Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
DEVICE FOR CONNECTING TWO BIKES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/119506
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A connecting device (1) between a controlling first bicycle (2) and a second bicycle (4), in which a supporting frame (6) connects the first bicycle (2) to the second bicycle (4) and in which a steering rod (12) is directly or indirectly connected between the front-wheel suspension (16) of the first bicycle (2), which is rotatable around a first steering axis (20), and the front-wheel suspension (22) of the second bicycle (4), which is rotatable around a second steering axis (28), the connecting device (1) including a gravel rod (32) which is connected between the front-wheel suspension (16) of the first bicycle (2) and the front-wheel suspension (22) of the second bicycle (4), and the steering rod (12) being in front of the second steering axis (28) relative to the direction of travel, and the distance of the gravel rod (32) relative to the second steering axis (28) being different from the distance of the steering rod (12) relative to the second steering axis (28), the length of the gravel rod (32) being restrictedly variable during use.

Inventors:
UNDERHAUG NJÅL (NO)
Application Number:
NO2015/050022
Publication Date:
August 13, 2015
Filing Date:
February 03, 2015
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
FAMILYBIKES AS (NO)
International Classes:
B62K13/06; B60G21/055; B62D23/00; B62J99/00; B62K27/12
Foreign References:
NO322351B12006-09-18
US4290620A1981-09-22
US1522039A1925-01-06
Other References:
See also references of EP 3102480A4
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HÅMSØ PATENTBYRÅ ANS (4302 Sandnes, NO)
Download PDF:
Claims:
C l a i m s

1. A connecting device (1) between a controlling first bicycle (2) and a second bicycle (4), in which a supporting frame (6) connects the first bicycle (2) to the second bicycle (4) and in which a steering rod (12) is directly or indirectly connected between the front-wheel suspension (16) of the first bicycle (2), which is rotatable around a first steering axis (20), and the front-wheel suspension (22) of the second bicycle (4), which is rotatable around a second steering axis (28), the connecting device (1) including a gravel rod (32) which is connected between the front-wheel suspension (16) of the first bicycle (2) and the front-wheel suspension (22) of the second bicycle (4), and the steering rod (12) being in front of the second steering axis (28) relative to the direction of travel, and the distance of the gravel rod (32) relative to the second steering axis (28) being different from the distance of the steering rod (12) relative to the second steering axis (28), the length of the gravel rod (32) being restrictedly variable during use, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that:

- the supporting frame (6) is pivotably attached to the first bicycle (2); and

- that the distance between a first gravel-rod mounting (33) at the attachment of the gravel rod (32) to the first bicycle (2) and the steering axis (20) of the first bicycle (2) is smaller than the distance between a second gravel- rod mounting (35) at the attachment of the gravel rod (32) to the second bicycle (4) and the attachment of the supporting frame (6) to the second bicycle (4).

2. The device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the gravel rod (32) is on the opposite side of the steering axis (28) of the second bicycle (4) relative to the steering rod (12).

3. The device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the gravel rod (32) is on the same side of the steering axis (28) of the second bicycle (4) relative to the steering rod (12).

4. The device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that from the ground (30), the gravel rod (32) is at a vertical height level which is different from the height level of the steering rod (12).

5. The device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the gravel rod (32) is parallel to the steering rod (12).

6. The device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the gravel rod (32) is telescopic with end stops (34).

7. The device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the gravel rod (32) is connected to the front-wheel suspensions (16, 22) of the bicycles (2, 4) via an elastic material (48).

8. The device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the gravel rod (32) is provided with at least one quick-release coupling (44)

Description:
DEVICE FOR CONNECTING TWO BIKES

This invention relates to a connecting device between two bicycles. More particularly, it relates to a connecting device between a first bicycle and a second bicycle, in which a supporting frame connects the first bicycle to the second bicycle, and in which a steering rod is directly or indirectly connected between the front-wheel suspension of the first bicycle and the front-wheel suspension of the second bicycle.

