Our New York engineers have integrated new testing machinery into the bamboo bike-building process, enabling them to better approximate professional grade material testing. In an effort to build the ultimate hoop-stress test setup, Marty purchased a hydraulic splitter and a pneumatic fatigue tester, which hooks into the fork of the bike frame and flexes it until the frame breaks.
Marty and crew are able to use this machine to compare relative strengths of bicycle frames built of different bamboo varieties, as well as bamboo that has been treated with different treatments and using different treatment methods. How, for instance, does bamboo treated with one brand of epoxy resin hold up to another? What style of wrapping creates the strongest joints, and to what degree do the results differ? Eventually, we might even be able to use this technology to test new treatment methods altogether: how, for example, would a piece of flame-treated bamboo hold up against a piece coated with beeswax or smoked in a bamboo smoker? The splitter and the fatigue tester, when coupled with a newly acquired air compressor that tests the strength of the bicycle joints, will enable us to make use of detailed, scientific, more empirically accurate data as we construct the strongest possible bamboo bikes.