OUCH! So, one the last mass-production American-made bicycle manufacturers has succumbed to market pressures and is consolidating all manufacturing to Taiwan. Lets be clear… a skilled bike welder in Taiwan can build a bike just as well as one in Bethel, CT, but that’s not the point.  The point is that we need to ramp up production capabilities in the USA and do it as cheap as can be done overseas.  It’s sad really that we can’t keep up with the technology that’s been developed overseas.

Here’s the word from SportsOneSource:

Cycling Sports Group (formerly the Cannondale Sports Group) plans to consolidate all North American product development, marketing and business management functions for the four cycling brands Cannondale, Schwinn, GT and Mongoose to Bethel, CT, said Dorel Industries in a press release this week. Bike frame manufacturing will shift from the Bedford, PA location to the new Taichung, Taiwan CSG location. Nearly 200 of the current 300 employees will be cut from the Bedford location by 2010 as a result of this shift.

CSG plans to focus its existing Bedford operations on final bicycle and Headshok assembly, CNC machining, testing and quality control, bicycle warranty repair, inside sales/service, distribution and customer support/administration.

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Yeah, but this hurts the American economy with 200 more full-time jobs lost. Where does an American bicycle frame welder find another solid job? I’m sure Ellsworth has enough welders. I have never bought a bicycle with the brand name Mongoose, GT, Cannondale or Schwinn and never will.

  2. I’m not sure that I agree with the assessment that quality will not suffer. I know of too many issues with quality that have resulted in crashes due to dubious quality of parts that originated from Taiwan. I have two Cannondales. Not sure what my next bike will be, though.

  3. JM… you could be right, but I’ve ridden tons of Taiwan-made bikes and have found them to be solid machines. I feel it’s more of a mental thing. But, it does feel good to support American-made products. Sadly, in the bike world, only the high-dollar custom frame manufacturers are still “American Made”: Turner, Ventana, Ellsworth, Moots and other small outfits.

    You’ll have to pay extra for it and you will get a top-notch product, but I don’t see the Taiwan-made bikes as being poor quality across the board. If we’re talking Wal-mart bikes, yes, but all the major manufacturers make darn sure their product quality is there.

  4. I have long standing belief in America and its products. I have 2 of the greatest American made bicycle brands. Trek and Cannondale both were bought new @ $500-540 in the early 90’s both Aluminumn frames before they started showing off the Tigwelds. I raced them both. I will never get ridof them. Is that what we have to do to keep a hold of American made quality. There has got to be a way to prevent further selling out. I would suggest the government has alot to do with it (TAXATION). Look at the way the Henry Rifle Company is doing it. They should set a presedense for American manufacturing. No more selling out Please! There is Hope. God Bless and happy trails


  5. Scip Gallant on

    Disgusting!I’m buying a new caad 9 right away but insist on the Bedford frame.I can;t believe how bad Schwinn has become-I hope Cannondale can keep product image decent.Will definetely never support foreign made ever again.Sorry.

  6. Does anybody know for sure if Canadian born Rocky Mountain bikes is also shifting to overseas production? I have heard this from a couple of people, most recently the nearest bike shop dude today when I called looking for a RM Element 70. What gives?

    • @Shawn

      I’ll re-confirm about Rocky Mountain, but last year I got the following message from the local Utah Rocky Mountain sales rep regarding that same question:

      As far as where we are built all Slayers and ETSX’s are built up in BC. Our entry-level hardtails and some of our newer FR/DH frames w/ the hydroformed tubesets are welded overseas then finished and powdercoated in British Columbia, Canada.

  7. Cannondale is my favorite bike brand but there is no way I can support this move and loss of jobs.Half of the selling point was Handmade in USA,plus they were unique in their design.Now when I go out and buy another road bike, it will sure as hell not be a Cannondale.This is a very sad ordeal and having to fish around for a American made bike is getting to be slim pickens.

  8. Anyone remember when Cannondale was going to Bankrupt a few year ago??? The bike division was finally selled to a Big Corporate and I Thought: sooner or later they will f__k the company, they dont care about bikes, big corporate only cares about money. And now you can see that they are doing, The bikes haven’t suffered as much as I thought, but sooner or later they will f__k that too.