From the Norwegian patent 322361, it is known to connect two bicycles by means of a supporting frame which can be connected to a first bicycle and which is arranged to be releasably connected to a second bicycle whenever required. This may be practical, for example, when a child is cycling together with an adult. When the child no longer wants to be cycling by itself, or when traffic conditions dictate, for example, the bicycles may be connected so that the bicycles will run as one unit, whereby the person sitting on the first bicycle can provide steering and propulsion of both bicycles.

According to NO 322361, a steering rod is connected between the front-wheel suspensions of the bicycles to ensure that the bicycles will run as one unit.

It has turned out that the device according to NO 322361 is conditional on the ground cycled on being relatively firm in order to function in a reliable way.

The invention has for its object to remedy or reduce at least one of the drawbacks of the prior art.

The object is achieved according to the invention through the features which are specified in the description below and in the claims that follow.

A connecting device is provided between a controlling first bicycle and a second bicycle, wherein a supporting frame connects the first bicycle to the second bicycle, and wherein a steering rod is directly or indirectly connected between the front-wheel suspension of the first bicycle, which is rotatable around a first steering axis, and the front-wheel suspension of the second bicycle, which is rotatable around a second steering axis, the connecting device being characterized by including a gravel rod which is connected between the front-wheel suspension of the first bicycle and the front-wheel suspension of the second bicycle, and the steering rod being in front of the second steering axis relative to the direction of travel, and the distance of the gravel rod relative to the second steering axis being different from the distance of the steering rod relative to the second steering axis, the length of the gravel rod being restrictedly variable during use.

With respect to in front of and behind, what is meant, in this connection, is that the extended centre lines of the steering rod and the gravel rod extend in front of or behind the respective steering axes. It may happen that the rods are of a shape that contributes to not giving a clearly defined longitudinal axis. In such cases, the centre line of the steering rod may be considered as running through the two steering-rod mountings of the steering rod, whereas the centre line of the gravel rod may be considered as running through the gravel-rod mountings of the gravel rod.

The supporting frame is pivotably attached to the first bicycle to absorb the angular change that occurs as the bicycles are "leaning" in a bend, for example.

If, during use, the bicycles get into an area of loose gravel, for example, the gravel rod prevents a sudden occurrence of too great a steering-angle difference between the front wheel of the first bicycle and the front wheel of the second bicycle. Too large a steering-angle deflection between the front wheels has turned out to lead to the possibility of the second bicycle overturning.

At the same time, the gravel rod is arranged to allow a certain steering-angle deviation between the front wheels. A practical embodiment of the connecting device and positioning of the attachment points in preference to a theoretical embodiment based on the steering geometry has as a consequence that a certain change in track width occurs during cycling and thereby a certain steering-angle deviation.

Moreover, a desired elastic attachment of the steering rod has the effect of enabling the person present on the second bicycle to contribute to steering the second bicycle himself, with a subsequent steering deviation resulting.

The restrictedly variable length of the gravel rod thus allows the front wheels to roll freely without skidding sideways when the bicycles are steered and are leaning sideways in bends, for example, where the steering angles of the front wheels will have to differ somewhat. The forces transmitted through the gravel rod to the handlebars of the first bicycle on sudden steering-angle deflections, for example in consequence of too little friction under the front wheel of the second bicycle, are limited by the gravel rod being arranged at a relatively short distance from the steering axis of the first bicycle.

In the same way, a relatively large distance between the second gravel-rod mounting of the gravel rod on the second bicycle and the attachment of the supporting frame to the second bicycle contributes to reducing forces transmitted via the gravel rod.

The parallelism of the gravel rod and the steering rod and of the rods and ground surface and the distances of the attachment points from the centres of the bicycles affect how much of the restrictedly variable length of the gravel rod is left for steering for the person on the second bicycle. Parallelism and attachments close to the centres of the bicycles are therefore desirable, but will be a compromise with what is practical when there are great differences in bicycle size.

However, as the purpose of the gravel rod is just to limit undesired deviation between the steering angles of the front wheels, such parallelism is not necessary.

