Palace and Cannondale team up to create the Mad Boy urban bike

The Bad Boy has become a Mad Boy, thanks to some skate culture influence.

by Iain Treloar

photography by Cannondale


If you’re a follower of Cannondale’s product lines over the years, you’ll probably be familiar with the Bad Boy. A tough commuter first introduced to Cannondale’s range in 1999, it’s been a mainstay of the brand’s line-up ever since.

In that time, it’s developed something of a cult following, mutating as components have come and gone. Over the years, the Bad Boy has had Headshock and Lefty suspension setups along with internal gear hubs and external drive trains, but at its core it’s remained more or less the same: rugged, black, tough, cool.

For Cannondale’s 50th birthday, however, the Bad Boy’s getting a facelift. In collaboration with the London skate and streetwear brand, Palace, Cannondale is releasing the Mad Boy. There’s a vibe-heavy video up top to get you excited about that fact.

Oh, you’d like to see what the bike looks like? Well, I suppose

If ‘Palace’ rings a bell, here’s why: together with Rapha, they were the driving force behind EF’s bonkers Giro kit last year. That design – which saw the team penalised by the UCI, but gain widespread attention across cycling media and beyond – featured a mottled purple and red polka dot motif, a couple of mystery gents (one bearded) hanging out near the armpits, and in the middle of the chest, a duck, wings outstretched, playing the word ‘PALACE’ like an accordion.

While there are, regrettably, no ducks on the Mad Boy, there are lots of other fun design elements. According to the press release, it “[takes] inspiration from racing heritage, zany rave-flyers, ‘00s motocross, classic video games and skateboarding”.

That unlikely collection of influences “brings a one-of-a-kind appearance into the city streets and marks the pinnacle of high-performance smiling,” which is a type of performance I’ve not seen referenced in cycling texts before but would like to see more of in the future.

The Cannondale Mad Boy is available from cannondale.com from 11am BST today.

Hypebeasts should note that there’s an accompanying clothing collection – featuring an assortment of loud hoodies, T-shirts, caps, Gore-Tex jackets, and trousers – likewise available from 11am BST today at palaceskateboards.com.

Based on the reception to the Giro kit, if you want any of it, be quick.

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