  9. I have owned Cannondale road bikes since I bought my first one in 1989. Not only did I love the way they rode, I also grew up a mile from their namesake, the Cannondale train station in Wilton, CT. I am sad that they are moving overseas and think this could be the beginning of the end for such a great company with such a strong following. I sure hope I am wrong. My heart goes out to all those Americans who will lose their jobs because of this move. Is Sacks still making frames?

    • It’s really a hard one to swallow, but it’s hard to fault them for doing their best to keep the company solvent. What the savings don’t reflect are the lost loyalties and disenchantment that their loyal customer base is feeling right now.

      The “Handmade in USA” moniker all over every Cannondale frameset is now just a memory. those wishing to buy USA-made framesets will have to save a bit more money and go with Ellsworth, Turner, Ventana, Moots, Seven or any of the other USA-made frameset companies. It truly is a bummer to see Cannondale go.

  10. This is happening because Americans don’t want to “work,” they want to program computers and make serious bank. My dad is a plumber and they can’t get new apprentices because the kids all say the work is too hard. Same with welders and other trades.

    Our purchases dictate where our products are made. If we (Americans in general) keep demanding a discount on everything, something has to suffer. Usually, it’s quality and workers. Most of us aren’t willing to pay for quality goods.

    Good companies are losing market share, because we believe cheaper is better. Even those of us who know better than to buy our bikes at walmart, still buy our toilet paper there. Our product choices support outsourcing, then we blame the government.

    We have two choices, stop supporting the policies of companies like wal-mart, by no longer shopping there, or suffer the consequences such as a declining job market.

    • We as consumers can’t blame the government for our choice of buying the crisp imported. Society seems to be happy buying 2 or 3 or 4 of anything over a normal product lifetime. With Electronics, newer is most times better., but everything else, you get what you pay for. All of the supposedly, name brand bikes, are made and mostly built in Asia now and having a difficult time deciding which could be the least bad. Still have my 30+ year old Trek and it has held up well. None of these new bikes would last 30 years if they were hanging in the garage!

  11. This sucks, I have been a loyal Cannondale owner and fan for fifteen years. In that time I have had zero issues with the bike and all-ways knew that when it came time I would replace it with another “made in the USA Cannondale”. Well now I think Cannondale can kiss me right where the sun doesn’t shine. It seems like America is well on its way to becoming a third world country .

  12. I’m not surprised. I was in the market for a new bike since my Gary Fischer was stolen (15+ yrs old bike and was still loving it, riding it) and went I got myself a Cannondale. I figured I could still get a good frame, made in the USA, and I’m Canadian! I consider Dorel Industries a maker of crap, strollers/car seats sold at Wall Mart and other similar stores. Everything they sell is in large part copied, made over seas with crap materials and engineering.

    This make come as a rant but evertyhing this company makes is complete crap. They buy out a known brand , like Schwinn and try and leverage that reputation while making everything in China and Taiwan, and sold here at a super ridiculous price. I can walk in a wall mart or Canadian Tire ( and it is no coincidence that Canadian all know canadian as crappy tire) and show example after example that the stuff made in China and Taiwan is crap. Perhaps on a few really high end model of Taiwan gear you might find something of value but overall they take innovation and make it as cheap as possible, basically a complete gimmick.

    – take a look at front shock, pedals, water bottles, seat suspension, rear suspension, just about everything on a Taiwan or Chinese make bike has been copied to make it appear “good” but all of it complete useless and at a price point that makes Dorel a very profitable company.

    Along with my bike, my wife’s also went missing and she wanted a new bike for road and some mountain. I tried to convince her that the $700 price point is just making companies like Dorel lots of money but you would get a product that is complete crap. Well sure enough, she bought the bike. She found the tires a little too narrow for road and some ravine terrain and decided to change them. She did but it turns out the framce cannot accept a larger tire without the clip pedals touching the tire when your foot is in. The Schwinn water bottle plastic is so hard and cheap she cannot squeeze it to drink and has to stop to drink.

    I hope this doesn’t come off as an anti china rant, but I can very few instances of anything of value coming out china (iPod, electronic equipment like Hard Drives are the exception). Most of the “house hold” category that comes out of there is substandard – I wish people would stop and think – reduce, reuse, recycle – folks should spend a little more time considering what they buy, the quality and how long it will last – take a load off the environment.

  13. I own a 1995 Cannondale mountain bike. Recently, I decided that it was about time to purchase a new Cannondale. When I heard this news about Cannondale moving there business across seas, I ended that thought of buying another Cannondale. That Made in the USA sticker was a proud badge.

