Cannondale Vs Specialized: Which Is The Better Bike Brand In 2021?

In a market with too many competitive brands, two go-to manufacturers for mountain bikers are Cannondale and Specialized. As both brands have a good reputation and offer a range of praiseworthy options in the market, it can undoubtedly get hard for someone to choose one.

In fact, we got into a dilemma when we were trying to get ourselves a new bike. Well, that is where we decided to dig deep into the Cannondale vs Specializeddebate.To conclude, we had to put some of the best-selling offerings head to head.

From that comparison, we learned many things regarding how one brand is better than the other. And we can assure you that our findings will surely shock you. So, stick to the very end!

Cannondale Vs Specialized
Cannondale Vs Specialized

History of Cannondale Bike

You might already know by now that Cannondale Bikes is a company that operates and was founded in America. They are widely known for offering some of the best quality bikes in the market. But they are not in the market for just selling bikes; they also provide highly innovative biking apparel and accessories.

If we consider the competitiveness of the brand, Cannondale Bikes is among the very top. This leading brand was founded in the year 1971 by Joe Montgomery. In the initial phase, they produced backpacks, trailers, and apparel. But later down the road, in 1983, the brand started offering bikes.

The first model that they offered was the ST500, which had an aluminum frame. And aluminum frame at that period was a big deal. In the year 1984, the brand launched mountain bikes. And it’s not only the company’s first time, but it’s also the debut for the entire biking industry. Ever since then, Cannondale has been one of the go-to options for many bikers.

These mountain bikes are surely a work of advanced technology. The brand had to integrate Europensprung saddle and BMX styling to offer these in the market. And after 2009, they moved their production house to Asia. And most of their bikes are now made of aluminum carbon, aluminum, or carbon fiber.

What Are the Main Differences Between Specialized Bikes and Cannondale?

With the introduction aside, let us get into the thing that you are mainly here for. And in this segment, we will give a brief overview.

The Specialized Bikes

Let us first start with the Specialized bikes. And here is a brief description of each of the factors of their bikes:

  1. Specialized Frames

The brand manufactures all the frames in California. And as the research on that facility is pretty intense, they can offer better frames than some of the average companies out there. Also, they have a wide variety of frames. Starting from aluminum, aluminum carbon, and carbon frames, you will find them all.

  1. Specialized Design

When it comes to design, the brand does not skimp one bit. Their bikes are pretty aesthetically pleasing. They integrate modern with sleek designs and offer bikes that will surely catch loads of attention. And let us not forget about their attention to detail. Each of the curves of the bike is finely done!

  1. Specialized Components

Like most bike manufacturers, Specialized will depend on different companies for the components. Most of their bike will come with SRAM components. And these components are well-known for offering a good value proposition and performance.

  1. Specialized Reputation

You might have already heard about the company from your biker friends. We are sure that you have seen your friends using a bike from Specialized. However, they are not on good terms with the other companies. Many sued them for trademark infringement. That is why they are not that common among enthusiasts.

  1. Specialized Bike Chain

The brand, Specialized, takes the bike chain pretty seriously. They treat their chains with a special anti-corrosion coating. That provides extra protection and makes the chains achieve a longer lifespan.

  1. Specialized Performance

Most offerings of specialized provide outstanding performance. However, to get this type of performance, you need to look for the models in the $1500+ segment. The ones under that are not known for offering that good of a performance. And there are not that many models in that price segment either.

  1. Specialized Bike Sizes

Just like the other well-known manufacturers, Specialized will offer their bikes in all sizes. That means you can get them in extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large. They even provide bikes that are specially for women.


  • Most of the offerings are of high-quality materials
  • The durability of the components are usually in the higher levels
  • Offers the bikes in different sizes
  • Provides special designs for women
  • Looks aesthetically pleasing


  • The great performing bikes are in the $1500+ range
  • Offerings that are under $1500 are not worth it at all

The Cannondale Bikes

Now that we are done describing the bikes from Specialized let us move onto the second star of the show, which is the bikes from Cannondale.

  1. Cannondale Frames

The brand Cannondale was known to offer the lightest aluminum frame in the market. However, those days have passed. There are a lot of other brands that can offer lightweight frames.

But the specialty of the frames that are from Cannondale is still prevalent. They will utilize a geometry that does have a massive impact on the performance.

  1. Cannondale Design

We think Cannondale needs to put in a bit more work on the designs of the bike. Do not get us wrong; they can make good-looking bikes, but most of their offerings are not for everyone. In our opinion, these designs are more catered towards enthusiasts.

  1. Cannondale Components

Just like Specialized, Cannondale relies on other suppliers for the components. Usually, their bikes will come with Shimano components. And these parts are well known for being efficient and precise.

  1. Cannondale Reputation

Unlike Specialized, Cannondale did not face any suing or any controversies. That is why they are well-known among enthusiasts. Also, as they do not have any history regarding negative press or lawsuits, most buyers will feel more confident when they choose an option from Cannondale.

  1. Cannondale Bike Chain

The bike chains from Cannondale are up to the mark, but they are nothing special. They do not have any special treatment that will increase the overall lifespan. However, they are durable enough to let you extensively use the bike without facing issues.

