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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Letter to Dealers- Cannondale Future w/Doral

    Dear Skeptic and CDale Loyal,

    I've read a lot of opinions about the recent sale of Cannondale Bicycles to Doral and I thought that it would be good for everyone to hear what they are saying back at Cannondale headquarters. Right from the horses mouth. As a Cannondale dealer I had my own concerns when I heard the news but after speaking with my local sales rep who sat down and spoke personally with Doral's CEO I am excited for the future of Cannondale. The CEO is an avid cyclist and is aware of what it going on with other major bicycle makers. Read the letter below and tell me that they are selling out. No, Cannondale will continue to provide the best bicycle products in the world and the other companies should watch out. We are a new bike shop and the support we have received from Cannondale has been second to none. We look forward to what's in store from Cannondale.

    Infinite Cycles
    Riverton, UT



    February 15th, 2008

    Dear Partner,

    Happy 2008! In this election year I thought a political quote would be appropriate to convey our thoughts:
    "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people".
    - Eleanor Roosevelt

    We at Cannondale have a history of discussing and delivering (big) ideas. That is where we choose to focus our time and energy. We have done it for the last 35 years for our valued Dealers in the IBD and we intend to focus on it with even greater tenacity with our IBD partners over the next 35 years.

    Over the last five years others were talking to you for us of all the things we were, and were not, going to do. Meanwhile, we have stayed focused in our effort to deliver great product to you. In fact, over the last five years we have consistently delivered on our commitments including:
    > innovative product
    > greater breadth of our line at your request
    > an exciting new accessory line
    > an excellent high end footwear alternative and the introduction of our premium Cannondale LE apparel line.

    We like to let our product do the talking for us.

    Last week, we communicated the exciting news of Cannondale's acquisition by Dorel Industries. Again, we immediately discussed and delivered on a big idea - the establishment of a stand alone division dedicated to the IBD channel with the stated intention of long term being the #1 supplier to you, our valued partners.

    To reiterate, we are fully committed to continue delivering the innovative products we have become known for in the industry and have every intention of remaining IBD focused with the same current partner base within this great industry. It's important to note that this is the same commitment we gave you, and delivered upon, five years ago when we were acquired by Pegasus Capital Advisors.

    We were true to our word and reputation then and you can be assured that we will be true to our word and reputation now again. Said another way- we would never consider, and have no intention of, going "full force" into other channels.


    The benefits of this acquisition to you, our valued partners, are significant:

    1. We now have increased resources, human and financial, to grow the IBD channel.

    2. In addition, being owned by a strategic owner who has an excellent track record of keeping and growing their acquisitions over the last few decades is an exciting proposition for all of us.

    3. Finally, with this increased financial strength we have the ability to significantly expand our portfolio to you, either through building brands or acquiring additional premium brands to better serve you, our valued dealers.


    We're excited about what 2008 and beyond holds for our partnership with you. We are committed to serving you and continuing to bring you the big ideas and the best damn cycling product in the marketplace.



    At the end of the day, talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words. Therefore, as we reflect on your actions with us, please know we are appreciative of and excited about the future possibilities with you. We are hopeful and confident that you feel the same regarding our actions and partnership with you.



    Best Regards,

    Matthew M. Mannelly
    Chief Executive Officer
    Cannondale Bicycle Corporation



    Dave Manchester
    Vice President of North American Sales
    Cannondale Bicycle Corporation

    Jeff Frehner
    Chief Executive Officer
    Cannondale Sports Group

  2. #2
    mnt bike laws of physics
    Reputation: yogiprophet's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post.
    Have a great time with your new shop. I like the name

  3. #3
    Like catnip for people
    Reputation: ar1981's Avatar
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    Yeah, thanks for posting that.