    • It seems as if this change might alienate some Cannondale loyalists. I had a long chat with the local Cannondale rep and he didn’t seem too worried–thought this would pass. Only time will tell, but having the “Handmade in USA” on the frames was nice. Only a memory now.

  14. not sure where to start; anger, frustration, disgust, but overall sadness for those in PA that will ultimately suffer.

    Akron Ohio native, grew up driving american cars, and now with 20+yrs of military service. to me, the older i’ve gotten, the more made in the usa means! to be honest, i never really cared for cdale until 2007. yeah, i built-up a mid-nineties M500 frame years ago for my wife to ride, but other than that i stayed away from them cuz i always thought their stuff was a few dollars more for no reason. due to ignorance, i didn’t know at the time that it was because they were all being handmade in PA.

    then, in 2007, i came across a smokin deal on a full carbon synapse. again, ignorance played a factor and i bought it not knowing it had been made in asia. shortly after purchasing i started researching cdale and becoming more and more found of them. you know, ‘fighting the good fight!’ few months later i purchased an 07 systemsix, few more months an 07 prophet, and after a few more months i sold the made in asia synapse to pay for an 08 caad9. all the while growing more proud of my growing cdale fleet accumulating in the garage. in fact, over this past winter i grew so proud of the MADE IN USA direction i was taking that i also went anti-Shimano and converted all my bikes to Sram.

    then, like a stab in the back, a day after the official announcement, i learned of the parent companies plans and was in complete disbelief/denial until a couple weeks ago. i no longer feel the devotion or loyalty that i did just two months ago. this, along with news of US auto makers hasn’t helped either. and so, possibly in an effort of defiance, i sold the systemsix about a week ago, caad9 sold yesterday, and the prophet is now up for sale locally. i’ve since purchased a ‘handmade in italy’ road bike and this will serve as my only road bike for a while. yes, to keep up, many italian labelled frames are also made in asia, but there’s a whole lot more still produced here in the same factories as the big names, but sold with the local mom/pop labels at a fraction of the price.

    i’ll keep the GT as my commuter for now, but will be looking for a made in usa replacement in the near future. GT was a name i was proud to ride in the late 90’s, but they, like schwinn and mongoose, have also fallen victim to overly greedy companies such as Dorel and are really nothing more than a bike based on its past.

    not sure how to put closure to any of my ramblings, but i know i’m not the only one that felt the sense of pride knowing that mine was one of the last remaining ‘made in usa’ products cruising the streets/trails. unfortunately, this will fall on deaf ears of the gigantic parent company that neither cares nor supports the concerns/rationale of its customers.

    at this point all i can do is hope that our consumer’s/economy will at some point wake up and stop relying on the cheapest, made overseas products, and stop promoting companies that are only in it for their best interest; profit (greed).

  15. John Dingler on

    Hi Jason,
    How many times has President Bush called for the US to be more competitive? Many. And now we know what he meant. He meant and put into effect a lower wage scale for US workers. Evidence is his increase of low wage jobs compared to higher waged jobs. But he failed to depress wages enough to prevent domestic companies from wanting to hire workers who would be paid even lower wages, so Cannondale is moving to Taiwan where wages are way low. This is the meaning of competitiveness and globalizaton which ignores the economic health of US workers but favors the health of US corporations which is wrong, short-sighted, and anti-American.

  16. KOACH-
    “so, possibly in an effort of defiance, i sold the systemsix about a week ago, caad9 sold yesterday, and the prophet is now up for sale locally. i’ve since purchased a ‘handmade in italy’ road bike and this will serve as my only road bike for a while.”

    You sell your American-made bikes, because the company will no longer produce in America, and buy an Italian-made bike? That doesn’t make any sense..