  1. Cannondale Performance

As we have mentioned earlier, Cannondale focuses more on the geometry of the bike. That makes their bikes offer higher performance in comparison with the average brands. However, most of their high-performance bikes reside on the $2000+mark.

  1. Cannondale Bike Sizes

The brand Cannondale offers bikes in different sizes. They come in XL, L, M, S, and XS. However, there aren’t any specialized bikes for women. So, this might be something that many will refer to as a negative.


  • Offers exceptionally lightweight bikes
  • It comes with durable and precise parts
  • Has lots of size options
  • Well-reputed
  • Most offerings provide higher overall performance


  • A bit expensive in comparison
  • The designs of the bikes are not for everyone

Cannondale Vs Specialized Bike

After putting some of the best-seller options from both the brands and doing intensive testing, we have managed to find out what makes one stand out from the other. And the differences are as follows:

  1. Components

The first thing that is different for these two manufacturers is the components that they will use. While Specialized will mostly rely on the components that are from SRM, Cannondale will use Shimano parts. Both these two parts manufacturers offer excellent components.

However, the parts that are from Shimano are more precise and accurate. That is what makes the offerings from Cannondale better.

  1. Design

Another thing that makes these two different is the design. The designs of Specialized bikes are extraordinary. They will be eye-grabbing and will look aesthetically pleasing.

On the other hand, the design of Cannondale is not for everyone. We believe the designs are catered towards enthusiasts.

  1. Reputation

When it comes to reputation, the last lawsuits and negative press coverage really did leave Specialized behind. On the other hand, there is nothing negative about Cannondale. They have a consistent reputation all across the biking industry. That is why enthusiasts love them.

  1. What Makes Them Special

The thing that makes Specialized special is that they emphasize details. Their bikes are aesthetically pleasing. On the other hand, the geometry and lightweight nature of the cycles make Cannondale special.

Cannondale Vs Trek Mountain Bikes

The brand Trek Mountain Bikes is another competitive manufacturer that is offering high-performance mountain bikes in the market. And the main differences that lie between the offerings of these two brands are as follows:

  • Material

Frames of Cannondale bikes will be of alloy or carbon material. In comparison, Trek MTB will utilize carbon composite material. They do not really have an offering that is of alloy or full aluminum.

  • Goal

The main goal of Cannondale is to offer bikes that are of high quality. They will utilize high-end components and use the highest quality materials for the manufacturing process.

On the other hand, Trek MTB will focus on initiating different programs. These programs will usually encourage people to reduce carbon emissions. And their promotional process works exceptionally well.

  • Design

As we have mentioned earlier, the designs of Cannondale bikes are not for everyone. However, due to their innovative geometrical designs, they have won multiple awards.

The brand Trek MTB is not that far behind too. They also have claimed a lot of awards. But the main difference is that the bikes of Cannondale are for enthusiasts, while Trek MTB offers a design that suits all the bikers.

Specialized Vs Trek Mountain Bikes

We have even put the offerings from Trek MTB and Specialized head to head. And these are the differences that set both of them apart:

  • Suspensions

The first thing that separates both is the rear-suspension system. Trek MTB utilizes an active braking pivot and full-floater suspensions. In comparison, the cycles from Specialized will use Future Shock rear systems.

  • Costs

There are really not that many offerings from Trek MTB that are within the affordable range. None of them are truly entry-level bikes. On the other hand, Specialized offers plenty of models that are well under the affordable range.

  • Design

When it comes to design, Trek MTB utilizes the conventional design. Those are not really that attention-grabbing. On the contrary, the models of Specialized will have extra bells and whistles when it comes to design. Their cycles are eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing.

  • Specialty

The brand, Trek MTB, focuses on integrating functionality in its designs. They will make the cycles more functional by utilizing different designs and manufacturing processes.

On the other hand, Specialized will focus more on the overall design, durability, and efficiency.

Specialized Vs Trek Vs Giant Bikes

Another crowd favorite manufacturer for two-wheelers is Giant Bikes. But the real question is, how does it compare against Trek and Specialized.

  1. Price

When we compare the options from all three manufacturers, the price of the models from Giant Bikes is more affordable. They also offer high-end cycles that are on the upper price point.

  1. Frames

The brand, Giant Bikes, is well-known for its frames. In fact, Trek utilizes the frames that are from Giant Bikes. And in comparison, the frames of Giant Bikes offer a good overall value proposition.

  1. Performance

In comparison, the models from Trek and Specialized will offer better performance. They are well capable of plowing through rough terrains. And the options from Giant Bikes are highly capable of providing an enjoyable ride on regular roads.

  1. Options

The lineups of Trek and Specialized are considerably narrow if we compare them against the lineup of Giant Bikes. Giant Bikes have a wide range of mountain, racing, and regular bikes.

Final Words

All things aside, our main research revolved around the topic of Cannondale vs Specialized: Which is the better bike brand? And we believe that we were able to point out each of the things that makes one better than the other.

Also, you can read our other guides from here: How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile?

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