It may be difficult after 2004 to find parts for the front HeadShoks (This goes for Cyclo X and Silk Road bikes, too). I can't really see Cannondale totally going out of the bike business, though. They really have pushed the technology envolope, sometimes to their detriment. And the whole motorcyle fiasco ... I could see that one coming a mile away. Why didn't they find a partner like KTM first?

As for other parts, most of the Coda stuff is just like any other house brand with the exception of BBs, I believe.
re: Now that CANNONDALE is closed down - is it safe to buy one?ukiahbill
Jan 25, 2003 6:35 PM
I wouldn't as I bought a new Cannondale years ago and had to go through 3 frames and 2 sets of wheels before I got good ones (the frames creaked loudly when standing on the pedals and the wheels wouldn't stay true)...once I had a good frame and wheels the bike was fine and I still own it...but if I hadn't had a warranty it would have been a mess. To their credit, Cannondale and the dealer did eventually fix everything and never tried to deny that the parts were defective.
What frame model/wheels? nmcastrello
Jan 26, 2003 9:39 AM
What frame model/wheels? nmukiahbill
Jan 28, 2003 9:31 PM
I think it was a 3.0 maybe...this was about 12 years back...and from what I heard the creaking problem only occured w/ 60 cm frames and was caused by a butting tube within the seat tube moving. Probably not relevant to newer frames, but I did learn how important a good warranty and bike shop are if you end up w/ a lemon...