  17. Let’s be clear. Their (Taiwan) production technology isn’t any better than ours. They simply have skilled laborers who are happy to get paid $1 an hour vs. our $35/hr skilled laborers. What skilled welder do you know who’d be willing to earn $1/hour? From Dorel’s perspective, reduce your overhead, and you can get more profit. And, hire 34 more welders for the same price you can produce 1 quality bicycle in the US, and you can build mediocre quality bicycles for more profit. That’s all this is about: $$$$$$$$

  18. Currenty looking for a 56,or 57 cm frame made in USA traditional geometry. Any welders out there who know the methods and would like to make some money email me. Would prefer a titanium frame. I know im really reaching here but im looking for a cost effectve way to aquire a new frame. Im not rich but will work with someone in this area. Thanks

  19. FUAD,

    sorry, in an effort to end my rambling’s i left out two key parts: i’ve been stationed in italy for over 3yrs. more importantly, it isn’t made in asia.

    btw- i still have the prophet, but again, don’t feel the loyalty i did… maybe when i head up to germany i’ll pick up a locally made mtb???

  20. Not only are jobs lost but it’s the “love” that bothers me. I don’t own a ‘Dale, I have a Trek and a GT, both made in the US before Trek moved its operations to China and the GT is from before GT was bought by Pacific Cycles. Sadly, I travel to China for business and the Chinese use bikes for basic tranportation… there’s no “love” for the bicycle. The welders here, if not cyclists themselves, can probably still appreciate the affection cyclists have for the bike itself. My US made Trek mountain bike frame cracked after years of hard service. They replaced it with not so much as a blink of an eye, but the new frame was made in Taiwan. I almost wept. So sad.

  21. Well, don’t see no reason to buy Cannondale instead of specialized, trek or giant… All are the same now.
    Maybe I’ll buy a Marin or a Kona.
    Cannodale will produce more of the same, will sell to a larger public a wider range of crap and the brand will go down. Not disappear, just go down.

  22. Actually this is not true, I just emailed Cannondale today regarding the Synapse 5 Aluminum model and asked where the frame was made.

    Cannondale’s response:

    Hi Chris-

    Thanks for the mail and for your interest in Cannondale products. The Synapse frame is hand made here in Bedford, PA. Components are sourced from a number of different manufacturers here in the states as well as abroad. All Synapse aluminum frames are made here in Bedford, PA. We hope this information is helpful.

    Dealer Service/Inside Sales
    Cannondale Bicycle Corporation
    Direct: 814-623-9073

    Visit us online.

  23. @James

    Taiwan is not China. Please do not confuse the 2. Your point about the wielder’s ‘love’ for bicycles is an odd one but I’ll entertain you. Cyclists in Taiwan range from recreational or functional to the same extent as in the U.S., and there has been a recent boom in bicycling in the former.

    For example, in Taiwan it is rather popular for cyclists to circumnavigate the island.

  24. Sad to hear Cannondale is/has gone to the crapper. Are any Cannondale frames going to be made in the USA or are all being outsourced overseas? Fortunately, for now, you can still get a high-end Trek or other brand as mentioned in other posts. If you want a good road bike, you can always get an Italian Frame (DeRosa, Pinarello Ect), or a Belgium made Eddy Merckx. They are very expensive though… J

  25. Just another example of the CEO tucking away the difference by outsourcing jobs overseas. My 15 year old Cannondale is a miracle, made in USA, and I won’t be back for a Taiwan bike.

  26. What an absolute shame. A boycott should be started. Write in to the company. This is a CEO rake and take of American workers building a great reputation, and they outsource to pocket the difference. I’ll be buying something else if they don’t fix this mountainous mistake.

    My 15 year old Cannondale still has paint the same as the day it came off the assembly line – gorgeous, and all the parts still work together harmoniously. Great bike – soon to be on the cheap.

  27. Actually I know one of the managers at the Taiwan firm that produces Cannondale bikes. I think you will find they have all the Quality check equipment that checks all aspects of the frame. They are the only manufacturers to have it, many of the machines they have developed in consultation with Cannondale. I think most of Cannondale products have been produced here for some time but assembled or badged in the States. You will find that most high spec mountainbikes are produced in Taiwan and have been for some time including Scott, Specialized, GT. The only difference is now usually the cheaper models are produced elsewhere ie: Mainland China, Vietnam.
    Taiwan is a bike production mecca.


  28. By the way they are just reducing corporate tax down from a flat rate 25% to 17% here in Taiwan. It’s a pity that Taiwan supplies all these cool things with such small margins polluting out local environment. Taiwan is obviously doing what it can to stay afloat as well. Taiwan is already marginalized because of it’s political situation and Taiwan workers (Average wage about $1000US per month 6 day weeks paid for 8 work 10+ hours a day) have not received any noticeable pay increases in the 9 years I have been living here.
    By the way Giant is a Taiwan owned and bred company.