The distance between the rods and the height from the ground are determined from practical considerations relative to wheel size and attachments.

In one embodiment, the gravel rod is telescopic with an integral end stop, at least in one direction.

In another embodiment, the gravel rod is connected to the front-wheel suspensions of the bicycles via an elastic material. There may be combinations of these.

It is beneficial for the gravel rod to be provided with at least one quick-release coupling to enable relatively quick connection to and disconnection from the bicycles whenever required.

Tests show that the gravel rod is also effective in holding the second bicycle in a desired position when it "is bouncing" on the ground, typically when there is no person present on the second bicycle.

The device according to the invention solves unfortunate aspects of prior-art connecting devices for bicycles in a simple and reliable way.

In what follows, an example of a preferred embodiment is described, which is visualized in the accompanying drawings in which : Figure 1 shows, in perspective, bicycles with a connecting device including a gravel rod according to the invention;

Figure 2 shows a plan view of a gravel rod; and

Figure 3 shows a plan view of a gravel rod in another embodiment.

In the drawings, the reference numeral 1 indicates a connecting device between a first bicycle 2 and a second bicycle 4.

The connecting device 1 includes a supporting frame 6 which, in addition to being directly or indirectly connected in an articulated manner to the frame 8 of the first bicycle 2, is directly or indirectly and releasably connected to the frame 10 of the second bicycle 4.

By an indirect connection it is meant that the connection may include intermediate components.

The connecting device 1 also includes a steering rod 12 which is connected via a first bail 14 to the front-wheel suspension 16 of the first bicycle at a first steering-rod mounting 17. The front-wheel suspension 16 of the first bicycle 2 with a front wheel 18 rotates around a first steering axis 20 as usual.

At its opposite end portion, the steering rod 12 is connected to the front-wheel suspension 22 of the second bicycle 4 via a second bail 24 at a second steering-rod mounting 25. The front-wheel suspension 22 of the second bicycle 4 with a front wheel 26 rotates around a second steering axis 28.

When the bicycles 2, 4 are on a firm ground 30, such a relatively simple connecting device 1 will function satisfactorily.

To maintain a satisfactory functioning on a looser ground, a gravel rod 32 is arranged between the front-wheel suspension 16 of the first bicycle 2 and the front-wheel suspension 22 of the second bicycle 4.

The gravel rod 32 is connected to the front-wheel suspension 16 of the first bicycle 2 at a first gravel-rod mounting 33 and to the front-wheel suspension 22 of the second bicycle 4 at a second gravel-rod mounting 35.

In this preferred embodiment, the gravel rod 12 is at a distance in front of the first steering axis 20 and the second steering axis 28 in the direction of travel. The gravel rod 32 is on the opposite side of the first steering axis 20 and the second steering axis 28.

The gravel rod 32 may be telescopic between two end stops 34 as is shown in figure 2. Here, the telescopic displacement of a pin 36, which is attached to an inner telescope part 38 and runs in a slot 40 in an outer telescope part 42, is restricted.

The gravel rod 32 includes quick-release couplings 44 and rubber joints 46 and is connected to the first bail 14 via the first gravel-rod mounting 33 and to the second bail 24 via the second gravel-rod mounting 35.

If the second front wheel 26 should slip or bounce on the ground 30, the gravel rod 32 will limit the steering-angle deflection between the front wheels 18 and 26 so that the second bicycle 4 will not overturn. Normal functioning occurs as soon as the second bicycle 4 is on firm ground . The function is conditional on the first bicycle 2 being stable.

In a second embodiment, see figure 3, a gravel rod 32 which includes quick-release couplings 44 and a plate-shaped, elastic material 48 is shown. The gravel rod 32 is connected by means of quick-release couplings 44 and the elastic material 48 to the first bail 14 at the first gravel-rod mounting 33 and to the second bail 24 at the second gravel-rod mounting 35.

In this embodiment, the deflection between the steering angles of the front wheels 18, 26 is restricted by the greatest deflection of the elastic material .