As the evolution of diamond-framed bicycles that can weigh no less than 6.8kg (14.96lbs) reaches ever more asymptotic progress, it seems like the greatest gains are achieved by the accompanying marketing hyperbole. When it's possible, even easy, to build a $2000 bike that'll get you to the UCI limit, with aerodynamics, leteral stiffness and vertical compliance to spare, the prominent brands really need to goose the heck out of the marketing department to justify their $6,000 to $10,000 pricepoints.
One time-honored technique for accomplishing this is the use of Capital Letter Features to create acronyms. Nothing demonstrates technical prowess like an acronym! I guess Cannondale must get a lot of credit for starting this training rolling with "CAAD." I'll happily confess that I really like CAAD frames and the CAAD concept. The frames ride really well, they're plenty light, they're stiff, they're reasonably priced, they look good and in general they just plain make sense (although having seen the launch video for the new CAAD 10, I fear for the sanctity of the airspace above the shark tank).
As with most things, once the train leaves the station it just gathers more and more steam. There are bikes now where literally each tube on the thing has either an acronym or a name - Onda, Zonda, My Sharona, Toray Internal Tortional Stiffness, Ballistic Aramid Lamination LayerS. I guess I doth protest too much, since all of the tubes on our bikes have names - the Down Tube(tm), the Top Tube(tm), the Chain Stays(tm)... you get the point.
What good are all these acronyms without quantifiable measurements to prove their benefit? "Lab testing shows that during a two hour ride, our new HYdrophobic Protective Emollient(tm) protects your frame 42.6% better from annoying sports drink drip gank." Seriously? If claims of double digit-percentage gains in any aspect of a top end bike don't make all of your BS(tm) alarms go off, I've got a nice bridge in Brooklyn.
Here's a percentage that we think gives you real benefit: November bikes are technically excellent and leave you around 100% more cash in your wallet. Hows that for a quantifiable advancement?
Of course we live in a glass house over here at November. One needs only to look at our wheel sets to see that the scourge of acronyms has infected even us. Know what they mean? Want to? Stay tuned.