  29. I called Cannondale today and verified that by 2011 ALL their frames will be made overseas. Some of the bikes will be assembled here.

    • Thanks for the update. I couldn’t get anything more than the run-around via my PR channels. Seems they don’t have their ducks in a row or are in denial. The bottom line is it stinks that they have lost one of their primary selling points and there are some great Americans who have lost their jobs due to outsourcing. It’s the unfortunate state of business these days.

  30. I just took delivery of a new CAAD9 5 this week and it still has the Handmade in USA graphics on the frame.

    Glad I bought mine when I did because I wasn’t aware of the coming changes.

    I’m in the shoe biz and remember not that long ago when Taichung, Taiwan was a footwear mecca with factories, tanneries and materials manufacturers. That all moved to China and I guess Taiwan has moved to more value added manufacturing.

    Shame these jobs are being lost from the US though.

  31. After Reading all these comments, I feel proud to own Two American Made Mountain Bike Frames, Intense and Ellsworth. Although I owned a Trek, that too was American made since It was the Carbon Fiber Model. Just google “where your bike was made” and it will point you to Taiwan.

  32. guys , these are winds of change , macroeconomic shifts are like weather i don’t think any one out there can fundamentally change it , on a balance sheet if there is a line item that goes down by a factor no one can say no to it , it does create lot of painful stories , i hope are temporary since ultimately we sell more , world becomes more productive , pricepoints drop , markets become mass markets , cannondale gets richer etc etc , USA just need to focus on education so that it still remains the epicenter of innovation and stays at the top of pyramid , I am not from US but I have deep respect for its culture and whoelsomeness of its products , I own a cannondale with the nice American flag with Handmade in USA , one of the reasons I bought it and there are many more like me who buy it coz of that , so USA and cannondale needs to bother more on how to reduce the top end hardtail weight from 16lbs to 14 lbs and that will be a material research game that still only few countries like US , EU Japan can bring about , where it is made is just a very small part of the game , usually the most trivial also , As i know http://www.fanucrobotics.com/Products/Robots/welding-robots.aspx are going to be making the process almost completely human free , so loose it to Taiwan or loose it to Robots … All Cannodale needs to rewrite there is Designed in USA and pls keep the American flag there , looks really cool …

  33. michigansteve on

    The Gary Fishers are Taiwan made as well pretty much. I had bought one in 2008 I though it was American made but couldn’t find the sticker I should of known if you can’t find where it’s made then they are embarrassed to show you and try to hide it. Anyway the frame cracked at the seat post and it seems to be an occurrence so my first Taiwan frame has proven to be the typical Asian junk that comes over here. I have an old Klein and Trek hand built frames I guess I will keep but they are the 26 inch mountain bikes and I like the new 29 inch wheels. I am tall and the taller wheels are better for my size I still love riding the Trek and it is going to get rebuilt with fresh pant and drive train. I decided to buy a Focus bike on clearance for street riding it has a German made frame and I got it on sale for $899. Tell me how can the Germans with high wages and taxes compete? The frame is great looking you see the welds but I trust German metals to hold up compare to cheaper grade Asian products. The components are lower grade than what the Chinese made Fuji’s had on their bikes but I remember always hearing you buy the frame, components can be changed. Now this bike has touring capability and I am slowly thinking of getting into it so the price and where the frame was made was well worth the cost. If I ever decide to get into serious touring I’ll save up for one of those hand made American beauties like a Waterford. I will never buy another Taiwan frame or Chinese again, I’ll make sure I find where it is made before I buy. It’s the American companies and the greedy managers wanting millions in bonuses that bring cheap junk over here, like I said how can a German company offer good deals on bikes when their costs are even higher than in America.

  34. What a shame another good company moves to asia. We lost Rocky Mountain a couple years ago now. Two very inventive companies that I admired. One fellows coment was so true. Dorel builds s^&*, yes nothing but s&^*. S^*& that stores like Chinese Tire carry. So people just boycott the new asian products and buy good used and if you can afford it buy from a small North American frame builder. F&*^ Asia we get enough of their cheap garbage. SAVE. Our Landfills?

  35. i wish i had a dollar for every dork who came into my bike shop and didn’t want to pay the extra few hundred dollars to get a USA made Cannondale. This is our own fault as consumers.

Leave A Reply