  4. #4
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    Not to P (for platitude) on the parade, but amidst the "strategic partner with financial strenghth, dedicated to IDB with ability to expand the portfolio to you..." etc. there's no mention of who will be manufacturing the frames.
    I hope Dorel knows that a major component of their customer base are weirdos like myself who want to continue supporting Cannondale, but only insomuch as they continue Handmade in the USA frames. I don't support exporting our real economy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinny
    Not to P (for platitude) on the parade, but amidst the "strategic partner with financial strenghth, dedicated to IDB with ability to expand the portfolio to you..." etc. there's no mention of who will be manufacturing the frames.
    I hope Dorel knows that a major component of their customer base are weirdos like myself who want to continue supporting Cannondale, but only insomuch as they continue Handmade in the USA frames. I don't support exporting our real economy.
    Ditto.

    I'm not really concerned about saving the IBD channel....more about being able to buy a reasonably-priced bike with some level of non-chinese content in it.

    Frankly, all I've ever gotten from IBD's is list prices, limited selection, and disinterested service. I'd love to be able to purchase Cdale online.

  6. #6
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    Trouble is many of the most active and helpful people on this site are connected to the IBD channel. They own shops, work in shops, are friends of guys who work in shops or get sponsored/helped by shops. Most aren't highly paid they just love what they do.
    The IBD is an expensive business model which maintains high margins for manufacturers and retailers necessary to support all the "free" help and advice the IBDs give. The BUT is of course that you need the help and advice on a regular basis and you only buy a new bike very occassionally. How much free advice are you entitled to per bike purchased? My LBS dropped Cannondale (business reasons) so I've lost my balance of goodwill.
    At its best the IBD model is great. Bicycle socialism "to each according to his needs from each according to his means".
    On balance I tend to prefer the free market economy. I'd like to pay as I go choosing between price, service and convenience each time I make a buying decision.

  7. #7
    LA CHÈVRE
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    Don't worry, Dorel have no plans to change much at Cannondale, only improve what it already is. For now, all they will do is give more money to Cannondale for R&D and they want to improve customer support... They will let the people at Cannondale do what they do, just give them more ressources to come up with even better bikes. Components will be cheaper for them since they now have a much bigger volume to buy from component manufacturers. Cannondale is in good hands and I expect great things to come.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadite
    Ditto.

    I'm not really concerned about saving the IBD channel....more about being able to buy a reasonably-priced bike with some level of non-chinese content in it.

    Frankly, all I've ever gotten from IBD's is list prices, limited selection, and disinterested service. I'd love to be able to purchase Cdale online.
    I have recd great and "gone out of their way" service from the IBD that I have delt with. There has been more than once that I have dropped by and said "Can you fix this now?" to something I didnt have tools for and was taken care of.

    I will admit their prices are not the better than online places, but bikes are not like TVs. You cant just buy them and they just work all the time. They are more like cars.

    The only chain I have been to that act like a IBD is Sports Basement. I was in there buying gloves and some lady walks in with a Specialized (they dont sell Spec) road bike with a problem. She was obviously out riding. The guy just tossed it on the stand, fixed it in about 10 mins and didnt even charge her.

    At REI I have got stupid looks from people when I asked if they had any cross bikes. When I asked for a set of pads for my Avids, it took them 3 times to get the right ones. At Performance there only seems to be like one guy per shift that actually rides and has real knoledge.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  9. #9
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    Good read. Now I understand why M. Sinyard is scared to death sending those e-mails.

    And I love this part: "Said another way- we would never consider, and have no intention of, going "full force" into other channels."


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baker921
    On balance I tend to prefer the free market economy. I'd like to pay as I go choosing between price, service and convenience each time I make a buying decision.
    Define "free market economy".
    A customer has a choice only so long as there are multiple choices to be had. The race to the bottom that is the exporting of our manufacturing jobs to third world countries teeming with cheap, non-union labor (no labor rights whatsoever, really) may benefit some speculative investors in the short run, but the end game is no choice, no economy for everyone else. Only oligopoly.

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